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Minnesota State University, Mankato
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Feb. 27: Good Thunder Reading Series Features two Writers

Bao Phi and Liz Lanier are featured writers in Feb. 27 event.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office News Release, 2-14-2019

Mankato, Minn. – Minnesota State University, Mankato will host performance poet Bao Phi (pictured at right) and freelance writer Liz Lanier on Thursday, Feb. 27 in the next event of the University’s 38th annual Good Thunder Reading Series.

Phi is the featured writer in the Robert C. Wright Minnesota Writer Residency. Lanier is the winner of the 2019 Robert C. Wright Award.

All Good Thunder Reading Series events are free and open to the public.

Feb. 27 activities will begin with Phi holding a workshop from 10-11 a.m. at the Emy Frentz Gallery (523 S. 2nd St. in Mankato), and then a “Talk on Craft” from 3-4 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union’s Ostrander Auditorium.

That evening, Lanier will read from her work from 7:30-8:30 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union’s Ostrander Auditorium.

Phi is the author of two poetry collections: “Thousand Star Hotel,” which was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award for Poetry, and “Sông I Sing.” Phi has been a performance poet since 1991 and is a two-time Minnesota Grand Slam champion and a National Poetry Slam finalist. He has performed all over the U.S. and has appeared on “HBO Presents Russell Simmons Def Poetry.” His first children’s book, “A Different Pond,” won both the Caldecott Medal and Charlotte Zolotow Awards in addition to the Minnesota Book Award for Children’s Literature. His second children’s book, “My Footprints,” is forthcoming.

Lanier (pictured at left) is a master’s candidate in fiction at Minnesota State University, Mankato, where she also teaches composition. She is a freelance writer and has bylines in Variety, Polygon, The Mary Sue, Game Informer magazine and other publications. Lanier is a co-host for “The Weekly Reader,” an author interview program and podcast on KMSU FM Radio, and a creative nonfiction editor of the Blue Earth Review. She is the winner of the 2019 Robert C. Wright Award for Creative Writing.

The Good Thunder Reading Series, in its 38th year, is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

The 2019-20 Good Thunder Reading Series also receives support from Minnesota State Mankato’s Department of English, College of Arts and Humanities, Office of Institutional Diversity, the Women’s Center, the Nadine B. Andreas Endowment, the Eddice B. Barber Visiting Writer Endowment, the Robert C. Wright Endowment and individual donors. The Emy Frentz Gallery and Barnes & Noble Bookstore at Minnesota State Mankato offer additional assistance.

For more information contact Candace Black at 507-389-2680 or visit

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 14,297 students, is part of the Minnesota State system, which includes 30 colleges and seven universities.

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