May Newsletter: A Marvelous May at MOI


Finishing the year strong!


Letter from the Executive Director


Dear MOI community,


May! What a month. We are having not one, not two, but three student readings. We are releasing our third Young Authors’ Book Project book. We are wrapping up our programming for the year. And we are saying goodbye to our home of five years and setting sail for South Minneapolis.

Moving ahead there are many exciting opportunities for our organization. In August we will be opening our new center, and our first satellite location, a Writers’ Room at South High School. Many changes await us, so I thought I’d end my letter with with one of my favorite poems, and one that I return to during any time of transition, blessing the boats by Lucille Clifton.


To all of those who have supported our work over the years, please wish us well and bless us as we “sail through this to that.” 


With gratitude,


Porthole into Programming


The school year might be winding down, but MOI is overjoyed to celebrate our students’ successes with several events this month and to announce that we will offer summer programs in partnership with Pillsbury United Communities!


Our young poets from John A. Johnson Achievement Plus Elementary will receive and sign copies of their gorgeous new Young Authors’ Book Project title, The Bold, Untold North, at two separate events this month. Join us on the John A. Johnson campus on Thursday, May 17 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. to help us celebrate their hard work! A few feathered fans from the Minnesota Raptor Center will be joining us down in the cafeteria as students share their poems about Minnesota wildlife. Two weeks later, our young authors will be just down the hill from John A. Johnson at Caydence Records & Coffee for their official authors' reception on Thursday, May 31 from 5 to 7 p.m. Finally, you can catch some of the MOI crew pitching The Bold, Untold North and watch videos of our student readers on Sunday, June 3 from 1 to 3 p.m. at Minneapolis literary institution, Magers & Quinn Booksellers. With over 6 hours of user-friendly lesson plans in the Educator’s Resources section, this book is a great gift for educators, parents, and kids facing the curse of summer boredom.


Upcycle those party hats because there’s even more to celebrate! Our After-School Homework Help oceanographers are finalizing their chapbook of collected works, titled One Pencil, One Student. Each piece was written by an After-School Homework Help student at our Writers’ Table. We are excited to come together in celebration of their creative endeavors on Monday, May 21 from 4 to 6 p.m. Volunteers from all of our programs are invited to hear our student readers, enjoy some light refreshments, and wish a fond farewell to our University Ave location!


Keep an eye on MOI’s social media for more exciting news throughout the summer! We're on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

In the News

Article: "What Happens to Student Behavior When Schools Prioritize Art"
As a creative writing institution, it's important to MOI to prioritize art and creativity in all our programs. We're always happy to see other places prioritizing it, too.

Join Us

We're saying goodbye to our space in St. Paul in order to set sail for our new location in South Minneapolis. We'll be packing up and moving the week of May 28, and we'd love to have all hands on deck. If you have time to help us move, please contact Natalie.

Now Hiring AmeriCorps VISTAs


Wiggling whales! Our AmeriCorps VISTAs, Danielle and Natalie, are wrapping up their year of service, and we're looking for two new candidates to pick up where they leave off. MOI is hiring a Writers' Room VISTA, who will work to pilot a new program at South High School, and a Community Outreach Coordinator VISTA, who will manage MOI's communications and marketing. Are you interested? Read what Danielle and Natalie have to say and apply to the positions today. Please note: we can only accept applications submitted through the AmeriCorps portal.

May Events

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The Bold, Untold North Release Party & Reception

Join MOI and the scholars of John A. Johnson for the release of The Bold, Untold North, an anthology of poetry about Minnesota species and biomes. The authors will be signing books and doing selected readings. There will be light refreshments and guests from the Minnesota Raptor Center. We'll see you on Thursday, May 17 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in the John A. Johnson cafeteria.

One Pencil, One Student Release Party

MOI's spring chapbook is being released! The book, called One Pencil, One Student, features work by students of all ages. After-School Homework Help students work with our Writer-in-Residence, Ellen, at the Writers' Table to write and revise pieces throughout the semester. Get a sneak peek of a piece in our Student Spotlight below, then join us on Monday, May 21 from 4 to 6 p.m. for the official release party.

The Bold, Untold North Reading and Reception

The scholars of John A. Johnson have written hard and edited harder this year to produce the poetry in The Bold, Untold North. After a workshop with local poet and guest author Danez Smith, the authors are ready to perform their pieces for you! Join us on Thursday, May 31 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Caydence Records & Coffee to witness the poets in action.

Student Spotlight

This month at the Writers' Table, we've been gearing up for the chapbook release on May 21. That means a lot of editing! Check out this recently revised piece by Musa:

The World 100 Years Later by Musa, grade 5

The world in 100 years will be like that people will have electric cars and electric ovens and people will have the iPhone 100. The year will be 2118 and I will be sitting on a wheelchair. I would be having great, great, great, great grandchildren. And there will be gigantic buildings and speed trains. People will be wearing jumpsuits and there will be new people. Buildings will be newer, better, and more clean than the 2010s.