The Literary Arts Institute of the College of St. Benedict

October 2021

The Literary Arts Institute Presents Poet Mai Der Vang: A Reading and a Conversation

Tuesday, October 12 at 7 p.m.

Virtual -- Event Link:

"Spit of your unhinging.
             You refuse our dead,
As though
We were never alive.
Just say what you mean to say, that is:
       Your dying
       To yourself."

An excerpt from Mai Der Vang's "The Fact of the Matter Is the Consequence of Ugly Deaths"

Click here for more information!



November 2021

 The Literary Arts Institute Presents Author Kiese Laymon: A Reading and a Conversation

Tuesday, November 9 at 7-8 p.m.

Upper Gorecki, CSB

Kiese Laymon is a powerhouse of a writer, whose fierce honesty necessitates that readers open their hearts and their eyes. Laymon is a Black southern writer from Jackson, Mississippi, who is is the author of the genre-bending novel, Long Division, the essay collection, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America, and the bestselling memoir, Heavy. In Heavy, Laymon “fearlessly explores what the weight of a lifetime of secrets, lies, and deception does to a black body, a black family, and a nation teetering on the brink of moral collapse.”


About Us

The Literary Arts Institute (LAI) of the College of St. Benedict, serving the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University, was founded in 1997 to foster creative writing, publishing, and interaction between students and writers. The LAI brings nationally recognized authors to CSB/SJU for the year-long Minnesota Street Visiting Writers Series and for the Minnesota Street Creative Writing Workshops, in which three visiting writers extensively mentor undergraduate Manitou Fellows over the course of the residency. 

The LAI also fosters the mentoring of CSB/SJU undergraduates by sponsoring the McNeely Creative Writer in Residence, who provides constructive feedback and advice for undergraduate creative writers.  Additionally, the LAI supports publications and authors via the Sister Mariella Gable Prize which is given each year by the College of St. Benedict for an important work of literature published by Graywolf Press, and encourages the artistry of fine letterpress through its partnership with the Welle Book Arts Studio and independent presses such as Bruno Press.

Please join us for our award-winning authors coming to campus during the  2020-2021 school year!


Student News

The CSB/SJU Literary Arts Institute is excited to share news from two of our first year Manitou Fellows! Zoe Huot-Link and Lindsey Schaffer have had their writing accepted for publication. 

Zoe Huot-Link


Lindsey Schaffer

Zoe Huot-Link, 2020 Minnesota Street Summer Creative Writing Fellow, has been busy publishing her poetry, including one of the poems she read at the Manitou fellowship this summer, Temptress. This poem as well as her essay Words From No-Man's Land is also being published along with another of her poems written in 2019, called Reflection. Both poems have been published in  For Women Who Roar

Zoe also has artwork, Justice for George Floyd which was published in a book called,  Resistance, by Writing for Peace. 

Lindsey Schaffer, 2020 Minnesota Street Summer Creative Writing Fellow, shares her work with CSB/SJU. She notes, As fellows, we took part in many exciting opportunities including virtual visits with editors from Grey Wolf and Coffee House Press. The experience culminated in a portfolio of 30 pages showcasing writing from each genre and a reading presented by The Literary Arts Institute. As a result of this opportunity and my Writing Essays course with Matt Callahan, my essay was accepted for publication through the online magazine Chronically Lit. I am grateful for these opportunities as they have allowed me to develop my practice and find success when submitting to a variety of publications. 

Mary Dana Hinton, Past CSB President

"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."