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College of Saint Benedict Literary Arts Institute

Serving the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University

Mission Statement

College of Saint Benedict Literary Arts Institute serving the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University (LAI) is a unique organization, founded in 1997, to foster creative writing, publishing, and interaction between students and writers. LAI brings nationally recognized authors to the college for a visiting writers series (Writers Writing), promotes literary events, holds conferences (Inside Books), supports publications (S. Mariella Gable Prize), and encourages the artistry of fine letterpress (Welle Book Arts Studio). With its local and national partners, such as Graywolf Press, LAI is able to bring writers and their work together with readers on campus, in Minnesota, and beyond.

Signature Programs

Writers Writing

Writers at Home

Welle Book Arts Studio

Sister Mariella Gable Series


"The written word has come under tremendous pressure in this digital era. Our students now must move deftly between virtual and physical texts, between brief, fleeting messages and powerful, enduring literature. Writing has been at the center of the liberal arts tradition at the College of Saint Benedict since our founding and we remain committed to educating students in the twin arts of reading and writing...The Literary Arts Institute stands as a vital expression of our century-long history of promoting the very finest in scholarship and the arts."

- Mary Dana Hinton, CSB President


2017-2018 Visiting Authors

We are excited to welcome

Edwidge Danticat
In residence Oct 26-27, 2017

and Solmaz Sharif
In residence November 15-16, 2017


The LAI sends congratulations to Tracy K Smith, the 22nd Poet Laureate of the United States.  Tracy has been a visiting writing as part of the Literary Arts Institute on two occasions.  She initially came in 2004 after the publication of her first book and then returned in 2007 when her second book, Duende, received the Sister Mariella Gable Award. 

About being named US Poet Laureate she says, "I would love to go to places where people might be struggling, where people might wonder if there are voices out there for them."