Calendar

Sep
20
Thu
Lillian Li: Number One Chinese Restaurant @ Nicola's Books
Sep 20 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

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.

About Number One Chinese Restaurant

An exuberant and wise multigenerational debut novel about the complicated lives and loves of people working in everyone’s favorite Chinese restaurant.

The Beijing Duck House in Rockville, Maryland, is not only a beloved go-to setting for hunger pangs and celebrations; it is its own world, inhabited by waiters and kitchen staff who have been fighting, loving, and aging within its walls for decades. When disaster strikes, this working family’s controlled chaos is set loose, forcing each character to confront the conflicts that fast-paced restaurant life has kept at bay.

Owner Jimmy Han hopes to leave his late father’s homespun establishment for a fancier one. Jimmy’s older brother, Johnny, and Johnny’s daughter, Annie, ache to return to a time before a father’s absence and a teenager’s silence pushed them apart. Nan and Ah-Jack, longtime Duck House employees, are tempted to turn their thirty-year friendship into something else, even as Nan’s son, Pat, struggles to stay out of trouble. And when Pat and Annie, caught in a mix of youthful lust and boredom, find themselves in a dangerous game that implicates them in the Duck House tragedy, their families must decide how much they are willing to sacrifice to help their children.

Generous in spirit, unaffected in its intelligence, multi-voiced, poignant, and darkly funny, Number One Chinese Restaurant looks beyond red tablecloths and silkscreen murals to share an unforgettable story about youth and aging, parents and children, and all the ways that our families destroy us while also keeping us grounded and alive.

7 p.m., Nicola’s, Westgate shopping center. Free. 662-0600.

Sep
21
Fri
Rasa Festival: Samiah Haque, Ashwini Bhaal, Zilka Joseph, Inam Kang @ Literati
Sep 21 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

This year’s Rasa Festival reading features poets Samiah Haque, Ashwini Bhasi, Zilka Joseph, and Inam Kang.

Samiah Haque speaks in fluid tones, with an acute clarity of voice. Her hobbies include jaywalking, whistling in the company of passers-by, and skipping to the lou. Recently, she has taken to advising young soldiers on the subject of hygiene and proper table manners. She lives in a swollen field outside of Madrid.

Ashwini Bhasi lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan and writes poems to make sense of the mind-body connection of trauma and chronic pain, life in India, and the duality of her experiences as a data analyst and poet. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Room Magazine, Rogue Agent, Bear River Review, Yellow Chair Review, The Feminist Wire, and Driftwood Press among others. Her poem about the 2016 presidential election was nominated for a Pushcart prize.

Zilka Joseph teaches creative writing and is an independent editor and manuscript coach. Her chapbooks, Lands I Live In and What Dread, were nominated for a PEN America and a Pushcart award, respectively. She was awarded a Zell Fellowship, a Hopwood Prize, and the Elsie Choy Lee Scholarship (Center for the Education of Women) from the University of Michigan.

Inam Kang is a Pakistani-born Muslim poet, student, curator and researcher currently living in Cleveland, OH as an MS candidate in Medical Physiology at Case Western Reserve University. He is also a former Ann Arbor Poetry & Slam finalist. Currently, he is a co-curator for the POC-centered reading and dialogue series FRUIT in Ann Arbor, MI. His work can be found or is forthcoming in Freezeray Poetry and Tinderbox Poetry Journal, among others.

Sep
25
Tue
Carmen Bugan: Writing in-between languages: poetry in a second language @ 1300 Chemistry Dow Lab
Sep 25 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm

Poet and memoirist Carmen Bugan was born in Romania and emigrated to the United States in 1989. She earned a BA from the University of Michigan Residential College, an MA in creative writing from Lancaster University, and a MA and PhD, both in English Literature, from Oxford University. Bugan’s work reckons with the legacy of totalitarianism, including the crippling effects of the culture of surveillance that existed under Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.

 

Her visit is co-sponsored by the LSA Honors Program and the Residential College.

Oct
2
Tue
Carmen Bugan: Artistic distance and the language of oppression @ 1300 Chemistry Dow Lab
Oct 2 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm

Poet and memoirist Carmen Bugan was born in Romania and emigrated to the United States in 1989. She earned a BA from the University of Michigan Residential College, an MA in creative writing from Lancaster University, and a MA and PhD, both in English Literature, from Oxford University. Bugan’s work reckons with the legacy of totalitarianism, including the crippling effects of the culture of surveillance that existed under Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.

 

Her visit is co-sponsored by the LSA Honors Program and the Residential College.

Anna Clark: The Poisoned City @ Nicola's Books
Oct 2 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Detroit reporter and RC creative writing alumna Anna Clark discusses her critically acclaimed book about the Flint water crisis. Signing.
7 p.m., Nicola’s, Westgate shopping center. Free. 662-0600.

Poetry at Literati: Elizabeth Schmuhl: Premonitions @ Literati
Oct 2 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Literati is exited to host poet Elizabeth Schmuhl, an RC Creative Writing alum, who will be reading from her new collection Premonitions. Keith Taylor will give an introduction to the reading and lead a Q&A discussion aftewards.

About Premonitions:
Visceral and brimming with vitality, the poems in Premonitions reverberate with the voice of a woman on a secluded farm, confronting her emotional and physical isolation. Drawing on her own experience as a daughter of a third-generation fruit farmer, Elizabeth Schmuhl gives readers a fresh and powerful perspective on what it means to be alive.

Layering one upon another, the poems blur boundaries and create a volatile state out of which the remarkable and unexpected occur. Embracing chaos, change, and unpredictability, these poems are energetically charged and infused with succinct, imagistic language. They reach beyond the constraints assigned to the female form and examine a place where time, the body, sexuality, and the natural world are not fixed. At times surreal, at others painfully real, the poems in Premonitions are the expression of a human life that merges and melds with the world around it, acting and reacting, loving and despairing, disintegrating and rebuilding. The speaker travels fluidly between strata of the natural world and her own body. Adding to the complexity of her poems, Schmuhl creates additional layers of meaning as the poems and their titles relate to the author’s synesthesia, a sensory phenomenon through which letters and numbers are experienced as colors and emotions.

Premonitions will turn the reader inward, encouraging the examination of the small details of life and a growing acceptance of the perpetual turmoil and uncertainty of existence despite our own desire to find a firm footing. This volume will be prized by lovers of contemporary poetry and literature alike.

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.

Keith Taylor has published many books over the years: collections of poetry, a collection of very short stories, co-edited volumes of essays and fiction, and a volume of poetry translated from Modern Greek.

7 p.m., Literati, 124 E. Washington. Free. 585-5567

Residential College Reading featuring Carmen Bugan, David Cope, and Ken Mikolowski @ Benzinger Library
Oct 2 @ 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm

Poet and memoirist Carmen Bugan was born in Romania and emigrated to the United States in 1989. She earned a BA from the University of Michigan Residential College, an MA in creative writing from Lancaster University, and a MA and PhD, both in English Literature, from Oxford University. Bugan’s work reckons with the legacy of totalitarianism, including the crippling effects of the culture of surveillance that existed under Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.

Her visit is co-sponsored by the LSA Honors Program and the Residential College.

Ken Mikolowski taught poetry at the RC for many years.

Oct
3
Wed
Hannah Ensor: Love Dream with Television @ Literati
Oct 3 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

This local poet reads from Love Dream with Television, her debut collection, written in Tucson, Arizona, that “wonders through the ways in which television, film, advertising, sporting events, and celebrity culture weave their ways into our lived experiences,” says Ensor. “Tucson and its queers have pushed me to be more in my body, more in conversation with place and spirit and alchemy.” Signing.
7 p.m., Literati, 124 E. Washington. Free. 585-5567

Oct
11
Thu
Literati Bookstore Presents Pasek and Paul Live! @ Rackham Auditorium
Oct 11 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Join us for an exciting evening of conversation and live musical performances from the multi-Award-winning team behind the musical, “Dear Evan Hansen.” University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance alumni Benj Pasek and Justin Paul will present Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel, an expansion of the characters and story popularized by the musical that has been praised as “one of the most remarkable shows in musical theater history” by The Washington Post. This is a general admission, ticketed event and a purchase of Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel is necessary for entry. The book is included with the ticket purchase, and books will be picked up at the venue the evening of the event. Your book will be pre-signed.

At the event, fans will additionally receive a raffle ticket inside of their book. Raffle tickets enter fans into a drawing for an exclusive meet & greet with the authors immediately following the event. The authors will choose 5 lucky readers (+1 guest each) to meet them after to snap photos and have their books personalized. Fans have the option to donate one of their purchased copies to University of Michigan’s Counseling and Psychological Services at a table near the entrance.

 

Click here to purchase tickets!

 

About Dear Evan Hansen (The Novel):

From the show’s creators comes the groundbreaking novel inspired by the hit Broadway show Dear Evan Hansen.

When a letter that was never meant to be seen by anyone draws high school senior Evan Hansen into a family’s grief over the loss of their son, he is given the chance of a lifetime: to belong. He just has to stick to a lie he never meant to tell, that the notoriously troubled Connor Murphy was his secret best friend. Suddenly, Evan isn’t invisible anymore–even to the girl of his dreams. And Connor Murphy’s parents, with their beautiful home on the other side of town, have taken him in like he was their own, desperate to know more about their enigmatic son from his closest friend. As Evan gets pulled deeper into their swirl of anger, regret, and confusion, he knows that what he’s doing can’t be right, but if he’s helping people, how wrong can it be? No longer tangled in his once-incapacitating anxiety, this new Evan has a purpose. And a website. He’s confident. He’s a viral phenomenon. Every day is amazing. Until everything is in danger of unraveling and he comes face to face with his greatest obstacle: himself. A simple lie leads to complicated truths in this big-hearted coming-of-age story of grief, authenticity and the struggle to belong in an age of instant connectivity and profound isolation.

About Pasek and Paul:

Benj Pasek and Justin Paul are the Tony, Oscar® and Golden Globe–winning songwriting team behind the Broadway musicals Dear Evan Hansen (Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, Obie Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Helen Hayes Award) and A Christmas Story, The Musical (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle Award nominations). Other musicals include Dogfight, (Lucille Lortel Award winner, Drama League, Outer Critics Circle, London Evening Standard Awards nominations), James and the Giant Peach, and Edges. Film projects include: La La Land (Lionsgate); Trolls (Dreamworks Animation); The Greatest Showman (FOX). Upcoming film projects include Snow White (Walt Disney Pictures); Medusa(Sony Pictures Animation); Aladdin (Walt Disney Pictures). TV credits include SmashSesame StreetThe Flash and Johnny and the Sprites, and Fox’s A Christmas Story live musical. Additional honors: Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theatre (American Academy of Arts and Letters); ASCAP Foundation Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award; Jonathan Larson Award. Both are graduates of the University of Michigan Musical Theatre program and members of the Dramatists Guild of America, Inc.

Oct
16
Tue
Poetry at Literati: Megan Levad and Franny Choi @ Literati
Oct 16 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Literati is thrilled to welcome poets Megan Levad and Franny Choi for a special reading from their latest collections What Have I to Say to You and Death by Sex Machine.

Selected as Tavern Books’ 2014 Wrolstad Contemporary Poetry Series poet, Levad is the author of WHY WE LIVE IN THE DARK AGES (Tavern Books, 2015). Her poems have appeared in journals such as Denver Quarterly, Fence, Mantis, and Tin House, among others, and in the Everyman’s Library anthology Killer Verse. She also writes lyrics for composers Tucker Fuller and Kristin Kuster. Her debut libretto Kept: A Ghost Story premiered at the Virginia Arts Festival in May 2017. Levad lives in San Francisco.

Franny Choi is a writer, performer, and educator. She is the author of Floating, Brilliant, Gone (Write Bloody, 2014) and the chapbook Death by Sex Machine (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2017). She has been a finalist for multiple national poetry slams, and her poems have appeared in Poetry Magazine, American Poetry Review, the New England Review, and elsewhere. She is a Kundiman Fellow, Senior News Editor for Hyphen,  co-host of the podcast VS, and member of the Dark Noise Collective. Her second collection, Soft Science, is forthcoming from Alice James Books.