Readings by members of the 2019 Ann Arbor Youth Poetry Slam Team. The program begins with open mike readings.
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 poetry and short fiction. 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 to share. Sign up begins at 6:45 p.m. Free. Contact Ed at 668-7523; firstname.lastname@example.org or cwpoetrycircle.tumblr.com.
July 24 • Ian Haight is an author, translator, and editor who graduated from U-M’s Residential College, worked with the UN, was a tenured professor at a Korean university, and now resides in Germany. His book, Celadon, won the First Book Prize in Poetry from Unicorn Press. He communicates an international, spiritually-minded aesthetic. Visit ianhaight.com.
We welcome Steve O’Keefe in support of his book, Set the Page on Fire: Secrets of Successful Writers.
Set the Page on Fire: Secrets of Successful Writers is a funny, practical guide to the writing craft built around a four-year road trip interviewing hundreds of authors in the U.S. and Canada. It is loaded with hot tips for writing and getting published. Author Steve O’Keefe will read “In Praise of Manual Typewriters,” his ode to the “letter piano,” and answer questions from writers who want to get published.
Steve O’Keefe graduated from Michigan State University, where he was managing editor of The Red Cedar Review, before landing a job as a book editor for counterculture publisher, Loompanics Unlimited, in Port Townsend, Washington. Steve is the author of two textbooks on Internet Publicity and taught Internet Public Relations at Tulane University in New Orleans for more than a decade before hurricanes convinced him to relocate. Steve currently lives safely in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley where he runs the content marketing firm, Orobora, which hires dozens of writers from all over the world to generate content for clients. His wife, collage artist Deborah O’Keeffe, has won awards from Arts, Beats & Eats; the Crooked Tree Art Festival in Traverse City; and the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair. More information is available at steve-okeefe.com
All invited to listen to guild members swap stories or bring their own to tell, at the AASG monthly meeting.
We’re pleased to partner with 826michigan and the Neutral Zone as we welcome Mariama J. Lockington to our store to read from her book, For Black Girls Like Me. The event is free and open to the public. A signing will follow.
Makeda June Kirkland is eleven years old, adopted, and black. Her parents and big sister are white, and even though she loves her family very much, Makeda often feels left out. When Makeda’s family moves from Maryland to New Mexico, she leaves behind her best friend, Lena– the only other adopted black girl she knows– for a new life. In New Mexico, everything is different. At home, Makeda’s sister is too cool to hang out with her anymore and at school, she can’t seem to find one real friend.
Through it all, Makeda can’t help but wonder: What would it feel like to grow up with a family that looks like me?
Through singing, dreaming, and writing secret messages back and forth with Lena, Makeda might just carve a small place for herself in the world.
In this lyrical coming-of-age story about family, sisterhood, music, race, and identity, Mariama J. Lockington draws on some of the emotional truths from her own experiences growing up with an adoptive white family. For Black Girls Like Me is for anyone who has ever asked themselves: How do you figure out where you are going if you don’t know where you came from?
Mariama J. Lockington is an adoptee, writer, and nonprofit educator. She has been telling stories and making her own books since the second grade, when she wore short-alls and flower leggings every day to school. Her work has appeared in a number of magazines and journals, including Buzzfeed News Reader, and she is the author of the poetry chapbook The Lucky Daughter. Mariama holds a Masters in Education from Lesley University and Masters in Fine Arts in Poetry from San Francisco State University. She lives in Lexington, KY with her partner and dapple haired dachshund, Henry.
We welcome Benjamin Pauli to the store to read and discuss his book, Flint Fights Back, an account of the Flint water crisis which shows that Flint’s struggle for safe and affordable water is part of a broader struggle for democracy. The event is free and open to the public. A book signing will follow.
When Flint, Michigan, changed its source of municipal water from Lake Huron to the Flint River, Flint residents were repeatedly assured that the water was of the highest quality. At the switchover ceremony, the mayor and other officials performed a celebratory toast, declaring “Here’s to Flint!” and downing glasses of freshly treated water. But as we now know, the water coming out of residents’ taps harbored a variety of contaminants, including high levels of lead. In Flint Fights Back, Benjamin Pauli examines the water crisis and the political activism that it inspired, arguing that Flint’s struggle for safe and affordable water was part of a broader struggle for democracy. Pauli connects Flint’s water activism with the ongoing movement protesting the state of Michigan’s policy of replacing elected officials in financially troubled cities like Flint and Detroit with appointed “emergency managers.”
Pauli distinguishes the political narrative of the water crisis from the historical and technical narratives, showing that Flint activists’ emphasis on democracy helped them to overcome some of the limitations of standard environmental justice frameworks. He discusses the pro-democracy (anti-emergency manager) movement and traces the rise of the “water warriors”; describes the uncompromising activist culture that developed out of the experience of being dismissed and disparaged by officials; and examines the interplay of activism and scientific expertise. Finally, he explores efforts by activists to expand the struggle for water justice and to organize newly mobilized residents into a movement for a radically democratic Flint.
Benjamin J. Pauli is Assistant Professor of Social Science at Kettering University in Flint, Michigan.
We welcome debut novelist Maureen Joyce Connolly for an event in support of Little Lovely Things, which bestselling author Jacquelyn Mitchard called “a shattering adventure.” The event is free and open to the public. A signing will follow.
It is the wrong time to get sick. Speeding down the highway on the way to work, her two little girls sleeping in the back seat, medical resident Claire Rawlings doesn’t have time for the nausea overtaking her. But as the world tilts sideways, she pulls into a gas station, runs to the bathroom, and passes out. When she wakes up minutes later, her car—and her daughters—are gone.
The police have no leads, and the weight of guilt presses down on Claire as each hour passes with no trace of her girls. All she has to hold on to are her strained marriage, a potentially unreliable witness who emerges days later, and the desperate but unquenchable belief that her daughters are out there somewhere.
As hopeful and uplifting as it is devastating, Little Lovely Things is the story of a family shattered by unthinkable tragedy, and the unexpected intersection of heartbreak and hope.
Maureen Joyce Connolly is a former owner of a consulting firm that helped develop medications for ultra-rare diseases. While she misses her old career, she loves being a full-time writer. Maureen received her bachelor’s degree in physiology from Michigan State University and her master’s degree in liberal studies from Wesleyan University. Her background and love for science and the natural world informs and inspires her writing. Little Lovely Things is her debut novel.
Join Black and Brown Theatre for an interactive workshop exploring the role of a playwright and their relationship to actors. In this workshop, participants will learn how to write their own simple one-minute scene which will culminate in a live performance of this new work by actors from Black and Brown Theatre. This conservatory approach allows participants to see in real time how important every word is to a playwright and how both challenging and rewarding it can be to communicate intentions using only words.
Black and Brown Theatre is a 501c3 non-profit theatre company celebrating the voices of theatre artists of color and creating work for all audiences. Since their premiere performance in 2016, Black and Brown Theatre has been busy performing all over the Midwest with their improv shows, scripted stage plays, and outreach shows for students. In addition to performing, Black and Brown Theatre also teaches community workshops to inspire others to engage in the act of creating live theatre. They also have a free database of over 100 actors of color currently used by over 80 directors to help cast plays, films and other special projects. For more information, please visit: www.BlackandBrownTheatre.org
We welcome Ann Arborites Patti F. Smith and Britain Woodman in support of their new book, Vanishing Ann Arbor. Free and open to the public. Signing to follow.
About the book: Ann Arbor has seen many cherished landmarks and institutions come and go—some fondly remembered and others lost to time. When the city was little more than a village in the wilderness, its first school stood on the now busy corner of Main and Ann. Stores like Bach & Abel’s and Dean & Co. served local needs as the village grew into a small town. As the town became a thriving city, Drake’s and Maude’s fed generations of hungry diners, and Fiegel’s clothed father and son alike. Residents passed their time seeing movies at the Majestic or watching parades go down Main Street. Join authors Patti F. Smith and Britain Woodman on a tour of the city’s past.
Patti F. Smith is the author of Downtown Ann Arbor and A History of the People’s Food Co-op Ann Arbor. She has written for CraftBeer.com, West Suburban Living, Concentrate, Mittenbrew, The Ann, AADL’s Pulp blog and the Ann Arbor Observer. A frequent public speaker around town, Patti curated HERsay (an all-woman variety show) and Grown Folks Reading (story time for grownups) and tells stories at Ignite, Nerd Nite, Tellabration and Telling Tales Out of School. She is a commissioner for the Public Art Commission and the Recreation Advisory Commission, a teacher of history for Rec & Ed and a storyteller in the Ann Arbor Storytellers’ Guild.
Britain Woodman lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. A fascination with how the same brands and concepts fit into different communities led him to document them, first in in photographs and then in long-form writing. This writing led to speaking and, ultimately, to authoring this volume with Ann Arbor’s preeminent living historian, Patti F. Smith. Ideally, he would be out visiting every city’s beloved, vanishing places, but working on this book was cool too.
Let’s take a walk—a long walk, back over three centuries. At the dawn of the eighteenth century Detroit was established as simply an outpost for the French to take advantage of the fur trade while keeping the British at bay. The new book Detroit: An Illustrated Timeline, by Paul Vachon, points out many of the seminal events and noteworthy turning points of Detroit’s long journey, some little known: the city’s fall to the British during the War of 1812, the existence of slavery in Detroit as late as the 1820’s, and Mayor Hazen Pingree’s aggressive advocacy for the everyday citizen against corporate interests. Chapters devoted to the twentieth century highlight Detroit’s underappreciated architectural heritage, the development of its notable cultural institutions, as well as the exploits of assorted scoundrels, such as the Black Legion, the Purple Gang, Harry Bennett and Father Charles Coughlin.
Author Paul Vachon will join us to discuss and show images from Detroit: An Illustrated Timeline.
Martin Bandyke of Ann Arbor’s 107one will host this presentation. The event includes a book signing and books will be on sale.