The University of Michigan Prison Creative Arts Project, University of Michigan Carceral State Project, and Literati Bookstore are delighted to welcome Ebony Roberts to the Ann Arbor District Library’s Downtown Branch in support of her new memoir, The Love Prison Made and Unmade: My Story. Ebony will be in conversation with Ashley Lucas, Director of the Prison Creative Arts Project at the University of Michigan. A Q&A and book signing will follow.
About the book: Ebony grew up in Detroit in the 1980s. As a little girl she witnessed her parents’ brutal physical fights, often fueled by her father’s alcoholism. Then one day her father tried to kill her mother right before her eyes. That day she vowed she’d find a love she didn’t have to run from.
Ebony’s experiences as a child shaped her views on love and set the pattern for her future romantic relationships. Despite her determination not to repeat her parents’ mistakes—she would have a fairytale love—Ebony found herself drawn to bad boys: men who cheated; men who verbally abused her; men who disappointed her. Finally fed up, she swore to wait for the partner God chose for her.
Then she met Shaka Senghor, a man in prison for second-degree murder. Though she felt an intense spiritual connection, Ebony struggled with the idea that this man behind bars could be the love God had for her. Ultimately she ignored other people’s fears and took a chance on Shaka. Through letters and visits, the two fell deeply in love. Almost from the start Shaka and Ebony dreamed about their happily-ever-after. Once Shaka came home, they thought the worst was behind them. But Shaka’s release was the beginning of the end.
The Love Prison Made and Unmade is heartfelt. It reveals powerful lessons about love, sacrifice, courage, and forgiveness; of living your highest principles and learning not to judge someone by their worst acts. Ultimately, it is a stark reminder of the emotional cost of American justice on human lives—the partners, wives, children, and friends—beyond the prison walls.
Ebony Roberts is a writer, researcher, educator, and activist. A former school administrator, she has taught at Michigan State University and the University of Michigan. Ebony recently served as program director for #BeyondPrisons, an organization designed to uplift the voices of those impacted by the criminal justice system. She received her BA in Social Relations and Psychology, and a Ph.D in Educational Psychology from Michigan State University.
Reception at 6:30pm
Program to follow
We are excited to welcome Janet Gilsdorf to celebrate the launch of her book, Continual Raving: A History of Meningitis and the People Who Conquered It (Oxford University Press). Dr. Gilsdorf is a research scientist, pediatrician, educator and author. She is the Robert P. Kelch Research Professor Emerita at the University of Michigan, where she cares for children with complex infectious diseases, and formerly directed the Haemophilus influenzae research laboratory.
Continual Raving tells the combined stories of how scientists across the 19th and 20th centuries defeated meningitis — not through flawless scientific research, but often through a series of serendipitous events, misplaced assumptions, and flawed conclusions. The result is a story of not just a vanquished disease, but how scientific accomplishment sometimes occurs where it’s least expected.
Reception with light refreshments at 6:30pm, program and book signing to follow.
“In Continual Raving, Dr. Janet Gilsdorf, a true expert, brings alive for all readers a profoundly important history that is a paradigm for disease, failure, progress, and redemption. Recounting the origins and the activities of the protagonists make this is a real story of science, warts and all” — Martin Blaser, Author of Missing Microbes
RC student Dakota Sevcik directs “Play On,” a 1980 comedy.
Calling all writers! Get into the groove of writing by hanging out in our quiet space with lots of outlets to plug in a laptop!
Whether you’re working on a novel as part of National Novel Writing Month or another project, all are welcome to join.
National Novel Writing Month is a non-profit event that encourages teens and adults to tackle the challenge of writing a novel during the month of November. Participants begin writing on November 1 with the goal of writing a 50,000-word (approximately 175 page) novel by 11:59:59 pm, November 30.
Official NaNoWriMo writing sessions will be held at AADL during November, but get a head start and celebrate with this great kick off party!
RC student Dakota Sevcik directs “Play On,” a 1980 comedy.
Monthly meeting of the AASG Open to the public. This Month we are at the Ann Arbor District Library downtown.
Skazat! is back, and have we got a season lined up for you! Join us at Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea Washington St. to celebrate with fabulous poetry and tasty treats. Whether you’re a page poet, slammer, performance artist or refuse a label, we want to hear your new stuff on our open mic. We look forward to sharing great poetry (and great coffee) with you and invite you to join this free open mic and monthly reading series!
Sign up! 7:00 p.m.
7:15 p.m. – Open mic
8:00 p.m. – Featured Reader
This month’s feature: David Hornibrook
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.
We’re pleased to welcome Johannes and Dorothea von Moltke to the store for a discussion of Last Letters: The Prison Correspondence Between Helmuth James and Freya Von Moltke, 1944-45, for which they served as co-editors. The event is free and open to the public.
About the book: Available for the first time in English, a moving prison correspondence between a husband and wife who resisted the Nazis.
Tegel prison, Berlin, in the fall of 1944. Helmuth James von Moltke is awaiting trial for his leading role in the Kreisau Circle, one of the most important German resis- tance groups against the Nazis. By a near miracle, the prison chaplain at Tegel is Harald Poelchau, a friend and coconspirator of Helmuth and his wife, Freya. From Helmuth’s arrival at Tegel in late September 1944 until the day of his execution by the Nazis on January 23, 1945, Poelchau would carry Helmuth’s and Freya’s letters in and out of prison daily, risking his own life. Freya would safeguard these letters for the rest of her long life. Last Letters is a profoundly personal record of the couple’s fortitude in the face of fascism.
Johannes von Moltke is a professor of German and Film, Media and Television at the University of Michigan and the grandson of Freya and Helmuth von Moltke.
Dorothea von Moltke is co-owner of Labyrinth Books in Princeton, NJ, and the granddaughter of Freyaand Helmuth von Moltke.
Literati is pleased to be the official bookseller for the Zell Visiting Writing Series, produced by the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan.
Arthur Sze is a poet, translator, and editor. He has published ten books of poetry, including Sight Lines, Compass Rose, The Ginkgo Light, Quipu, The Redshifting Web: Poems 1970-1998, and Archipelago, all from Copper Canyon Press. He has also published The Silk Dragon: Translations from the Chinese and edited Chinese Writers on Writing. A bilingual Chinese/English selected poems, Pig’s Heaven Inn, was published in Beijing, and he has also collaborated with sculptor Susan York to create a book and installation, The Unfolding Center.
Known for his difficult, meticulous poems, Sze’s work has been described as the “intersection of Taoist contemplation, Zen rock gardens and postmodern experimentation” by the critic John Tritica. The poet Dana Levin described Sze as “a poet of what I would call Deep Noticing, a strong lineage in American poetry… Dispassionate presentation of ‘the thing itself’ is its prevailing attribute, yet Sze’s attention is capacious; it’s attracted to paradox; it takes facing opponents and seats them side by side.” In addition, K. Michel, a Dutch poet writing for Poetry International says, “Sze’s work is characterized by its unusual combination of images and ideas, and by the surprising way in which he makes connections between diverse aspects of the world. In his poetry he combines images from urban life and nature, ideas from modern astronomy and Chinese philosophy as well as anecdotes from rural and industrial America. In this way, he creates texts that capture and reflect the complexity of reality.”
Sze’s many awards include The Jackson Poetry Prize from Poets & Writers, a Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Writers’ Award, a Lannan Literary Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing fellowships, a Howard Foundation Fellowship, and five grants from the Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry. From 2012-2017, he served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and, in 2017, was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a professor emeritus at the Institute of American Indian Arts and lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
This event is free and open to the public. Onsite book sales will be provided by Literati Bookstore.
The Zell Visiting Writers Series brings outstanding writers to campus each semester. UMMA is pleased to be the site for most of these events. The Series is made possible through a generous gift from U-M alumna Helen Zell (BA ’64, LLDHon ’13). For more information, please visit the Zell Visiting Writers Program webpage: https://lsa.umich.edu/writers