‘We are different ages, genders, tribes, tongues, and traditions … but tonight we all SLAY’
Entertainment Weekly has called it “ The YA Debut we’re most excited for this year.” Ready Player One meets The Hate U Give in this dynamite debut novel that follows a fierce teen game developer as she battles a real-life troll intent on ruining the Black Panther–inspired video game she created and the safe community it represents for Black gamers. Author, Brittney Morris with join us to share her highly anticipated debut novel, SLAY. Prepare to be slain.
About the Book
By day, seventeen-year-old Kiera Johnson is an honors student, a math tutor, and one of the only Black kids at Jefferson Academy. But at home, she joins hundreds of thousands of Black gamers who duel worldwide as Nubian personas in the secret multiplayer online role-playing card game, SLAY. No one knows Kiera is the game developer, not her friends, her family, not even her boyfriend, Malcolm, who believes video games are partially responsible for the “downfall of the Black man.”
But when a teen in Kansas City is murdered over a dispute in the SLAY world, news of the game reaches mainstream media, and SLAY is labeled a racist, exclusionist, violent hub for thugs and criminals. Even worse, an anonymous troll infiltrates the game, threatening to sue Kiera for “anti-white discrimination.”
Driven to save the only world in which she can be herself, Kiera must preserve her secret identity and harness what it means to be unapologetically Black in a world intimidated by Blackness. But can she protect her game without losing herself in the process?
About the Author
Brittney Morris is the author of SLAY. She holds a BA in Economics from Boston University because back then, she wanted to be a financial analyst. (She’s now thankful that didn’t happen). She spends her spare time reading, playing indie video games, and enjoying the Seattle rain from her apartment. She lives with her husband Steven who would rather enjoy the rain from a campsite in the woods because he hasn’t played enough horror games. Brittney is the founder and former president of the Boston University Creative Writing Club, a four-time NaNoWriMo winner and a 2018 Pitch Wars mentor.
We welcome acclaimed poet Khaled Mattawa in support of his latest collection, Mare Nostrum.
About the book: “On the bridges to those slippery worlds, we are wrapped in gold foil, disease free. Who is saving whom? The question’s not stated, only implied.” In 2013, the Italian government implemented Mare Nostrum, an operation intended to limit immigration from Africa and the Middle East to European countries. For the refugees, the journeys were harrowing, often ending in shipwrecks or imprisonment, and the arrivals were wracked with uncertainty. Here, the poet Khaled Mattawa conjures a pointed, incantatory account of the refugee experience in the Mediterranean. In reclaiming the operation’s name Mare Nostrum (our sea in Latin), he renders us culpable for the losses, and responsible to those risking their lives in pursuit of hope and respite from oppression. The voices are many, and the lyrics ritualistic, as if Mattawa has stirred ghosts from the wreckage. Part narrative, part blessing, this chapbook begs of its readers: Do you remember? Mattawa’s writing is a lighthouse for politics of the twenty-first century, and this chapbook a stunning memorial.
Acclaimed poet Khaled Mattawa conjures a pointed, incantatory account of the refugee experience during Operation Mare Nostrum.
Literati Bookstore is pleased to welcome Veronica Roth to the Ann Arbor District Library’s Downtown Branch in support of her new book, The End and Other Beginnings: Stories from the Future. Veronica will be in-conversation with Alexander Weinstein, author of Children of the New World and the forthcoming Universal Love.
A signing will follow the event. A copy of The End and Other Beginnings: Stories from the Future is required to join the signing line. Copies will be available for purchase through Literati Bookstore at the event. Limit two books per person during the signing line. Additional signing line guidelines will be announced at the event. No posed photos.
Veronica Roth is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Divergent Series (Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant, and Four: A Divergent Collection) and the Carve the Mark series (Carve the Mark, The Fates Divide). Her short stories and essays have appeared in the anthologies Summer Days and Summer Nights, Shards and Ashes, and Three Sides of a Heart. The Divergent Series was developed into three major motion pictures.
This event is in partnership with Literati Bookstore. It includes a signing with books for sale.
Matthew Riemer, co-author of We Are Everywhere: Protest, Power, and Pride in the History of Queer Liberation, uses imagery and narrative culled from years of research to examine how the struggles and triumphs of the queer past can inform the present with an eye toward a more liberated future.
Matthew Riemer co-wrote We Are Everywhere with his husband Leighton Brown. They are also the creators of Instagram’s @lgbt_history, and live in Washington, D.C., where Leighton is an attorney and Matthew, a former attorney, is a writer and lecturer. With their meticulous and visually engaging approach to documenting the radical fight for queer liberation, Matthew and Leighton are respected members of a new generation of queer historians. We Are Everywhere is the couple’s first book. This event includes a signing with books for sale.
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.
Peter Ho Davies is the author of two novels, The Fortunes (winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Award and the Chautauqua Prize) and The Welsh Girl(long-listed for the Man Booker Prize), and two short story collections, The Ugliest House in the World (winner of the John Llewelyn Rhys Prize) and Equal Love (A New York Times Notable Book). His work has appeared in Harpers, The Atlantic, The Paris Review, The Guardian, and Washington Post among others, and has been widely anthologized, including selections for Prize Stories:The O. Henry Awards and Best American Short Stories. In 2003 Granta magazine named him among its Best of Young British Novelists. Davies is also a recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, and is a winner of the PEN/Malamud Award. He is currently on the faculty of the Helen Zell MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
Dwight Wilson will join us to share The Resistors, stories of slavery and the brave black, white, Native American, and multiracial men and women who fought against it.
About the Book
Wilson’s (The Kidnapped, 2018, etc.) new volume of historical fiction weaves together 24 short stories to create a remarkable, multihued portrait of America.
These are the stories of slavery and the brave black, white, Native American, and multiracial men and women who fought against it. The narrative begins in 1795. Esi and Kofi, two Fante from West Africa, were kidnapped and sent to Virginia to be sold. Esi was Fante royalty; Kofi was known for his bravery in confronting a lion. They were 12 years old. Purchased by a farmer from Daufuskie Island, they remained on his plantation until his death in 1801. Esi and Kofi (who assumed the English name Kenneth) married at 16 and were sold to Nathan Prescott of Culpeper, Virginia, to work on his “Fruits of the Spirit” plantation. They had many children, some of whom were forcibly fathered by Prescott. Kenneth earned small amounts of money on the side as a cobbler and was determined to buy his children’s freedom. Then, help appeared from another source. Quaker abolitionists established an underground railroad and offered sanctuary to those who made their way into free territory. In 1827, Kenneth’s daughter Sarah and two of her brothers were rescued by an “African-Shawnee” named Caesar and brought to live with a Quaker family in Ohio. The stories, narrated in the strong and textured voice of Sarah, span the first half of the 19th century. Here, she poignantly describes her father: “I know that Daddy was always a double-sided man: a Fante warrior dressed in a slave’s rags; dignified while disgraced.” The stories are the product of the author’s imagination, informed by years of research and personal lineage. Wilson, himself a Quaker, identifies Sarah as a “direct ancestor.” Each stand-alone tale conveys a quick snapshot of resistance, whether through overt acts of rescue/escape or the quiet refusal to submit to degradation of the soul. The conversational prose captures the cadence and imagery of the period, including racist slurs, but without contrived dialect.
Memorable characters and unique historical details illuminate slavery’s complex legacy.
About the Author
Dwight L. Wilson is father to four sons and grandfather to two grandsons and two granddaughters. He lives in Ann Arbor with his wife Diane, an attorney.
He spent 41 years as a school professional including serving as Headmaster and Dean as well as Assistant Chaplain at Oberlin College and Associate Dean at Marshall University. He is also a recorded Friends Minister who pastored Durham Maine Friends Meeting and is the only person of color to serve as General Secretary of Friends General Conference.
Currently he serves as Co-Director of the Washtenaw County Interfaith Round Table, helping to deepen the understanding and inter-congregation support of the myriad spiritual groups of Ann Arbor, Michigan and environs.
Among Friends, as a volunteer he has served on the national board of the American Friends Service Committee, as Clerk of Earlham School of Religion and as a trustee with Friends World College, Haverford College, Wilmington College, Medford Leas Retirement Center, Rancocas Friends School and Pendle Hill. With non-profits he has been Chair of the Wayne State Medical School Anti-Prostate Cancer Study Group, Afri-Male Institute and Burlington County Boys and Girls Club as well as a trustee with the Burlington County YMCA. SafeHouse Womens Center and Student Advocacy Center. He served seven years as Ann Arbor Human Rights Commission where for four years he chaired the Subcommittee on Police Oversight.
He has published historical fiction including The Kidnapped: A Collection of Stories, The Resistors: A Collection of Stories and six books in the series Esi Was My Mother. His book Modern Psalms in Search of Peace and Justice is fed by his Quaker faith and a lifetime of social activism. His haiku and essays on Japanese Poetry have been published in periodicals spanning the globe.
In addition to writing historical novels and modern psalms he has published both religious and educational articles in a variety of magazines and been featured author in The Inclusive School.
We welcome award-winning author Aaron Hamburger as part of our ongoing Fiction at Literati series, in support of his latest novel Nirvana is Here. Book signing to follow. Free and open to the public.
About the book: When his ex-husband is accused of sexual harassment in the #metoo era, history professor Ari Silverman is forced to confront long-buried trauma from his childhood, where he and his high school crush bonded over the raw emotion of Kurt Cobain’s lyrics in the segregated suburbs of 1990s Detroit.
“A tender self-reckoning, Nirvana Is Here brings the past full circle. Hamburger deftly reveals how incidents recede–even if they leave their mark–to bring new hopes into focus.” –Foreword Reviews
“Deft characterization of a person who seeks to close the space between the past and present self.” –Lambda Literary Review
“Hamburger is tender and provocative in his examinations of sexual abuse, racial strife in ’90s Detroit, and the way that discovering Nirvana changes everything about Ari’s world. The complexities of this novel are deftly handled by Hamburger, whose sensitive and observant prose is a pure joy to read on every page.” –Electric Literature
Aaron Hamburger is the author of a story collection titled The View from Stalin’s Head (Random House), winner of the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His second book, the novel Faith for Beginners (Random House), was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, O, the Oprah Magazine, Details, The Village Voice, Poets & Writers, Tin House, Out, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Forward and numerous other publications. In addition, he has also won fellowships from Yaddo, Djerassi, the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, and the Edward F. Albee Foundation as well as first prize in the Dornstein Contest for Young Jewish Writers. He has taught creative writing at Columbia University, the George Washington University, New York University, Brooklyn College, and the Stonecoast MFA Program. He currently resides in Washington, D.C.
It’s coming for us! 2019 Fierce Reads Tour is headed our way October 3. This is your opportunity to meet four fabulous YA authors – Sara Faring, L.L. McKinney, Margaret Owen, and Katy Rose Pool. They will be on a panel hosted by Lucy Shramm from Ann Arbor District Library.
About the Books
The Tenth Girl Simmering in Patagonian myth, The Tenth Girl is a gothic psychological thriller with a haunting twist.
A Blade So Black The first time the Nightmares came, it nearly cost Alice her life. Now she’s trained to battle monstrous creatures in the dark dream realm known as Wonderland with magic weapons and hardcore fighting skills. Yet even warriors have a curfew.
The Merciful Crow One way or another, we always feed the crows.
There Will Come a Darkness Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows meets Kristin Cashore’s Graceling, with a dash of Winter is Coming, in this showstopping debut YA fantasy!
About the Authors
Sara Faring was born in Los Angeles, and is a multilingual Argentine-American fascinated by literary puzzles. After working in investment banking at J.P. Morgan, she worked at Penguin Random House. She holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania in International Studies and from the Wharton School in Business. The Tenth Girl is her debut book.
L.L. McKinney is a writer, a poet, and an active member of the kidlit community. She’s an advocate for equality and inclusion in publishing, and the creator of the hashtag #WhatWoCWritersHear. She’s spent time in the slush by serving as a reader for agents and participating as a judge in various online writing contests. She’s also a gamer girl and an adamant Hei Hei stan. A Blade So Black is her debut novel.
Margaret Owen was born and raised at the end of the Oregon Trail, and now lives and writes in Seattle while negotiating a long-term hostage situation with her two monstrous cats. In her free time, she enjoys exploring ill-advised travel destinations and raising money for social justice nonprofits through her illustrations. She resides in Seattle, WA. You can find her on Twitter @what_eats_owls. Visit her at www.margaret-owen.com.
Katy Rose Pool was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. After graduating from UC Berkeley with a degree in history, Katy spent a few years building websites by day and dreaming up prophecies by night. Currently, she resides in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she can be found eating breakfast sandwiches, rooting for the Golden State Warriors, and reading books that set her on fire. There Will Come a Darkness is her first novel.
About our Conversationalist
Lucy Schramm has worked at the Ann Arbor District Library for 6 years, where she currently creates and hosts programs for children, teens and adults. She sings and shares stories at story time and baby playgroups, and meets with school groups to help spread the word about all the library has to offer. She loves to promote the joy of reading and is a lifelong book nerd who especially enjoys middle grade, young adult, and adult fiction.
We welcome author Sarah Miller in support of her nonfiction book for young readers, The Miracle & Tragedy of the Dionne Quintuplets. A book signing will follow the event. The event is free and open to the public.
About the book: In this riveting, beyond-belief true story from the author of The Borden Murders,meet the five children who captivated the entire world. When the Dionne Quintuplets were born on May 28, 1934, weighing a grand total of just over 13 pounds, no one expected them to live so much as an hour. Overnight, Yvonne, Annette, Cécile, Émilie, and Marie Dionne mesmerized the globe, defying medical history with every breath they took. In an effort to protect them from hucksters and showmen, the Ontario government took custody of the five identical babies, sequestering them in a private, custom-built hospital across the road from their family–and then, in a stunning act of hypocrisy, proceeded to exploit them for the next nine years. The Dionne Quintuplets became a more popular attraction than Niagara Falls, ogled through one-way screens by sightseers as they splashed in their wading pool at the center of a tourist hotspot known as Quintland. Here, Sarah Miller reconstructs their unprecedented upbringing with fresh depth and subtlety, bringing to new light their resilience and the indelible bond of their unique sisterhood.
Sarah Miller is the author of the historical fiction novels Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller, which was called “an accomplished debut” in a starred review from Booklist and was named an ALA–ALSC Notable Children’s Book, and The Lost Crown, a novel hailed as “fascinating” in a starred review from Kirkus Reviews and named an ALA–YALSA Best Book for Young Adults