Literati is thrilled to partner with Current Magazine for an evening of Poetry and Fiction!
Come celebrate the submissions and winners of Current Magazine’s Poetry and Fiction contest.
Meet Current’s editor and contributors, and hear readings from the winners. Special guests Molly Raynor and Anthony Zick will be reading their work as well. If time permits there will be an open mic at the end.
Drew Philp’s work has been published both nationally and internationally and has appeared in publications, including BuzzFeed, The Detroit Free Press, Metrotimes, Corp! Magazine, the Bakersfield Californian, and the Michigan Daily. He lives in Detroit with his dog, Gratiot. A $500 House in Detroit is his first book.
Drew Philp, an idealistic college student from a working-class Michigan family, decides to live where he can make a difference. He sets his sights on Detroit, the failed metropolis of abandoned buildings, widespread poverty, and rampant crime. Arriving with no job, no friends, and no money, Philp buys a ramshackle house for five hundred dollars in the east side neighborhood known as Poletown. The roomy Queen Anne he now owns is little more than a clapboard shell on a crumbling brick foundation, missing windows, heat, water, electricity, and a functional roof. A $500 House in Detroit is Philp’s raw and earnest account of rebuilding everything but the frame of his house, nail by nail and room by room. “Philp is a great storyteller… and his] engrossing” (Booklist) tale is also of a young man finding his footing in the city, the country, and his own generation. We witness his concept of Detroit shift, expand, and evolve as his plan to save the city gives way to a life forged from political meaning, personal connection, and collective purpose. As he assimilates into the community of Detroiters around him, Philp guides readers through the city’s vibrant history and engages in urgent conversations about gentrification, racial tensions, and class warfare. Part social history, part brash generational statement, part comeback story, A $500 House in Detroit “shines in its depiction of] the ‘radical neighborliness’ of ordinary people in desperate circumstances” (Publishers Weekly). This is an unforgettable, intimate account of the tentative revival of an American city and a glimpse at a new way forward for generations to come.
Nov. 29: Reading by Zilka Joseph, a local poet whose work is notable for its vividly figured explorations of the natural world. Her latest book, Sharp Blue Search of Flame, is a collection of dark, brooding poems that reflect her Jewish Indian roots and her personal experiences living in Eastern and Western cultures. Followed by a poetry and short fiction open mike.
7-9 p.m., Crazy Wisdom, 114 S. Main. Free. 665-2757
Join us for an evening of discussing literature in both the novel and short story format with University of Michigan Zell Writers’ professors Douglas Trevor and Claire Vaye Watkins as they discuss Trevor’s new collection of short stories, The Book of Wonders. Both authors have a published novel and collection of short stories.
Douglas Trevor is the author of the short story collection The Thin Tear in the Fabric of Space, winner of the 2005 Iowa Short Fiction Award and a finalist for the 2006 Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for First Fiction, and the novel Girls I Know, winner of the 2013 Balcones Fiction Prize. His short stories have appeared in dozens of publications, including most recently Ploughshares Solos, The Iowa Review, and New Letters. A professor of English literature and creative writing, he is the current Director of the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan.
Claire Vaye Watkins is the author of the novel Gold Fame Citrus and Battleborn, which won the Story Prize, the Dylan Thomas Prize, New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award, the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Silver Pen Award from the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame. A Guggenheim Fellow, she is an assistant professor at the University of Michigan and the co-director, with Derek Palacio, of the Mojave School, a free creative writing workshop for teenagers in rural Nevada.
The Book of Wonders
A lonely female accountant falls for a man who seems to have stepped out of a Greek myth; a scholar uncovers a lost Shakespearean couplet and decides to quit academia; a celebrated author experiments with downloading a story from her brain and uploading it to another. In these and other stories, Douglas Trevor explores situations–both unsettling and comic–in which people lose their bearings, reinvent themselves, and resolve, sometimes haplessly, to make sense of their lives. Characters are kidnapped by teenagers; they are bitten by raccoons. Some of them go on Prozac; while others rely on bowling to persevere. Running through these nine stories is the ghostly, and at times material, presence of books themselves. What does it mean to turn to books for comfort? Or to uncover the ways in which the stories we absorb and revisit not only open up worlds but also close them off? In a variety of moods and settings, The Book of Wonders reminds us not only of the struggle to connect, but also of what the most unlikely of people may realize they share. 9780984824557
Gold Flame Citrus
Named a Best Book of the Year by The Washington Post, NPR, Vanity Fair, LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Huffington Post, The Atlantic, Refinery 29, Men’s Journal, Ploughshares, Lit Hub, Book Riot, Los Angeles Magazine, Powells, BookPage and Kirkus Reviews The much-anticipated first novel from a Story Prize-winning “5 Under 35” fiction writer.
In 2012, Claire Vaye Watkins’s story collection, Battleborn, swept nearly every award for short fiction. Now this young writer, widely heralded as a once-in-a-generation talent, returns with a first novel that harnesses the sweeping vision and deep heart that made her debut so arresting to a love story set in a devastatingly imagined near future: Unrelenting drought has transfigured Southern California into a surreal, phantasmagoric landscape. With the Central Valley barren, underground aquifer drained, and Sierra snowpack entirely depleted, most “Mojavs,” prevented by both armed vigilantes and an indifferent bureaucracy from freely crossing borders to lusher regions, have allowed themselves to be evacuated to internment camps. In Los Angeles’ Laurel Canyon, two young Mojavs–Luz, once a poster child for the Bureau of Conservation and its enemies, and Ray, a veteran of the “forever war” turned surfer–squat in a starlet’s abandoned mansion. Holdouts, they subsist on rationed cola and whatever they can loot, scavenge, and improvise.
The couple’s fragile love somehow blooms in this arid place, and for the moment, it seems enough. But when they cross paths with a mysterious child, the thirst for a better future begins. They head east, a route strewn with danger: sinkholes and patrolling authorities, bandits and the brutal, omnipresent sun. Ghosting after them are rumors of a visionary dowser–a diviner for water–and his followers, who whispers say have formed a colony at the edge of a mysterious sea of dunes.
Immensely moving, profoundly disquieting, and mind-blowingly original, Watkins’s novel explores the myths we believe about others and tell about ourselves, the double-edged power of our most cherished relationships, and the shape of hope in a precarious future that may be our own.
Literati is pleased to host Dr. Rana Adwish who will discussing her book In Shock: My Journey from Death to Recovery and the Redemptive Power of Hope
About In Shock:
A riveting first-hand account of a physician who’s suddenly a dying patient and her revelation of the horribly misguided standard of care in the medical world.
Dr. Rana Awdish never imagined that an emergency trip to the hospital would result in hemorrhaging nearly all of her blood volume and losing her unborn first child. But after that first visit, Dr. Awdish spent months fighting for her life, enduring consecutive major surgeries and experiencing multiple overlapping organ failures. At each step of the recovery process, Awdish was faced with something even more unexpected: repeated cavalier behavior from her fellow physicians—indifference following human loss, disregard for anguish and suffering, and an exacting emotional distance.
Hauntingly perceptive and beautifully written, In Shock allows the reader to transform alongside Awidsh and watch what she discovers in our carefully-cultivated, yet often misguided, standard of care. Awdish comes to understand the fatal flaws in her profession and in her own past actions as a physician while achieving, through unflinching presence, a crystalline vision of a new and better possibility for us all.
As Dr. Awdish finds herself up against the same self-protective partitions she was trained to construct as a medical student and physician, she artfully illuminates the dysfunction of disconnection. Shatteringly personal, and yet wholly universal, she offers a brave road map for anyone navigating illness while presenting physicians with a new paradigm and rationale for embracing the emotional bond between doctor and patient.
Dr. Rana Adwish is the Director of the Pulmonary Hypertension Program at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit and a Critical Care Physician. She was recently named Medical Director of Care Experience for the ($6 billion, 24,000 employee) Health System. She was awarded the Speak-Up Hero award in 2014 for her work on improving communication, as well as the Critical Care Teaching Award in 2016. In 2017 she was named a finalist for the Schwartz Center’s 2017 National Compassionate Caregiver of the Year (NCCY) Award and awarded the Physician of the Year award from the Press Ganey National Client Conference. Dr. Awdish is board-certified in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine.
Purple Rose Theatre artistic director Guy Sanville directs Purple Rose actors in readings, usually from new scripts being considered for production. Followed by a discussion with the audience. Dec. 2: Match, Stephen Belber’s 2004 dramatic comedy about an aging Juilliard professor who discovers that the couple he invites into his home for an interview have ulterior motives for their visit. Feb. 10: TBA.
10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., CDL McKune Room, 221 S. Main, Chelsea. Free. Preregistration required. 475-8732.
Looking for that perfect gift for a youngster or new parent? Join us for a signing event with six local authors who are members of the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators. Join us and meet and talk with this wonderful array of authors. For more information regarding SCBWI – Michigan go to https://michigan.scbwi.org
Leslie Helakoski grew up in south Louisiana. She is the author of Big Chickens (Puffin Books; the Michigan Reads picture book for 2007, Great Lakes Great Books Award and a GLBA finalist) and Woolbur (HarperCollins; a Book Sense pick for 2008, Florida Reading Association Honor Book and nominee for state book awards in nine states). Her other books include Big Chickens Fly the Coop (Puffin Books) , The Smushy Bus (Millbrook Press), and Fair Cow (Two Lions). She lives in southern MI. https://www.helakoskibooks.com/
Nancy Shaw is the author of seven beloved tales featuring the endearing and comical sheep. She came up with the idea for the sheep books during a very long car trip with her husband and two children. She lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan with her family. http://www.nancyshawbooks.com/
Jodi McKay lives in Michigan with her husband, son, and a crazy Goldendoodle named Ralph. She’s too embarrassed to tell you what her typical day as a writer looks like, but she will say that it involves a ton of weird daydreams. Jodi is a proud member of the writing community and is involved in multiple writing groups including SCBWI and 12×12. http://www.jodimckaybooks.com/
Deep within the mind of Jeff Jantz… lives a mad sculptor named Dr. Jantzer…Dr. Jantzer is the creative mastermind behind Jantzer Studios, he dreams up original characters, creatures, and contraptions. Jeff is tasked with constructing Dr. Jantzer’s ideas using clay, wood, metal and whatever else he can get his hand on. Jeff writes fun and quirky stories to accompany the sculptures and with a little hard work, light, and artistic magic colorful and energetic picture books are forged. Jantzer studios creates imaginative sculptures, sets, and props. Gruel Snarl Draws a Wild Zugthing is Jantzer Studios picture book debut. http://www.jeffjantz.com/
Kathryn Madeline Allen
Kathryn Madeline Allen is the author of numerous books, short stories, and poems for children. She lives in Michigan with her three children. http://www.kmabooks.com/blog/
Janet Ruth Heller
Janet Ruth Heller is a poet, literary critic, college professor, essayist, playwright, and fiction writer. I am a past president of the Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature, and I am currently president of the Michigan College English Association. I have a Ph.D. in English Language and Literature from the University of Chicago. http://www.janetruthheller.com/
Local writer Natalie Bakopoulos, author of The Green Shore, offers tips on revising your written work and how to get published. Q&A. In conjunction with the end of National Novel Writing Month, a nonprofit promotion challenging teens and adults to write a 50,000-word novel by the end of November.
1-2:30 p.m., AADL Westgate Branch West Side Room, Westgate shopping center, 2503 Jackson. Free. 327-8301.
Jewish Theological Seminary modern Jewish history professor David Fishman discusses his recent book about ghetto residents who rescued thousands of rare books and manuscripts from the Nazis and the Soviets.
6:30 p.m., Beth Israel Congregation, 2000 Washtenaw. Free. 665-9897.
Performances by Detroit slam poet/high school English teacher Brittany Rogers and U-M Zell Writers Program MFA candidate Franny Choi, whose new chapbook, Death by Sex Machine, imagines the inner monologues of different femme cyborgs featured in movies and manga. Preceded by a poetry open mike.
7 p.m. Espresso Royale, 324 S. State. $5 suggested donation. facebook.com/AnnArborPoetry.