Calendar

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.

Dan Pfeiffer: UnTrumping America @ AADL Downtown (1st Floor Lobby)
Mar 12 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Political strategist Dan Pfeiffer’s new book, Un-Trumping America, offers readers three critical insights: first, Trump is not an aberration, but rather the logical extension of the modern Republican Party; second, how Democrats can defeat Trump in 2020; and third, preventing the likes of Trump from ever happening again with a plan to fix democracy.

Un-Trumping America dismantles toxic Trumpism and offers a way forward. Dan Pfeiffer worked for nearly twenty years at the center of Democratic politics, from the campaign trail to Capitol Hill to Barack Obama’s White House. Here, Pfeiffer urges Democrats to embrace bold solutions—from fixing the courts to abolishing the electoral college to eliminating the filibuster—in order to make America more democratic (and Democratic).

This event is in partnership with Literati Bookstore and includes a signing with books for sale.

Mar
13
Fri
David Plouffe: A Citizen’s Guide to Beating Donald Trump @ AADL Downtown (1st Floor Lobby)
Mar 13 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

In A Citizen’s Guide to Beating Donald Trump, David Plouffe, former Obama campaign manager, offers an action plan for how we can put our country back on track without having to leave our jobs, move to Iowa, or spend every waking moment on the election. According to Plouffe, there are at least 65 million Americans who are likely committed to voting for a different path than what the President has plotted, and it is our responsibility to grow that number and make sure the support materializes in actual votes. Plouffe believes we can beat Donald Trump in 2020, and he has a plan every one of us can use.

Plouffe’s message is simple: the only way change happens, especially on this scale, is one human being talking to another. It won’t happen magically; it won’t happen because of debates and conventions—it will happen because of you. And your neighbor. Your babysitter. Your best friend. It relies on all of us—progressives, anti-Trump conservatives, used-to-be Republicans, third-party voters—banding together and familiarizing ourselves with the Democratic candidate’s policies so we can explain to a voter who is on the fence, or considering voting third party, that four more years of Trump will do nothing but wreak more irreparable havoc on our already-thinning democracy. It relies on us correcting fiction with fact. It relies on us empowering each other to do the right thing.

David Plouffe served as the campaign manager for Barack Obama’s primary and general election victories in 2008 and later joined the White House as a Senior Advisor, with responsibility for his re-election victory in 2012. He was previously a senior executive at Uber and currently leads policy and advocacy efforts at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. He lives in San Francisco, CA.

This event is in partnership with Literati Bookstore and includes a signing with books for sale.

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
14
Sat
Aya Khalil: The Arabic Quilt @ Nicola's Books
Mar 14 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm

Come out to a special storytime with author Aya Khalil. Her picture book follows an Egyptian-American girl who learns to appreciate her second language, Arabic, after a class project intended to celebrate everyone’s identity.

About the Book

Kanzi’s family recently moved from Egypt to America, and on her first day in a new school, what she wants more than anything is to fit in. Maybe that’s why she forgets to take the kofta sandwich for lunch, but that backfires when Mama shows up at school with the sandwich. Mama wears a hijab and calls her daughter Habibti (dear one). When she leaves, the teasing starts.

That night, Kanzi wraps herself in the beautiful Arabic quilt her teita (grandma) in Cairo gave her and writes a poem in Arabic about the quilt. Next day her teacher sees the poem and gets the entire class excited about creating a “quilt” (a paper collage) of student names in Arabic. In the end, Kanzi’s most treasured reminder of her old home provides a pathway for acceptance in her new one.

About the Author

Aya Khalil is a freelance journalist and educator. She holds a master’s degree in Education with a focus in Teaching English as a Second Language. THE ARABIC QUILT is based on true events growing up, when she immigrated to the US from EGYPT at the age of one with her older brother and parents. Her articles have been published in The Huffington Post, The Christian Science Monitor, The Post & Courier, Toledo Area Parent, and more. She’s been featured in Yahoo!, Teen Vogue, Book Riot and more. She lives in Toledo with her husband and three children. Visitwww.ayakhalil.com for more information.

About the Illustrator
The illustrator is Anait Semirdzhayan, who lives in the Seattle area with her husband and children. The Arabic Quilt is the fifth picture book she has illustrated.

Mar
15
Sun
Ann Arbor Poetry: Nadine Marshall @ Espresso Royale
Mar 15 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Living in Detroit, Nadine Marshall is a poet, avid reader, collaborator, and curator with an MSW and B.S. in Psychology/African American Studies. Their work intimately explores the intersection of being genderless, black, and queer – asking what was to lead to what is. Nadine is interested in using literary art, poetry specifically, to build communities with radical hope and love. Their words have reached the audiences of TEDxUofM, The National Poetry Slam, The Rustbelt Regional Poetry Slam, CUPSI, the ShadeJournal, and Freezeray Poetry Journal.

 

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
18
Wed
Poetry Salon: One Pause Poetry @ Argus Farm Stop
Mar 18 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm

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.

 

 

 

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.