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Literati is thrilled to welcome Ben Folds to the historic Blind Pig in support of his memoir, A Dream About Lightning Bugs. The program will feature Ben in-conversation with WDET’s Ann Delisi. A Q&A and signing will follow.
Tickets are general admission and include a hardcover copy of A Dream About Lightning Bugs to be picked up the venue the evening of the event. Doors will open at 6:30pm.
Please note that the Blind Pig is a standing room only venue.
Surface parking is available but may be limited. A map of downtown Ann Arbor structured parking is available here.
About the Book: Ben Folds is a celebrated American singer-songwriter, beloved for songs such as “Brick,” “You Don’t Know Me,” “Rockin’ the Suburbs,” and “The Luckiest,” and is the former frontman of the alternative rock band Ben Folds Five. But Folds will be the first to tell you he’s an unconventional icon, more normcore than hardcore. Now, in his first book, Folds looks back at his life so far in a charming and wise chronicle of his artistic coming of age, infused with the wry observations of a natural storyteller.
In the title chapter, “A Dream About Lightning Bugs,” Folds recalls his earliest childhood dream–and realizes how much it influenced his understanding of what it means to be an artist. In “Measure Twice, Cut Once” he learns to resist the urge to skip steps during the creative process. In “Hall Pass” he recounts his 1970s North Carolina working-class childhood, and in “Cheap Lessons” he returns to the painful life lessons he learned the hard way–but that luckily didn’t kill him.
In his inimitable voice, both relatable and thought-provoking, Folds digs deep into the life experiences that shaped him, imparting hard-earned wisdom about both art and life. Collectively, these stories embody the message Folds has been singing about for years: Smile like you’ve got nothing to prove, because it hurts to grow up, and life flies by in seconds.
Ben Folds is an American musician who has created an enormous body of genre-bending music that includes pop albums with Ben Folds Five, multiple solo albums, a classical piano concerto, and collaborations with artists ranging from Regina Spektor to William Shatner. Folds, who was also a judge for five seasons on NBC’s acclaimed a capella show The Sing-Off, was named the first-ever artistic advisor to the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in 2017. He is an outspoken champion for arts education and music therapy, serving on the distinguished Artist Committee of Americans for the Arts, and as chairman of the national ArtsVote 2020 initiative.
Ann Delisi has been an influential part of Detroit media for more than 20 years. From radio to television to voiceovers, Ann Delisi is a familiar voice to metro Detroiters. A Wayne State grad and former WDET staffer (1983-1995), Ann now hosts a show on WDET that is a fun, contemporary and thoroughly hand-picked approach to music that moves Detroit. Ann will guide us through the “essential music,” both new and familiar, that’s shaping our culture and feature music made in Detroit every hour. Ann’s show also brings you live performances, interviews and special features.
Additional event questions? Email John@LiteratiBookstore.com
We welcome Edward Renehan as he discusses his latest, a biography of Michigan entrepreneur, industrialist, banker, mayor, and sometimes cowboy Charles Stewart Mott. Signing to follow. Free and open to the public.
About the book: The name Charles Stewart Mott is today most widely recognizable when used in connection with the word Foundation. Established by the General Motors mogul in 1926, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation has made grants in excess of $3 billion over the past nine decades, both in Mott’s adopted hometown of Flint, Michigan, and around the world. But philanthropy is only one reason the life of Mott—entrepreneur, industrialist, banker, mayor, and sometimes even cowboy—is worth knowing about today.
Mott was born ten years after the death of Abraham Lincoln and one year before the 1876 centennial of the founding of the United States. He not only lived through the most dramatic technological shift and period of economic growth that had yet been known, but he actively participated in and contributed to these events as a major innovator and leader at General Motors, as a public official, and as a philanthropist who in many ways reinvented the nonprofit model. Known widely as Mr. Flint, Mott was elected three times as the city’s mayor and played a central role in modernizing and expanding its infrastructure and institutions. In office, Mott helped transform Flint from a town capable of efficiently accommodating a population of roughly thirteen thousand in the first decade of the twentieth century to a modern metropolis capable of hosting an industrial middle class of more than one hundred thousand.
This vivid biography portrays a complex, brilliant, often contradictory, and ultimately fascinating man. His life—both as a record of himself and as a reflection of his times—makes for a good and important story that will be enjoyed by readers interested in Michigan history and politics, the automotive industry, and global philanthropy.
Edward Renehan is author of over 20 books, including Dark Genius of Wall Street: The Misunderstood Life of Jay Gould, King of the Robber Barons and The Lion’s Pride: Theodore Roosevelt and His Family in Peace and War.
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.
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.
As part of our ongoing Fiction at Literati Series, we welcome Zach Powers in support of his novel, First Cosmic Velocity, a stunningly imaginative novel about the Cold War, the Russian space program, and the amazing fraud that pulled the wool over the eyes of the world. Free and open to the public. Book signing to follow.
About the book: It’s 1964 in the USSR, and unbeknownst even to Premier Khrushchev himself, the Soviet space program is a sham. Well, half a sham. While the program has successfully launched five capsules into space, the Chief Designer and his team have never successfully brought one back to earth. To disguise this, they’ve used twins. But in a nation built on secrets and propaganda, the biggest lie of all is about to unravel.
By turns grim and whimsical, fatalistic and deeply hopeful, First Cosmic Velocity is a sweeping novel of the heights of mankind’s accomplishments, the depths of its folly, and the people–and canines–with whom we create family.
Zach Powers is the author of Gravity Changes, which won the BOA Short Fiction Prize, and his work has appeared in such places as American Short Fiction, Black Warrior Review, The Conium Review, and the Tin House blog. First Cosmic Velocity is his first novel.
As part of our ongoing Poetry at Literati Series, we welcome Valencia Robin in support of her debut collection, Ridiculous Light.
Valencia Robin’s first collection of poems, Ridiculous Light, won Persea Books’ 2018 Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize. A visual artist as well as a poet, her poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in the New York Times, TriQuarterly, Foundry, Black Renaissance Noire, Kweli, The Cortland Review and elsewhere. Says Diana Whitney of the San Francisco Chronicle about Ridiculous Light: “These are praise poems for a dark time, musical poems that conjure up stories, transcendent poems to give to your mother, your lover, your friends, yourself.” The New York Times says: “The narrative lyrics in this debut collection travel from intimate to socio-historical and back again, finding room for routine wonders.” A Cave Canem Fellow, Valencia Robin holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Virginia and an MFA in Art & Design from the University of Michigan. She currently lives in Charlottesville, Virginia. For more information, please see: valenciarobin.com
Join storyteller La’Ron Williams for a captivating and interactive performance. For over thirty years, La’Ron Williams has been an award winning and nationally acclaimed storyteller. He draws in listeners with his playful and malleable voice and inspires audiences with powerful tales.
La’Ron Williams is also a singer and instrumentalist. He uses many traditional instruments, including Cajon Drum from Peru, Caxixi Rattles from Brazil, and Mbira from Africa!
For Grades K-5.
The first ever Bookstore Romance Day arrives Saturday, August 17 and we’ll be celebrating with a panel and book signing of five Michigan authors. Bookstore Romance Day is a day designed to give independent bookstores an opportunity to celebrate Romance fiction—its books, readers, and writers—and to strengthen the relationships between bookstores and the Romance community. We are excited to be hosting MK Schiller presenting Unwanted Girl, Elizabeth Heiter presenting K-9 Defense, Dana Nussio presenting Shielded by the Lawman, Liz Crowe presenting Lightstruck, and Beverly Jenkins presenting Rebel.
Beverly Jenkins, Rebel
The first novel in USA Today Bestselling Author Beverly Jenkins’s compelling new series follows a Northern woman south in the chaotic aftermath of the Civil War. Valinda Lacy’s mission in the steamy heart of New Orleans is to help the newly emancipated community survive and flourish. But soon she discovers that here, freedom can also mean danger. When thugs destroy the school she has set up and then target her, Valinda runs for her life—and straight into the arms of Captain Drake LeVeq.
Beverly Jenkins is the recipient of the 2017 Romance Writers of America Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as the 2016 Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for historical romance. She has been nominated for the NAACP Image Award in Literature, was featured both in the documentary “Love Between the Covers” and on CBS Sunday Morning.
Dana Nussio, Shielded By the Lawman
One conflicted cop must protect a woman living a lie. A riveting True Blue story. Trooper Jamie Donovan suspects there’s more to Sarah Cline than the waitress reveals. And Sarah, on the run with her son from an abusive ex-husband, won’t trust Jamie with the truth. But when danger—greater than she realized—catches up to Sarah, Jamie confronts the biggest dilemma of his life: uphold his oath or aid and abet the woman he loves?
Dana Nussio loved to make up tall tales before she could spell her name, so her family wasn’t surprised when she originally chose a career in telling real-life stories as a journalist. Now an award-winning romance author and member of the Romance Writers of America Honor Roll of best-selling authors, she writes contemporary romance and romantic suspense as Dana Nussio and inspirational romance as Dana Corbit.
Author: Elizabeth Heiter, K-9 Defense
To help a desperate woman’s search, he’ll have to brave treacherous territory. In the wilds of Alaska, grieving former marine Colter Hayes shuts out the world…until he and his combat tracker dog become Kensie Morgan’s last hope of finding her long-missing sister. The improbable mission starts to rekindle Colter’s desire to rejoin the world—while saving Kensie from a killer unsettles his heart. Can they find all they are searching for before it’s too late?
Elizabeth Heiter likes her suspense to feature strong heroines, chilling villains, psychological twists, and a little bit (or a lot!) of romance. Her novels have been published in more than a dozen countries and translated into eight languages; they’ve also been shortlisted for the HOLT Medallion, the Daphne Du Maurier award, the National Readers’ Choice award and the Booksellers’ Best award and won the RT Reviewers’ Choice award.
MK Schiller, Unwanted Girl
Recovering addict Nick Dorsey finds solace in his regimented life. That is until he meets Shyla Metha. Something about the shy Indian beauty who delivers take-out to his Greenwich Village loft inspires the reclusive writer. And when Shyla reveals her desire to write a book of her own, he agrees to help her. The tale of a young Indian girl growing up against a landscape of brutal choices isn’t Nick’s usual territory, but something about the story, and the beautiful storyteller, draws him in deep.
MK Schiller Not knowing a word of English, MK Schiller came to America at the age of four from India. Since then, all she’s done is collect words. With the goal of making her readers both laugh and cry, MK Schiller has penned more than a dozen books, each one filled with misfit characters overcoming obstacles and finding true love.
Liz Crowe, Lightstruck
Brewer Ross has given up on love…until he meets a woman who turns his life—and brewery—upside down. Ross Hoffman held the potential for a perfect life in his hands—a life with Evelyn, the only woman he’d ever allowed himself to love, their baby and…her husband, Austin Fitzgerald, who also happened to be his best friend. But the challenge of trying to make a threesome into something acceptable—let alone the thought of actually sharing Evelyn with anyone—forces him to bolt. Determined to put all thoughts of their relationship behind him, Ross jumps headfirst into a new brewery job in Colorado, and back into the sort of sexual decadence that he hopes will distract him from his misery.
Liz Crowe is a Kentucky native and graduate of the University of Louisville currently living in Ann Arbor. With stories set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch, in successful real estate offices and at times in exotic locales like Istanbul, Turkey, her books are unique and told with a fresh voice.
Come with questions, a work in progress, or an empty notebook. All writers are welcome in this casual, supportive environment. Authors Bethany Neal and Alex Kourvo will be on hand to answer questions and give encouragement. Bethany and Alex will also provide private, one-on-one critiques if you choose to have them read your work. Sharing your writing with other attendees is not required and is completely voluntary.
This is an excellent opportunity to meet your fellow Ann Arbor writers as well as get feedback from published authors. This is a monthly meet-up that welcomes all writers to ask questions, connect with other writers, or simply have a dedicated time and place to work on their projects. Do you have a completed manuscript? Consider submitting it to the library’s new imprint, Fifth Avenue Press.
As part of our ongoing Fiction at Literati Series, we welcome Michigan author Caitlin Horrocks in support of her latest novel, The Vexations, A kaleidoscopic debut novel about love, family, genius, and the madness of art, circling the life of eccentric composer Erik Satie and La Belle Époque Paris, from a writer who is “wildly entertaining” (San Francisco Chronicle), “startlingly ingenious” (Boston Globe), and “impressively sharp” (New York Times Book Review). Book signing to follow. Free and open to the public.
About the book: Erik Satie begins life with every possible advantage. But after the dual blows of his mother’s early death and his father’s breakdown upend his childhood, Erik and his younger siblings — Louise and Conrad — are scattered. Later, as an ambitious young composer, Erik flings himself into the Parisian art scene, aiming for greatness but achieving only notoriety.
As the years, then decades, pass, he alienates those in his circle as often as he inspires them, lashing out at friends and lovers like Claude Debussy and Suzanne Valadon. Only Louise and Conrad are steadfast allies. Together they strive to maintain their faith in their brother’s talent and hold fast the badly frayed threads of family. But in a journey that will take her from Normandy to Paris to Argentina, Louise is rocked by a severe loss that ultimately forces her into a reckoning with how Erik — obsessed with his art and hungry for fame — will never be the brother she’s wished for.
With her buoyant, vivid reimagination of an iconic artist’s eventful life, Caitlin Horrocks has written a captivating and ceaselessly entertaining novel about the tenacious bonds of family and the costs of greatness, both to ourselves and to those we love.
Caitlin Horrocks is the author of the story collection This Is Not Your City and a recipient of the O. Henry Prize, the Pushcart Prize, and the Plimpton Prize. Her fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, the Paris Review, Tin House, One Story, and elsewhere and has been included in The Best American Short Stories. She lives with her family in Grand Rapids, Michigan