Literati is exited to host poet Elizabeth Schmuhl, an RC Creative Writing alum, who will be reading from her new collection Premonitions. Keith Taylor will give an introduction to the reading and lead a Q&A discussion aftewards.
Visceral and brimming with vitality, the poems in Premonitions reverberate with the voice of a woman on a secluded farm, confronting her emotional and physical isolation. Drawing on her own experience as a daughter of a third-generation fruit farmer, Elizabeth Schmuhl gives readers a fresh and powerful perspective on what it means to be alive.
Layering one upon another, the poems blur boundaries and create a volatile state out of which the remarkable and unexpected occur. Embracing chaos, change, and unpredictability, these poems are energetically charged and infused with succinct, imagistic language. They reach beyond the constraints assigned to the female form and examine a place where time, the body, sexuality, and the natural world are not fixed. At times surreal, at others painfully real, the poems in Premonitions are the expression of a human life that merges and melds with the world around it, acting and reacting, loving and despairing, disintegrating and rebuilding. The speaker travels fluidly between strata of the natural world and her own body. Adding to the complexity of her poems, Schmuhl creates additional layers of meaning as the poems and their titles relate to the author’s synesthesia, a sensory phenomenon through which letters and numbers are experienced as colors and emotions.
Premonitions will turn the reader inward, encouraging the examination of the small details of life and a growing acceptance of the perpetual turmoil and uncertainty of existence despite our own desire to find a firm footing. This volume will be prized by lovers of contemporary poetry and literature alike.
Elizabeth Schmuhl is a multidisciplinary artist whose work appears in Michigan Quarterly Review, The Rumpus, Paper Darts, PANK, Hobart, Pinwheel, and elsewhere. She has worked at various nonprofits, including the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, and currently works at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
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.
7 p.m., Literati, 124 E. Washington. Free. 585-5567
This local poet reads from Love Dream with Television, her debut collection, written in Tucson, Arizona, that “wonders through the ways in which television, film, advertising, sporting events, and celebrity culture weave their ways into our lived experiences,” says Ensor. “Tucson and its queers have pushed me to be more in my body, more in conversation with place and spirit and alchemy.” Signing.
7 p.m., Literati, 124 E. Washington. Free. 585-5567
Literati is thrilled to welcome poets Phillip Crymble and Sarah Messer who will be sharing with us some of their latest work.
About Not Even Laughter:
A clearance bin of corner-cut records, remaindered paperbacks, and canisters of faded film, Phillip Crymble’s first full-length collection strives to rescue, celebrate, and preserve the works and sensibilities of those whose ideas and visions and have been long overlooked by posterity. Crymble’s technical acumen, ear for music, and emotional sincerity are the adhesive agents that bring the vernacular ethnographies, high-brow ekphrastics, tender elegies, forlorn love lyrics, and acutely observed accounts of plain and seemingly unremarkable domestic experience together in this formidable debut.
Phillip Crymble is a disabled writer and scholar living in Atlantic Canada. A SSHRC doctoral fellow at UNB Fredericton, he holds a MFA from the University of Michigan and has published poems in The New York Quarterly, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Hollins Critic, The Literary Review of Canada, Poetry Ireland Review, The Forward Book of Poetry 2017, and elsewhere. In 2016, Not Even Laughter, his first full-length collection, was a finalist for both the New Brunswick Book Award and the Writer’s Federation of Nova Scotia’s J.M. Abraham Prize.
Poet and Nonfiction writer, Sarah Messer, has received fellowships and grants from the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, the NEA, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, and the Mellon Foundation. In 2008-2009 she was a fellow in poetry at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study (Bunting) at Harvard. She is the author of four books: a hybrid history/memoir, Red House (Viking), a book of translations, Having Once Paused: Poems of Zen Master Ikkyu (University of Michigan Press) and two poetry books, Bandit Letters (New Issues), and Dress Made of Mice (Black Lawrence Press). Her work has appeared in the Paris Review, the Kenyon Review, Gulf Coast, and Ploughshares, among others. For many years she taught as an Associate Professor in the MFA/BFA program at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. In 2010, Messer co-founded One Pause Poetry, an on-line audio archive and reading series in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Currently she teaches Creative Writing in the Residential College at the University of Michigan, and is a cheese maker at White Lotus Farms.
Hosted by Joe Kelty, Ed Morin, and Dave Jibson
see our blog at Facebook/Crazy Wisdom Poetry Series
Crazy Wisdom Bookstore and Tea Room, 114 S. Main St. Free. firstname.lastname@example.org www.crazywisdom.net
U-M drama lecturer Kate Mendeloff directs RC students in scenes from Uncle Vanya, Chekhov’s richly varied ensemble piece about the search for happiness–from love, achievement, or nature–at various stages of life.
Hannah Ensor, a poet living in Ypsilanti, RC alum, and assistant director the Hopwood Program, has published on topics of pop culture, sports, and mass media. She co-wrote the chapbook, at the intersection of 3, and was associate editor of Bodies Built for Game, an anthology of contemporary sports literature. Love Dream With Television is her first book of poems.
Suzi F. Garcia is an editor at Noemi Press and a representative for the Latinx Caucus. She is also a CantoMundo Fellow and a Macondista. Her writing has been featured in or is forthcoming from the Offing, Vinyl, Barrelhouse Magazine, Fence Magazine, and more. She can be found at: www.suzifgarcia.com.
All writers welcome to read their own or other favorite poetry or short fiction afterward at open mic. Hosted by Joe Kelty, Ed Morin, and Dave Jibson
see our blog at Facebook/Crazy Wisdom Poetry Series.
Crazy Wisdomn Bookstore and Tea Room, 114 S. Main St. Free. email@example.com www.crazywisdom.net
Transformation, Aesthetics, and Beauty: Translating Zen Master Ikkyu and Classical Chinese Poetry
Translators Sarah Messer and Kidder Smith will introduce Zen Master Ikkyu, an unconventional 14th century enlightened Zen Master who wrote poems in Classical Chinese, upended gender roles, and transformed the aesthetics of medieval Japan. They will also discuss how they translated Ikkyu’s poetry since Sarah didn’t know any Chinese at the start. All of us together will then translate a poem from Chinese into English, using the same method that Sarah and Kidder employed. We will conclude by enjoying some cheese from White Lotus Farms (where Sarah works), understanding that cheesemaking also involves transformation, aesthetics, mindfulness, and beauty.
RC alumna Sarah Messer is the author of four books, a hybrid history/memoir, Red House (Viking), a book of translations, Having Once Paused: Poems of Zen Master Ikkyu (University of Michigan Press) and two poetry books Bandit Letters (New Issues), and Dress Made of Mice (Black Lawrence Press). Messer co-founded One Pause Poetry and teaches Creative Writing at the RC and is a cheesemaker at White Lotus Farms.
For many years Kidder Smith taught Chinese history at Bowdoin College in Maine, where he also chaired the Asian Studies Program. He is the lead translator of Sun Tzu—the Art of War (Shambhala), and (with Sarah Messer), Having Once Paused: Poems of Zen Master Ikkyu (University of Michigan Press).
James and Grace Lee Boggs left a remarkable legacy through their shared activism, writing, and mentoring. To mark what would be James Boggs’s 100th birthday Spring 2019, the James and Grace Lee Boggs Center in Detroit revisits his writings and activism, exploring the ways his and Grace’s efforts to bring about revolutionary change continue through a powerful lineage of thought and activism in contemporary community work in Detroit.
Stephen Ward is a historian at the University of Michigan who teaches in the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies (DAAS) and the Residential College, and he is the faculty director of the Semester in Detroit program. He is also a board member of the James and Grace Lee Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership. He is the author of In Love and Struggle: The Revolutionary Lives of James and Grace Lee Boggs.
Literati is excited to welcome the Creative Writing Sub-concentration seniors in the English Department at the University of Michigan for a night of poetry and prose readings!
Each year the Creative Writing Sub-concentration selects no more than 14 students who spend their senior year working with faculty to complete a creative thesis of poetry or fiction. These collections, the same size as many MFA theses, are first attempts to create book-length manuscripts, and to prepare the writers for their work in the future.
Reema Baydoun transferred to the University of Michigan as a sophomore, and has since spent her time in Ann Arbor studying English and caring for her cat. As an Arab-American poet, she often spends weekends in Dearborn for inspiration and good food.
RC student Ariel Everitt hails from a one-stoplight town in Northeast Michigan and is a junior studying English and Creative Writing at the University of Michigan, where they have been a research assistant in a biogerontology lab, become a peer writing consultant, and won a Hopwood Award. Their fiction tackles the boundaries between people and genres, applying dream logic to science and human connections wherever possible. Ariel plans to pursue an MFA in Creative Writing in the near future.
Madeleine Gaudin is a writer and future Elementary School teacher originally from Austin, Texas. Formerly the Managing Arts Editor at the Michigan Daily, she wrote about movies, music, books and the wonderful hellscape of the Internet for four years before turning her attention to ghost stories and fiction about the apocalypse.
Jenny Hong is a senior studying English with a Sub-concentration in Creative Writing (Poetry). She loves cooking, blogging, and binging TV series on lazy days—and also chatting with people around campus. She is sad that she will no longer be a student in May and enroll in workshops that will give her friendly nudges to write, but she’s also pretty excited for what’s next!
Kate Velguth is a senior studying English. She’s received four Hopwood Awards, and her fiction has appeared in The Washington Square Review, Pleiades, and elsewhere.” Her thesis, a collection of short stories, is entitled The World of Hidden Things. She hopes to teach English in South Korea next year.
Maxim Vinogradov is a local playwright, Michigan student, and is very excited to be reading at Literati! You may have seen his work in productions at Theatre Nova, Slipstream Theatre Initiative, Basement Arts, Outvisible Theatre Company, and others in Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana. He has had the pleasure of receiving two Hopwood Awards in Drama, two Wilde Awards, the National Partners of the American Theatre Playwriting Award from The Kennedy Center, and has spent this past summer in internships and residences with The Public Theater and O’Neill Theater Center. He’d love to thank the University of Michigan and Literati for this privilege, and hopes you enjoy his goofy writing!
Ellison Zak is a senior transfer student at the University of Michigan studying English, creative writing, and linguistics. Her thesis grapples with the secrets we all keep and the toll they can take on ourselves and our relationships. She spends her summers between school road tripping across the country and camping at national parks. More than anything else, she hopes to find employment after graduation.
With the young republic in crisis, President Washington chose as general an aging brigadier whose private life was mired in scandal. Follow the story of General Anthony Wayne, drawn from his own passionate letters where he vividly confessed his deepest thoughts. Writer and historian Mary Stockwell was an Earhart Foundation Fellow at the Clements Library. Her book “Unlikely General: ‘Mad’ Anthony Wayne and the Battle for America” was published by Yale University Press in 2018. She has a B.A. in history from Mary Manse College and holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in history from the University of Toledo. Register online.