- May 14: Story SlamMN! Grand Slam Championship at Kieran’s Irish Pub in Minneapolis.
- May 18: Cheap Theatre – “Not” at The Black Forest Festsaal Room in Minneapolis.
An innovative storyteller, poet, and recipient of the National Storytelling Network’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Loren Niemi has spent over forty years immersed in all aspects of his craft: creating, collecting, directing, performing, and teaching. He also leads workshops on storytelling and effective messaging for mission, brand, or engagement, as well as coaching storytellers and solo performers. His work explores the power of narrative and the beauty of poetry to illuminate what it is to be human and why it matters.
What Haunts Us
“What Haunts Us” is a collection of fifteen short stories that speak from the page in the voice of the storyteller – at turns comical, unsettling, heartbreaking and wondrous – evoking the full range of human behavior and emotion. From tales set in the northern Minnesota Boundary Waters, to the millennia-spanning landscapes of Europe and the United States, these are stories brimming with a dynamic sense of place and person, imbued with a sense of grounded reality. Loren Niemi’s work has been called post-modern, “with the dark beauty of language that is not ashamed of poetry.”
“WHAT HAUNTS US are those things we hold in memory or in feelings: people, geography, actions, philosophies and beliefs, and emotions themselves. I have lived with some of these stories for decades. Giving them the form that they deserved eventually became inevitable. This collection includes the reworking of oral histories that give a nod to testimony of ghosts and the metaphysical, narratives that explore the ways in which we make the intangible present, and finally the tale of the Count Saint Germain, which is about how grief haunts even immortals.” — Loren Niemi
“Loren Niemi is a storyteller extraordinaire, whether he is telling stories on a stage, or writing them at home. His latest book, What Haunts Us, is an intriguing collection of tales about the little people and things in life that can turn ghostly in the flick of your eyelids. Niemi has a sharp eye for the magic of our existence and for depicting the reality of the unreal. His mundane characters do not question serendipity or the encounters with a supernatural world. They live their lives simply and bravely in unusual circumstances. What is haunting about this book is Niemi’s appreciation and empathy of common folk, whose vital lives are more significant than those celebrities we tend to worship.” — Jack Zipes, Author of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice: An Anthology of Magical Tales
“A collection of fifteen short stories that speak from the page in a narrative voice that is strongly oral and intimately evocative. Often sensual, occasionally unsettling, these stories have a dynamic sense of place that imbues each tale, however disquieting, with a sense of grounded reality that will transport readers to the worlds Niemi has so distinctly imagined.” — Janice Del Negro, Ph.D. Author of Willa and the Wind and Lucy Dove
“Loren has written an unsettling and intoxicating collection of stories. They are rare, raw and beautiful. The tales are poignant, unforgiving, hilarious, or simply mysterious. We are being led into the dark forest of fairytales and the hidden places of our everyday lives with the skill of a master conjurer of words.” – Laura Simms, storyteller and author of Our Secret Territory: The Essence of Storytelling
“Dear Loren, I began reading your Haunted Stories and truly have a hard time putting it down. That is no hyperbole. You have an extraordinary talent for placing significance on the simplest of us. Us common folk ain’t so uncommon, thanks to you. Beautifully done. Thank you for all the great work you do.” –- Hank Roubey
“Loren Niemi is one of my life and writing heroes. If you don’t know his work, you have wasted your life. Start over and do it right this time, dumbass!” –- Mike Finley, King of St. Paul Poetry