Walker Art Center

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Dessa: An Evening of Poetry with Special Guests

Join us as acclaimed rapper, writer, and recording artist Dessa unveils her new publication, a poetry chapbook published by Rain Taxi Review of Books. Dessa will read from the collection and invite a few special guests onstage—Aby Wolf, Sims, and Taj Raj will all perform new songs composed just for the event. The party continues with a book-signing and cash bar in the Cargill Lounge. Don’t miss an amazing evening with one of the most unique literary talents in Minnesota. Copresented by Rain Taxi Review of Books.

This event will be webcast live and archived on the Walker Channel.

About the Artists

Singer, songwriter, performer, and author Dessa was born and raised in Minneapolis. Her musical talents led her to join the Doomtree collective, with whom she has released three albums of original material: A Badly Broken Code (2010), Castor, the Twin (2011), and her latest release, Parts of Speech, which unites a wide range of narratives under the author’s whip-smart lyricism. Dessa released her first book of poetic prose, Spiral Bound, in 2009, and the limited-edition short-story chapbook Sleeping with Nikki in 2011.

Andrew Sims grew up in Hopkins, Minnesota. In high school, he met local producer and rapper P.O.S., who helped him record his songs. The partnership blossomed into a full-on musical enterprise that pulled in other aspiring artists to establish the Doomtree collective in 2002. Sims’ solo albums include Lights Out Paris and Bad Time Zoo.

Benjamin Burwell and Jake Pavek are one-half of the Minneapolis-based indie-folk quartet Taj Raj, known for threading somber vocal melodies along the jangly rhythms of the road. Their songs typically host lyrics that touch on the iconic imagery of Americana: fast lanes, young love, regret, and broken hearts. The group’s recently released EP Fine Hearts Alive has gathered praise both locally and nationally.

One of the most highly regarded female vocalists in the Midwest, Aby Wolf has worked with a who’s who of Minnesota music notables, including Martin Dosh, chamber-folk sextet Dark Dark Dark, veteran songwriter Adam Levy, jazz pop trio the New Standards, and Rhymesayers’ BK-One and Brother Ali. City Pages named her “best female vocalist” in 2009; she continues to wow crowds with her power-pop band Wolf Lords, a collaboration with beat mastermind Grant Cutler.