Calendar

Sep
14
Wed
Fiction at Literati: Alexander Weinstein @ Literati
Sep 14 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Literati is thrilled to launch Children of the New World by Alexander Weinstein.

Children of the New World introduces readers to a near-future world of social media implants, memory manufacturers, dangerously immersive virtual reality games, and frighteningly intuitive robots. Many of these characters live in a utopian future of instant connection and technological gratification that belies an unbridgeable human distance, while others inhabit a post-collapse landscape made primitive by disaster. Children of the New World grapples with our unease in this modern world and how our ever-growing dependence on new technologies has changed the shape of our society. Alexander Weinstein is a visionary new voice in speculative fiction for all of us who are fascinated by and terrified of what we might find on the horizon.

“Taken together, these stories present a fully-imagined vision of the future which will disturb you, provoke you, and make you feel alive. Weinstein is brilliant, incisive and fearless.” —Charles Yu, author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe

“In each of the gripping stories in Children of the New World, Alexander Weinstein offers a glimpse into an unnerving, not-so-distant, and all-too-possible future. Weinstein explores what-ifs with both wit and sensitivity, and his cautionary tales demand to be read (before it’s too late).” —Judy Budnitz, author of Nice Big American Baby

Alexander Weinstein is the Director of The Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing and the author of the short story collection Children of the New World (Picador 2016). His fiction and translations have appeared in Cream City Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Notre-Dame Review, Pleiades, PRISM International, World Literature Today, and other journals. He is the recipient of a Sustainable Arts Foundation Award, and his fiction has been awarded the Lamar York, Gail Crump, Hamlin Garland, and New Millennium Prize. His stories have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes, and appear in the anthologies 2013 New Stories from the Midwest, and the 2014 & 2015 Lascaux Prize Stories. He is an Associate Professor of Creative Writing and a freelance editor, and leads fiction workshops in the United States and Europe.

 

Sep
22
Thu
Zell Visiting Writers Series: Bob Hicok @ UMMA Stern Aud
Sep 22 @ 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Literati is thrilled to be the bookseller for the Zell Visiting Writers Series at the University of Michigan. More information about the Helen Zell Writers’ Program, including a full calendar of visiting writers, can be found here. The September 22nd installment of ZVWS will feature poet Bob Hicok.

Bob Hicok was born in 1960 in Michigan and worked for many years in the automotive die industry. A published poet long before he earned his MFA, Hicok is the author of several collections of poems, including The Legend of Light, winner of the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry in 1995 and named a 1997 ALA Booklist Notable Book of the Year; Plus ShippingAnimal Soul, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; Insomnia DiaryThis Clumsy Living, which received the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry from the Library of Congress; Words for Empty, Words for Full; Elegy Owed, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; and, most recently, Love & Sex &. His work has been selected numerous times for the Best American Poetry series. Hicok has won Pushcart Prizes and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, and has taught creative writing at Western Michigan University and Virginia Tech.

Dec
8
Thu
Zell Visiting Writers: Faculty Spotlight: Laura Kasischke @ Stern Auditorium
Dec 8 @ 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Literati is thrilled to be the bookseller for the Zell Visiting Writers Series at the University of Michigan. More information about the Helen Zell Writers’ Program, including a full calendar of visiting writers, can be found here.

Laura Kasischke was raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She is the recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry, 2012, for Space, in Chains. She has published nine novels, one short story collection, and eight books of poetry, most recently The Infinitesimals. She has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as several Pushcart Prizes and numerous poetry awards and her writing has appeared in Best American Poetry, The Kenyon Review, Harper’s and The New Republic. She has a son and step-daughter and lives with her family and husband in Chelsea, Michigan. She is Allan Seager Colleagiate Professor of English Language & Literature at the University of Michigan.

May
17
Wed
Fiction at Literati: Laura Thomas: States of Motion @ Literati
May 17 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Literati is pleased to welcome Laura Hulthen Thomas in support of her debut collection, States of Motion.

Newton’s Laws of Motion describe the relationship between a body and its response to the forces acting upon it. For the men and women in States of Motion, imbalance is a way of life. Set in Michigan small towns both real and fictional, the stories in Laura Hulthen Thomas’s collection take place against a backdrop of economic turmoil and the domestic cost of the war on terror. As familiar places, privilege, and faith disappear, what remains leaves these broken characters wondering what hope is left for them. These stories follow blue collars and white, cops and immigrants, and mothers and sons as they defend a world that is quickly vanishing.

The eight stories in States of Motion follow tough, quixotic characters struggling to reinvent themselves even as they cling to what they’ve lost. A grieving father embraces his town’s suspicions of him as the sole suspect in his daughter’s disappearance. A driving instructor struggles to care for his abusive mother between training lessons with two flirtatious teens. A behavioral researcher studying the fear response must face her own fears when her childhood attacker returns to ask for her forgiveness. Conditioned by their traumatic pasts to be both sympathetic and numb to suffering, the characters in these stories clutch at a chance to find peace on the other side of terror. From the isolated roadways of Michigan’s countryside to the research labs of a major university, the way forward is both one last hope and a deep-seated fear.

Laura Hulthen Thomas’s short fiction and essays have appeared in a number of journals and anthologies, including The Cimarron Review, Nimrod International Journal, Epiphany, and Witness. She received her MFA in fiction writing from Warren Wilson College. She currently heads the undergraduate creative writing program at the University of Michigan’s Residential College, where she teaches fiction and creative nonfiction.

Jun
15
Thu
Fiction at Literati: Keith Lesmeister with Martin Jenkins and Alexander Weinstein @ Literati
Jun 15 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Literati is pleased to welcome Keith Lesmeister in support of his debut short story collection, We Could’ve Been Happy Here. Keith will be joined in reading by Markin Jenkins, a graduate of the Helen Zell Writers’ Program, and Alexander Weinstein, author of Children of the New World.

In his first collection of short fiction, Keith Lesmeister plows out a distinctive vision of the contemporary Midwest. These stories peer into the lives of those at the margins-the broken, the resigned, the misunderstood. Hopeful and humorous, tender and tragic, these stories illuminate how we are shaped and buoyed by our intimate connections.

Keith Lesmeister was born in North Carolina, raised in Iowa, and received his M.F.A. from the Bennington Writing Seminars. His fiction has appeared in American Short Fiction, Slice, Meridian, Redivider, Gettysburg Review, and many other print and online publications. His nonfiction has appeared in Tin House Open Bar, River Teeth, The Good Men Project, and elsewhere. He currently lives in northeast Iowa where he teaches at Northeast Iowa Community College. We Could’ve Been Happy Here is his first book.

Alexander Weinstein is the Director of The Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing and the author of the short story collection Children of the New World (Picador 2016). His fiction and translations have appeared in Cream City Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Notre-Dame Review, Pleiades, PRISM International, World Literature Today, and other journals. He is the recipient of a Sustainable Arts Foundation Award, and his fiction has been awarded the Lamar York, Gail Crump, Hamlin Garland, and New Millennium Prize. His stories have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes, and appear in the anthologies 2013 New Stories from the Midwest, and the 2014 & 2015 Lascaux Prize Stories. He is an Associate Professor of Creative Writing and a freelance editor, and leads fiction workshops in the United States and Europe.

Marlin M. Jenkins was born and raised in Detroit. A poetry graduate from University of Michigan’s MFA program, his work has been given homes by The Collagist, The Offing, The Journal, and Bennington Review, among others. He has worked with students in Detroit Public Schools through the Inside Out Literary Arts program and received a fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center. He is also a runner and a dancer.

 

Jul
25
Tue
Discussing Detroit with Rebecca J. Kinney and Stephen M. Ward @ Literati
Jul 25 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Literati is pleased to welcome Rebecca J. Kinney and Stephen M. Ward for a discussion of their recent books about Detroit and the people who form its heart.

What is the “new Detroit” that everyone keeps talking about? In Beautiful Wasteland: The Rise of Detroit as America’s Postindustrial Frontier, Rebecca J. Kinney reveals that the contemporary story of Detroit’s rebirth is an upcycled version of the American Dream, which has long imagined access to work, home, and upward mobility as race-neutral projects. She tackles key questions about the future of postindustrial America, and shows how the narratives of Detroit’s history are deeply steeped in material and ideological investments in whiteness.

Rebecca J. Kinney, who grew up in metropolitan Detroit, is assistant professor in the School of Cultural and Critical Studies at Bowling Green State University.

In Love and Struggle: The Revolutionary Lives of James and Grace Lee Boggs details both the personal and the political dimensions of the Boggses’ lives, highlighting the vital contributions these two figures made to black activist thinking. At once a dual biography of two crucial figures and a vivid portrait of Detroit as a center of activism, Ward’s book restores the Boggses, and the intellectual strain of black radicalism they shaped, to their rightful place in postwar American history.

Stephen Ward is associate professor in the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies (DAAS) and the Residential College at the University of Michigan. He is also a board member of the James and Grace Lee Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership in Detroit.

Oct
19
Thu
RC 50th: Reading: Laura Thomas, Laura Kasischke, Lolita Hernandez, Ken Mikolowski, Christopher Matthews @ Literati
Oct 19 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Creative Writing Faculty read from their works:
Lolita Hernandez, Lecturer, RC Creative Writing and Literature
Laura Kasischke, RC ’84, Lecturer, RC Creative Writing and Literature Christopher Matthews, Lecturer, RC Creative Writing and Literature
Ken Mikolowski, Lecturer Emeritus, RC Creative Writing and Literature
Laura Thomas, RC ’88, Lecturer and Program Head, RC Creative Writing and Literature

Apr
13
Fri
Poetry at Literati: Diane Seuss, with Laura Kasischke @ Literati
Apr 13 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Literati is thrilled to welcome poet Diane Seuss who will be reading from her new collection Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl. Diane will be joined by fellow poet Laura Kasischke for conversation after the reading.

About Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl:
Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl
 takes its title from Rembrandt’s painting, a dark emblem of femininity, violence, and the viewer’s own troubled gaze. In Diane Seuss’s new collection, the notion of the still life is shattered and Rembrandt’s painting is presented across the book in pieces–details that hide more than they reveal until they’re assembled into a whole. With invention and irreverence, these poems escape gilded frames and overturn traditional representations of gender, class, and luxury. Instead, Seuss invites in the alienated, the washed-up, the ugly, and the freakish–the overlooked many of us who might more often stand in a Walmart parking lot than before the canvases of Pollock, O’Keeffe, and Rothko. Rendered with precision and profound empathy, this extraordinary gallery of lives in shards shows us that “our memories are local, acute, and unrelenting.”

Diane Seuss is the author of three previous poetry collections, including Four-Legged Girl, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and Wolf Lake, White Gown Blown Open, winner of the Juniper Prize. She lives in Michigan.

Laura Kasischke is a poet and novelist whose fiction has been made into several feature-length films. Her book of poems, Space, in Chains, won the National Book Critics Circle Award. She currently teaches at the University of Michigan and lives in Chelsea, Michigan.

Oct
2
Tue
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

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

lsa logoum logo
U-M Privacy Statement
Accessibility at U-M