Sweetland’s Writer to Writer series lets you hear directly from University of Michigan professors about their challenges, processes, and expectations as writers and also as readers of student writing. Each semester, Writer to Writer pairs one esteemed University professor with a Sweetland faculty member for a conversation about writing. For this installment, host Shelley Manis will speak with Professor Jennifer Proctor.
Writer to Writer sessions take place at the Literati bookstore and are broadcast live on WCBN radio. These conversations offer students a rare glimpse into the writing that professors do outside the classroom. You can hear instructors from various disciplines describe how they handle the same challenges student writers face, from finding a thesis to managing deadlines. Professors will also discuss what they want from student writers in their courses, and will take questions put forth by students and by other members of the University community. If there’s anything you’ve ever wanted to ask a professor about writing, Writer to Writer gives you the chance.
Jennifer Proctor is an Associate Professor of Journalism and Screen Studies at the University of Michigan-Dearborn and co-founder and director of the inclusive teaching initiative EDIT Media (Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Teaching Media). She is a filmmaker and media artist whose internationally recognized, award-winning found footage work examines the history of experimental film, Hollywood tropes, and the representation of women in cinema. Her recent work, in particular, seeks to blur boundaries between avant-garde film practices and the scholarly video essay. Her 2018 film “Nothing a Little Soap and Water Can’t Fix,” which examines the bathtub as a feminized domestic space, won the Cutters Archival Film Award at the Ann Arbor Film Festival, Top Grit at the Indie Grits Film Festival, and Best Experimental Film at the St. Francis College Women’s Film Festival, in addition to screening at more than forty film festivals around the world. Her recent video, “Am I Pretty?” appropriates the voices of tween girls from YouTube videos to explore the development of self-image and self-esteem in the modern era. In addition to screening at film festivals, including the Ann Arbor Film Festival, “Am I Pretty?” appears in a special issue on audiography in [in]Transition: The Journal of Videographic Film and Moving Image Studies.
We’re partnering with Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Center to welcome Tia Powell in support of her book Dementia Reimagined. A book signing will follow. The event is free and open to the public.
About the book: The cultural and medical history of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease by a leading psychiatrist and bioethicist who urges us to turn our focus from cure to care.
Despite being a physician and a bioethicist, Tia Powell wasn’t prepared to address the challenges she faced when her grandmother, and then her mother, were diagnosed with dementia–not to mention confronting the hard truth that her own odds aren’t great. In the U.S., 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day; by the time a person reaches 85, their chances of having dementia approach 50 percent. And the truth is, there is no cure, and none coming soon, despite the perpetual promises by pharmaceutical companies that they are just one more expensive study away from a pill. Dr. Powell’s goal is to move the conversation away from an exclusive focus oncure to a genuine appreciation of care–what we can do for those who have dementia, and how to keep life meaningful and even joyful.
Reimagining Dementia is a moving combination of medicine and memoir, peeling back the untold history of dementia, from the story of Solomon Fuller, a black doctor whose research at the turn of the twentieth century anticipated important aspects of what we know about dementia today, to what has been gained and lost with the recent bonanza of funding for Alzheimer’s at the expense of other forms of the disease. In demystifying dementia, Dr. Powell helps us understand it with clearer eyes, from the point of view of both physician and caregiver. Ultimately, she wants us all to know that dementia is not only about loss–it’s also about the preservation of dignity and hope.
Dr. Tia Powell is Director of the Montefiore Einstein Center for Bioethics and of the Einstein Cardozo Master of Science in Bioethics program. She is Professor of Epidemiology, Division of Bioethics, and Psychiatry. She has bioethics expertise in public policy, dementia, consultation, end of life care, decision-making capacity, bioethics education and the ethics of public health disasters. She served four years as Executive Director of the New York State Task Force on Life and the Law, which functions as New York State’s bioethics commission. She has worked with the Institute of Medicine on many projects related to public health and ethics, and most recently served on the 2017 report on community approaches to address health inequities. She is a board certified psychiatrist and Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine, the American Psychiatric Association and The Hastings Center.
Skazat! is back, and have we got a season lined up for you! Join us at Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea Washington St. to celebrate with fabulous poetry and tasty treats. 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
This month’s feature: David Hornibrook
We’re pleased to welcome Johannes and Dorothea von Moltke to the store for a discussion of Last Letters: The Prison Correspondence Between Helmuth James and Freya Von Moltke, 1944-45, for which they served as co-editors. The event is free and open to the public.
About the book: Available for the first time in English, a moving prison correspondence between a husband and wife who resisted the Nazis.
Tegel prison, Berlin, in the fall of 1944. Helmuth James von Moltke is awaiting trial for his leading role in the Kreisau Circle, one of the most important German resis- tance groups against the Nazis. By a near miracle, the prison chaplain at Tegel is Harald Poelchau, a friend and coconspirator of Helmuth and his wife, Freya. From Helmuth’s arrival at Tegel in late September 1944 until the day of his execution by the Nazis on January 23, 1945, Poelchau would carry Helmuth’s and Freya’s letters in and out of prison daily, risking his own life. Freya would safeguard these letters for the rest of her long life. Last Letters is a profoundly personal record of the couple’s fortitude in the face of fascism.
Johannes von Moltke is a professor of German and Film, Media and Television at the University of Michigan and the grandson of Freya and Helmuth von Moltke.
Dorothea von Moltke is co-owner of Labyrinth Books in Princeton, NJ, and the granddaughter of Freyaand Helmuth von Moltke.
Literati is pleased to be the official bookseller for the Zell Visiting Writing Series, produced by the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan.
Arthur Sze is a poet, translator, and editor. He has published ten books of poetry, including Sight Lines, Compass Rose, The Ginkgo Light, Quipu, The Redshifting Web: Poems 1970-1998, and Archipelago, all from Copper Canyon Press. He has also published The Silk Dragon: Translations from the Chinese and edited Chinese Writers on Writing. A bilingual Chinese/English selected poems, Pig’s Heaven Inn, was published in Beijing, and he has also collaborated with sculptor Susan York to create a book and installation, The Unfolding Center.
Known for his difficult, meticulous poems, Sze’s work has been described as the “intersection of Taoist contemplation, Zen rock gardens and postmodern experimentation” by the critic John Tritica. The poet Dana Levin described Sze as “a poet of what I would call Deep Noticing, a strong lineage in American poetry… Dispassionate presentation of ‘the thing itself’ is its prevailing attribute, yet Sze’s attention is capacious; it’s attracted to paradox; it takes facing opponents and seats them side by side.” In addition, K. Michel, a Dutch poet writing for Poetry International says, “Sze’s work is characterized by its unusual combination of images and ideas, and by the surprising way in which he makes connections between diverse aspects of the world. In his poetry he combines images from urban life and nature, ideas from modern astronomy and Chinese philosophy as well as anecdotes from rural and industrial America. In this way, he creates texts that capture and reflect the complexity of reality.”
Sze’s many awards include The Jackson Poetry Prize from Poets & Writers, a Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Writers’ Award, a Lannan Literary Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing fellowships, a Howard Foundation Fellowship, and five grants from the Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry. From 2012-2017, he served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and, in 2017, was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a professor emeritus at the Institute of American Indian Arts and lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
This event is free and open to the public. Onsite book sales will be provided by Literati Bookstore.
The Zell Visiting Writers Series brings outstanding writers to campus each semester. UMMA is pleased to be the site for most of these events. 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
We’re pleased to welcome Grace Talusan for a reading in support of her memoir, The Body Papers, Winner of the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing and was a New York Times Editors’ Choice selection. Free and open to the public, a book signing will follow.
About the book: Born in the Philippines, young Grace Talusan moves with her family to a New England suburb in the 1970s. At school, she confronts racism as one of the few kids with a brown face. At home, the confusion is worse: her grandfather’s nightly visits to her room leave her hurt and terrified, and she learns to build a protective wall of silence that maps onto the larger silence practiced by her Catholic Filipino family. Talusan learns as a teenager that her family’s legal status in the country has always hung by a thread—for a time, they were “illegal.” Family, she’s told, must be put first.
The abuse and trauma Talusan suffers as a child affects all her relationships, her mental health, and her relationship with her own body. Later, she learns that her family history is threaded with violence and abuse. And she discovers another devastating family thread: cancer. In her thirties, Talusan must decide whether to undergo preventive surgeries to remove her breasts and ovaries. Despite all this, she finds love, and success as a teacher. On a fellowship, Talusan and her husband return to the Philippines, where she revisits her family’s ancestral home and tries to reclaim a lost piece of herself.
Not every family legacy is destructive. From her parents, Talusan has learned to tell stories in order to continue. The generosity of spirit and literary acuity of this debut memoir are a testament to her determination and resilience. In excavating such abuse and trauma, and supplementing her story with government documents, medical records, and family photos, Talusan gives voice to unspeakable experience, and shines a light of hope into the darkness.
Grace Talusan was born in the Philippines and raised in New England. A graduate of Tufts University and the MFA Program in Writing at UC Irvine, she is the recipient of a U.S. Fulbright Fellowship to the Philippines and an Artist Fellowship Award from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Talusan teaches the Essay Incubator at GrubStreet and at the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts. She is the Fannie Hurst Writer-in-Residence at Brandeis University for 2019–2021. The Body Papers, winner of the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing, is her first book.
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; email@example.com or cwpoetrycircle.tumblr.com.
December 4 – George Tysh has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Kresge Foundation. His 11 books of poetry include The Slip (2015) and The Imperfect (2010), with a new collection, Twisted Flesh, forthcoming in 2020. He teaches film studies and poetics at College for Creative Studies in Detroit.
and Chris Tysh is author of several plays and collections of poetry. Her latest project, Hotel des Archives, features verse “transcreations” from the novels of Samuel Beckett, Jean Genet, and Marguerite Duras, published by Station Hill Press. She holds fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts and the Kresge Foundation.
One MFA student of fiction and one of poetry, each introduced by a peer, will read their work. The Mark Webster Reading Series presents emerging writers in a warm and relaxed setting. We encourage you to bring your friends – a Webster reading makes for an enjoyable and enlightening Friday evening.
We’re pleased to welcome the beloved author of The Undertaking in support of his latest, The Depositions: New and Selected Essays on Being and Ceasing to Be. The author will be in conversation with poet Keith Taylor. Signing to follow. Free and open to the public.
About the book:
For nearly four decades, poet, essayist, and small-town funeral director Thomas Lynch has probed relations between the literary and mortuary arts. His life’s work with the dead and the bereaved has informed four previous collections of nonfiction, each exploring identity and humanity with Lynch’s signature blend of memoir, meditation, gallows humor, and poetic precision.
The Depositions provides an essential selection from these masterful collections—essays on fatherhood, Irish heritage, funeral rites, and the perils of bodiless obsequies—as well as new essays in which the space between Lynch’s hyphenated identities—as an Irish American, undertaker-poet—is narrowed by the deaths of poets, the funerals of friends, the loss of neighbors, intimate estrangements, and the slow demise of a beloved dog.
As Alan Ball writes in a penetrating foreword, Lynch’s work allows us “to see both the absurdity and the beauty of death, sometimes simultaneously.” With this landmark collection, he continues to illuminate not only how we die, but also how we live.
Thomas Lynch has authored five collections of poetry, one of stories, and four books of essays. His first, The Undertaking, won the Heartland Prize for Non-Fiction and the American Book Award, and was a finalist for the National Book Award. His writing has appeared in the Atlantic, Granta, Harper’s Magazine, and the New York Times, among other publications. He works as a funeral director in Milford, Michigan, and teaches at the Bear River Writer’s Conference.
Independent journalist and co-founder of Press On visits the store in support of The View from Somewhere: Undoing the Myth of Journalistic Objectivity. Book signing to follow. Free and open to the public.
About the book: “Wallace asks the right questions and makes a powerful case for a reexamination of what journalism is and how it can best serve the public. American journalists will readily admit, I think, that our industry has let down the broader community in recent years. Wallace posits a new solution for how we might avoid the mistakes of the past and move forward in a productive way. The View from Somewhere is both a fascinating dissection of our political body and a passionate plea for reform. It’s also a darn good read.”–Celeste Headlee, author of We Need to Talk: How to Have Conversations That Matter
Lewis Raven Wallace is an independent journalist, a co-founder of Press On, a southern movement journalism collective, and the host of The View from Somewhere podcast. He previously worked in public radio and is a longtime activist engaged in prison abolition, racial justice, and queer and trans liberation. He is a white transgender person from the Midwest and is now based in North Carolina.