Calendar

Feb
10
Mon
Dan Murphy: Start By Believing @ Literati
Feb 10 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

We welcome ESPN investigative reporter and Peabody Award recipient Dan Murphy to discuss start by Believing: Larry Nassar’s Crimes, the Institutions that Enabled Him, and the Brave Women Who Stopped a Monster.  A book signing will follow the author talk. The event is free and open to the public. 

About the book: The definitive, devastating account of the largest sex abuse scandal in American sports history-with new details and insights into the institutional failures, as well as the bravery that brought it to light.

For decades, osteopathic physician Larry Nassar built a sterling reputation as the go-to doctor for America’s Olympians while treating countless others at his office on Michigan State University’s campus. It was largely within the high-pressure world of competitive gymnastics that Nassar exploited young girls, who were otherwise motivated by fear and intimidation, sexually assaulting hundreds of them under the guise of medical treatment.

In Start by Believing, John Barr and Dan Murphy confront Nassar’s acts, which represent the largest sex abuse scandal to impact the sporting world. Through never-before-released interviews and documents they deconstruct the epic institutional failures and individuals who enabled him. When warnings were raised, self-serving leaders chose to protect their organizations’ reputations over the well-being of young people.

Following the paths traveled by courageous women-featuring a once-shy Christian attorney and a brash, outspoken Olympic medalist-Barr and Murphy detail the stories of those who fought back against the dysfunction within their sport to claim a far-from-inevitable victory. The gymnasts’ uncommon perseverance, along with the help of dedicated advocates brought criminals to justice and helped to fuel the #MeToo revolution.

Start by Believing reveals the win-at-all-costs culture in elite athletics and higher education that enabled a quarter century of heinous crimes.

Dan Murphy is an investigative reporter at ESPN. He was honored with a Peabody Award and the IRE Sports Investigations Award in 2019. His coverage of college athletics and broader issues in the world of sports has appeared on ESPN’s digital, television and print outlets. Based now in Michigan, Murphy is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.

Feb
11
Tue
Christopher Fort: translator of Abdulhamid Sulaymon o’g’li Cho’lpon: Night and Day @ Literati
Feb 11 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

We welcome Christopher Fort, who holds a PhD in Slavic Languages and Literature from the University of Michigan in support of his translation of preeminent Uzbek poet and litterateur Abdulhamid Sulaymon o’g’li Cho’lpon, Night and Day. The event is free and open to the public, signing to follow. 

About the book: Night and Day, an unfinished dilogy by Uzbek author Cho’lpon, follows the terrible fate of a young Uzbek girl condemned to marry a sexual glutton. The novel raises questions about the nature of Russian colonialism, resistance to it, and the intentions of the author, whose life was lost to Stalinist terror.

Christopher Fort holds a PhD in Slavic Languages and Literatures from the University of Michigan and an MA in Russian Area Studies from The Ohio State University. He is also the translator of Uzbek author Isajon Sulton’s “The Eternal Wanderer”.

Feb
18
Tue
Poetry at Literati: Adam Falkner: The Willies @ Literati
Feb 18 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

We welcome poet and scholar Adam Falkner in support of his debut full-length collection, The Willies. 

About the collection: The Willies, poet and scholar Adam Falkner’s first full-length collection, offers a sharp and vulnerable new portrait of the journey into queerhood in America. In a voice that Dr. Cornel West heralds as “prophetic in bleak times,” Falkner departs from a more familiar coming out narrative to center the stories of several dueling selves. Masquerading white boy. Child of an addict. Closeted varsity athlete. Grief-struck friend. Through snapshots of “Willies” both tragic and humorous, merciless and humane, Falkner offers powerful new ways of understanding the intersectional linkage that binds queer shame to cultural appropriation. The Willies traverses Wu-Tang Clan listening parties to pine forests in the Catskill Mountains to rehab waiting rooms to depict the various costumes we hide within toward navigating the legacies of toxic masculinity, and the many interior tensions synonymous with queer life. At it’s core, The Willies asks us to consider not Who will we become if we give name to that which scares us? but rather Who might we become if we do not?

Dr. Adam Falkner is a poet, educator and arts & culture strategist. He is the author of Adoption (Winner of the 2017 Diode Editions Chapbook Award) and The Willies (Button Poetry, 2020), and his work has appeared in a range of print and media spaces including on programming for HBO, NBC, NPR, BET, in the New York Times, and elsewhere. A former high school English teacher in New York City’s public schools, Adam is the Founder and Executive Director of the pioneering diversity consulting initiative, the Dialogue Arts Project, and Special Projects Director for Urban Word NYC.

Feb
20
Thu
Zell Visiting Writers: Catherine Lacey, Roundtable Q and A @ Angell Hall, Room 3222
Feb 20 @ 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Catherine Lacey’s short story collection, Certain American States (FSG, 2018), portrays Americans tortured by the mundanity of their lives. The Chicago Tribune calls it “exactly what you would expect from Lacey: perfect sentences, penetrating insights, devastating epiphanies.”

Lacey is also the author of The Answers (FSG, 2017), a New York Times Top 10 Book of 2017, and Nobody is Ever Missing (FSG, 2014), a New Yorker Best Book of 2014. She has won a Whiting Award, was a finalist for the NYPL’s Young Lions Fiction Award, was named one of Granta Magazine’s Best Young American Novelists, and has been compared to both Don DeLillo and Margaret Atwood.

Writing about The Answers, The Los Angeles Times said, “Like the work of Clarice Lispector or Rachel Cusk, Lacey’s novels seem to be on the verge of inventing a new genre somewhere between prose poem and fugue state.” Discussing The Answers with Interview Magazine, Lacey notes, “I want things to be both beautiful and readable. I’m not trying to alienate a reader, or make someone think they can’t read it because they like more commercial things. I hope that there’s room for any sort of mind to encounter the book.”

Her work has been translated into French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch and German. With Forsyth Harmon, she co-authored a nonfiction book, The Art of the Affair. Her work has appeared in McSweeney’s Quarterly, The Believer, The Paris Review Daily, The Atlantic, and others.

This event is free and open to the public.

The Zell Visiting Writers Series brings outstanding writers to campus each semester. The Series is made possible through a generous gift from U-M alumna Helen Zell (BA ’64, LLDHon ’13). For more information, please visit the Zell Visiting Writers Program webpage: https://lsa.umich.edu/writers

Zell Visiting Writers: Catherine Lacey @ UMMA Auditorium
Feb 20 @ 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Catherine Lacey’s short story collection, Certain American States (FSG, 2018), portrays Americans tortured by the mundanity of their lives. The Chicago Tribune calls it “exactly what you would expect from Lacey: perfect sentences, penetrating insights, devastating epiphanies.”

Lacey is also the author of The Answers (FSG, 2017), a New York Times Top 10 Book of 2017, and Nobody is Ever Missing (FSG, 2014), a New Yorker Best Book of 2014. She has won a Whiting Award, was a finalist for the NYPL’s Young Lions Fiction Award, was named one of Granta Magazine’s Best Young American Novelists, and has been compared to both Don DeLillo and Margaret Atwood.

Writing about The Answers, The Los Angeles Times said, “Like the work of Clarice Lispector or Rachel Cusk, Lacey’s novels seem to be on the verge of inventing a new genre somewhere between prose poem and fugue state.” Discussing The Answers with Interview Magazine, Lacey notes, “I want things to be both beautiful and readable. I’m not trying to alienate a reader, or make someone think they can’t read it because they like more commercial things. I hope that there’s room for any sort of mind to encounter the book.”

Her work has been translated into French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch and German. With Forsyth Harmon, she co-authored a nonfiction book, The Art of the Affair. Her work has appeared in McSweeney’s Quarterly, The Believer, The Paris Review Daily, The Atlantic, and others.

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

Feb
21
Fri
William Lopez: Separated – Family and Community in the Aftermath of an Immigration Raid @ Literati
Feb 21 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

We welcome clinical assistant professor at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health, Willaim Lopez, in support of his book Separated.

About the book:

In Separated, William D. Lopez examines the lasting damage done by this daylong act of collaborative immigration enforcement in Washtenaw County, Michigan. Exploring the chaos of enforcement through the lens of community health, Lopez discusses deportation’s rippling negative effects on families, communities, and individuals. Focusing on those left behind, Lopez reveals their efforts to cope with trauma, avoid homelessness, handle worsening health, and keep their families together as they attempt to deal with a deportation machine that is militarized, traumatic, implicitly racist, and profoundly violent.

Lopez uses this single home raid to show what immigration law enforcement looks like from the perspective of the people who actually experience it. Drawing on in-depth interviews with twenty-four individuals whose lives were changed that day in 2013, as well as field notes, records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, and his own experience as an activist, Lopez combines rigorous research with narrative storytelling. Putting faces and names to the numbers behind deportation statistics, Separated urges readers to move beyond sound bites and consider the human experience of mixed-status communities in the small everyday towns that dot the interior of the United States.

 

William D. Lopez is a clinical assistant professor at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health and the faculty director of public scholarship at the National Center for Institutional Diversity.

 

Feb
25
Tue
Skazat! Poetry Series: Laura Apol @ Sweetwaters
Feb 25 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Whether you’re a page poet, slammer, performance artist or refuse a label, we want to hear your new stuff on our open mic. We look forward to sharing great poetry (and great coffee) with you and invite you to join this free open mic and monthly reading series!

Sign up! 7:00 p.m.
7:15 p.m. – Open mic
8:00 p.m. – Featured Reader

Laura Apol is a faculty member at Michigan State University and the author of four full-length collections: Falling into Grace; Crossing the Ladder of Sun; Requiem, Rwanda; and Nothing but the Blood. She is a two-time winner of the Oklahoma Book Award and a finalist for the Independent Publishers Award for poetry, and she currently serves as the poet laureate of the Lansing area in mid-Michigan. Her most recent work, which centers around therapeutic writing and poetic inquiry, is titled Poetry, Poetic Inquiry and Rwanda: Engaging with the Lives of Others, and will be published by Springer International later this year.

Feb
27
Thu
Poetry at Literati: Tracy Zeman: Empire, and John McCarthy: Scared Violent Like Horses @ Literati
Feb 27 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

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 2015Hayden’s Ferry ReviewPassages NorthSycamore ReviewZone 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.

 

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.