Jill Kalz lives and writes in New Ulm, Minnesota. She has published poetry in the Nebraska Review, the Ohio Review, Cream City Review, and other magazines. Her short stories have appeared in American Fiction Vol. 15 and Minnesota Monthly. A 2008 Minnesota Book Award finalist and winner of the Readers' Choice Award for her picture book Farmer Cap, Kalz is also the author of more than 70 children's books. She holds an MFA from Minnesota State University, Mankato, and works as a children's book editor.
“poetic and luminous” - the Star Tribune
Behind each door of each small place in this collection of ten short stories, people mind their duties to keep a small town humming. The Winter Bees introduces seemingly mundane lives lived in a rural Minnesota town and reveals journeys of personal discovery, meaning, love, and hope.
Ana, the bartender, hosts Christmas parties for children and raises money for charity, all the while storing memories of her lonely past. Bachelor Herman pines for his best friend’s wife, makes messes to attract her over and clean up after him. The bookstore owner, Shirley, who neatly shelves the stacks while longing for her dead husband, surprises herself in an act of cruelty.
These intertwined stories draw readers into the everyday lives of people whose duties often mean personal restraint and heartbreak.