Literary City Spotlight: 6 Stand-Out Spots in Minneapolis

When you think of Minneapolis, you probably think of gorgeous, snowy views and frigid temperatures—but don’t look past this thriving city’s decidedly hot literary scene. Home to many publishers, independent bookstores, and a top-ranking MFA program, Minneapolis is a must-visit locale for poets and poetry lovers. Add these six bookish stops to your itinerary and head off on your writerly adventure!


1. Milkweed Books

This cute bookstore, which boasts a cafe and plenty of natural light, is a dreamy small business run by Milkweed Editions, the award-winning publisher of poets like Kazim Ali and Ada Limón. The shop regularly hosts book launches and readings. For those wanting to peer into the publishing industry, occasional public talks from Milkweed Editions’ editors, art directors, and other employees offer interesting, first-hand knowledge.


2. The Loft Literary Center

The Loft believes that story, verse, and writing aren’t just nice things you put on a shelf, but are instead core to a full existence,” reads this organization’s mission statement, which comes alive in their inspiring and airy studio space. Attend events and talks, or take an intensive workshop class with some of today’s greatest poets. The Loft also hosts the annual Wordplay literary festival.


3. Minnesota Center for Book Arts

Of course, we think of writing as an art—but what about all of the other art forms that make up books? This unique center both celebrates and teaches letterpress printing, paper marbling, bookbinding, and other hands-on skills. Enjoy exhibitions, or take on the process of bookmaking yourself!


4. Graywolf Press

Headquartered in Minneapolis, Graywolf Press has published former U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith, Claudia Rankine, and Danez Smith. Come enjoy readings and talks with this stellar line-up—as well as check out the Graywolf Press space—by visiting this industry leader.


5. Eat My Words Bookstore

Do you approach book-buying as a form of collecting? If so, Eat My Words Bookstore is for you. The eclectic small business stocks rare and hand-picked books, creating a personalized feeling and approach.


6. Black Garnet Books

While this woman-owned, Black-owned shop can now be found mostly at pop-up events, the owners strive to open an expanded physical location in summer 2021. Their goal is to “introduce everyone to underrepresented voices and stories, new and old, that support and affirm the cultures they’re connected to.”


Looking to add stops to your dream literary road trip? Check out our Chicago, Denver, and Kansas City spotlights.