Paula Cisewski

recorded in Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN

 

With Ruins by Li-Young Lee

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Paula Cisewski

I’m Paula Cisewski and I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I was born in Bemidji, Minnesota, which is about four hours north of the Twin Cities. And I lived there only until I was seven. It’s got a giant statue of Paul Bunyan and Babe, the blue ox. I do have a fascination with fiberglass statuary, probably for that reason, even though those are cement, but. Then I lived in a suburb of the Twin Cities, and then I actually spent junior high and high school in Fargo, North Dakota, and then I moved back to the Twin Cities when I was, you know 18. When I could [laughs], to the closest city, probably. So definitely a Midwestern writer. Definitely a Midwesterner.


The Knox Writers’ House.

What made you come back to the Twin Cities?


Cisewski

Um, honest answer, or? Yeah, okay, I came down for a Lou Reed concert. [Laughs.]


KWH

[Laughs.] That’s exactly what we wanted to hear.


Cisewski

[Laughs.] And my friend’s car broke down and I got stranded and my friends who I was staying with said, Well, just get a job, and I had a change of clothes and a notebook.


KWH

That’s so scary. You should always tell the true answer.


Cisewski

[Laughs.] And I stayed. And I was 18, and there are a lot of things to do in Fargo, actually, but for me, there weren’t a lot of things to do in Fargo, so it was the best opportunity to say, Yes, I will just stay here.