Calendar

Apr
24
Wed
Carolyn Forche: What You Have Heard Is True @ Literati
Apr 24 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Literati is thrilled to welcome acclaimed poet and activist Carolyn Forché who will be discussing her new memoir What You Have Heard Is True: A Memoir of Witness and Resistance.

About What You Have Heard Is True:
The powerful story of a young poet who becomes an activist through a trial by fire

What You Have Heard is True is a devastating, lyrical, and visionary memoir about a young woman’s brave choice to engage with horror in order to help others. Written by one of the most gifted poets of her generation, this is the story of a woman’s radical act of empathy, and her fateful encounter with an intriguing man who changes the course of her life.

Carolyn Forché is twenty-seven when the mysterious stranger appears on her doorstep. The relative of a friend, he is a charming polymath with a mind as seemingly disordered as it is brilliant. She’s heard rumors from her friend about who he might be: a lone wolf, a communist, a CIA operative, a sharpshooter, a revolutionary, a small coffee farmer, but according to her, no one seemed to know for certain. He has driven from El Salvador to invite Forché to visit and learn about his country. Captivated for reasons she doesn’t fully understand, she accepts and becomes enmeshed in something beyond her comprehension.

Together they meet with high-ranking military officers, impoverished farm workers, and clergy desperately trying to assist the poor and keep the peace. These encounters are a part of his plan to educate her, but also to learn for himself just how close the country is to war. As priests and farm-workers are murdered and protest marches attacked, he is determined to save his country, and Forché is swept up in his work and in the lives of his friends. Pursued by death squads and sheltering in safe houses, the two forge a rich friendship, as she attempts to make sense of what she’s experiencing and establish a moral foothold amidst profound suffering. This is the powerful story of a poet’s experience in a country on the verge of war, and a journey toward social conscience in a perilous time.

Carolyn Forché is an American poet, editor, translator, and activist. Her books of poetry are Blue HourThe Angel of HistoryThe Country Between Us, and Gathering the Tribes. In 2013, Forché received the Academy of American Poets Fellowship given for distinguished poetic achievement. In 2017, she became one of the first two poets to receive the Windham-Campbell Prize. She is a University Professor at Georgetown University. Forché lives in Maryland with her husband, the photographer Harry Mattison.

Poetry and the Written Word: Ed Werstein @ Crazy Wisdom
Apr 24 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Crazy Wisdom Poetry Series hosted by Joe Kelty, Ed Morin, and David Jibson •
Second and Fourth Wednesdays, 7-9 p.m. in the Crazy Wisdom Tea Room • Second
Wednesdays are poetry workshop nights. All writers welcome to share and discuss
their own or favorite poetry. Sign up for new participants begins at 6:45 p.m.
Fourth Wednesdays have a featured reader for 50 minutes and then open mic for an
hour. All writers welcome. Sign up begins at 6:45 p.m. Free. Contact Ed at 668-7523;
eacmorso@sbcglobal.net or cwpoetrycircle.tumblr.com.
Apr. 24 • Ed Werstein, regional VP of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets,
received the 2018 Lorine Niedecker Prize for Poetry from the Council for
Wisconsin Writers. His work appears in Stoneboat, Blue Collar Review, and
Gyroscope Review. His book titles are Who Are We Then? and A Tar Pit to Dye In.

 

Poetry Salon: One Pause Poetry @ Argus Farm Stop
Apr 24 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm

ONE PAUSE POETRY SALON is (literally) a greenhouse for poetry and poets, nurturing an appreciation for written art in all languages and encouraging experiments in creative writing.

We meet every Weds in the greenhouse at Argus Farm Stop on Liberty St. The poems we read each time are unified by form (haiku, sonnet, spoken word), poet, time / place (Tang Dynasty, English Romanticism, New York in the 70s) or theme / mood (springtime, poems with cats, protest poems). We discuss the poems and play writing games together, with time for snacks and socializing in between.

Members are encouraged to share their own poems or poems they like – they may or may not relate to the theme of the evening. This is not primarily a workshop – we may hold special workshop nights, but mostly we listen to and talk about poems for the sake of inspiring new writing.

Whether you are a published poet or encountering poetry for the first time, we invite you to join us!

$5 suggested donation for food, drinks and printing costs.

8-10 p.m., Argus Farm Stop greenhouse, 325 W. Liberty. $5 suggested donation. onepausepoetry.org, 707-1284.

 

 

 

Apr
25
Thu
George Bornstein: Discussion his essay in Irish Questions and Jewish Questions @ AADL Westgate
Apr 25 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

University of Michigan Professor George Bornstein, Ph. D., discusses topics surrounding his essay in Irish Questions and Jewish Questions.

Ticket Information:

No tickets.

Event Details

Seating at the event will be first-come first-served. This event will be a standing-room crowd, so if you require a seat for medical reasons, please contact us in advance to make arrangements.

About the Book

The Irish and the Jews are two of the classic outliers of modern Europe. Both struggled with their lack of formal political sovereignty in the nineteenth-century. Simultaneously European and not European, both endured a bifurcated status, perceived as racially inferior and yet also seen as a natural part of the European landscape. Both sought to deal with their subaltern status through nationalism; both had a tangled, ambiguous, and sometimes violent relationship with Britain and the British Empire; and both sought to revive ancient languages as part of their drive to create a new identity. The career of Irish politician Robert Briscoe and the travails of Leopold Bloom are just two examples of the delicate balancing of Irish and Jewish identities in the first half of the twentieth century. Irish Questions and Jewish Questions explores these shared histories, covering several centuries of the Jewish experience in Ireland, as well as events in Israel–Palestine and North America. The authors examine the leading figures of both national movements to reveal how each had an active interest in the successes, and failures, of the other. Bringing together leading and emerging scholars from the fields of Irish studies and Jewish studies, this volume captures the most recent scholarship on their comparative history with nuance and remarkable insight.

About the Author

George Bornstein taught English Literature at Michigan for over forty years, during which time he wrote or edited twenty volumes and won a teaching award.  He currently works on Jewish-Irish connections, as in the present article from the new book “Irish Questions and Jewish Questions” (Syracuse University Press) from which the current autobiographical talk is drawn.

Poetry at Literati: Sam Ross: Company, and Conversation with Akil Kumarasamy @ Literati
Apr 25 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Literati is thrilled to welcome poet Sam Ross who will be reading from his debut collection Company. Sam will be joined for a post-reading conversation with author Akil Kumarasamy. 

About Company:
.” . . . Ross pitches nothing less than a stubborn belief in tenderness and in the patience both to look everywhere for it and to trustingly wait for it (‘I would learn rare // and love and want and wait. / I had to start at the beginning.’) This is a debut both tough and tender, the poems of a man who’s been made to look away from the world plenty, and has found a way to look steadily back.” –Carl Phillips, judge of the Four Way Books Levis Prize in Poetry

The author of Company(Four Way Books 2019), winner of the Four Way Books Levis Prize in Poetry, selected by Carl Phillips, Sam Ross was born in Indiana and lives in New York City. He received his MFA from Columbia University, where he was a Graduate Teaching Fellow, and has received support from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.

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.

Apr
27
Sat
11th Annual Midwest Literary Walk: Min Jin Lee, Luis Rodriguez, Anissa Gray @ Chelsea District Library
Apr 27 @ 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

The Midwest Literary Walk is an annual literary event on the last Saturday in April aimed at highlighting the power of literature and poetry in everyday life. Reading events take place at a range of venues in downtown Chelsea, Michigan. The readings are intimate, giving attendees a chance to interact with the authors. Books will be available for purchase and signing. Midwest Literary Walk is hosted by Chelsea District Library.

1 pm: Main Street Church, 320 N Main St, Chelsea, MI 48118

2019 Midwest Literary Walk author Min Jin Lee is a National Book Award Finalist, recipient of Fellowships in Fiction from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study at Harvard, and a New York Timesbestselling author. She was born in Seoul, South Korea and immigrated to Queens, New York as a child in 1976.  Lee graduated from the Bronx High School of Science and was inducted into the Bronx Science Hall of Fame. While studying at Yale College, she majored in History and was awarded the Henry Wright Prize for Nonfiction and the James Ashmun Veech Prize for Fiction. She attended law school at Georgetown University and worked as a lawyer for several years in New York prior to writing full time. Lee wrote her New York Times bestselling novel Pachinko while living in Tokyo, where she resided  from 2007 to 2011. She is currently based in Boston, where she will be working on her third novel, American Hagwon. From 2019-2022, she will be a Writer-in-Residence at Amherst College.

Among her other accolades, Lee was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from Monmouth College. In 2018 Lee was named an Adweek Creative 100 for being one of the “10 Writers and Editors Who are Changing the National Conversation,” and a Frederick Douglass 200 for her work as an author.

Her novel Pachinko (2017) was a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction, a runner-up for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and a New York Times 10 Best Books of 2017. A New York Times bestseller, Pachinko was also one of the Top 10 Books of the Year in 2017 selected by BBC, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and the New York Public Library. Pachinko was one of the selections for “Now Read This,” a book club organized  by PBS NewsHour and The New York Times. The novel was listed on over 75 best books of the year lists, including NPR, PBS, and CNN. An international success, Pachinko will be translated into 27 languages.

Pachinko tells the story of a young Korean woman who emigrated to Japan, where she and her family struggle through war and hard times all while experiencing life’s joys, friendships, and heartbreaks. Library Journal dubbed the novel a “gripping multigenerational story with plenty of surprising turns,” and praises Lee for her “skillful development of her characters and story lines [that] draw readers into a delicate and accurate portrait of Korean life in Japan in the mid-to-late 20th century.” Pachinko earned a Kirkus Star, with reviewers toting the novel as an “epic whose simple, captivating storytelling delivers both wisdom and truth.” NPR lauded the novel for its “honest writing, fiction that looks squarely at what is, both terrible and wonderful and occasionally as bracing as a jar of Sunja’s best kimchi.”

2:30 pm: Chelsea Depot, 125 Jackson St, Chelsea, MI 48118

Luis J. Rodriguez is an award-winning poet, children’s book author, memoirist, youth & arts advocate, community activist, and 2014 Los Angeles Poet Laureate. He was born in El Paso, Texas, the son of Mexican Immigrants. He faced racism, poverty, and discrimination throughout his adolescent life that would lead first to involvement with gangs and drug abuse, and later inspire his writing and social activism. Rodriguez has authored 15 books in various genres, including collections of poetry such as My Nature is Hunger: New and Selected Poems 1989-2004 and Borrowed Bones: New Poems from the Poet Laureate of Los Angeles. He has won a Poetry Center Book Award, Paterson Poetry Prize, and PEN/Josephine Miles Literary Award, and was honored with a Lannan Fellowship for Poetry. In addition to his other accolades, Rodriguez is a National Book Critics Award nominee, and the recipient of the Hispanic Heritage Award for Literature, Lila Wallace- Reader’s Digest Writers’ Award, a California Arts Council fellowship, and several Illinois Arts Council fellowships. He was one of 50 leaders worldwide awarded the title “Unsung Heroes of Compassion,” presented by His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. In an interview in Rolling Stone, Bruce Springsteen praised Rodriguez as one of those “people who give me optimism. They’re relentlessly hopeful, and they face it all on the front lines on a daily basis.”

Rodriguez has also been honored for his work as a journalist with the Dorothea Lang-Paul Taylor Prize in Journalism, and his writing has appeared in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, The Nation, U.S. News & World Report, The Guardian (UK), Grand Street, American Poetry Review, Fox News Latino, Huffington Post, and elsewhere. He is also a script consultant for the FX series, Snowfall (does the series name need to be italicized?).

Rodriguez helped found a number of organizations—such as Chicago’s Guild Complex, Rock a Mole Productions, Youth Struggling for Survival, Tia Chucha Press, and Tia Chucha’s Café and Centro Cultural—a bookstore, coffee shop, art gallery, performance space, and workshop center in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles. He is (also) on the steering committees of the Poor People(‘)s Campaign and the US Justice Party.

Rodriguez’s national bestselling memoir, Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A. is a New York Times notable book and recipient of the Carl Sandburg Literary Award. The memoir explores gang life and cautions against the death and destruction that haunts its participants. Jonathan Kozol called Always Running “an absolutely unique work: richly literary and poetic, yet urgent and politically explosive at the same time… A permanent testament to human courage and transcendence.” The New York Times Book Review journalist Gary Soto praised the memoir as “vivid, raw… fierce, and fearless… Here’s truth no television set, burning night and day, could ever begin to offer.”

Luis J. Rodriguez’s visit is made possible through the generous support of the Chelsea Community Foundation and the Friends of CDL.

4 pm: Chelsea First Congregational Church, 121 E. Middle Street, Chelsea, MI 48118

Anissa Gray is an Emmy and duPont-Columbia award-winning journalist and a debut novelist. She grew up in a small western Michigan town, graduated from Western Michigan University, and earned a Masters in English from New York University. Gray began her career as a reporter at Reuters in Manhattan, and then worked for CNN as a broadcast journalist. She is currently a Senior Editor for CNN Worldwide in Atlanta, GA, where she lives with her wife. Her first novel, The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls, debuted in 2019 to wide critical acclaim, and was a 2019 LibraryReads pick for spring and an Indie Next pick.

Gray’s novel The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls, is a gripping family saga told through the alternating voices of three sisters struggling with familial loyalty and love during a criminal trial that will decide the fate of the oldest sister, Althea, a formerly well-respected community member who is unexpectedly incarcerated along with her husband. Entertainment Weekly, the Washington Post, and Vogue think readers who are fans of Tamayri Jones or Celeste Ng will enjoy the new voice of Annisa Gray.

The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls was a Barnes and Noble Discover selection, praised by the Washington Post as “an absorbing commentary on love, family, and forgiveness,” and by Bustle as a “stark, emotional story you don’t want to miss.” Delia Owens, the author of Where the Crawdad’s Sing, describes the novel as “a powerfully written story story that guides us through a deep darkness toward a faint whisper of light seeping from beneath a closet door. A light that shows how love and forgiveness can come from unexpected places and triumph over more than we ever imagine.”

Additional praise for The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls:

“A sharp family saga …. [the author’s] very personal connection coupled with Gray’s ability to translate hard emotion into straightforward prose make for a gripping read.”—Vanity Fair

“Gray manages a large cast of characters with ease … A deep dive into the shifting alliances and betrayals among siblings.”—Kirkus Reviews

“[A] moving debut…This is perfect for fans of Brit Bennett’s The Mothers; readers will be deeply affected by this story of a family wrestling to support itself.”—Publishers Weekly

Apr
30
Tue
David Priess: How To Get Rid of a President: History ‘s Guide to Removing Unpopular, Unable, or Unfit Chief Executives @ Ford Presidential Library
Apr 30 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Join David Priess, author and former CIA insider, as he discusses his new book, “How to Get Rid of a President: History’s Guide to Removing Unpopular, Unable, or Unfit Chief Executives.”

To limit executive power, the founding fathers created fixed presidential terms of four years, giving voters regular opportunities to remove their leaders. Even so, Americans have often resorted to more dramatic paths to dis-empower the chief executive.

“How to Get Rid of a President” is a lively narrative showcasing various dark sides of the nation’s history: a stew of election dramas, national tragedies, and presidential departures mixed with party intrigue, personal betrayal, and backroom shenanigans.

In this briskly-paced and approachable sweep of history, Priess barnstorms through history, showing all the ways – from impeachment to death – that presidents have either left office prematurely or just barely avoided doing so. While the pomp and circumstance of presidential elections might draw more attention, the way that presidents are removed teaches us much more about our political order.

Free Admission. Free Parking. Book sales/signing and reception follow program.

Lecture: Gregory Boyle @ Washtenaw Community College
Apr 30 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Literati is proud to be partnering with Dawn Farm to host Gregory Boyle at the Towsley Auditorium at the Washtenaw Community College.

In this presentation, Gregory Boyle will share how compassion, kindness, and kinship are the tools to fight despair and decrease marginalization. Through his stories and parables, all will be reminded that no life is less valuable than another.

The Rev. Gregory J. Boyle

Gregory Boyle is the founder of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, Calif., the largest gang intervention, rehabilitation, and re-entry program in the world.

A Jesuit priest, from 1986 to 1992 Father Boyle served as pastor of Dolores Mission Church, then the poorest Catholic parish in Los Angeles that also had the highest concentration of gang activity in the city.

Father Boyle witnessed the devastating impact of gang violence on his community during the so-called “decade of death” that began in Los Angeles in the late 1980s and peaked at 1,000 gang-related killings in 1992.  In the face of law enforcement tactics and criminal justice policies of suppression and mass incarceration as the means to end gang violence, Father Boyle and parish and community members adopted what was a radical approach at the time: treat gang members as human beings.

In 1988 they started what would eventually become Homeboy Industries, which employs and trains former gang members in a range of social enterprises, as well as provides critical services to thousands of men and women who walk through its doors every year seeking a better life.

Father Boyle is the author of the 2010 New York Times-bestseller Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion.  His 2017 book is the Los Angeles Times-bestseller Barking to the Choir: The Power of Radical Kinship.

He has received the California Peace Prize and been inducted into the California Hall of Fame.  In 2014, the White House named Father Boyle a Champion of Change. He received the University of Notre Dame’s 2017 Laetare Medal, the oldest honor given to American Catholics.

May
1
Wed
Teen Spirit Issue #7 @ Literati
May 1 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Literati is pleased to host Teen Spirit, an award-winning publication of the Skyline High School Writing Center. Teen Spirit is a literary magazine that allows students to share their writing, art, photography, songs, and videos with our broader community, providing them an authentic audience for their work. This event will feature several exceptional Skyline student writers reading their fiction, poetry, and essays from the fifth edition of Teen Spirit publicly for the first time.

Teen Spirit, an award-winning, student-produced publication of the Skyline High School Writing Center, returns to Literati for its Fourth Annual Release Party.  Teen Spirit collects writing, photography, visual art, and multimedia from students across Skyline’s creative environment in order to present them to our community.

This event will feature several exceptional Skyline student writers reading their fiction, poetry, and essays from Teen Spirit publicly for the first time

Poetry Salon: One Pause Poetry @ Argus Farm Stop
May 1 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm

ONE PAUSE POETRY SALON is (literally) a greenhouse for poetry and poets, nurturing an appreciation for written art in all languages and encouraging experiments in creative writing.

We meet every Weds in the greenhouse at Argus Farm Stop on Liberty St. The poems we read each time are unified by form (haiku, sonnet, spoken word), poet, time / place (Tang Dynasty, English Romanticism, New York in the 70s) or theme / mood (springtime, poems with cats, protest poems). We discuss the poems and play writing games together, with time for snacks and socializing in between.

Members are encouraged to share their own poems or poems they like – they may or may not relate to the theme of the evening. This is not primarily a workshop – we may hold special workshop nights, but mostly we listen to and talk about poems for the sake of inspiring new writing.

Whether you are a published poet or encountering poetry for the first time, we invite you to join us!

$5 suggested donation for food, drinks and printing costs.

8-10 p.m., Argus Farm Stop greenhouse, 325 W. Liberty. $5 suggested donation. onepausepoetry.org, 707-1284.