Fiction at Literati: Brooks Rexroat: Thrift Store Coats @ Literati
Jul 11 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Literati is pleased to welcome author Brooks Rexroat who will be sharing his collection Thrift Store Coats.

About Thrift Store Coats:
Brooks Rexroat’s Thrift Store Coats transports readers to the postindustrial Midwest and explores the lives of those living on its quiet edge. Interwoven with themes of love, lineage, poverty, and survival, the characters in these stories grapple with the idea of identity — not only of where they fit into the world, but of how their origins impact their place in the future.

The collection’s titular story of focuses on a couple’s navigation of poverty after the recession leaves each of them suddenly unemployed. In “Waiting Out the Apocalypse”, characters from all walks of life are forced into action by that which is out of their control: the decisions of local lawmakers, and the devastating effects of a hurricane’s landfall. “Five Meals in Paris” explores themes of solitude and circumstance by following a factory worker from Ohio as he fulfills his lifelong dream of traveling to Paris, France.

While Brooks Rexroat’s prose possesses the power to break the hearts of readers, he establishes himself as a voice to be heard by masterfully repairing what has been broken — with unflinching honesty, and with a stunning sense of empathy.

Brooks Rexroat was raised near Cincinnati, Ohio at the intersection of the Rust Belt and Appalachia: the crossing point of mountain and farm field, boarded mine and shuttered factory, the water that splits north from south. The importance of place has always surrounded him, and it deeply inhabits his characters.

After earning a Master of Fine Arts Degree in creative prose from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, he embarked on a journey in higher education that has included teaching opportunities at open enrollment community colleges, regional public universities, and rigorous private liberal arts colleges. Now based at Brescia University in Western Kentucky, Rexroat spent the 2016-2017 academic year as a Fulbright U.S. Teaching and Research Scholar at Novosibirsk State Pedagogical University in Siberia, Russia. He was a 2014 Bread Loaf Bakeless Camargo Fellow in Cassis, France and his stories and essays have appeared in more than 30 journals and magazines on three continents.

Poetry and the Written Word: Open Mike @ Crazy Wisdom
Jul 11 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

All invited to read and discuss their poetry or short stories. Bring about 6 copies of your work to share.
7-9 p.m., Crazy Wisdom, 114 S. Main. Free. 665-2757


Fiction at Literati: Wendell Mayo: Survival House @ Literati
Jul 12 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Literai is pleased to welcome author Wendell Mayo who will be sharing his new story collection Survival House.

About Survival House:
Often humorous, always resonant, the ten stories in Survival House not only look back to the collective mind of doom in the atomic age of the 1950s and 1960s, but also address its legacy in our time–the emergence of new nuclear powers, polarizing politics, and the ever-tightening grip of corporations. In contemporary stories, such as “Doom Town,” a festival annually celebrates the survival of the human race by conducting riotous air raids. In “The Trans-Siberian Railway Comes to Whitehouse,” a bar owner desperately clings to a new all-things-Russian theme to save himself from financial ruin. Other stories, set in the 1960s, recast the Cuban Missile Crisis, Kennedy assassination, and Space Race in personal histories of the human heart that remind us what it takes to endure–both then, and now.

Wendell Mayo is also author of three more full-length story collections: Centaur of the NorthB. Horror and Other Stories; and a novel-in-stories, In Lithuanian Wood. He’s recipient of the Premio Aztlán, an NEA fellowship, and a Fulbright to Lithuania. Over one-hundred of his short stories have appeared widely in magazines and anthologies, including Yale ReviewHarvard ReviewNew LettersMissouri ReviewPrism International, and others.

Stella Parks: BraveTart: Iconic American Desserts @ Literati
Jul 17 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Literati is thrilled to welcome renowned pastry chef Stella Parks who will be sharing her new book BraveTart: Iconic American Deserts.

About BraveTart:
New York Times Bestseller

Named a Best Baking Book of the Year by the Atlantic, the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago TribuneBon Appetit, the New York Times, the Washington PostMother Jones, the Boston Globe and more

“The most groundbreaking book on baking in years. Full stop.”–Saveur

Stella Parks is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. She was named one of America’s Best New Pastry Chefs by Food & Wine. When not at home in Lexington, Kentucky, Stella can be found at the Serious Eats test kitchen in Brooklyn, New York.

Skazat! Poetry Series: Jagari Mukherjee @ Sweetwaters
Jul 24 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Performance by this award-winning Indian poet, who writes in both English and Bengali. Her 1st collection, Blue Rose, was published May 2017. The program begins with open mike readings.
7-8:30 p.m., Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea, 123 W. Washington. Free. 994-6663.

Poetry and the Written Word: Z.G. Tamaszewski @ Crazy Wisdom
Jul 25 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Z.G. Tomaszewski is a rambler, fisherman, musician, and author of three books of poem: All Things Dusk (winner of the Hong Kong University International Poetry Prize), Mineral Whisper, and River Nocturne. His work expresses a fragile, learned confidence — a spiritual wavering of breath exhaled, a dream cross-hatched through memory.
7-9 p.m., Crazy Wisdom, 114 S. Main. Free. 665-2757.


Poetry at Literati: Keith Taylor @ Literati
Jul 27 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Literati is pleased to welcome back poet Keith Taylor who will be sharing his new collection Ecstatic Destinations.

About Ecstatic Destinations:
In Ecstatic Destinations, Keith Taylor takes us on a walk through his neighborhood in Ann Arbor, Michigan. His joyous and often wry observations of chance encounters, his neighbors, parks, the history of his own backyard, plus the ever present traffic, spark us to reimagine both the layers of our own most intimate, if everyday environments and our place in them.

On the surface, the book can be said to start and end on a park bench. Keith walks all year and we can feel the passing of the seasons. We get his easy familiarity with his regular stops along the way, the neighbors he meets, everyone’s yards, their trees, and the sounds that surround it all. Night has set by the end; we have arrived.

Artist Mary Shea complements Keith’s journey of reflection and ecstasy with her cover paintings and interior drawings and prints.

Keith Taylor has published many books over the years: collections of poetry, a collection of very short stories, co-edited volumes of essays and fiction, and a volume of poetry translated from Modern Greek.

Will Walton: I Felt a Funeral, In My Brain, and Eric Smith: The Girl and the Grove @ Literati
Jul 30 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Literati is thrilled to welcome two fantastic authors Will Walton & Eric Smith who will be sharing their new young adult novels, I Felt a Funeral, in My Brain & The Girl and the Grove!

About I Felt a Funeral, in My Brain:
For most of his young life Avery has dealt with his alcoholic mother with the help of his grandfather Pal–he immerses himself in poetry and popular music, and now that high school is over for the summer, he makes out with his best friend Luca (who understands about alcoholic mothers), but the death of his grandfather creates a hole in his life that he can not seem to crawl out of.

About The Girl and the Grove:
Adopted teen Leila discovers that her connection to nature and passion for environmental activism are part of her unique and magical genetic makeup, and a grove of trees that holds a mythical secret.

Will Walton is an indie bookseller in Athens, Georgia.

Eric Smith is a young adult author and literary agent who grew up in the wilds of New Jersey. When he isn’t working on books (his and other peoples), he can be found writing about books for places like Book Riot and Paste Magazine. He lives with his wife, Nena, and their legion of small furry animals in Michigan.

Fiction at Literati: Ann S. Epstein: Tazia and Gemma @ Literati
Jul 31 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Literati is excited to welcome back author Ann S. Epstein who will be sharing her latest novel Tazia and Gemma.

About Tazia and Gemma:
Spanning 1911 to 1961, Tazia and Gemma is told from the perspective of an unwed mother, whose tale moves forward in time, and her daughter, whose search for her father moves backward. Tazia, a pregnant seventeen-year-old Italian immigrant and survivor of the Triangle Waist Company fire, flees New York, leaving her married lover to think she miscarried the baby he urged her to abort. To support herself and her daughter Gemma, Tazia takes low-wage jobs as she migrates westward. Gemma, now fifty, embarks on an eastward journey to find her father, eventually tracing her roots to Italy. In the end, Tazia no longer needs to escape her history, while Gemma finds that her identity leads back to her mother. The narrative illuminates the tension between assimilation versus honoring one’s heritage, and confronts the struggle for self-respect in the face of discrimination and demeaning work conditions–issues both timely and timeless.

Ann S. Epstein writes novels, short stories, memoir, craft articles, and book reviews. She is the author of On the Shore (Vine Leaves Press, 2017) and A Brain. A Heart. The Nerve. (Alternative Book Press, 2018). Her other work appears in Sewanee Review (winner, Walter Sullivan Prize), PRISM International, Ascent, The Long Story, Saranac Review, The Madison Review, Passages North, Red Rock Review, William and Mary Review, Tahoma Literary Review, The Copperfield Review, The Normal School, Carbon Culture Review, Earth’s Daughters, The Offbeat, Wilderness House Literary Review, and other journals. In addition to writing, she has a Ph.D. in developmental psychology and M.F.A. in textiles. Her historical works mix fact and fiction, and she is gratified to have forgotten what is and is not real by the time a story is finished.

Skazat! Poetry Series: 2018 Ann Arbor Youth Poetry Slam Team @ Sweetwaters
Jul 31 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Readings by members of the 2018 Ann Arbor Youth Poetry Slam Team. The program begins with open mike readings.
7-8:30 p.m., Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea, 123 W. Washington. Free. 994-6663.

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