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.
Many of my friends live all across the continent from me, in San Francisco, in Cambridge, in New York and Philadelphia. They live in places that are built for visitors, with landmarks and historical sites and an actual nightlife. So when they choose to visit me, I get anxious. Ann Arbor is a lovely place to live, but to visit? To do what? I can hardly take my guests to Costco, where I spend my weekends, treating myself to a hotdog and a drink for a dollar fifty. I can’t take them to Kroger and scour the manager special aisle for deals on stale cupcakes and irregular bacon. I get scared that my friends, coming from their cosmopolitan cities, will get bored. They will start to wonder, like I already was, why they spent the time and money to visit. And why all of my favorite activities involve discounted food.