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Prize-winning author Meissner is keynote speaker for Brainerd Writers Alliance

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Bill Meissner, director of creative writing at St. Cloud State University and author of “Spirits in the Grass” (2008 Midwest Book Award winner), will be the keynote speaker at the Brainerd Writers Alliance (BWA) Fall Writing Festival on Saturday, Oct. 27.

In addition to novel writing, Meissner has published four books of poems: “American Compass,” “Learning to Breathe Underwater,” “The Sleepwalker’s Son” and “Twin Sons of Different Mirrors.” More than 350 of his poems are published in national and regional magazines and literary journals.

His two books of short stories, “The Road to Cosmos” and “Hitting into the Wind,” depict the subtlety of relationships and small town life.

Meissner has won numerous awards for both his poetry and his fiction including a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship, a Minnesota Arts Board Grant, a Loft-McKnight Award in poetry, a Loft-McKnight Award of Distinction in Fiction, and five Pen/NEA Syndicated Fiction Awards, including one chosen by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

During the festival’s morning session, BWA winners will receive prizes and read winning manuscripts. Brief talks by BWA members with published books will be interspersed among the readings. Lunch will follow these presentations.

In the afternoon, Meissner will present “The American Compass Traveling Road Show” featuring a reading from his four poetry books, two short story collections and his recent novel. The festival will include informal presentation with questions and answers, writing prompts and exercises.

For registration information, go to or call 218-828-7750. Registration deadline is Oct. 20.

This activity is made possible in part by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Five Wings Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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