Ana Johns: The Woman in the White Kimono: A Novel @ Nicola's Books
May 30 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Detroit native, Ana Johns, joins us to share her debut novel The Woman in the White Kimono.

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

Over ten thousands babies were born to American servicemen and Japanese women during the post-World War II occupation. Most of them (and their mothers) were ostracized and many were surrendered in shame to orphanages. This little documented history is at that heart of Ana Johns’s exquisitely-wrought debut novel, THE WOMAN IN THE WHITE KIMONO.

Romeo and Juliet meets Madama Butterfly as two elegant narratives intertwine: a twenty-first century investigative reporter embarks on the most personal story of her life—locating the truth about a woman with whom her father had a forbidden relationship more than a half century ago. As her father’s secret past unfolds, the truth will reveal as much about him as about the woman and baby he left behind.

Japan, 1957. Naoko Nakamura, only seventeen, has done the unthinkable—fallen in love with an American sailor she calls Hajime, despite her family’s plans for a respectable, arranged marriage with the son of her father’s business associate. Naoko, who wishes to honor both her family and her heart, is torn between her two marital options—until she discovers that she is pregnant and must go with her heart. It is a decision that will have crushing consequences, though, as she loses the respect and support of her family and community. Sixty years later, as American Tori Kovač cares for her beloved father in his final days, she learns a shocking truth about his life before he met her mother. Unanswered questions propel her to Japan in search of the woman in the photograph she finds among his possessions—and the half-sister she never knew she possessed.

About the Author

Ana Johns worked over twenty years in the creative arts field, as both a creative director and business owner, before turning her hand to fiction. Born and raised in metro Detroit, she now resides in Indianapolis with her family. THE WOMAN IN THE WHITE KIMONO is her first novel.

Emerging Writers: Writing Nonfiction @ AADL Westgate
Jun 3 @ 7:00 pm – 8:45 pm

In this workshop, Bethany Neal and Alex Kourvo are joined by Aaron Foley, Chief Storyteller of Detroit and the author of two nonfiction books. We’ll discuss research, strategies for approaching publishers, and how to use literary techniques to make your nonfiction stand out.

This is part of the monthly Emerging Writers Workshops, which offer support, learning, and advice for local authors. Each month, two weeks after the workshop, there is a meet-up where the instructors will read samples of your work and offer advice and assistance in a casual, supportive atmosphere.

Do you have a completed manuscript? Consider submitting it to the library’s imprint Fifth Avenue Press.


Heather Bruegl: The Power of Native Women @ AADL Downtown
Jun 3 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Throughout history, women have played an important role in the family and the community.  But Native women have also helped shape our nation by fighting alongside warriors, becoming doctors and performing other courageous feats.  Learn about the impact of these women from historian Heather Bruegl.

Heather Bruegl, inspired by a trip to Wounded Knee, South Dakota, quickly developed a passion for Native American History.  Curiosity for her own heritage led her to Wisconsin, where she has researched the history of the Native American tribes of that region. Heather is a graduate of Madonna University of Michigan and holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in U.S. History. She currently travels and lectures on Native American history, including policy and activism.

Patrick Spero: Frontier Rebels: The Fight for Independence in the American West @ Robertson Auditorium (Ross)
Jun 4 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

Discover the untold Story of the “Black Boys,” a rebellion on the American frontier in 1765. Drawing on largely forgotten manuscript sources from across North America, Spero reveals an often-overlooked truth: the West played a crucial role in igniting the flame of American independence. Patrick Spero is a scholar of early American history, specializing in the era of the American Revolution. He is the Librarian and Director of the American Philosophical Society Library in Philadelphia. Dr. Spero holds a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. Register online.

The Moth Storyslam: Chemistry @ Greyline
Jun 4 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Open-mic storytelling competitions. Open to anyone with a five-minute story to share on the night’s theme. Come tell a story, or just enjoy the show!

6:30pm Doors Open | 7:30pm Stories Begin

*Tickets for this event are available one week before the show, at 3pm ET.

*Seating is not guaranteed and is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please be sure to arrive at least 10 minutes before the show. Admission is not guaranteed for late arrivals. All sales final.

Media Sponsor: Michigan Radio.


Fiction at Literati: Stephen Markley: Ohio @ Literati
Jun 5 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

As part of our ongoing Fiction at Literati Series, we welcome author Stephen Markley in support of his bestselling debut, Ohio, which NPR called “a wild, angry and devastating masterpiece of a book.” This event is free and open to the public.

About the book: Since the turn of the century, a generation has come of age knowing only war, recession, political gridlock, racial hostility, and a simmering fear of environmental calamity. In the country’s forgotten pockets, where foreclosures, Walmarts, and opiates riddle the land, death rates for rural whites have skyrocketed. This is the world the characters in Stephen Markley’s brilliant debut novel, Ohio, inherit. This is New Canaan.

On one pivotal summer night in 2013, four former classmates converge on the rust belt town where they grew up, each of them with a mission. There’s Bill Ashcraft, an alcoholic, drug-abusing activist, whose fruitless ambitions have taken him from Cambodia to Zuccotti Park and now back to “The Cane” with a mysterious package strapped to the underside of his truck; Stacey Moore, a doctoral candidate reluctantly confronting her former lover’s mother; Dan Eaton, a veteran of three tours in Iraq, home for a date with a woman he’s tried to forget; and the beautiful, fragile Tina Ross, whose rendezvous with the captain of the football team triggers the novel’s shocking climax.

“[ Ohio is] a descendant of the Dickensian ‘social novel’ by way of Jonathan Franzen: epic fiction that lays bare contemporary culture clashes, showing us who we are and how we got here” ( O, the Oprah Magazine). “Markley is one of the first novelists to fully reflect the social forces at work without sacrificing an iota of character work or narrative tension” ( New York magazine), and Ohio captures the fractured zeitgeist of a nation, offering a prescient vision for America at the dawn of a turbulent new age.

About the author: Stephen Markley is an author, screenwriter, and journalist. A graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, Markley’s previous books include the novel Ohio, the memoir Publish This Book The Unbelievable True Story of How I Wrote, Sold, and Published This Very Book, and the travelogue Tales of Iceland. He lives in Los Angeles.

Ted Baxter: Relentless: How a Massive Stroke Changed My Life for the Better @ Nicola's Books
Jun 5 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

In 2005, Ted W. Baxter was at the top of his game. He was a successful, globe-trotting businessman with a resume that would impress the best of the best. In peak physical condition, Ted worked out nearly every day of the week. And then, on April 21, 2005, all that came to an end. Join us as he shares his story.

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

In 2005, Ted W. Baxter was at the top of his game. He was a successful, globe-trotting businessman with a resume that would impress the best of the best. In peak physical condition, Ted worked out nearly every day of the week. And then, on April 21, 2005, all that came to an end. He had a massive ischemic stroke. Doctors feared he wouldn’t make it, or if he did make it, he would be in a vegetative state in a hospital bed for the rest of his life.

But miraculously, that’s not what happened . . .

In Relentless, Ted W. Baxter describes his remarkable recovery. Not only did he live, but he’s walking and talking again. He moves through life almost as easily as he did before the stroke; only now, his life is better. He’s learned that having a successful career is maybe not the most important thing. He’s learned to appreciate life more. He’s learned that he wants to help people–and that’s what he does. He gives back, volunteering his time and effort to help other stroke victims.

Relentless is a wonderful resource for stroke survivors, caregivers, and their loved ones, but it is also an inspiring and motivating read for anyone who is facing struggles in their own life.

About the Author

Ted lives in Newport Beach, California since January 2010. He was born and grew up in New York. He attended an Executive MBA program, 2 years, at Wharton to get his MBA concentrating on finance and strategy.

After spending 22 years in the financial industry, he is retired as a global CFO with a large hedge investment firm based in Chicago. Prior to that, Ted was a managing director for a global investment bank and he was a Price Waterhouse partner and a consultant concentrated on banks and securities, risk management, financial products, and strategic planning. Internationally, he spent 8 years working and living in Tokyo and Hong Kong.

Ted now volunteers at 2 hospitals in Orange County, leading groups in a stroke-related communication recovery program, and is a member of the Board of Directors at the American Heart and Stroke Association.

Poetry Salon: One Pause Poetry @ Argus Farm Stop
Jun 5 @ 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., 707-1284.




RC Drama: Twelfth Night @ Arboretum (Peony Garden entrance)
Jun 6 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

The 2019 Shakespeare in the Arb play is Twelfth Night, Shakespeare’s story of love and identity, mistaken and otherwise, brims with some of the bard’s most well-loved speeches and songs.

The performance dates and times: Thurs.-Sun., June 6-9; 13-16; 20-23, 6:30 pm.

Now in its 19th year, Shakespeare in the Arb is directed by Kate Mendeloff of the U-M Residential College, Carol Gray, and Graham Atkin, and performed by U-M students and community players. Matthaei-Nichols members receive a discount on tickets. Matthaei-Nichols members may reserve tickets through their online box office beginning in May, and reserve tickets for any performance up to 24 hours before show time and pick up at will call.

For member and non-member questions and information, visit


Shakespeare in the Arb came into existence in the summer of 2001, when Residential College Drama faculty member Kate Mendeloff was asked to direct an outdoor production as part of a three year Ford Motor Company grant for Arts in the Nichols Arboretum. She chose Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream for its structure — the characters were transformed by the power of the natural world. The production was such a popular success that Mendeloff remounted it the following summer, and “Shakespeare in the Arb” became an Ann Arbor tradition!

The unique experience of Shakespeare in the Arb comes from the environmental staging of the plays. There is no fixed stage; instead, the audience follows the action through different locations in the Arboretum. The staging takes advantage of the vistas and valleys, the special arrangements of the natural settings.

The wide open space of the Arb becomes a panoramic stage, creating a more realistic setting than if every scene was played out directly in front of you. As one critic commented, “The actors used the vastness of its Arb stage to full advantage, making entrances from behind trees, appearing over rises and vanishing into the woods.”

Every year, many UM students, alumni, and faculty members gather to act in Shakespeare in the Arb. The RC offers Spring term class credit to students who participate. The experience blends community, student, and professional-style participation in a theatrical production with the delicate ecology and beautiful environment of the Arb, providing dynamic educational value for participating students.

Auditions occur every April, with rehearsals starting in the Spring term. Performances occur over 3 weekends in June. For information about participation, please contact founder Kate Mendeloff.

To find information about this year’s production of Shakespeare in the Arb, go to Matthei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum (MBGNA) , or like Shakespeare in the Arb on Facebook for updates on the production!

Christina Henriquez: Annual Storymakers Dinner @ Greyline
Jun 6 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

You are cordially invited to join 826michigan and guest of honor, Cristina Henríquez, for our 10th annual Storymakers Dinner – an evening of outstanding stories, fantastic food and amazing company in downtown Ann Arbor.

STORYMAKERS DINNER honors impactful writers and their stories, from nationally known novelists to emerging young authors in our community. Through this annual benefit celebration, 826michigan partners with Zingerman’s Community of Businesses to bring together a noted person of letters and more than one hundred friends committed to supporting the next generation of Storymakers.

GUEST OF HONOR, Cristina Henríquez, will join us on June 6, 2019, to share perspectives on her heartfelt stories of family life, identity and belonging. Recently declared a luminary of fiction, she is the author of The Book of Unknown Americans, which was a New York Times Notable Book of 2014 and one of Amazons 10 Best Books of the Year. It was the Daily Beast Novel of the Year, a Washington Post Notable Book, an NPR Great Read, a Target Book of the Month selection, and was chosen as one of the best books of the year by BookPage,, and School Library Journal. It was also longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction and was a finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. Henríquez is also the author The World In Half (a novel), and Come Together, Fall Apart: A Novella and Stories, which was a New York Times Editors Choice selection.

Don’t miss this extraordinary evening showcasing the words, wonder and wit of our students and their work. Let’s make this our biggest fundraiser yet!

Tickets are available at two levels:
$125 (general admission and dinner)
$250 (VIP reception with Cristina Henríquez at 6pm and dinner)

6:00 pm – Reception with Cristina Henríquez for VIP ticket holders
7:00 pm – Doors open for general admission
7:30 pm – Opening Remarks and Dinner
8:00 pm – Storymaker Readings and Student Reflections
8:30 pm – Future Storymakers Paddle Raise
9:00 pm – Closing Remarks
For more information, please email For sponsorship opportunities please email
All proceeds support free writing and tutoring programs for school-aged students in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and Detroit.

About 826michigan:

826michigan aims to spark of love for reading and writing for school aged children, while encouraging and fostering their sense of creativity and voice. We believe writing is a process of discovery and engagement, an action that connects us to the world, a means to further personal understanding, and a tool to access power and build a better world. Our small staff mobilizes hundreds of adult volunteers to support more than 3,500 school-aged students with free writing and tutoring programs that take place in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and Detroit. We believe that one-on-one attention helps students succeed in school and in life. Last year, adult volunteers contributed more than 16,000 hours in 826michigan programs.


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