Calendar

Apr
15
Mon
Chloe Preedy: The Bishop, the Devil, and the Playwright: Responding to Air Pollution in Early Modern England @ Angell Hall, Rm 3154
Apr 15 @ 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

DR. CHLOE PREEDY, UNIVERSITY OF EXETER

Hosted by the Animal Studies & Environmental Humanities RIW. Please RSVP to lageiger@umich.edu or cvfair@umich.edu

 

Apr
16
Tue
Anthony DeBenedet: Playful Intelligence @ Literati
Apr 16 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Literati is excited to welcome author and physician Anthony DeBenedet to discuss his book Playful Intelligence.

About Playful Intelligence:
As adults, we have more responsibilities than we could have ever imagined growing up. Learning the work of marriage. Navigating the bumpy terrain of parenting. Maintaining social relationships. Facing grave hardship. Finding contentment in our career.

As the years pass by, we sense how the good things in life are so often eclipsed by stress. We find ourselves doing everything we can just to endure adulthood, all the while wondering whether we are actually enjoying it. This is exactly why Dr. Anthony T. DeBenedet decided to write Playful Intelligence: The Power of Living Lightly in a Serious World, to show readers how playfulness helps us counterbalance the seriousness of adulthood.

“Five years ago, my life was becoming more intense and stressful,” DeBenedet says. “My relationships, clinical work as a physician, and basic interactions with the world were blurring into a frazzled mosaic. Going through the motions became my norm, and every day brought busyness and exhaustion. I thought about whether I was depressed. I didn’t think I was. Anxious? Sure, but aren’t we all anxious on some level? I also thought about the lifestyle factors that could be making me feel this way. Was I getting enough sleep? Was I exercising regularly? Was I eating healthy? Was I playing and remembering to be playful?”

Today, we live in a taxing world. The endless pressure to keep up with our responsibilities and the daily headlines swarming around us can be overwhelming. DeBenedet’s work comes at a time when stress, uncertainty, and intensity levels are high. Playful Intelligence shows adults that there is a way to live lighter–and smarter–as we navigate the seriousness of adulthood. It’s not about taking life less seriously; it’s about taking ourselves less seriously.

The book’s core chapters are devoted to exploring the effects and benefits of five playful qualities: imagination, sociability, humor, spontaneity, and wonder. By examining playfulness as a sum of its parts, readers will gain a working awareness of its power and be able to apply playful principles to their own lives, bringing the magic of childhood back into their day-to-day existence. The book also offers practical suggestions on how to make life more playful in nature.

Anthony T. DeBenedet, M.D. is a practicing physician and behavioral-science enthusiast. His interviews and writings have run in various media outlets, including the New York Times, the Today show, the Washington Post, and TIME Ideas. He also co-authored The Art of Roughhousing: Good Old-Fashioned Horseplay and Why Every Kid Needs It (Quirk Books, 2011), a parenting book about the importance of parent-child physical play. DeBenedet has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biomedical Engineering from the Duke University Pratt School of Engineering, a Master of Science Degree in Health and Healthcare Research from the University of Michigan Rackham Graduate School, and a Doctor of Medicine Degree from the University of Virginia School of Medicine. He completed his internal medicine residency and gastroenterology fellowship at the University of Michigan Health System. DeBenedet lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he enjoys spending time with his family, connecting with friends, and playing a little basketball.

Apr
17
Wed
Assya Humesky: Ukrainian Literary Evening: A Life Devoted to Studying Slavic Languages and Literature @ Rackham East Conference Room
Apr 17 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

The Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies (CREES) at the University of Michigan cordially invite you to join us for Dr. Assya Humesky’s talk about her and her family’s contributions to Ukrainian culture through published works, art, and teaching in higher education.

Light refreshments will be served.

One Final Jam: Emeritus Professor of Psychology Richard Mann and the Future of Consciousness Studies  @ Rackham Amphitheatre
Apr 17 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Professor Richard Mann has been a pivotal figure in consciousness-related coursework and research on the U-M campus and far beyond. A revered pedagogue and visionary, he has impacted hundreds of students from across fields as well as maintained national prominence through his writings and longtime position as editor of the cutting-edge SUNY series in Transpersonal Psychology. In conversation with PCCS Director Ed Sarath, this evening’s talk will commemorate Mann’s long and distinguished tenure at U-M and engage in far-reaching reflections about his personal work and what might lie ahead for the still-nascent field of consciousness studies. Topics will range from research and ideas pursued by organizations such as Society for Scientific Exploration, Institute for the Noetic Sciences, and the Integral Theory community that challenge materialist assumptions, to socio-political-environmental ramifications of consciousness understanding, to what a 21st century program in consciousness studies might look like.

For more information on the Program in Creativity and Consciousness Studies and its Consciousness Next Series,  contact Ed Sarath, sarahara@umich.edu, and also go to https://smtd.umich.edu/current-students-3/pccs/

Apr
18
Thu
Poetry at Literati: Sarah Arvio @ Literati
Apr 18 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Literati is thrilled to welcome back poet Sarah Arvio who will reading and discussing her new translation of poems by Federico García Lorca

About Poet in Spain:
For the first time in a quarter century, a major new volume of translations of the beloved poetry of Federico García Lorca, presented in a beautiful bilingual edition

The fluid and mesmeric lines of these new translations by the award-winning poet Sarah Arvio bring us closer than ever to the talismanic perfection of the great García Lorca. Poet in Spain invokes the “wild, innate, local surrealism” of the Spanish voice, in moonlit poems of love and death set among poplars, rivers, low hills, and high sierras. Arvio’s ample and rhythmically rich offering includes, among other essential works, the folkloric yet modernist Gypsy Ballads, the plaintive flamenco Poem of the Cante Jondo, and the turbulent and beautiful Dark Love Sonnets addressed to Lorca’s homosexual lover–which Lorca was revising at the time of his brutal political murder by Fascist forces in the early days of the Spanish Civil War. Here, too, are several lyrics translated into English for the first time and the play Blood Wedding–also a great tragic poem. Arvio has created a fresh voice for Lorca in English, full of urgency, pathos, and lyricism–showing the poet’s work has grown only more beautiful with the passage of time.

Sarah Arvio, the author of night thoughts: 70 dream poems & notes from an analysis, Sono: cantos, and Visits from the Seventh, is a recipient Rome Prize and the Bogliasco and Guggenheim fellowships, among other honors. For many years a translator for the United Nations in New York and Switzerland, she has also taught poetry at Princeton.

Federico García Lorca may be Spain’s most famous poet and dramatist of all time. Born in Andalusia in 1898, he grew up in a village on the Vega and in the city of Granada. His prolific works, known for their powerful lyricism and an obsession with love and death, include the Gypsy Ballads, which brought him far-reaching fame, and the homoerotic Dark Love Sonnetswhich did not see print until almost fifty years after his death. His murder in 1936 by Fascist forces at the outset of the Spanish Civil War became a literary cause célébre; in Spain, his writings were banned. Lorca’s poems and plays are now read and revered in many languages throughout the world.

Apr
23
Tue
Michigan Quarterly Review: Launch of Spring “Iran” Issue @ Literati
Apr 23 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

The Michigan Quarterly Review launches their Spring issue featuring poetry, fiction, and essays, from contemporary Iran. Featuring readings in Farsi and English from contributors Shahla Farghadani and Mason Jabbari, Guest Editor Kathryn Babyran, MQR Editor Khaled Mattawa, and MQR Staff Readers. Letterpress prints, specially designed for this issue by Wolverine Press, will also be available. 

Apr
24
Wed
Carolyn Forche: What You Have Heard Is True @ Literati
Apr 24 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Literati is thrilled to welcome acclaimed poet and activist Carolyn Forché who will be discussing her new memoir What You Have Heard Is True: A Memoir of Witness and Resistance.

About What You Have Heard Is True:
The powerful story of a young poet who becomes an activist through a trial by fire

What You Have Heard is True is a devastating, lyrical, and visionary memoir about a young woman’s brave choice to engage with horror in order to help others. Written by one of the most gifted poets of her generation, this is the story of a woman’s radical act of empathy, and her fateful encounter with an intriguing man who changes the course of her life.

Carolyn Forché is twenty-seven when the mysterious stranger appears on her doorstep. The relative of a friend, he is a charming polymath with a mind as seemingly disordered as it is brilliant. She’s heard rumors from her friend about who he might be: a lone wolf, a communist, a CIA operative, a sharpshooter, a revolutionary, a small coffee farmer, but according to her, no one seemed to know for certain. He has driven from El Salvador to invite Forché to visit and learn about his country. Captivated for reasons she doesn’t fully understand, she accepts and becomes enmeshed in something beyond her comprehension.

Together they meet with high-ranking military officers, impoverished farm workers, and clergy desperately trying to assist the poor and keep the peace. These encounters are a part of his plan to educate her, but also to learn for himself just how close the country is to war. As priests and farm-workers are murdered and protest marches attacked, he is determined to save his country, and Forché is swept up in his work and in the lives of his friends. Pursued by death squads and sheltering in safe houses, the two forge a rich friendship, as she attempts to make sense of what she’s experiencing and establish a moral foothold amidst profound suffering. This is the powerful story of a poet’s experience in a country on the verge of war, and a journey toward social conscience in a perilous time.

Carolyn Forché is an American poet, editor, translator, and activist. Her books of poetry are Blue HourThe Angel of HistoryThe Country Between Us, and Gathering the Tribes. In 2013, Forché received the Academy of American Poets Fellowship given for distinguished poetic achievement. In 2017, she became one of the first two poets to receive the Windham-Campbell Prize. She is a University Professor at Georgetown University. Forché lives in Maryland with her husband, the photographer Harry Mattison.

Apr
25
Thu
Poetry at Literati: Sam Ross: Company, and Conversation with Akil Kumarasamy @ Literati
Apr 25 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Literati is thrilled to welcome poet Sam Ross who will be reading from his debut collection Company. Sam will be joined for a post-reading conversation with author Akil Kumarasamy. 

About Company:
.” . . . Ross pitches nothing less than a stubborn belief in tenderness and in the patience both to look everywhere for it and to trustingly wait for it (‘I would learn rare // and love and want and wait. / I had to start at the beginning.’) This is a debut both tough and tender, the poems of a man who’s been made to look away from the world plenty, and has found a way to look steadily back.” –Carl Phillips, judge of the Four Way Books Levis Prize in Poetry

The author of Company(Four Way Books 2019), winner of the Four Way Books Levis Prize in Poetry, selected by Carl Phillips, Sam Ross was born in Indiana and lives in New York City. He received his MFA from Columbia University, where he was a Graduate Teaching Fellow, and has received support from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.

Akil Kumarasamy is a writer from New Jersey. Her fiction has appeared in Harper’s MagazineAmerican Short FictionBoston Review, and elsewhere. She received her MFA from the University of Michigan and has been a fiction fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and the University of East Anglia. Half Gods is her first book.

May
6
Mon
Leslie Carol Roberts: Here Is Where I Walk @ Literati
May 6 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Literati is excited to welcome author Leslie Carol Roberts who will be discussing her new memoir Here Is Where I Walk.

About Here Is Where I Walk:
It is in the Presidio of San Francisco, California, that Leslie Carol Roberts walks. The Presidio, America’s only residential national park tucked wholly into an urban setting, is a fading historic forest. Here is where Leslie’s memories of other places, people, and travels emerge. Here is where the author’s home has been for more than a decade, and here is the place she raised her two children as a single mother.

In layered stories of her life and travels, Leslie turns her daily walks into revelations of deeper meaning. From Maryland to Iowa to Tasmania, we follow a fierce and keenly observant walker through places of exquisite beauty and complexity. Her daily walks inspire Leslie to accept the invitation of the beckoning trees where she finds herself colliding with the urban coyote, the peculiar banana slug, and the manzanita. She also notes both ridiculous and poignant aspects of human ecosystems in pursuit of what it means to live a life of creativity and creation from scientist-activists battling to save environments to the tragic realities of ordinary life.

In this finely crafted eco-memoir, each place provides Leslie with exactly the scaffolding needed to survive, with nature serving as the tonic. Here is Where I Walk provides a vivid answer to how we can find our place, not only in nature but within ourselves and the world we walk.

 

Leslie Carol Roberts is an author, journalist, and essayist. She is also professor and chair of the MFA Writing Program at California College of the Arts in San Francisco, California.

May
8
Wed
Fiction at Literati: Susan Choi, plus conversation with Lillian Li @ Literati
May 8 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Literati is so excited to welcome author Susan Choi who will be reading and discussing her new novel Trust Exercise. Susan will be joined for a post-reading conversation with author Lillian Li.

About Trust Exercise:
In an American suburb in the early 1980s, students at a highly competitive performing arts high school struggle and thrive in a rarified bubble, ambitiously pursuing music, movement, Shakespeare, and, particularly, their acting classes. When within this striving “Brotherhood of the Arts,” two freshmen, David and Sarah, fall headlong into love, their passion does not go unnoticed–or untoyed with–by anyone, especially not by their charismatic acting teacher, Mr. Kingsley.

The outside world of family life and economic status, of academic pressure and of their future adult lives, fails to penetrate this school’s walls–until it does, in a shocking spiral of events that catapults the action forward in time and flips the premise upside-down. What the reader believes to have happened to David and Sarah and their friends is not entirely true–though it’s not false, either. It takes until the book’s stunning coda for the final piece of the puzzle to fall into place–revealing truths that will resonate long after the final sentence.

As captivating and tender as it is surprising, Trust Exercise will incite heated conversations about fiction and truth, and about friendships and loyalties, and will leave readers with wiser understandings of the true capacities of adolescents and of the powers and responsibilities of adults.

Susan Choi is the author of the novels My EducationA Person of InterestAmerican Woman, and The Foreign Student. Her work has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award and winner of the PEN/W.G. Sebald Award and the Asian-American Literary Award for fiction. With David Remnick, she co-edited Wonderful Town: New York Stories from The New Yorker. She’s received NEA and Guggenheim Foundation fellowships. She lives in Brooklyn.

Lillian Li received her BA from Princeton and her MFA from the University of Michigan. She is the recipient of a Hopwood Award in Short Fiction, as well as Glimmer Train‘s New Writer Award. Her work has been featured in Guernica, Granta and Jezebel. She is from the D.C. metro area and lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Number One Chinese Restaurant is her first novel.