Moving Words Presentation — Minnesota Book Award Authors to Present in Virginia

Arrowhead Library System, Virginia Public Library, and The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, as the Minnesota Center for the Book, will present an author event as part of the Moving Words series, a tour of Minnesota Book Award winners and finalists across Minnesota. Authors Michael Kleber-Diggs, Kurt Johnson, and Laura Zimmermann will come together for readings and discussion on Thursday, September 28, 1:00 p.m., hosted by the Virginia Public Library at 215 S 5th Ave, Virginia, MN 55792. This event is free and open to the public. ASL interpretation available by advance request.

Featuring multi-genre, Minnesota Book Award-winning authors, Moving Words is an opportunity for writers and readers to explore various themes together: the impact of literature in their lives, their connection as fellow Minnesotans, and the lens through which we read. Featured Authors Michael Kleber-Diggs is a poet, essayist, and literary critic. His debut poetry collection, Worldly Things, won the Max Ritvo Poetry Prize. Among other places, Kleber-Diggs’ writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Poem-a-Day, Poetry Daily, Poetry Northwest, Potomac Review, Hunger Mountain, Memorious, and various anthologies. Since 2016, Michael has been an instructor with the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop. He also teaches Creative Writing in Augsburg University’s low-res MFA program and at Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists. He lives in Minneapolis.

Kurt Johnson grew up in Minneapolis and spent summers on a remote island near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, first with his parents, later with his wife, and then daughter Ellie. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, and The Barrens, co-authored with Ellie, is the winner of the 2023 Minnesota Book Award and Goldie Debut Novel Award.

Laura Zimmermann writes books for young people. Her debut YA novel My Eyes Are Up Here won a Minnesota Book Award. Her second book, Just Do This One Thing For Me was just released. She lives in Minneapolis, where you can sometimes find her telling true stories live on stage or striding through the snow in search of the perfect mocha.

Presented by BNSF Railway Foundation, Moving Words is a program of The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library as the Library of Congress-designated Minnesota Center for the Book. Additional support is provided by the Harlan Boss Foundation for the Arts, and Education Minnesota. This program is made possible in part by the State of Minnesota through an appropriation to the Minnesota Department of Education.

The Minnesota Book Awards is a year-long program that connects readers and writers across the state with the stories of their neighbors. The process begins in the fall with book submissions and continues through winter with two rounds of judging. Winners are announced at the spring Minnesota Book Awards Ceremony. Woven throughout the season are various events that promote the authors and connect the world of Minnesota books – writers, artists, illustrators, publishers, editors, and more – to readers throughout the state. In recognition of this and its other statewide programs and services, the Library of Congress has recognized The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library as the state’s designated
Center for the Book. For more information visit

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