Finnish-American poet Lynette Reini-Grandell and runesinger
Kari Tauring
join forces in “Ancestor Memory,” Nordic Roots performance of poetry and music.

Memorial Day weekend

Saturday, May 26th
doors at 7 show 7:30 p.m – Tickets: $8 
Teatro Zuccone
222 E. Superior St., Duluth, MN

Duluth native Lynette Reini-Grandell never considered her Finnish heritage to be anything special while she was growing up and didn’t learn much about it in her family: “I often joke that I inherited two great Finnish cultural traditions, but the first one was silence, so I never learned what the other one was.” But as a poet she found herself drawn to nature and the creatures that animate it and realized that living close to nature is part of the Finnish ethos.

She received a Minnesota Artist Initiative grant to write a series of poems about her father’s parents’ emigration from Finland in the early 20th century and settling on a small farm up the North Shore from Duluth, in French River township. Drawing from research ranging from local immigrant stories to the Kalevala, the Finnish national epic, she has created a series of vignettes inspired by the immigrant experience.

She will perform the poems with Kari Tauring, a student of pre-Christian Northern European spirituality and song for more than 20 years, who has developed her knowledge of Norse tradition into the practice of Völva Stav (Old Norse for staff carrier) and runesinging. They have been working together for 2-1/2 years in regular performances at Merlin’s Rest in Minneapolis. Together they have created a performance that mixes poetry with singing and stav (stick rhythm) to bring poetry closer to its origins in song and chant. In addition, Tauring will present songs of her oorlog (Old Norse for something like Karma), Latvian and Votic ritual songs, runesong and Norwegain wandering songs and cow calls.

The Artists:
Lynette Reini-Grandell has published her work in Ache, Evergreen Chronicles, Poetry Motel, and on  She is the recipient of a 2011 Minnesota State Arts Board grant for poetry, a 2010 What Light Poetry award winner, received a 2009 Intermedia Arts Writer-to-Writer Mentorship, won the 2003 SASE/Ache prize for fiction. She teaches English at Normandale Community College and co-hosts “Write on Radio” on KFAI interviewing local and national writers about their work. More information is available at

Kari Tauring is a völva (Old Norse for staff carrier), sharing her ethnic heritage through performances and workshops in  Völva Stav , Nordic Song and Dance, and Runes. She was a Season One contestant on Norway’s award winning reality show, Alt for Norge. She is the recipient of a 2011-2012 Minnesota State Arts Board grant in Folk and Traditional Arts and the author of The Runes: A Human Journey. More information can be found at

Lynette Reini-Grandell is a fiscal year 2011 recipient of an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible in part by a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature and by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
contact Lynette.Reini-Grandell at normandale dot edu 

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