Arthur Sze is a poet, translator, and editor who recently won the National Book Award. 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
For any questions about the event or to share accommodation needs, please email firstname.lastname@example.org– we are eager to help ensure that this event is inclusive to you. The building, event space, and restrooms are wheelchair accessible. Diaper changing tables are available in nearby restrooms. Gender-inclusive restrooms are available on the second floor of the Museum, accessible via the stairs, or in nearby Hatcher Graduate Library (Floors 3, 4, 5, and 6). The Hatcher Library also offers a reflection room (4th Floor South Stacks), and a lactation room (Room 13W, an anteroom to the basement women’s staff restroom, or Room 108B, an anteroom of the first floor women’s restroom). ASL interpreters and CART services are available upon request; please email email@example.com at least two weeks prior to the event.
We’re pleased to welcome the beloved author of The Undertaking in support of his latest, The Depositions: New and Selected Essays on Being and Ceasing to Be. The author will be in conversation with poet Keith Taylor. Signing to follow. Free and open to the public.
About the book:
For nearly four decades, poet, essayist, and small-town funeral director Thomas Lynch has probed relations between the literary and mortuary arts. His life’s work with the dead and the bereaved has informed four previous collections of nonfiction, each exploring identity and humanity with Lynch’s signature blend of memoir, meditation, gallows humor, and poetic precision.
The Depositions provides an essential selection from these masterful collections—essays on fatherhood, Irish heritage, funeral rites, and the perils of bodiless obsequies—as well as new essays in which the space between Lynch’s hyphenated identities—as an Irish American, undertaker-poet—is narrowed by the deaths of poets, the funerals of friends, the loss of neighbors, intimate estrangements, and the slow demise of a beloved dog.
As Alan Ball writes in a penetrating foreword, Lynch’s work allows us “to see both the absurdity and the beauty of death, sometimes simultaneously.” With this landmark collection, he continues to illuminate not only how we die, but also how we live.
Thomas Lynch has authored five collections of poetry, one of stories, and four books of essays. His first, The Undertaking, won the Heartland Prize for Non-Fiction and the American Book Award, and was a finalist for the National Book Award. His writing has appeared in the Atlantic, Granta, Harper’s Magazine, and the New York Times, among other publications. He works as a funeral director in Milford, Michigan, and teaches at the Bear River Writer’s Conference.
We are delighted to welcome the publisher and three contributors to this intersectional collection of essays, fiction, and poetry featuring black, Latinx, Asian, queer, and trans writers for a panel discussion!
About the book: “Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter,” said Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford when she testified to congress in September 2018 about the men who victimized her. A year earlier, in October 2017, the hashtag #MeToo shone a light on the internalized, normalized sexual harassment and abuse that’d been ubiquitous for women for generations.
Among the first books to emerge from the #MeToo movement, Indelible in the Hippocampus is a truly intersectional collection of essays, fiction, and poetry. These original texts sound the voices of black, Latinx, Asian, queer, and trans writers, to name but a few, and says “me too” 23 times. Whether reflecting on their teenage selves or their modern-day workplaces, each contributor approaches the subject with unforgettable authenticity and strength.
Together these pieces create a portrait of cultural sea-change, offering the reader a deeper understanding of this complex, galvanizing pivot in contemporary consciousness.
Nandi Comer is the author of the American Family: A Syndrome (Finishing Line Press) and Tapping Out (Northwestern University Press, May, 2020). She is a Cave Canem fellow as well as a Callaloo fellow. She is a 2019 Kresge Artist Fellow. Her poems have appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Green Mountains Review, Muzzle, The Offing and Southern Indiana Review.
Emily Jace McLaughlin is a fiction writer and screenwriter. Her short stories have appeared in Catapult, VICE, Cutbank, and Fiction, among other journals. She is a graduate of the Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan, where she won Hopwood Awards for her novel, short fiction, essays and play, and where she currently teaches. She formerly wrote for Warner Brothers Television.
Polly Rosenwaike’s story collection, Look How Happy I’m Making You, was named one of Kirkus Reviews’ “Best Short Story Collections of 2019,” and Glamour’s “Best Books of 2019.” She works as a freelance editor in Ann Arbor and is the Fiction Editor for Michigan Quarterly Review.
Amanda Uhle is Executive Director and Publisher of McSweeney’s, known for its award-winning quarterly literary journal, humor website and eclectic book publishing program. She is co-founder, with Dave Eggers, of The International Congress of Youth Voices. For more than 11 years, Uhle was executive director 826michigan, a nonprofit tutoring and writing center for school-aged students in Detroit, Ann Arbor, and Ypsilanti. Trained as a journalist, she writes independently and is sometimes host of the author interview radio program and podcast, Living Writers. She remains involved with numerous youth writing organizations in Michigan and around the world, supporting their fundraising and programming as a volunteer consultant. She’s a board member of Choose Yourself, a youth-led organization working to raise fearless girls and young women in the nations of Africa and in the United States
There was a time when the word “job” was a pejorative term. Now, many people around the world think a job—any job—to be a blessing, essential to thrive; even, survive. Frithjof Bermann will give a short reading from his book, recently released in English, New Work, New Culture, in which he skewers what he calls the “Job System” of organizing work, as being outdated and dysfunctional. He proposes an alternative. After his reading, there will be an audience discussion.
Frithjof H. Bergmann is emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Michigan.
This event includes books for sale.
Amy Auscherman, Corporate Archivist for Herman Miller, Inc, discusses her new book Herman Miller: A Way of Living, a chronicle of the rich history of the innovative furniture company, from its founding in the early twentieth century to today.
For more than 100 years, Michigan-based Herman Miller has played a central role in the evolution of modern and contemporary design, producing timeless classics while creating a culture that has had a remarkable impact on the development of the design world. Ten chapters and thousands of illustrations in this new book tell the Herman Miller story as never before, documenting its defining moments and key leaders.
Amy Auscherman has managed the company’s extensive design archive since 2014, She also served as an editor for WHY Magazine, curated exhibitions, and contributed to design history scholarship through writing and lecturing. Her work has been featured in Architectural Digest, AIGA’s Eye on Design, AXIS, Curbed, Dwell, Fast Company, PIN-UP, Surface, among many others. Podcast and television appearances include TED’s WorkLife with Adam Grant and Viceland’s Nuts+Bolts with Tyler, The Creator.
The event is in partnership with the Michigan chapter of Docomomo US and will be hosted by Martin Bandyke, morning drive host on ann arbor’s 107one. It includes a signing with books for sale.