5th Annual Ann Arbor 50 First Jokes @ The Ark
Jan 2 @ 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm

Fifty comics from around Michigan, both veterans and upstarts, take turns telling the 1st joke they’ve written in 2018. Similar events, which began at the Bell House in Brooklyn more than a decade ago, now also take place in New Orleans and L.A.
8 p.m., The Ark, 316 S. Main. Tickets $10 in advance at the Michigan Union Ticket Office ( and, and at the door. To charge by phone, call 763-TKTS.

Laura Pershin Raynor and Lori Fithian: Drumming Up Stories @ AADL Downtown
Jan 3 @ 4:00 pm – 4:45 pm

AADL storyteller Laura Pershin Raynor and local drum teacher Lori Fithian lead a storytelling program with movement and music for kids in grades preK-3.
4-4:45 p.m., AADL Downtown Youth Story Corner, 343 S. Fifth Ave. Free. 327-4200.

Emerging Writers: The 19 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes @ AADL Westgate
Jan 7 @ 7:00 pm – 8:45 pm

Talk by local short story writer Alex Kourvo and young adult novelist Bethany Neal. For adult and teen (grade 6 & up) fiction and nonfiction writers. Also, Kourvo and Neal host an open house for writers to connect with one another and/or work on their projects at 7 p.m. on Jan. 28. 7-8:45 p.m., AADL Westgate. Free. 327-4200


Jennifer Traig: Act Natural @ Literati
Jan 8 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Literati is thrilled to welcome author Jennifer Traig who will be sharing her new book Act Natural: A Cultural History of Misadventures in Parenting. 

About Act Natural:
From a distinctive, inimitable voice, a wickedly funny and fascinating romp through the strange and often contradictory history of Western parenting.
Why do we read our kids fairy tales about homicidal stepparents? How did helicopter parenting develop if it used to be perfectly socially acceptable to abandon your children? Why do we encourage our babies to crawl if crawling won’t help them learn to walk?

These are just some of the questions that came to Jennifer Traig when–exhausted, frazzled, and at sea after the birth of her two children–she began to interrogate the traditional parenting advice she’d been conditioned to accept at face value. The result is Act Natural, hilarious and deft dissection of the history of Western parenting, written with the signature biting wit and deep insights Traig has become known for.

Moving from ancient Rome to Puritan New England to the Dr. Spock craze of mid-century America, Traig cheerfully explores historic and present-day parenting techniques ranging from the misguided, to the nonsensical, to the truly horrifying. Be it childbirth, breastfeeding, or the ways in which we teach children how to sleep, walk, eat, and talk, she leaves no stone unturned in her quest for answers: Have our techniques actually evolved into something better? Or are we still just scrambling in the dark?

Jennifer Traig is the author of Devil in the Details and Well Enough Aloneand the editor of The Autobiographer’s Handbook and Don’t Forget to Write. She holds a PhD in English from Brandeis, and lives with her family in Michigan.

The Moth Storyslam: Backwards @ Greyline
Jan 8 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Jan. 8 & 15. Open mike storytelling competition sponsored by The Moth, the NYC-based nonprofit that also produces a weekly public radio show. Ten storytellers are selected at random to tell a 3-5 minute story–this month’s themes are “Backwards”(Jan. 8) & “Drive” (Jan. 15)–judged by a 3-person team recruited from the audience. Monthly winners compete in a semiannual Grand Slam. Seating limited, so arrive early.
7:30-9 p.m. (doors open and sign-up begins at 6 p.m.), Greyline, 100 N. Ashley. General admission tickets $10 in advance only at beginning a week before each event. 764-5118.


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

Poetry workshop. All writers welcome to share
and discuss their poetry or short fiction.
Hosted by Joe Kelty, Ed Morin, and Dave Jibson
see our blog at Facebook/Crazy Wisdom Poetry Series
Crazy WisdomnBookstore and Tea Room, 115 S. Main St. Free. Free. 


Sid Smith: Greg Grieco’s Canio’s Secret: A Memoir of Ethnicity, Electricity, and My Immigrant Grandfather’s Wisdom @ Literati
Jan 9 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Literati is honored to host Sid Smith who will be sharing her husband’s book Canio’s Secret: A Memoir of Ethnicity, Electricity, and my Immigrant Grandfather’s Wisdom about the life of his grandfather Canio Grieco

About Canio’s Secret:
In 1950s Chicago, a young boy hides in his bedroom closet to escape a father’s habitual rage. There he conjures up another paternal figure in his artistic Italian grandfather, Canio Grieco, his glimpse into happiness. With his wondrous tricks and stories of “Italy,” his library and drawings, his baseball and opera, Canio becomes the model of creativity for the lonely, introverted grandson.

Surviving through ingenuity and imagination, young Greg is fascinated by electricity and the world of men: he sticks his fingers in Christmas light sockets, finds unexpected mentors in a washing machine repair shop, fantasizes about the fate of missing fathers, and eventually betrays his grandfather at the billiard table.

Canio’s Secret is a coming-of-age story chronicling a boy’s poignant struggle to find consolation in his mother’s Catholicism and to break free of his father’s anger. Told through intimate portraits of parents and grandparents, nuns and janitors, friends and local characters, and their unsettling – often humorous – encounters, it is also the vibrant portrait of a multi-ethnic neighborhood soon to be scattered by white flight. And, as the older writer ponders his grandfather’s influence, the memoir becomes a meditation on Canio’s enigmatic advice, offered in the summer of 1953: “Happiness is all that’s required.”

Arthur Nusbaum: Starting from San Francisco: Thomas Rain Crowe in Conversation with Third Mind Books @ Nicola's Books
Jan 10 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Join us for a presentation by Arthur Nusbaum, Third Mind Books. He will be sharing his most recent book Starting from San Franciso: Thomas Rain Crowe in Conversation with Third Mind Books. He will be presenting poets that are featured in the book along with a live reading of their works.

About the Book

The seismic cultural impact of Kerouac, Ginsberg and Burroughs was followed by a series of aftershocks. “Starting from San Francisco ‘ measures a vital instance of this natural process, the circle of aspiring poets and publisher Thomas Rain Crowe and the resurrected Beatitude magazine in the 1970’s who used a small-press explosion to sustain and move beyond what their predecessors had inspired. the format here is interview and, with the commitment of on who was there and considerable sincerity, Crowe explores the dimensions of a flourishing literary excitement that deserves to be better known. the result is a singular history.” (John Tytell, author of “Naked Angels: The Lives and Literature of the Beat Generation.” [New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 1976]). Based off Third Mind Books founder Arthur Nusbaum’s acclaimed presentation at the 2017 European Beat Studies Network Conference in Paris, France, this publication contains the full untold story of the Second San Francisco renaissance and the Baby beat Generation, which encompasses and exceeds the bird’s eye view revealed in Nusbaum’s expansive presentation. On August 4, 2018, Third Mind Books collaborated with The Beat Museum in San Francisco, holding a book launch and poetry reading for this publication, in which many of this epoch’s participants took part. The book was assembled by an editorial team including Nusbaum, his protege Joe Provenzano and Crowe himself. To quote the esteemed Beat-&-Beyond scholar (and our other blurb contributor) David Stephen Calonne, “For those who think that they already know all there is to know about Beat literary history, this book will provide many illuminating surprises.

About the Author(s)

Arthur S. Nusbaum is a long-time collector and independent scholar of the Beat Generation and its legacy, with special emphasis on the life and work of William S. Burroughs.

In 2010 Nusbaum founded Third Mind Books in Ann Arbor, Michigan, which aims to combine precision condition-grading and rigorous historical specificity in each listing; to truly “curate” every offering.

Thomas Rain Crowe was born in 1949 and is an internationally known poet, translator, editor, publisher, anthologist and recording artist and author of thirty books of original and translated works. During the 1970s he lived abroad in France, then returned to the U.S. to become editor of Beatitude magazine and press in San Francisco, and one of the “Baby Beats” where he was co-founder and Director of the San Francisco International Poetry Festival. In the 1980s, after returning to his boyhood home in North Carolina, he was a founding editor of Katuah Journal: A Bioregional Journal of the Southern Appalachians and founded New Native Press. In 1994 he founded Fern Hill Records (a recording label devoted exclusively to the collaboration of poetry and music). Almost immediately, he formed his spoken-word and music band The Boatrockers, performing widely in the Southeast and producing two CDs.

In 1998 his book The Laugharne Poems, which was written at the Dylan Thomas Boat House in Laugharne, Wales, during the summers of 1993 and 1995 with the permission of the Welsh government, was published in Wales by Gwasg Carreg Gwalch. In the same year, his ground-breaking anthology of contemporary Celtic language poets, Writing The Wind: A Celtic Resurgence (The New Celtic Poetry), which includes poetry in Welsh, Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Breton, Cornish and Manx was published in the U.S., and his first volume of translations of the poems of the 14th century Persian poet Hafiz, In Wineseller’s Street, was released. He has translated the work of Yvan Goll, Guillevic, Hugh-Alain Dal, Marc Ichall and Hafiz. In 2002 a second volume of his translations of Hafiz, Drunk on the Wine of the Beloved: 100 Poems of Hafiz, was published by Shambhala. For six years he was Editor-at-Large for the Asheville Poetry Review. His memoir in the style of Thoreau’s Walden based on four years of self-sufficient living in a wilderness environment in the woods of western North Carolina from 1979 to 1982, Zoro’s Field: My Life in the Appalachian Woods, was published by the University of Georgia Press in the spring of 2005. It is the winner of the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association’s 2005 Ragan Old North State Award for Non-fiction as well as the Southern Environmental Law Center’s prestigious Reed Award for a best book of nonfiction on the environment.

He currently resides in the Tuckasegee community of Jackson County in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina, where he writes features and columns on culture, community and the environment for the Smoky Mountain News. His literary archives have been purchased by and are collected at the Duke University Special Collections Library in Durham, North Carolina.


Fiction at Literati: Peter Leonard @ Literati
Jan 10 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Literati is excited to welcome author Peter Leonard who will be sharing his new book Raylan Goes to Detroit, the latest novel in the Raylan Givens series.

About Raylan Goes to Detroit:
After an altercation with his superiors in Harlan County, Kentucky, Deputy US Marshal, Raylan Givens is offered two choices. He can either retire or finish his career on the fugitive task force in the crime-ridden precincts of Detroit.

Acting on a tip, Raylan and his new partner, deputy marshal Bobby Torres arrest Jose Rindo, a destructive and violent criminal. Rindo is also being pursued by the FBI who arrive shortly after he is in custody. Raylan bumps heads with a beautiful FBI agent named Nora Sanchez, who wants Rindo for the murder of a one of their own.

When Rindo, escapes from the county jail and is arrested in Ohio, Raylan and FBI Special Agent Sanchez drive south to pick up the fugitive and bring him back to stand trial. Later, when Rindo escapes again, Raylan and Nora–still at odds–are reunited and follow the elusive fugitive’s trail across Arizona to El Centro, California and into Mexico where they have no jurisdiction or authority. How are they going to bring Rindo, a Mexican citizen, across the border without anyone knowing

Raylan Goes to Detroit is an exciting continuation of one of Elmore Leonard’s greatest heroes, an edge-of-your-seat, page-turner in the spirit of Elmore’s classic Raylan books.

Peter Leonard, the son of legendary crime novelist, Elmore Leonard, is a national bestselling author of seven thrillers, including QuiverTrust MeAll He Saw was the GirlVoices of the DeadBack from the DeadEyes Closed Tight, and Unknown Remains. He lives in Birmingham, Michigan with his wife, Julie and his dog, Sam.


Edwards Reading Series @ Literati
Jan 11 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Literati is proud to partner with the Helen Zell Writers’ Program to host the J. Edgar Edwards Reading Series, a reading series organized by first year poetry and fiction students. 

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