Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

In Paul Bunyan land: Hackensack hosts art and book fest August 16, 2013

Every Tuesday during the summer months, Hackensack hosts a kids' fishing contest.

Every Tuesday during the summer months, Hackensack hosts a kids’ fishing contest on Birch Lake. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

IT’S A SWEET SMALL TOWN snugged in Minnesota’s northwoods north of Brainerd, half way to Bemidji.

This would be lumberjack Paul Bunyan.

This would be lumberjack Paul Bunyan. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

You’ll find statues of legendary Paul Bunyan here…

Paul Bunyan's sweetheart, Lucette, stands next to the library along Birch Lake.

Paul Bunyan’s sweetheart, Lucette, stands next to the library along Birch Lake. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

and of his bride, Lucette. She stands near Birch Lake, next to an old log cabin that houses a library run by volunteers.

Several summers ago I photographed this log cabin library in Hackensack.

The Hackensack library. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

It’s no wonder Hackensack, home to not quite 300 permanent and who knows how many seasonal residents, will host its 18th annual Northwoods Art & Book Festival from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. this Saturday, August 17.

I’ll be there. Sort of.

I’ve submitted two poems to the Sixth Annual Poetry Display/Recognition, as I’ve done for several years.

Fest-goers can peruse the poems inside the Union Congregational Church and vote for their favorites for the six Popular Choice awards. The poetry committee will also select six Works of Merit. Poets will read their poems beginning at 1:30 p.m. with award winners announced afterward. Local newspapers will publish the winning poems.

A collection of works by eight Minnesota writers.

A collection of works by eight Minnesota writers.

But there’s more. Twenty-plus Minnesota authors and poets will sign and sell their books throughout the day. Sweet. Any event that promotes Minnesota writers and artists gets my support. Among the literary offerings is Bards of a Feather Write Together—A Collection. It features the poetry, fiction and memoirs, some previously published, of eight Minnesota writers, all members of the writing group Bards of a Feather. I am currently reading this debut anthology and thoroughly enjoying the variety of voices and content therein.

Visual artists will also be part of the Hackensack fest, selling their original artwork. Original and created by the artist. No resale items. Splendid.

No Minnesota festival is complete without food, which you’ll find in the food court.

I wish I could join this celebration of Minnesota writers and artists. But distance and previous commitments won’t allow me to be there. My poems will have to do. For this year.

FYI: For more information, click here to reach the Northwoods Arts Council website. The council is the festival sponsor.

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of Bards of a Feather Write Together for review purposes.

Copyright 2013 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

 

18 Responses to “In Paul Bunyan land: Hackensack hosts art and book fest”

  1. Beth Ann Says:

    Sounds like a perfect day and I am sure you would love to be there but as you said—your poems will have to stand for you this time. Good luck to your poems!!!! 🙂 BTW, I never knew Paul Bunyan had a wife. I need to read up on good ole Paul. He seems bigger than life. 🙂

  2. Sue Says:

    Thanks so much for giving Northwoods Art and Book Festival such a fine “shout out”. Your written piece captured the event perfectly. And love the pictures!
    Sue

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      You are most welcome, Sue. I hope you have a fantastic turn-out and beautiful weather. I wish I could be there as it sounds like a wonderful opportunity to meet many Minnesota writers and artists.

  3. treadlemusic Says:

    Sounds like a very enjoyable, AND educational, time/event! I don’t remember being in that area or town. I, too, was unaware of Lucette! Have a great weekend!!!!

  4. Beautiful Country Up North with plenty of history and exploring to do!!! Happy Friday:)

  5. Jackie Says:

    Lucette huh? Never ever knew she existed, so it’s about time I found out 🙂 That would have been great for you to be at the festival…maybe next time, Hope your poems fair well.

  6. Amy Says:

    Hope your poems do well! There used to be a restaurant called the Snack’n’Shack. Yup–the Snack’n’Shack in Hackensack.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Thank you, Amy. I just learned that my poem, “Lilacs,” was selected as a Work of Merit by the poetry committee during yesterday’s Northwoods Art & Book Festival. I’m awaiting details from a committee member and then I’ll post about that honor.

      The Snack’nShack, huh? And what was served there?


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