We welcome poets Tracy Zeman and John McCarthy to read from their most recent collections, Empire and Scared Violent Like Horses.
Tracy Zeman’s first full-length collection of poems, Empire, examines the European settlement and ecological devastation of the North American prairie. Her ecology-based serial poems employ collage, borrowed text and fractured narrative to probe the connections of humans to the natural world through the lens of culture, history and personal experience. Zeman uses image, juxtaposition and fragment to tell the story of a savage and intricate landscape, once conquered and now imperiled by forces such as climate change, invasive species and contemporary agricultural and land practices. Empire is a journey through an endangered world where beauty is enshrined and the lost, human and animal, is elegized.
Tracy Zeman’s poems have appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, Chicago Review, TYPO and other journals, and her book reviews have been published in Kenyon Review Online and Colorado Review. She has earned residencies from the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, Ox-Bow, and The Wild. She lives outside Detroit, Michigan, with her husband and daughter. Empire is her first full-length collection.
“Scared Violent Like Horses is the story of a ‘lost boy with a quiet ache’–a story about a boy and a young man who grows up amid the landscape of a vast yet specific Midwest filled with switchgrass, scarecrows, dead leaves, dirt, factories, and family and childhood people. It’s the people the speaker is really writing about–the speaker’s connection and disconnection with those who populate the landscape and the feeling of being different or not fully belonging. John McCarthy’s impulse is narrative but this impulse is struck by the lightning of his linguistic powers, as in the poem, ‘Switchgrass’ ‘A mangled cat mats the crankshaft and fan belt, / fur-shredded and soaked.’ Unusual images and figurative language are in abundance: ‘The cornfield’s tassels are wicks burning toward the sky and the fields / are sutured by utility poles marching like a procession of crosses . . .’ Ultimately, what the reader is left with is a stunning overlap of lost boy and lost landscape glimpsed through the lens of a gifted poet’s magical linguistic and storytelling abilities.” –Victoria Chang
John McCarthy is the author of one previous collection, Ghost Country, which was named a Best Poetry Book of 2016 by the Chicago Review of Books. McCarthy is the 2016 winner of The Pinch Literary Award in Poetry, and his work has appeared in Best New Poets 2015, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Passages North, Sycamore Review, Zone 3, and in anthologies such as New Poetry from the Midwest 2017. He received an MFA in Creative Writing from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and serves as an editor of RHINO magazine and the Quiddity international literary journal and public radio program.
In a presentation entitled “Slavery didn’t end: Facing the truth in the age of MAGA,” Rochelle Riley, author and former award winning columnist at the Detroit Free Press will discuss her book The Burden: African Americans and the Enduring Impact of Slavery and how slavery “just changed addresses, moving from plantations into boardrooms, courtrooms, classrooms, newsrooms, hospitals, neighborhoods and cultural institutions.”
Rochelle Riley is an author, essayist, blogger and child advocate who spent nearly a quarter century as a columnist until she left in 2019 to focus on the arts. Now Director of Arts and Culture for the City of Detroit, she is a member of the Michigan and North Carolina journalism Halls of Fame and the International Women’s Forum. In addition to this critically acclaimed book, she is the author of the upcoming That They Lived: Twenty African Americans Who Changed The World.
This event includes a signing with books for sale.
This event will be recorded
Literati Bookstore is thrilled to welcome internationally bestselling author Colum McCann to First United Methodist Church of Ann Arbor in support of his latest novel, Apeirogon. The program will feature a conversation with Julie Buntin, author of the acclaimed debut novel Marlena. An audience Q&A will follow.
The event is free and open to the public, though a free general admission ticket is required. A limited number of book bundle tickets are also available, and these include a hardcover copy of Apeirogon, reserved general admission seating at the front of the venue, and signing line priority (note that for parties wishing to sit together in this reserved area, each member must purchase a book bundle ticket).
Additional copies of Apeirogon and a selection of Colum McCann’s previous books will be available for purchase for all guests. Note: a copy of Apeirogon is required to join the signing line.
About the book: Colum McCann’s most ambitious work to date, Apeirogon–named for a shape with a countably infinite number of sides–is a tour de force concerning friendship, love, loss, and belonging.
Bassam Aramin is Palestinian. Rami Elhanan is Israeli. They inhabit a world of conflict that colors every aspect of their daily lives, from the roads they are allowed to drive on, to the schools their daughters, Abir and Smadar, each attend, to the checkpoints, both physical and emotional, they must negotiate.
Their worlds shift irreparably after ten-year-old Abir is killed by a rubber bullet and thirteen-year-old Smadar becomes the victim of suicide bombers. When Bassam and Rami learn of each other’s stories, they recognize the loss that connects them and they attempt to use their grief as a weapon for peace.
McCann crafts Apeirogon out of a universe of fictional and nonfictional material. He crosses centuries and continents, stitching together time, art, history, nature, and politics in a tale both heartbreaking and hopeful. Musical, cinematic, muscular, delicate, and soaring, Apeirogon is a novel for our time.
Colum McCann is the internationally bestselling author of the novels TransAtlantic, Let the Great World Spin, Zoli, Dancer, This Side of Brightness, and Songdogs, as well as three critically acclaimed story collections and the nonfiction book Letters to a Young Writer. His fiction has been published in over forty languages. He has received many international honors, including the National Book Award, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, a Guggenheim fellowship, the Pushcart Prize, and an Oscar nomination for his short film Everything in This Country Must. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, as well as the Irish association of artists Aosdána, and he has also received a Chevalier des Artes et des Lettres award from the French government. In addition, he has won awards in Italy, Germany, and China. A contributor to The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Atlantic, and The Paris Review, he teaches in the Hunter College MFA Creative Writing program. He lives with his family in New York City, where he is the cofounder of the global nonprofit story exchange organization Narrative 4.
Julie Buntin is from northern Michigan. Her debut novel, Marlena, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Prize, translated into ten languages, and named a best book of the year by over a dozen outlets, including the Washington Post, NPR, and Kirkus Reviews. Her writing has appeared in the Atlantic, Vogue, the New York Times Book Review, Guernica, and elsewhere. She has received fellowships from Bread Loaf and the MacDowell Colony, and is an editor-at-large at Catapult. Her novel-in-progress is the winner of the 2019 Ellen Levine Fund for Writers Award. She teaches creative writing at the University of Michigan.
Calling all gatherers, collectors and storytellers! Nicola’s Books is lucky to have two picture book author-illustrators stopping by to share their beautiful picture books. Deb Pilutti, with Old Rock (is not boring) and Deborah Marcero, with In a Jar.
About Old Rock (is not boring)
Quirky charm infuses this tale of Old Rock’s life story, which is much more exciting than you’d expect.
Old Rock has been sitting in the same spot in the pine forest for as long as anyone can remember. Spotted Beetle, Tall Pine, and Hummingbird think just sitting there must be boring, but they are in for a wonderful surprise.
Fabulous tales of adventurous travel, exotic scenery, entertaining neighbors, and more from Old Rock’s life prove it has been anything but boring.
Great storytellers come in all shapes, sizes, and ages, and Old Rock’s stories are sure to inspire questions that lead to wonderful conversations about the past and the natural world.
About In a Jar
Here’s a marvelous picture book, charmingly written and beautifully illustrated, about the power of memory and the magic of friendship.
Llewellyn, a little rabbit, is a collector. He gathers things in jars–ordinary things like buttercups, feathers, and heart-shaped stones. Then he meets another rabbit, Evelyn, and together they begin to collect extraordinary things–like rainbows, the sound of the ocean, and the wind just before snow falls. And, best of all, when they hold the jars and peer inside, they remember all the wonderful things they’ve seen and done. But one day, Evelyn has sad news: Her family is moving away. How can the two friends continue their magical collection–and their special friendship–from afar?
About the Authors
Deb Pilutti is children’s book author and illustrator. Previous books include Idea Jar (illustrator), Bear and Squirrel are Friends…Yes, Really! and Ten Rules of Being a Superhero.
Deborah Marcero received her BFA in drawing and photography from the University of Michigan, and her MFA in poetry from the School of Art Institute in Chicago. She was a Lead Literacy teacher in Chicago Public Schools, and in her spare time, she loves climbing trees, hiking, swimming, and capturing changes in light with her camera.
What does it take to successfully write and publish a children’s book? How are books for kids different from books for adults? Join us for a panel discussion moderated by Alex Kourvo, where we will trace the development of a book from idea to publication. Panelists include picture book author Rhonda Gowler Greene, Middle Grade author Merrie Haskell and YA author Patrick Flores-Scott along with editor Sarah Rockett from Sleeping Bear Press.
This is part of the monthly Emerging Writers Workshops, which offer support, learning, and advice for local authors. Each month, two weeks after the workshop, there is a meet-up where the instructors will read samples of your work and offer advice and assistance in a casual, supportive atmosphere.
Do you have a completed manuscript? Consider submitting it to the library’s imprint Fifth Avenue Press.
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.
AADL partners with Literati Bookstore to host an Epic Reads Meet Up featuring Elana K Arnold (Red Hood), Mindy McGinnis (Be Not Far From Me), and Evelyn Skye (Cloak of Night)! Attendees will participate in casual 10-12 minute group discussions with each author.
Elana K. Arnold is the author of many books for kids and teens, including Damsel, a 2019 Michael L. Printz Honor book; What Girls Are Made Of, a 2017 National Book Award finalist, and A Boy Called Bat, the first book in her young middle grade series that was selected for the Global Read Aloud.
Mindy McGinnis is the author of several young adult novels, including The Female of the Species and A Madness So Discreet, winner of the Edgar Award. She writes across multiple genres, including postapocalyptic, historical, thriller, contemporary, mystery, and fantasy.
Evelyn Skye is also the author of the New York Times bestselling Crown’s Game series.
This event is in partnership with Literati Bookstore and includes a signing with books for sale.
Open-mic storytelling competitions. Open to anyone with a five-minute story to share on the night’s theme. Come tell a story, or just enjoy the show!
6:30pm Doors Open | 7:30pm Stories Begin
*Tickets for this event are available one week before the show, at 3pm ET.
*Seating is not guaranteed and is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please be sure to arrive at least 10 minutes before the show. Admission is not guaranteed for late arrivals. All sales final.
CELEBRATION: Prepare a five-minute story about celebration.
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.
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.