About

The Sonoglyph Collective fuses poetry, song, storytelling, and spoken word with improvisational music in unique, spontaneous performances. Their work draws on influences as diverse as the West African griot tradition, the epic Finnish folk-poetry of the Kalevala, Irish sean-nós singing, torch songs, the blues, classic rock, and free jazz. They have given performances and workshops throughout the Twin Cities, at venues including the Blue Harbor Center for the Arts, the East Side Freedom Library, the Wolf House, the Saint Paul Public Library, the Normandale Writing Festival, and the University of Minnesota's Witness Creative Writing Project.

“A riveting, soulful show that's funny, joyful, and way-smart.” – Carrie Pomeroy, Saint Paul writer

“The evening’s performance had poets, musicians and audience riding the waves of literary and sonic interplay – splashing, sunning and laughing in the best tradition of collaboration.” – Steve Peterson, Twin Cities arts photographer

“A magical merging of music and poetry” – Stan Kusunoki, curator/host of the Bridges Reading Series

The Poets

Hawona Sullivan Janzen

Hawona Sullivan Janzen

Hawona is co-founder of the University of Minnesota’s Witness Writing Project and a Givens Foundation Creative Writing Fellow. She was recently commissioned to write poetry for the St. Paul River Stewards Awards and Silverwood Park. She is the gallery curator and special projects coordinator for the University of Minnesota's Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center.

Lynette Reini-Grandell

Lynette Reini-Grandell

Lynette is the author of Approaching the Gate. Her poem “Radio Girls” appears in the anthology It's Animal but Merciful and was nominated for a 2012 Pushcart Prize, and she has received grants from the Finlandia Foundation and the Minnesota State Arts Board. She is an English professor at Normandale Community College. reini-grandell.com

IBé Kaba

IBé Kaba

IBé is the author of Bridge Across Atlantic, and a contributor to the critically acclaimed collection of personal essays A Good Time for Truth, Race in Minnesota. He is the recipient of a 2010 Midwestern Voices Award, a 2009 Urban Griots’ Cultural Award, a 2005 Jerome/SASE Verve Grant, and a 2004 Minnesota Academy Award nominee for Best Spoken Word. atlanticrock.com/ibe

Kathryn Kysar

Kathryn Kysar

Kathryn is the author of two books of poetry, Dark Lake and Pretend the World. She has received fellowships and residencies from the Anderson Center, the Minnesota State Arts Board, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Oberholtzer Foundation. She chairs the creative writing program at Anoka-Ramsey Community College. kathrynkysar.com

The Musicians

Aaron Kerr

Aaron Kerr (cello)

Aaron performs regularly with his group Aaron Kerr's Dissonant Creatures, and as a member of The Modern Spark New Music Ensemble, and the bands Swallows and J. Briozo. He received a McKnight Foundation Composer Fellowship for the music on his debut CD, Arco 71, and he has been a resident teaching artist through the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra's CONNECT program. aaronkerr.com

Sean Egan

Sean Egan (clarinet)

Sean is currently involved in collaborations with sculptor Pedram Baldari, dancer/choreographer Erika Hansen, and poet D.J. Halliday. He has performed with In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, The James Sewell Ballet, the conducted improv group Semiconductor, and as a soloist in the galleries at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. He teaches at the Center for Irish Music. seaneganmusic.com

Jonathan Townsend (percussion)

Jonathan Townsend (percussion)

Jonathan has worked with many Twin Cities artists, including Katy Thomasberg, Venus de Mars, Joel Johnson and Zydeco Paydirt, the Brothers Malmgren, and Trevor Lettman. He has been in the Barebones Orchestra since 2016. and he plays regularly with the Stone Arch Jazz Band, and the blues band RIDE. Jonathan taught high school Spanish for over twenty years.