Calendar

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.

Jun
12
Wed
Poetry and the Written Word: Workshop @ Crazy Wisdom
Jun 12 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Crazy Wisdom Poetry Series hosted by Joe Kelty, Ed Morin, and David Jibson • Second and Fourth Wednesdays, 7-9 p.m. in the Crazy Wisdom Tea Room • Second Wednesdays are poetry workshop nights. All writers welcome to share and discuss their own poetry and short fiction. Sign up for new participants begins at 6:45 p.m.

Fourth Wednesdays have a featured reader for 50 minutes and then open mic for an hour. All writers welcome to share. Sign up begins at 6:45 p.m. Free. Contact Ed at 668-7523; eacmorso@sbcglobal.net or cwpoetrycircle.tumblr.com.

 

 

Jul
8
Mon
Lisa Lenzo, Natalie Ruth Joynton, and Elizabeth Schmuhl @ Literati
Jul 8 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

We welcome three authors with recent works published by Wayne State University Press’s Made in Michigan Writers Series! After reading, each author will be available to sign books. The event is free and open to the public. 

Lisa Lenzo is the author of Within the Lighted City, chosen by Ann Beattie for the 1997 John Simmons Short Fiction Award, and 2015 Michigan Notable Book Award winner Strange Love (Wayne State University Press). Lenzo’s other awards include a PEN Syndicated Fiction Award, a Hemingway Days Festival Award, and First Prize for Fiction in the 2017 Literature and Medicine Writing Contest. Her stories and essays have appeared in Arts & Letters, Michigan Quarterly Review, Sacred Ground: Stories about Home, Fresh Water: Women Writing on the Great Lakes, and on NPR.

Natalie Ruth Joynton‘s work has appeared in American Poetry Review, Michigan Quarterly, and Poetry International. She is the recipient of the 2010 Scholl/Thompson Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets as well as a Quintilian Excellence in Teaching Award from Purdue University, where she earned her MFA in Creative Writing. Natalie lives, writes, and teaches in rural Michigan.

Elizabeth Schmuhl is a multidisciplinary artist whose work appears in Michigan Quarterly Review, The Rumpus, Paper Darts, PANK, Hobart, Pinwheel, and elsewhere. She has worked at various nonprofits, including the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, and currently works at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She is also an RC creative writing alumna!

 

Jul
10
Wed
Poetry and the Written Word @ Crazy Wisdom
Jul 10 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Crazy Wisdom Poetry Series hosted by Joe Kelty, Ed Morin, and David Jibson • Second and Fourth Wednesdays, 7-9 p.m. in the Crazy Wisdom Tea Room • Second Wednesdays are poetry workshop nights. All writers welcome to share and discuss their own poetry and short fiction. Sign up for new participants begins at 6:45 p.m.

Fourth Wednesdays have a featured reader for 50 minutes and then open mic for an hour. All writers welcome to share. Sign up begins at 6:45 p.m. Free. Contact Ed at 668-7523; eacmorso@sbcglobal.net or cwpoetrycircle.tumblr.com.

 

Jul
24
Wed
Poetry and the Written Word: Ian Haight @ Crazy Wisdom
Jul 24 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Crazy Wisdom Poetry Series hosted by Joe Kelty, Ed Morin, and David Jibson • Second and Fourth Wednesdays, 7-9 p.m. in the Crazy Wisdom Tea Room • Second Wednesdays are poetry workshop nights. All writers welcome to share and discuss their own poetry and short fiction. Sign up for new participants begins at 6:45 p.m.

Fourth Wednesdays have a featured reader for 50 minutes and then open mic for an hour. All writers welcome to share. Sign up begins at 6:45 p.m. Free. Contact Ed at 668-7523; eacmorso@sbcglobal.net or cwpoetrycircle.tumblr.com.

July 24 • Ian Haight is an author, translator, and editor who graduated from U-M’s Residential College, worked with the UN, was a tenured professor at a Korean university, and now resides in Germany. His book, Celadon, won the First Book Prize in Poetry from Unicorn Press. He communicates an international, spiritually-minded aesthetic. Visit ianhaight.com.

 

 

Aug
20
Tue
The Missing Piece: A Collection of Kidney Transplant Stories @ AADL Downtown (Fourth Floor)
Aug 20 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

The University of Michigan Transplant Center and Wolverines For Life present several authors/contributors of The Missing Piece: A Collection of Kidney Transplant Storiesas they  share their experience as kidney donors or recipients.

The Missing Piece is a window into the world of kidney transplant recipients and donors. These powerful, first-hand accounts, written by patients at Michigan Medicine, provide frank glimpses into the highs and the lows experienced by those struggling with a life-altering illness. The contributing authors discuss the coping techniques that worked and those that did not; how they knew when it was time to consider dialysis; and, how they shared their experiences and news with family, friends, and even complete strangers in a quest for a donation from a living donor.

Attendees are encouraged to ask authors questions about their transplant experience, get a copy of their book signed, and join the organ donor registry to help support future transplant recipients.

If you are unable to attend but would still like to join the Michigan Organ Donor Registry, please visit www.golm.org/go/wfl. This event, a partnership with University of Michigan Transplant Center and Wolverines For Life, includes a book signing and books will be for sale at the event. 

This event will be recorded

Aug
22
Thu
Book Club Bonanza: Celebrating Literati’s Monthly Book Clubs @ Literati
Aug 22 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

A special joint meeting of our monthly Literati, Poetry, and Feminist Book Clubs! 

Each club will meet in our second-floor events space to discuss August’s picks as usual. As always, you can purchase book club selections for 15% off the retail price. 

During the event, each club’s moderator will also talk about their monthly book club to all guests–each club’s mission, selection process, upcoming picks for the fall, and more. Guests from these three book clubs will then have the opportunity to meet & greet over provided refreshments. 

This a great opportunity to come to your normal book club while learning about our other book clubs, or–if you’re new to our book clubs–a chance to go through a complete meeting for one of them while learning about (and meeting participants from) all 3! 

Feminist Book Club

We strive to foster a fun, thoughtful, and safe environment in which to discuss current issues surrounding feminism and equality.

This month, we’ll discuss The Old Drift, by Namwali Serpente

Poetry Book Club

Next to fostering a greater appreciation for poetry by reading poems aloud and sharing reflections, our other primary goal is to ensure that the book club space is safe, inclusive, and exciting

This month’s pick is A Piece of Good News, by Katie Peterson.

Literati Book Club

This month’s pick is Orange World and Other Stories, by Karen Russell!