Our Emcee

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We're absolutely delighted to introduce our show emcee, Hawona Sullivan Janzen.

If you were in the 2016 show audience, her name will sound familiar, as she mesmerized our audience that year with her story, “Grandmother and Beebee.”

With heart and a whole lot of humor, Hawona shared the conflicting messages on womanhood she learned from her southern grandmother and aunt following her parents' divorce; they were her village.

So it seems absolutely perfect that she will be the one to hold our LTYM Twin Cities audience's —our village's — hand as you listen and learn from — read: laugh and cry with — the 12 women who will be on the Riverview stage this year. We're all so very lucky to welcome Hawona to the Riverview stage once again.



Hawona Sullivan Janzen is a Saint Paul based storyteller, poet,
singer, and composer who believes that art is the only thing that can save us from ourselves.

She is the co-founder of the Witness Creative Writing Program at  the University of Minnesota and has done commissioned work for  a variety of organizations including the St. Paul River Stewards, Silverwood Park, and the Minnesota African American Museum. Her jazz opera, "Clean" debuted at the Soap Factory Gallery in  2016.

When she is not home with her family, she can be found performing around town with the Sonoglyph Music and Poetry Collective, creating shadow puppets at the Monkeybear Harmolodic Workshop, or working on a collaborative photo-poetry art installation project in the Rondo Neighborhood scheduled for debut in late summer of 2018.

If you'd like to see a touch of Hawona's on-stage magic, watch her read her 2016 LTYM Twin Cities piece, “Grandmother and Beebee.”