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January 31, 2005 // UPDATED 1:51 pm - April 26, 2007
By: Anna Pratt
Anna Pratt

The art of getting enrolled

Poet/teacher Natasha Tretheway's "Domestic Work" takes snapshots of families, tracing them from the factory to the living room, from money matters to love. Tretheway documents their labors and emotional endeavors, showing how certain events glue these families together or split them apart. She doesn't shirk from their underlying quiet, as she compassionately expresses tragic events.

The same goes for her second poetry collection, wherein she describes the sad plight of a prostitute from early 1900s New Orleans in "Bellocq's Ophelia." Here Tretheway sensitively zooms in on a woman's naked exterior and hidden interior.

Nationally known for her careful and poignant writing, Tretheway will perform a reading and teach a master class later this spring. Although the reading will be open to the public, the master class is geared toward African American poets who live in the Twin Cities and who aren't enrolled in full-time degree programs.

To apply, send two copies of four to six poems with a cover letter that explains why you want to take the class. Submission deadline is Monday, Mar. 7. Send to Attn: MN Master Class, Cave Canem Founda- tion, Inc. 584 Broadway, Suite 508, New York, NY 10012. Include your telephone number, mailing address and e-mail address. 

Rabbett's REM

I used to hate going to sleep because it felt so unproductive. I mourned the fact that daylight was so limited. You see, you just couldn't get anything done while lying in bed, counting sheep or snoring. I didn't get to do everything I needed to or planned on that day.

Not so for surrealist painter Rabbett Strickland, whose sleep might be his prime time, when he gets most of his work done.

Eighteen years ago, Strickland started dreaming so intensely that the visions demanded to be painted. When he didn't put them on canvas, his imposing dreams recurred. They wouldn't go away until he painted them.

Strickland began capturing them first in shorthand and then rendering them in detail onto large canvases, usually mounted on borrowed walls.

According to Strickland, his oil paintings are based purely on the dreams. He doesn't throw in anything that his sleep didn't report. In response to the underwater sleep-sensation, Strickland's figures are free-flowing, too - and, in sweeping strokes, they seem to move toward a common goal.

Ongoing, Tuesdays-Saturdays; Tu, W, Fr 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Th 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Sa noon-5 p.m. Gallery Atitlan, 609 S. 10th St. Free. 269-1938, www.galleryatitlan.com.

Anna Pratt can be reached at annapratt@artlover.com.