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Potluck Supper with Meeting to Follow

Essays by Andy Sturdevant

October 1, 2013 • 7.25 x 9.5 • 233 pages • 978-1-56689-337-4

Keepsake, guidebook, and wunderkammer of enthusiasms, Andy Sturdevant’s essays offer a new way of thinking about urban spaces and the contemporary Midwest. Craigslist ads, homemade signs at Target Field, and alleyways all open up with possibilities for measuring cultural time and the resonance, not provincialism, of spaces closely observed. Published to coincide with Sturdevant’s solo show at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Potluck Supper with Meeting to Follow reveals the essayist as pied piper and artist, whose canvas is the city.

About the Author

Andy Sturdevant is an artist, writer, and arts administrator living in south Minneapolis. He has written about art, history, and culture for a variety of Twin Cities-based publications and websites, including mnartists.org, Rain Taxi, Art Review and Preview!, Mpls./ St. Paul Magazine, and heavytable.com. His essays have also appeared in publications of the Walker Art Center, and he writes a weekly column on arts and visual culture in Minneapolis-St. Paul for MinnPost. His work has been exhibited at the Minneapolis Institute of Art and the Soap Factory. Andy was born in Ohio, raised in Kentucky, and has lived in Minneapolis since 2005. For more information visit Andy’s website.

Reviews

Potluck Supper With Meeting to Follow feels like a long ambulatory conversation with an exceptionally interesting friend. Sturdevant’s voice—inquisitive, witty and intelligent—invites us in at every turn. The book’s material presence reinforces that invitation; it’s a lovely artifact, beautifully designed and charmingly illustrated. It would make a great gift for anyone interested in visual culture, Minnesota, the Midwest, Minneapolis, art, good writing, offbeat information . . . oh, heck, why not just say everyone? And get a copy for yourself while you’re at it.” Star Tribune

“Artist and writer Sturdevant takes the reader on an oddball tour of the arts and culture of the Twin Cities in this endearing collection. . . . Sturdevant captures Minneapolis eccentricity, a place ‘where the drama queens and burnouts and weirdos and misfits of the rural and suburban Upper Midwest wind up’ and proves himself a capable and clever writer on many other topics.” Publishers Weekly

“Andy Sturdevant offers up lively essays concerning the contemporary Midwest, Buffalo Wild Wings and futuristic birdhouses, among other curious topics.” Barnes & Noble Review

“Sturdevant knows what he’s doing. He riffs on everything from being at Matt’s Bar in Minneapolis during a blizzard to a secretive art gallery called Farm. . . . [He] comes across as a guy you’d like to get to know.” Pioneer Press

“A guidebook to the Twin Cities spaces, art, and culture, Potluck Supper is a smart and quirky read, giving love to many local gems.” City Pages

“Whether you’re new to the Twin Cities or you’ve lived here your whole life, Sturdevant always finds a way to pique residents’ curiosity and extract infinite details from a region that deserves a second—and third, and fourth—look.” Vita.Mn

“I’d probably anticipated (though would never admit so publicly) that this would be a ‘regional’ read when I first opened it. I love the Twin Cities, so that wouldn’t have been an issue, but Sturdevant’s narrative voice challenged my assumptions from the first line of his acknowledgments page: ‘This book is named Potluck Supper with Meeting to Follow for an agenda item in a Maoist newsletter published on the West Bank of Minneapolis in the seventies.’” Shelf Awareness

“Andy Sturdevant has established himself as the preeminent wit, flaneur and psycho-historian of the Twin Cities.” Modern Midwest

“Andy Sturdevant captures [Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the Midwest] with clear-eyes and a compelling, conversational pen. . . . I dare you to find someone who can’t connect to something in this book.” Hazel & Wren

“Andy’s book both in content and design is my favorite non-fiction book of the past five years.” —Hans Weyandt, Micawber’s Books

“It’s a book that feels like the first book about my Minnesota—not the Duluth I knew as a child or the St. Paul I knew as a teen and visiting collegiate, but the Minnesota I’ve lived in since 2007, a Minnesota in which one can make a happy life because it contains multitudes.” Twin Cities Daily Planet

“In reading, in criticism, the critic should breathe new life into his subject, put on display his subjectivity, a perspective that is one of a kind. In Potluck Supper with Meeting to Follow, Andy Sturdevant offers just such a unique outlook . . . His subject is Minnesota, and more often than not, the Twin Cities, and over the course of this collection of essays, he deconstructs and recreates them, praising and lampooning them though always with hope for what the place could be.” Bookslut

“Coffee House Press has been putting out great books for over 20 years, and its profile has been rising in recent years with books like Ben Lerner’s highly acclaimed Leaving the Atocha Station. Potluck Supper with Meeting to Follow is a collection of essays that contain photographs and drawings in the margins by the author.” BuzzFeed

“[Sturdevant’s] writings about place are thoughtful, observant, and appreciative, as he explores a landscape defined by interesting old neighborhoods, many-storied buildings, characters that make this place memorable and the artistic legacy Minnesotans have left in many medium.” MinnPost

“Sturdevant’s dryly witty writing and spare, charming illustrations combine to make an irresistible riptide of droll entertainment that any lover of humor and/or cultural history will enjoy struggling helplessly against.” Heavy Table

“[A] superb collection of essays by Minneapolis writer Andy Sturdevant.” Metrotimes

“Hotdish Heaven: The wild, wild Midwest” Minnesota Monthly

“Once you finish reading [Potluck Supper], you can’t help but feel homesick for the Midwest whether you’re from there or not. Sturdevant taps into the magic from in and around Minneapolis, and spins it into gold.” Vol.1 Brooklyn

“[F]unny, authentic, and completely original. . . . If you are Minnesotan, this book should be required reading, and if you’re not Minnesotan, well, you should read it anyways because you just might get an idea of why we all choose to live here despite below-zero temperatures half the year!” Em’s Bookshelves

“Andy captures the humor in everyday life and questions the spaces and interactions around us.” Light Grey Art Lab Podcast

Potluck Supper with Meeting to Follow is a marvel, deftly examining the connections between art and everyday life. Andy Sturdevant’s lively, unique inquiries into trust fund kids, co-opted flags, gubernatorial portraits, art in second-tier cities, and Upper Midwestern esoterica, brim with both wit and humor.” —Joe Meno