Stamps Speaker Series: Bridget Mary McCormack, Len Niehoff, and John de Lancie: Theater of Justice @ Michigan Theater
Apr 4 all-day

This event brings together Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Bridget McCormack, legal scholar and practitioner Len Niehoff, and acclaimed actor John de Lancie to explore the work of the courts and the law; how the human impulse for narrative performance and drama informs the inner workings of the courtroom; and how the courtroom is represented on stage and screen.

Chief Justice Bridget McCormack joined the Michigan Supreme Court in January 2013, and became chief justice in January 2019. As the chief justice, McCormack has promoted statewide initiatives devoted to improving the courts’ service to the public, and in particular delivering on a promise that courts are independent, accessible, engaged with their communities, and efficient. Len Niehoff is a nationally prominent law practitioner, professor, and scholar in three fields: media law and the First Amendment; higher education law; and trial and appellate litigation. Niehoff is working on a book about the Salem witch trials. John de Lancie is best known for his role as “Q” on Star Trek: The Next Generation, however, his credits are numerous and include The Hand that Rocks the Cradle, The Fisher King, Breaking Bad, and The West Wing. He was recently in a national tour of the “Scopes Monkey Trial” with Ed Asner where he played Clarence Darrow, and is the first recipient of the Clarence Darrow Award. De Lancie is currently at work on a play about the 2005 Kitzmiller vs. Dover School District trial.

Presented in partnership with University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA). This event heralds Witness Lab, a project by Roman J. Witt Artist in Residence Courtney McClellan. This courtroom installation is activated from February 15 through May 17, 2020, in UMMA’s Stenn Gallery.

Jonathan Metzl: Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment is Killing America’s Heartland @ 2239 Lane Hall
Apr 4 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm

Jonathan M. Metzl, MD, PhD, Frederick B. Rentschler II Professor of Sociology and Medicine, Health, and Society; Director, Center for Medicine, Health, and Society; Professor of Psychiatry; Vanderbilt University

In the era of Donald Trump, many lower- and middle-class white Americans are drawn to politicians who pledge to make their lives great again. But, the policies that result actually place white Americans at ever-greater risk of sickness and death.

Physician Jonathan M. Metzl’s quest to understand the health implications of “backlash governance” leads him across America’s heartland. Interviewing a range of everyday Americans, he examines how racial resentment fueled pro-gun laws in Missouri, resistance to the Affordable Care Act in Tennessee, and cuts to schools and social services in Kansas. And he shows these policies’ costs: increasing deaths by gun suicide, rising dropout rates, and falling life expectancies. White Americans, Metzl argues, must reject the racial hierarchies that promise to aid them but in fact lead our nation to demise.

Stamps Speaker Series: Sarah Vowell @ Michigan Theater
Apr 4 @ 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm

Sarah Vowell is the New York Times bestselling author of seven nonfiction books on American history and culture. By examining the connections between the American past and present, she offers personal, often humorous accounts of everything from presidents and their assassins to colonial religious fanatics, as well as thoughts on utopian dreamers, pop music, and the odd cranky cartographer. Her most recent book is titled Lafayette in the Somewhat United States.

Vowell was a contributing editor for the public radio show This American Lifefrom 1996–2008, where she produced numerous commentaries and documentaries and toured the country in many of the program’s live shows. She was one of the original contributors to McSweeney’s, also participating in many of the quarterly’s readings and shows. She has been a columnist for, Time, and San Francisco Weekly, and is a contributing op-ed writer for the New York Times. She is an active advisory board member of 826NYC, a nonprofit tutoring and writing center for students aged 6-18 in Brooklyn, along with its sister organization in Los Angeles, 826LA.

Co-presented with the Ann Arbor District Library and the University of Michigan Library.

Bruce Conforth: Up Jumped the Devil: The Real Life of Robert Johnson @ Bookbound
Apr 4 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Join us to celebrate the release of Bruce Conforth’s new book Up Jumped the Devil: The Real Life of Robert Johnson (Chicago Review Press). Bruce Conforth was a longtime professor of folklore, blues, popular culture and the history of social movements at Uof M and was recently featured in the Netflix documentary Devil at the Crossroads. He was also the founding curator of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Up Jumped the Devil will astonish blues fans who thought they knew something about Johnson—most of those things are wrong—and is a great read for anyone interested in blues, black culture and American music. Light refreshments, signing to follow.
“Finally an in-depth biography of one of the greatest blues musicians ever. The clearing up of the myths and mysteries is a relief. The work of the authors is meticulous… creating a full view of his life and times, his friends and influences… how he came to be the greatest of the Delta bluesmen. I am blown away!” –John Hammond, Jr.
National Poetry Month diVERSE Voices Celebration @ AADL Downtown 4th Floor
Apr 4 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

A diverse nation deserves diverse poetry, Celebrate National Poetry Month with leading poets of color from Ann Arbor’s vibrant poetry scene as they explore pressing themes of identity, heritage, culture, race, resistance, and more. This event will be curated by local writer Frances Kai-Hwa Wang.

  • Jasmine An comes from the Midwest. Her chapbook, Naming the No-Name Woman, won the 2015 Two Sylvias Press Chapbook Prize. Her work can be found or is forthcoming in HEArt, Stirring: A Literary Collection, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Nat. Brut and Waxwing, among others. Currently, she is pursuing a PhD in English and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan.
  • Aldo Leopoldo Pando Girard is the current Youth Poet Laureate of Ann Arbor. Aldo believes firmly in bringing people together and making people feel seen through poetry, and hopes to do so in his own poetry. He is a recent graduate of Pioneer high school, former Ann Arbor Youth Slam Team member, and a freshman at the University of Michigan, studying Vocal Performance and Engineering.
  • Marlin M. Jenkins was born and raised in Detroit. He teaches in the English Department Writing Program at University of Michigan and in the Literary Arts Program at the Neutral Zone.
  • Leslie McGraw is the creative inspiration behind the Bookbound Open Mic & Share Poetry Series and the Life By Poetry online community. Her debut poetry collection, Emergencies of the Heart, was published in 2014; and her essay, “Roses Come in Black, Too,” was published in the As/Us Women of the World Journal. You can follow her on Twitter @LifebyPoetry.
  • Saleem Peeradina is the internationally esteemed author of several books of poetry, memoir, and essays. He is the editor of Contemporary Indian Poetry in English, one of the earliest and most widely used texts in South Asian literature courses. He has served as writer-in-residence from Chelsea District Library to the American College in Madurai, India and is Professor Emeritus at Siena Heights University.
  • Frances Kai-Hwa Wang is a journalist, essayist, speaker, educator, and poet focused on issues of diversity, race, culture, and the arts. Her poetry has appeared in Cha Asian Literary Journal, Kartika Review, and the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. She teaches Asian/Pacific Islander American studies at the University of Michigan.
  • Cozine A. Welch, Jr. is a formerly incarcerated published poet and writer. A staff member of the University of Michigan’s Prisoner Creative Arts Project (PCAP), he now teaches at the University and is managing editor of the Michigan Review of Prisoner Creative Writing literary journal.
Semester in Detroit’s Winter 2019 Detroiters Speaker Series: The New Abolition Movement @ Cass Corridor Commons
Apr 4 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Each week will feature different Detroit-based speakers and guests who will explore the given topic and engage the students through a combination of formal remarks, presentations, and public discussion. Light dinner provided; free transportation from Ann Arbor to Detroit; public welcome and encouraged to attend.

Night of the Living Word: Experimental Poetry @ AADL Downtown Secret Lab
Apr 5 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

For Whom

Grade 4 – Adult


Hands-on experimenting with words, sounds, technology, and images to produce your own unique poems.

Berkhofer Lecture: Mary Kathryn Nagle: Native Theater in the 21st Century: Piercing the Invisibility and Restoring Our Humanity @ Palmer Commons Great Lakes Room
Apr 5 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

This event is free and open to the public. There will be a catered reception to follow the lecture.

Mary Kathryn Nagle is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the Yale Indigenous Performing Arts Program. She is also a partner at Pipestem Law, P.C., where she works to protect tribal sovereignty and the inherent right of Indian Nations to protect their women and children from domestic violence and sexual assault. Nagle has authored numerous briefs in federal appellate courts, including the United States Supreme Court. Nagle studied theater and social justice at Georgetown University as an undergraduate student, and received her J.D. from Tulane Law School where she graduated summe cum laude and received the John Minor Wisdom Award. She is a frequent speaker at law schools and symposia across the country. Her articles have been published in law review journals including the Harvard Journal of Law and Gender, Yale Law Journal (online forum), Tulsa Law Review, and Tulane Law Review, among others.

Nagle is an alumn of the 2012 PUBLIC THEATER Emerging Writers Group, where she developed her play “Manahatta” in PUBLIC STUDIO (May 2014). Productions include “Miss Lead” (Amerinda, 59E59, January 2014), and “Fairly Traceable” (Native Voices at the Autry, March 2017), “Sovereignty” (Arena Stage), “Manahatta” (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), and Return to Niobrara (Rose Theater). In 2019, Portland Center Stage will produce the world premiere of “Crossing Mnisose.”

Nagle has received commissions from Arena Stage (“Sovereignty”), the Rose Theater (“Return to Niobrara,” Omaha, Nebraska), Portland Center Stage (“Mnisose”), Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Yale Repertory Theatre (“A Pipe for February”), and Round House Theater.

The Berkhofer Lecture series (named for a former U-M professor and founder of the field of Native American studies) was established in 2014 by an alumni gift from the Dan and Carmen Brenner family of Seattle, Washington. In close consultation with the Brenners, Native American Studies decided to create a public lecture series featuring prominent, marquee speakers who would draw audiences from different communities (faculty and students, Ann Arbor and Detroit, and Michigan tribal communities as well as writers and readers of all persuasions). Native American students at U-M have consistently expressed their desire to make Native Americans more visible both on campus and off, and we believe that this lecture takes a meaningful step in that direction. Additionally, because of the statewide publicity it generates, we think it is already becoming another recruitment incentive for Native American students. It goes without saying that the speakers we are inviting provide tremendous value to the mission and work of Native American Studies at U-M.

Tahereh Maffi: Defy Me, with Caleb Roehrig @ AADL Downtown 4th Floor
Apr 5 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Best selling author Tahereh Mafi comes to AADL to discuss Defy Me, her latest book in the Shatter Me series of dystopian adventure young adult fiction. She is joined in conversation with YA author Caleb Roehrig.

Tahereh Mafi is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of A Very Large Expanse of Sea, the Shatter Me series, Furthermore, and Whichwood. She can usually be found overcaffeinated and stuck in a book. You can find her online just about anywhere @TaherehMafi or on her website,

Caleb Roehrig is the author of Death Prefers Blondes, White Rabbit and Last Seen Leaving, which was called one of the Best YA Novels of 2016 by Caleb lives with his husband in Chicago.

This event includes a book signing and books will be on sale, courtesy of Literati Bookstore.

U-M English Sub-concentration Reading @ Literati
Apr 5 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

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.

Readers include…

Laura Dzubay is a writer specializing in short fiction, long fiction, and articles about all the music she loves. She is mostly from Indiana and has published work in Blue Earth ReviewBad PonyBelle Ombre, and others, and has won three Hopwood Awards. She enjoys and pretending it’s fall year-round.

Sophia Christos is a senior studying English, creative writing, and entrepreneurship. She’s one of the founders of EMPOWER, an online young women’s magazine that promotes positivity and inspiration. Sophia’s also a development intern at the Alzheimer’s Association, where she is working to find the first survivor of Alzheimer’s. In her spare time, Sophia loves to scuba dive, ski, and travel the world.

Nitya Gupta is a senior from the Chicago suburbs studying English with a sub-concentration in creative writing and a minor in the environment. She’s a Daily Arts Writer for The Michigan Daily as well as an Editorial Assistant at Michigan News. When she’s not reading or writing, she enjoys practicing and teaching yoga.

Ana Lucena is a senior studying English with creative writing and pre-law at the University of Michigan. Her favorite themes are psychological horror and social justice. Her writing is deeply inspired by film and comics as well. If her writing career doesn’t take off, she plans to go to law school in the hopes of furthering her research skills and her understanding of society to the benefit of her writing.

Cailean Robinson is a writer, reader, introvert, and feminist. Her work has appeared in the 2016 Cafe Shapiro Anthology. If Cailean could do anything for a day, she would people-watch with Libba Bray and Jane Austen, and if she could go anywhere for a month, she would visit New Zealand. Cailean enjoys acting and listening to musicals, and her plans after graduating (please stop asking) are to live, to travel, and to finish her book. She is from Ann Arbor, MI and Kennesaw, GA.

Matthew Solway is a poet at the University of Michigan. He has worked in various medical research labs studying diabetic complications and is committed to understanding the natural world through poetry and science with a specific focus on improving the lives of those who cannot help themselves.  This fall, he will continue his studies Wayne State School of Medicine.

Josie Tolin is just glad to be here. She’s from Chesterton, Indiana—a town so unremarkable it’s almost remarkable. Her short fiction has appeared in The Google Drive Folder (a premier publication co-founded by Nitya Gupta, Kate Velguth, and Ellie Zak) as well as Emails to Her Friends (subject line: “can u tell me if this sux, lol”).