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Author Reimringer to speak Oct. 27

Good Thunder Reading Series

When fiction writer John Reimringer takes the stage as part of the Good Thunder Reading Series at Minnesota State Mankato, part of what he will say will be about time.

By Adam Pulchinski, Free Press Correspondent [published in The Free Press, Mankato, MN, 10/27/2011]

When fiction writer John Reimringer takes the stage as part of the Good Thunder Reading Series at Minnesota State Mankato tonight, part of what he will say will be about time.

He’ll talk about the time that it takes to get work published, which also comes from putting the time into writing.

“Most people want to know your method,” Reimringer said. “Put writing first, make it your priority.”

For Reimringer, making writing his priority, it still took him 30 years to get published. His first novel, “Vestments,” was published in September of last year. The 30-year wait was well worth it, as the book was named one of the Best Books of 2010 by Publishers Weekly, as well as one of the publication’s Picks of the Week.

“Vestments” is the story of a priest who finds security in his faith from his abusive father but is at the same time tempted by a physical relationship with a woman. When the young priest gets into trouble with the Catholic Church, he returns home to St. Paul where he gets into contact with an old girlfriend who is in the middle of a divorce. The young priest finds himself having to make some choices.

He was born in Fargo but was raised in Topeka, Kan., where the story in “Vestments” originally took place. The University of Kansas was where Reimringer received a bachelor’s in journalism and met his roommate who became the inspiration for his book. Reimringer, who also has an MFA in creative writing from the University of Arkansas, moved to St. Paul with his wife, poet Katrina Vandenberg, in 2001.

Reimringer’s roots were in Minnesota. His great-great grandfather became a U.S. citizen in St. Paul in 1856, two years after the city was founded, and ran a saloon and grocery store downtown. His great-grandfather, grandfather, father and brother were born there.

Reimringer’s Good Thunder visit coincides with a reading by this year’s Robert Wright winner. Open to graduates and undergraduates, the Robert Wright Awards competition is intended to spotlight and encourage the creative work of Minnesota State Mankato students. Several previous winners have gone on to place book-length work with major publishers. Primary funding for the program comes from an endowment set up in memory of former Department of English professor and chair Robert C. Wright.

This year’s winner, Rhea Davison-Edwards, is an MFA candidate at Minnesota State Mankato, where she also teaches English composition to freshman students. She is a teaching artist at the Loft in Minneapolis and is at work on a book of linked nonfiction essays and a novel set in the Midwest.

For the complete Free Press story, see the Oct. 27 print edition, or click on

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