Literary Arts

Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts engages writers and readers in a variety of ways!


Reading Series

The second Friday evening of each month at 7:30 pm, Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts hosts a free reading series. The 2016 Reading Series Curators are Clarence White and Margaret Hasse.  These readings take place at BLCA and are free to attend.

Check the online calendar to find out who is reading at Banfill-Locke. If you are interested in being considered as a reader at this series, please email

Practice Writing Group

Each Tuesday, from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm, a group of writers come together at Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts for a facilitated time to exercise the act of writing. Prompts are provided; this format is perfect for any type of writer and any ability. Practice Writing is also offered on the second Thursday evening of the month from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. All sessions are free to attend and participate. No sign up needed; just stop on by.

NorthWords Writers

The NorthWords Writers meet together monthly to critique each other’s work.  The meetings are facilitated by Diego Vázquez, the Writer-in-Residence.  NorthWords meets on the fourth Saturday of the month from 10 am to 12 pm.  Interested writers can attend the group once without being a member of Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts. There is a $5 fee payable upon arrival for each session. Questions about the fee or the group can be addressed to


The 2016-17Diego Vasquez Jr Writer-in-Residence is Diego Vázquez Jr. Diego serves as the literary presence for those who make Banfill-Locke their writing home. The Writer-in-Residence receives a stipend, a studio work space, and also facilitates the NorthWords writers, a monthly critique group. The position is an 18 month term.

Diego Vázquez Jr is a Twin Cities based poet, novelist, and storyteller. In addition to working on his own writing, he is the lead instructor of the Women’s Writing Program at the Ramsey County Correctional Facility and the Sherburne County Jail in Elk River which has profoundly affected his insight into the joy and passion of the heart. He has taught writing workshops across the metro area and has been published in a number of publications over the past twenty years. A Loft Mentor in Fiction for 2014–2015, Vázquez is the author of the novel Growing Through the Ugly. A recent essay, “Borderland” can be found in the anthology, Extraordinary Rendition (American) Writers on Palestine (OR Books, New York, NY), Fall 2015. He will use his residency at Banfill-Locke to complete work on a forthcoming novel, Border Town Sky.