Walking up to a large, colorful brick building with art pasted to the windows, I realized that I had always passed by the center without properly seeing it. I learned about the Neutral Zone’s youth-driven programs, including sound-mixing classes, poetry workshops, and a printing press called Red Beard, which I would come to know and love in the coming year.
That Pontiac was a classic American beauty: a long, wide yellow convertible with sparkling nickel and chrome trim, and gray leather seats with yellow stripes running down the middle.
It can be hard, coming out of a three-year MFA program, to look around and realize it was all temporary. Even as I’ve decided to commit to Ann Arbor for one more year, to the apartment I’ve been in for two years, to teaching at the university that bequeathed me my degree, all around me my people are deciding to leave. I don’t feel left behind so much as I feel that my landscape is evaporating, the Ann Arbor I’d signed up for no longer the Ann Arbor that remains.
The new initiative is the Michigan Library Publishing Club (“Pub Club”), a quarterly book club in Ann Arbor where attendees will informally discuss recently published, open access U-M Press books over coffee, tea, and treats. The inaugural event will take place at Hatcher Graduate Library Gallery on Thursday, February 4, 2016, 3:30-5:00 PM, and will feature introductory remarks from Charles Watkinson (Associate University Librarian for Publishing and Director of the U-M Press) and the Library Staff Forum Board, as well as free, collectible bookmarks handmade by Wolverine Press.
Ann Arbor has always been a place where creativity thrives. Colorful murals, graffiti art, and whimsical fairy doors grace downtown building exteriors. Filmmakers, musicians, architects, poets, painters, publishers—artists and writers from all over the world are drawn to Ann Arbor for its diverse community, educated population, and vibrant campus atmosphere.