My name is Cole Sarar.
I moved to Saint Paul in 1997 for college. Like many college students, I loved my campus, but I loved to escape it, too. Places that are exactly the same, are no longer there, or are so changed that they’re nearly unrecognizable. Snuffy’s Malt Shop, Napoleon’s, Cosmic Charlie’s, Ruminator Books, that bookstore, that alleyway between what used to be the Russian seamstress’ shop and the frame shop, that swingset, those raspberry bushes. I tutored at risk kids in a church basement North of downtown Saint Paul and got lost on my way to Pandora’s Cup in Minneapolis. After college I moved to Northeast Minneapolis, and wandered all over town on foot and on bicycle- places didn’t feel off limits- abandoned construction sites, train tracks, the rooftops of warehouses accessible by fire escapes. A couple years later, we moved back to Saint Paul, where I lived over an old antique shop and wandered parks all hours of the night. It sounds like I was a vagrant, but I swear to you I just like to know the territory. We moved to South Minneapolis, and I discovered fireflies on the marshy side of a lake, a fire hydrant nearly as tall as I was, and the back shop of a local graffiti artist. Now I live in uptown, but I feel so close to both cities, like I sit in their pockets, and they carry me around all the time.
Most simply, I am a writer, usually a poet. I write both “page” poetry and “stage” poetry. I won an Urban Griots award for being a Best New Spoken Word Artist in 2009, in 2010 I won a State Arts Board Grant in poetry, in 2012 I sat on the State Arts Board grants panel, in 2012 I won a VERVE grant, and in 2013 I won an Emerging Writers Grant. I’ve been published in Paper Darts, Anatomy+Etymology, Write Bloody’s “Aim for the Head” anthology, and Midwest Literary Magazine. I’ve collaborated on other interactive public art projects, like the Art Shanty Projects (2010, 2012, 2014), MN0 Puzzle Quest, and Journey to the End of the Night Minneapolis.
You can find my personal website at http://www.inktea.com.