Minneapolis vs. St. Paul

They call it the Twin Cities, but relationships between Minneapolis and St Paul were not always so sisterly. During the 1890 census, the battle over which city would prove to be bigger turned into a scene from a crime novel. Ever heard of the phrase “Padding the numbers?” Yeah, you’re welcome world…here’s the origin story from a time when people weren’t so Minnesota-nice.

Some Refugees Are Scared of Us, Too

I cannot imagine what it would feel like, after years of waiting, going through the vetting process, receiving a Visa, going through the orientation-to-America class, and receiving plane tickets, packing, and saying goodbye--after all that--to be turned away while boarding the plane because America has stopped accepting refugees.

Thought you might be interested in a story I produced last year in which a Karen man, now a college student, recounts a terrifying experience his first day in America (from Burma). And it's also about dance!

David Mura: Becoming Japanese

It was such an honor that this story of mine got picked up by PRX Remix. The credit goes to David Mura, of course, who has a powerful story and tells it well. I just got to hold the mic. Though I did have the challenge of compressing a conversation about understanding and claiming his Japanese-American heritage--and using creative writing to talk about race--into just a few minutes.



Calling All Board Game Enthusiasts

Richard Tatge owns more than 6000 board games. And really, that's if you count each game as "one:" i.e. you count Magic: The Gathering as one game, even if you own some 70 variants of it (which he does). So yes, a lot of board games, all kinds, filling the house faster than he can build shelves.

And, oh, I wish I'd had room in the story to mention the other things he collects: hundreds of pumpkins for Halloween and Santa Clauses for Christmas, enough lights to make his house worth driving across town just to see during the holidays. Because collections, Tatge believes, are to be shared.

1970s board games designed to look like books! Cool!

1970s board games designed to look like books! Cool!

Interview with Poet Sun Yung Shin

It was a treat to interview Minneapolis writer Sun Yung Shin for this radio story. She is such a warm person, broadly interested in the world and deeply thoughtful. Example? Her new poetry book Unbearable Splendor manages to speak to the ancient story of Antigone, modern commentaries on race and identity...and robots. Curious?