Calendar

Sep
11
Tue
Carmen Bugan: Sounding the Deeps of Nature: Lyric Language and the Language of Oppression @ 1300 Chemistry Dow Lab
Sep 11 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm

Poet and memoirist Carmen Bugan was born in Romania and emigrated to the United States in 1989. She earned a BA from the University of Michigan Residential College, an MA in creative writing from Lancaster University, and a MA and PhD, both in English Literature, from Oxford University. Bugan’s work reckons with the legacy of totalitarianism, including the crippling effects of the culture of surveillance that existed under Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.

 

Her visit is co-sponsored by the LSA Honors Program and the Residential College.

Sep
14
Fri
Carmen Bugan: The Lyric “I”: Private and Public Narratives @ 1339 Mason Hall
Sep 14 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Poet and memoirist Carmen Bugan was born in Romania and emigrated to the United States in 1989. She earned a BA from the University of Michigan Residential College, an MA in creative writing from Lancaster University, and a MA and PhD, both in English Literature, from Oxford University. Bugan’s work reckons with the legacy of totalitarianism, including the crippling effects of the culture of surveillance that existed under Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.

 

Her visit is co-sponsored by the LSA Honors Program and the Residential College.

Sep
17
Mon
Fiction at Literati: Akil Kumerasamy: Half-Gods @ Literati
Sep 17 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

About Half-Gods:
A startlingly beautiful debut, Half Gods brings together the exiled, the disappeared, the seekers. Following the fractured origins and destines of two brothers named after demigods from the ancient epic the Mahabharata, we meet a family struggling with the reverberations of the past in their lives. These ten interlinked stories redraw the map of our world in surprising ways: following an act of violence, a baby girl is renamed after a Hindu goddess but raised as a Muslim; a lonely butcher from Angola finds solace in a family of refugees in New Jersey; a gentle entomologist, in Sri Lanka, discovers unexpected reserves of courage while searching for his missing son.

By turns heartbreaking and fiercely inventive, Half Gods reveals with sharp clarity the ways that parents, children, and friends act as unknowing mirrors to each other, revealing in their all-too human weaknesses, hopes, and sorrows a connection to the divine.

Akil Kumarasamy is a writer from New Jersey. Her fiction has appeared in Harper’s MagazineAmerican Short FictionBoston Review, and elsewhere. She received her MFA from the University of Michigan and has been a fiction fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and the University of East Anglia. Half Gods is her first book.

Sep
18
Tue
Mystery Author Duo: C.M. Gleason and Sarah Zettel @ Nicola's Books
Sep 18 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Readings by Midwest mystery writers C.M. Gleason and Sarah Zettel. Gleason’s Murder in the Oval Library is set among the Frontier Guard, a hastily assembled presidential guard that was stationed in the White House during the first days of the Civil War. The Other Sister is Zettel’s new psychological thriller about 2 adult sisters–one reckless and troubled and the other obedient–who form a deadly plan to right the wrongs surrounding the mysterious death of their mother 25 years earlier. Signing.
7 p.m., Nicola’s, Westgate shopping center. Free. 662-0600.

Sep
19
Wed
Fiction at Literati: Kat Gardiner: Little Wonder @ Literati
Sep 19 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

About Little Wonder:
Kat Gardiner’s debut collection of microfiction, Little Wonder, springs from the year she spent in Anacortes, Washington. Young and idealistic, she and her husband moved to town to open a café and music venue in the hopes of finding a home there.

The experiment lasted exactly one year.

In interconnected fragments, Little Wonder reads like a series of love notes to a former self. Characters navigate frustration, loss, heartbreak, but they also come into new versions of themselves. Little Wonder sheds light on the idea that joy and pain are often two sides of the same coin — and that being alive in this world can necessitate embracing both.

“I can see the sun sinking down over Anacortes at the end of every page. Little Wonder has the ache of Raymond Carver, the honesty, the vulnerability. It’s so melancholic and honest and beautiful.” — Kyle Field (Little Wings)

Born in Oklahoma, raised in the Pacific Northwest, and based in Detroit, Kat Gardiner carries a restlessness through her writing that’s been honed by a lifelong search for roots. Her debut collection of short fiction, Little Wonder, springs from the year Gardiner spent in Anacortes, Washington, during her early twenties. Young and idealistic, she opened a coffee shop and music venue with her husband in the hopes of finding a home in the city’s artistic community. The experiment lasted exactly one year. Gardiner closed the coffee shop and moved away from Anacortes, ending a stressful and dreamlike chapter in her life.

Gardiner studied creative writing at Bennington College in Vermont, and later took workshops with Tom Spanbauer, the creator of the technique known as Dangerous Writing, in Portland, Oregon. In developing her craft, she found herself drawn to microfiction, citing Lydia Davis as a touchstone. “There’s something powerful in succinct details,” Gardiner says. Writing in short, interconnected fragments enabled her to revisit the year spent in Anacortes with a new sense of perspective. Little Wonder reads like a series of love notes to a former self, or a collection of Polaroids made golden with age. Gardiner’s characters navigate frustration, loss, and heartbreak, but they also come into new versions of themselves, a transformation they may not recognize in the moment. Through poignant vignettes furnished generously with detail, Gardiner looks into what it means to enter the world and realize that the world is not nearly as amenable to change as an optimistic young person might think. “It’s been liberating to make art out of both the painful and the joyous parts of that experience,” she says. With Little Wonder, she’s shed light on the idea that joy and pain are often two sides of the same coin — and that being alive in this world can necessitate embracing both.

Sep
20
Thu
DeRoy Lecture: Carmen Bugan: Poetry and the Language of Oppression: A Poet’s Perspective @ Rackham Amphitheater
Sep 20 @ 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Poet and memoirist Carmen Bugan was born in Romania and emigrated to the United States in 1989. She earned a BA from the University of Michigan Residential College, an MA in creative writing from Lancaster University, and a MA and PhD, both in English Literature, from Oxford University. Bugan’s work reckons with the legacy of totalitarianism, including the crippling effects of the culture of surveillance that existed under Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.

 

Her visit is co-sponsored by the LSA Honors Program and the Residential College.

DeRoy Lecture: Carmen Bugan: Poetry and the Language of Oppression: A Poet’s Perspective @ Rackham Amphitheater
Sep 20 @ 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Poet and memoirist Carmen Bugan was born in Romania and emigrated to the United States in 1989. She earned a BA from the University of Michigan Residentail College, an MA in creative writing from Lancaster University, and a MA and PhD, both in English Literature, from Oxford University. Bugan’s work reckons with the legacy of totalitarianism, including the crippling effects of the culture of surveillance that existed under Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.

 

Her visit is co-sponsored by the LSA Honors Program and the Residential College.

Fiction at Literati: Kim D. Hunter @ Literati
Sep 20 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Literati is excited to welcome author kim d. hunter who will be sharing his new story collection, The Official Report on Human Activity.

About The Official Report on Human Activity:
The Official Report on Human Activity by kim d. hunter, which is neither official nor a report, is a collection of long stories that are linked by reoccurring characters and their personal struggles in societies rife with bigotry, in which media technology and capitalism have run amok. These stories approach the holy trinity of gender, race, and class at a slant. They are concerned with the process and role of writing intertwined with the roles of music and sound.

The four stories range from the utterly surreal-a factory worker seeking recognition for his writing gives birth to a small black elephant with a mysterious message on its hide-to the utterly real-a nerdy black teen’s summer away from home takes a turn when he encounters half-white twins on the run from the police. Prominently known as a Detroit poet, hunter creates illusions and magic while pulling back the curtain to reveal humanity-the good, bad, and absurd. Readers will find their minds expanded and their conversations flowing after finishing The Official Report on Human Activity.

The Official Report on Human Activity is sure to appeal to readers of literary fiction, particularly those interested in postmodernism and social justice.

kim d. hunter has published two collections of poetry: borne on slow knives and edge of the time zone. His poetry appears in Rainbow DarknessWhat I SayBlack Renaissance Noire6X6 #35, and elsewhere. He received a 2012 Kresge Artist Fellowship in the Literary Arts and he works in Detroit providing media support to social justice groups.

Lillian Li: Number One Chinese Restaurant @ Nicola's Books
Sep 20 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Lillian Li received her BA from Princeton and her MFA from the University of Michigan. She is the recipient of a Hopwood Award in Short Fiction, as well as Glimmer Train’s New Writer Award. Her work has been featured in Guernica, Granta, and Jezebel. She is from the D.C. metro area and lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Number One Chinese Restaurant is her first novel.

About Number One Chinese Restaurant

An exuberant and wise multigenerational debut novel about the complicated lives and loves of people working in everyone’s favorite Chinese restaurant.

The Beijing Duck House in Rockville, Maryland, is not only a beloved go-to setting for hunger pangs and celebrations; it is its own world, inhabited by waiters and kitchen staff who have been fighting, loving, and aging within its walls for decades. When disaster strikes, this working family’s controlled chaos is set loose, forcing each character to confront the conflicts that fast-paced restaurant life has kept at bay.

Owner Jimmy Han hopes to leave his late father’s homespun establishment for a fancier one. Jimmy’s older brother, Johnny, and Johnny’s daughter, Annie, ache to return to a time before a father’s absence and a teenager’s silence pushed them apart. Nan and Ah-Jack, longtime Duck House employees, are tempted to turn their thirty-year friendship into something else, even as Nan’s son, Pat, struggles to stay out of trouble. And when Pat and Annie, caught in a mix of youthful lust and boredom, find themselves in a dangerous game that implicates them in the Duck House tragedy, their families must decide how much they are willing to sacrifice to help their children.

Generous in spirit, unaffected in its intelligence, multi-voiced, poignant, and darkly funny, Number One Chinese Restaurant looks beyond red tablecloths and silkscreen murals to share an unforgettable story about youth and aging, parents and children, and all the ways that our families destroy us while also keeping us grounded and alive.

7 p.m., Nicola’s, Westgate shopping center. Free. 662-0600.

Sep
21
Fri
Rasa Festival: Samiah Haque, Ashwini Bhaal, Zilka Joseph, Inam Kang @ Literati
Sep 21 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

This year’s Rasa Festival reading features poets Samiah Haque, Ashwini Bhasi, Zilka Joseph, and Inam Kang.

Samiah Haque speaks in fluid tones, with an acute clarity of voice. Her hobbies include jaywalking, whistling in the company of passers-by, and skipping to the lou. Recently, she has taken to advising young soldiers on the subject of hygiene and proper table manners. She lives in a swollen field outside of Madrid.

Ashwini Bhasi lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan and writes poems to make sense of the mind-body connection of trauma and chronic pain, life in India, and the duality of her experiences as a data analyst and poet. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Room Magazine, Rogue Agent, Bear River Review, Yellow Chair Review, The Feminist Wire, and Driftwood Press among others. Her poem about the 2016 presidential election was nominated for a Pushcart prize.

Zilka Joseph teaches creative writing and is an independent editor and manuscript coach. Her chapbooks, Lands I Live In and What Dread, were nominated for a PEN America and a Pushcart award, respectively. She was awarded a Zell Fellowship, a Hopwood Prize, and the Elsie Choy Lee Scholarship (Center for the Education of Women) from the University of Michigan.

Inam Kang is a Pakistani-born Muslim poet, student, curator and researcher currently living in Cleveland, OH as an MS candidate in Medical Physiology at Case Western Reserve University. He is also a former Ann Arbor Poetry & Slam finalist. Currently, he is a co-curator for the POC-centered reading and dialogue series FRUIT in Ann Arbor, MI. His work can be found or is forthcoming in Freezeray Poetry and Tinderbox Poetry Journal, among others.