Calendar

Mar
2
Mon
Respect: The Poetry of Detroit Music @ Literati
Mar 2 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

We welcome contributors to Michigan State University Press’s anthology Respect: The Poetry of Detroit Music. featuring Dawn McDuffie, Sonya Pouncy, Keith Taylor, Ken Mikowloski, Dennis Hinrichsen, Brian Gilmore, Charlie Brice, Cal Freeman, Zilka Joseph and M.L. Liebler. Free and open to the public. A signing will follow. The event is free and open to the public. 

About the book: While there have been countless books written about Detroit, none have captured its incredible musical history like this one. Detroit artists have forged the paths in many music genres, producing waves of creative energy that continue to reverberate across the country and around the world. This anthology both documents and celebrates this part of Detroit’s history, capturing the emotions that the music inspired in its creators and in its listeners. The range of contributors speaks to the global impact of Detroit’s music scene–Grammy winners, Pulitzer Prize winners, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, and poet laureates all come together in this rich and varied anthology.

Mar
5
Thu
Poetry at Literati: Ellen Stone: What Is In The Blood @ Literati
Mar 5 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

We’re pleased to welcome Ellen Stone in support her collection What is in the Blood. The event is free and open to the public and a book signing will follow the event.

Ellen Stone was raised in the Appalachian Mountains above the north branch of the Susquehanna River in rural Pennsylvania. She taught public school in Kansas and Michigan for over thirty years. Ellen advises Poetry Club at Community High School and co-hosts a monthly poetry series in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Her poems have appeared most recently in Halfway Down the Stairs, The Citron Review, Dunes Review, Pretty Owl Poetry, cahoodaloodaling, Switchback, Mantis, and are forthcoming in Choice Words: Writers on Abortion. Ellen is the author of What Is in the Blood (Mayapple Press, 2020) and The Solid Living World (Michigan Writers’Cooperative Press, 2013). Her poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart prize and Best of the Net.

Mar
10
Tue
Donna Rifkind: The Sun and Her Stars @ Literati
Mar 10 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

We welcome critic Donna Rifkin in support of her book, The Sun and Her Stars: Salka Viertel and Hitler’s Exiles in the Golden Age of Hollywood. 

About the book: The little-known story of screenwriter Salka Viertel, whose salons in 1930s and 40s Hollywood created a refuge for a multitude of famous figures who had escaped the horrors of World War ll.

Hollywood was created by its “others”; that is, by women, Jews, and immigrants. Salka Viertel was all three and so much more. She was the screenwriter for five of Greta Garbo’s movies and also her most intimate friend. At one point during the Irving Thalberg years, Viertel was the highest-paid writer on the MGM lot. Meanwhile, at her house in Santa Monica she opened her door on Sunday afternoons to scores of European émigrés who had fled from Hitler–such as Thomas Mann, Bertolt Brecht, and Arnold Schoenberg–along with every kind of Hollywood star, from Charlie Chaplin to Shelley Winters. In Viertel’s living room (the only one in town with comfortable armchairs, said one Hollywood insider), countless cinematic, theatrical, and musical partnerships were born.

Viertel combined a modern-before-her-time sensibility with the Old-World advantages of a classical European education and fluency in eight languages. She combined great worldliness with great warmth. She was a true bohemian with a complicated erotic life, and at the same time a universal mother figure. A vital presence in the golden age of Hollywood, Salka Viertel is long overdue for her own moment in the spotlight.

Donna Rifkind‘s reviews appear frequently in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times Book Review. She has also been a contributor to the Los Angeles TimesWashington PostTimes Literary SupplementAmerican Scholar, and other publications. In 2006 she was a finalist for the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing from the National Book Critics Circle.

New Writings from University of Michigan Historians @ Literati
Mar 10 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

We’re pleased to welcome faculty members from the University of Michigan’s History Department as they present their recent publications. Copies of the titles will be available for purchase.

Howard Brick, et al., At the Center: American Thought and Culture in the Mid-Twentieth Century 

Joshua Cole, Lethal Provocation:  The Constantine Murders and the Politics of French Algeria 

Juan Cole, Muhammad: Prophet of Peace Amid the Clash of Empires

Henry Cowles, The Scientific Method: An Evolution of Thinking from Darwin to Dewey

Jesse Hoffnung-Garskof, Racial Migrations: New York City and the Revolutionary Politics of the Spanish Caribbean

Victoria Langland, et al., The Brazil Reader: History, Culture, Politics

Alexandra Minna Stern, Proud Boys and the White Ethnostate: How the Alt-Right Is Warping the American Imagination

Ellen Muehlberger, Moment of Reckoning: Imagined Death and Its Consequences in Late Ancient Christianity

Perrin Selcer, The Cold War Origins of the Global Environment  

Julius Scott, The Common Wind: Afro-American Currents in the Age of the Haitian Revolution

Mar
12
Thu
Zell Visiting Writers: Grace Lin @ UMMA Auditorium
Mar 12 @ 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Before Grace Lin was an award-winning and NY Times bestselling author/illustrator of picturebooks, early readers and middle grade novels, she was the only Asian girl (except for her sisters) going to her elementary school in Upstate NY. That experience, good and bad, has influenced her books—including her Newbery Honor WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON, her Geisel Honor LING & TING, her National Book Finalist WHEN THE SEA TURNED TO SILVER and her Caldecott Honor A BIG MOONCAKE FOR LITTLE STAR.

That experience also causes Lin to persevere for diversity: She is an occasional New England Public Radio commentator, she gave a TEDx talk titled “The Windows and Mirrors of Your Child’s Bookshelf,” and she authored a PBSNewHour video essay called “What to do when you realize classic books from your childhood are racist?” She continues this mission with her two podcasts kidlitwomen* and Book Friends Forever. In 2016, Lin’s art was displayed at the White House and Lin was recognized by President Obama’s office as a Champion of Change for Asian American and Pacific Islander Art and Storytelling.

Mar
13
Fri
Webster Reading Series: Zahir Janmohamed and Joumana Altallal @ UMMA Auditorium
Mar 13 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

One MFA student of fiction and one of poetry, each introduced by a peer, will read their work. The Mark Webster Reading Series presents emerging writers in a warm and relaxed setting. We encourage you to bring your friends – a Webster reading makes for an enjoyable and enlightening Friday evening.

This week’s reading features Zahir Janmohamed and Joumana Altallal.

Zahir Janmohamed is a fiction writer from Sacramento, California.

Joumana Altallal is an Iraqi-Lebanese poet and educator. Before moving to Ann Arbor, she lived in Charlottesville, Virginia.

 

Mar
17
Tue
Sweetland Writer to Writer: TBA @ Literati
Mar 17 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Sweetland’s Writer to Writer series lets you hear directly from University of Michigan professors about their challenges, processes, and expectations as writers and also as readers of student writing. Each semester, Writer to Writer pairs one esteemed University professor with a Sweetland faculty member for a conversation about writing.

Writer to Writer sessions take place at the Literati bookstore and are broadcast live on WCBN radio. These conversations offer students a rare glimpse into the writing that professors do outside the classroom. You can hear instructors from various disciplines describe how they handle the same challenges student writers face, from finding a thesis to managing deadlines. Professors will also discuss what they want from student writers in their courses, and will take questions put forth by students and by other members of the University community. If there’s anything you’ve ever wanted to ask a professor about writing, Writer to Writer gives you the chance.

J

Mar
19
Thu
Zell Visiting Writers: Jenny Zhang @ UMMA Auditorium
Mar 19 @ 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Jenny Zhang’s story collection, Sour Heart (Lenny, 2017), centers on immigrants who have traded their endangered lives as artists in China and Taiwan for the constant struggle of life at the poverty line in 1990s New York City. It examines the many ways that family and history can weigh us down and also lift us up. From the young woman coming to terms with her grandmother’s role in the Cultural Revolution to the daughter struggling to understand where her family ends and she begins, to the girl discovering the power of her body to inspire and destroy, these seven stories illuminate the complex and messy inner lives of girls struggling to define themselves.

Zhang is also the author of the poetry collection Dear Jenny, We Are All Find. Her second collection of poetry, My Baby First Birthday, is forthcoming from Tin House. She is the recipient of the Pen/Bingham Award for Debut Fiction and the LA Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction.

This event is free and open to the public. Onsite book sales will be provided by Literati Bookstore.

UMMA is pleased to be the site for the  Zell Visiting Writers Series, which brings outstanding writers each semester. The Series is made possible through a generous gift from U-M alumna Helen Zell (AB ’64, LLDHon ’13). For more information, please visit the Zell Visiting Writers Series webpage.

Mar
20
Fri
Poetry at Literati: John James: The Milk Hours @ Literati
Mar 20 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

We welcome poet John James in support of his widely acclaimed debut collection The Milk Hours. The event is free and open to the public, a book signing will follow. 

“‘Home is a question, ‘ writes John James in The Milk Hours, a remarkable debut in which sorrow leads to an astonishing intimacy with the world. The speaker is pensive but inquisitive, bewildered by the loss of a father and renewed by love and parenthood. Art, science, and travel, like mortality, become tethers to the elegant and chaotic truths of our world. The Milk Hours is a moving and urgently crafted testament to resilience and to beauty.” –Eduardo C. Corral

“The titular poem in John James’s debut collection refers not only to the luminous hour of infant nurture, although that is its occasion, but to the violent loss of his father, an event distant enough that ‘snowmelt smoothes the stone cuts of his name.’ James’s searing attention is upon the fleeting, the untethered, upon fecundity and decay, the cosmic and the molecular. These are also the poems of a young father’s daily life in the wane of empire, who wishes ‘to remember things purely, to see them / As they are, ‘ and who recognizes in what he sees our peril. ‘The end, ‘ he writes, ‘we’re moving toward it.’ James is, then, a poet of our precarious moment, and The Milk Hours is his gift to us.” –Carolyn Forché

John James is the author of Chthonic, winner of the 2014 CutBank Chapbook Award. His poems appear in Boston ReviewKenyon ReviewGulf CoastPoetry NorthwestBest American Poetry 2017, and elsewhere. Also a digital collagist, his visual art is forthcoming in the Adroit JournalQuarterly West, and LIT. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he is pursuing a PhD in English at the University of California, Berkeley.

Webster Reading Series: Sarah Duffett and Michael M. Weinstein @ UMMA Auditorium
Mar 20 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

One MFA student of fiction and one of poetry, each introduced by a peer, will read their work. The Mark Webster Reading Series presents emerging writers in a warm and relaxed setting. We encourage you to bring your friends – a Webster reading makes for an enjoyable and enlightening Friday evening.

This week’s reading features Sarah Duffett and Michael M. Weinstein.

Sarah Duffett is a writer from New England and the cohost of the Webster Reading Series. She currently lives in Ann Arbor.

Michael M. Weinstein is a poet, teacher, translator, and cohost of the Webster Reading Series. Originally from New York, he now lives in Ann Arbor.