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At about this time of year, the Loft Literary Center would usually be gearing up for its huge annual Wordplay event, bringing together readers with writers from around the world (both Stephen King and Amy Tan have appeared). But don't look for a Wordplay this year. Or anytime soon.

"We have reimagined both our Wordsmith series and Wordplay festival into a quarterly series we're calling Lit!Series," said executive and artistic director Arleta Little. That new series — aimed, like Wordplay, at bringing together writers and readers — kicked off June 7-9, with essayist, professor and entrepreneur Roxane Gay, as well as "pitch sessions" between authors, editors and agents.

Upcoming Lit!Series guests have not been announced, but the plan is for events each April, June, October and November.

The idea of the series, said Little, is to build community "not just once a year but on a much more regular basis, convening with folks and having literary conversations." That's also augmented by Lit!Commons, a virtual gathering space for writers looking to develop their craft.

Little characterized last July's Wordplay — which, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, was the first since 2019 — as "really successful" but also said, based on the June 7-9 events, "there's been a full embrace of this new Lit!Series and this approach."

Upcoming events in the center's 50th year include Minneapolis poet laureate Heid E. Erdrich and her Minnesota counterpart, Gwen Nell Westerman, as well as former Wisconsin laureate Kimberly Blaeser, discussing "What Does It Mean to Be Indigenous Poets Laureate," 1 p.m. June 27.The event is free and takes place at Open Book, 1011 Washington Av. S., Mpls.