Under Purple Skies: The Minneapolis Anthology

Edited by Frank Bures
May 7, 2019

In recent years, Minneapolis has become a literary powerhouse. In Under Purple Skies: The Minneapolis Anthology, we collect some of the most exciting work being done in, or about, Minneapolis and the Twin Cities area, with narrative threads that stretch back not just to Scandinavia, but across the world. The writers here have won, or been shortlisted for, the Newbery Award, the Man Booker prize, the Pulitzer, the Caldecott Award, the National Book Award, the Minnesota Book Award and many others. They included Kelly Barnhill, Marlon James, Kao Kalia Yang, Michael Perry, Bao Phi, Danez Smith, Shannon Gibney, and many more, alongside new and first-time writers.

Praise for Under Purple Skies: The Minneapolis Anthology:

In nearly every piece, I almost couldn't help feeling a little Geiger-like clicking yes! as the city I know and love was described anew, over and over, in ways I've never seen articulated.” -- Minneapolis StarTribune

"Minneapolis is known for its surfeit of excellent writers, so it’s not surprising that a collection of writing about the city by the writers who know it best would turn out to be a reader’s delight. ... For one varied, top-notch taste of that literary splendor, don’t miss reading Under Purple Skies." -- Lynette Lamb, Minnesota Alumni

"Minneapolis gets the star treatment in the latest installment of Belt Publishing's City Anthologies series. The collection features contributions from an impressive list of current-award winning authors, nearly all of whom have either lived in or worked in the city. ... Collectively, the writers paint a thorough and sometimes amusing picture of our state and the people in it." -- Minneapolis StarTribune

"The ultimate (literary) tour guide to the neighborhoods and wild places, history and politics, culture and cuisine, music and myths of the Twin Cities, a place I only thought I knew. This anthology feels like the equivalent of a shaken snowglobe -- for if you look closely enough, and turn it this way and that, you'll discover the magic of a whole hidden world. What a great place to call home and what a talented group of writers has assembled here." -- Benjamin Percy, author of The Dark Net, Thrill Me, The Dead Lands, and Red Moon

"Here are voices from her streets, parks, riversides, lake shores, alleys, train tracks, and seemingly private places everyone who lives here knows or will know. In strong prose and evocative poetry, these authors tell us Minneapolis is an indigenous place, a Dakota homeland, an immigrant place, a whiter-than-white place, a Black place. Minneapolis may seem simple to those who visit ('It's so pretty, so clean!') but this book tells us there's a deeper city, one as complex as a clock and as telling of our times." -- Heid E. Erdrich, Poet and editor of New Poets of Native Nations.

Ranging from the purple storm-skies above Minneapolis, to the sandstone caverns beneath it, these poems and essays manage a kind of inventory of the city: music, lakes, rivers, communities of every class and color, behavior(s), and geographies. The tonal range moves from James Wright's great curse on the city ("The Minneapolis Poem") to objective observations and the occasional blessing. Something wonderful must have come together to inspire these beautiful poems and essays, and this collection is the best guidebook I can imagine for both the longtime resident and the newcomer. -- Charles Baxter, author of There's Something I Want You to Do: Stories and The Soul Thief

"This is the best collection of Minnesota writing I've read in ages. These stories will make a Minnesota native laugh, reflect, remember, and, in my case, deeply homesick." -- J. Ryan Stradal, bestselling author of Kitchens of the Great Midwest and The Lager Queen of Minnesota.
"The opening lines of David Mura’s poem are a tantalizing hint of what lies in this marvelous anthology: 'There are 150 first languages in our schools/and so many aliens even E.T. would go unnoticed.' You’ll find Prince and Bob Dylan and many other familiars, but every entry is a pleasant surprise, including a tribute to a local tattoo artist. Under Purple Skies will earn its place on your bookshelf for a very long time. -- Jim Heynen, author of Ordinary Sins and The Fall of Alice K.

 

"This is a first-class tour of Minneapolis, brought to you by writers and poets who will make anyone reading Under Purple Skies want to live there." -- Lorna Landvik, author of Chronicles of a Radical Hag (with Recipes)

Better when ordered together with our Minneapolis T-shirt via the Minneapolis Bundle!

____
Frank Bures is the author of The Geography of Madness: Penis Thieves, and Voodoo Death and the Search for the Meaning of the World’s Strangest Syndromes." He writes about travel, culture, language, science, outdoors, narrative and belief.