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
Talk by environmental journalist Ibrahim Abdul-Matin, a New York City policy advisor who wrote Green Deen: What Islam Teaches about Protecting the Planet.
5:30 p.m., Rackham Amphitheatre (4th floor). Free. 936-3518
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 Smash, Sesame Street, The 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.
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.
Talk by local novelist Lillian Li.
6-8 p.m., AADL Downtown multipurpose rm. Free. 327-4200
The Robertson Lecture is an endowed annual event of the LSA Residential College, and is a lasting gift of the first Dean of the RC, James Robertson. The lecturer is traditionally a notable alumna/us of the RC, someone impacting their chosen field(s) in ways congruent with the philosophy of the College. The 2018 Robertson Lecture will be delivered at the Keene Theater in East Quadrangle on October 19th by Nancy Blum, class of ’85, a Brooklyn-based artist who is known for her public art commissions and works on paper. In addition to graduating from the RC with majors in Psychology and Women’s Studies, she received an MSW from the U-M School of Social work and an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. Her current work is installed primarily out of the gallery, not separated from the street but integrated into it, with a particular interest in sites of transit in cities and within hospital settings. Her recent commissions include medicinal wildflower windows at the San Francisco General Hospital acute care unit; large, graceful birds in flights of migration/immigration integrated into three light-rail stations in Minneapolis/St. Paul; and over-sized yellow flower sculptures sprouting from a rainwater filtration green space at a bus loop outside Philadelphia.
In her Robertson lecture, Nancy will share anecdotes about these and other works, and take us behind the scenes of her in-progress installation at the 28th Street 6 Train station in NYC. She’ll explore how her multiple interests take root in public art, and she’ll give us a sense for how she forged her own path as an artist – a journey, she says, that began at the Residential College, notably thanks to mentoring from her ceramics professor, Susan Crowell.
Following the Lecture, please join us for a reception for the artist at the RC Art Gallery, located on the first floor of East Quadrangle. Refreshments will be served. An exhibit of Nancy’s drawings will be on display at the same gallery through November 9th, (M-F 10am-5pm, free admission).
Literati is thrilled to welcome poets Phillip Crymble and Sarah Messer who will be sharing with us some of their latest work.
About Not Even Laughter:
A clearance bin of corner-cut records, remaindered paperbacks, and canisters of faded film, Phillip Crymble’s first full-length collection strives to rescue, celebrate, and preserve the works and sensibilities of those whose ideas and visions and have been long overlooked by posterity. Crymble’s technical acumen, ear for music, and emotional sincerity are the adhesive agents that bring the vernacular ethnographies, high-brow ekphrastics, tender elegies, forlorn love lyrics, and acutely observed accounts of plain and seemingly unremarkable domestic experience together in this formidable debut.
Phillip Crymble is a disabled writer and scholar living in Atlantic Canada. A SSHRC doctoral fellow at UNB Fredericton, he holds a MFA from the University of Michigan and has published poems in The New York Quarterly, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Hollins Critic, The Literary Review of Canada, Poetry Ireland Review, The Forward Book of Poetry 2017, and elsewhere. In 2016, Not Even Laughter, his first full-length collection, was a finalist for both the New Brunswick Book Award and the Writer’s Federation of Nova Scotia’s J.M. Abraham Prize.
Poet and Nonfiction writer, Sarah Messer, has received fellowships and grants from the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, the NEA, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, and the Mellon Foundation. In 2008-2009 she was a fellow in poetry at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study (Bunting) at Harvard. She is the author of four books: a hybrid history/memoir, Red House (Viking), a book of translations, Having Once Paused: Poems of Zen Master Ikkyu (University of Michigan Press) and two poetry books, Bandit Letters (New Issues), and Dress Made of Mice (Black Lawrence Press). Her work has appeared in the Paris Review, the Kenyon Review, Gulf Coast, and Ploughshares, among others. For many years she taught as an Associate Professor in the MFA/BFA program at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. In 2010, Messer co-founded One Pause Poetry, an on-line audio archive and reading series in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Currently she teaches Creative Writing in the Residential College at the University of Michigan, and is a cheese maker at White Lotus Farms.
Literati is thrilled to welcome author Meghan O’Gieblyn who will sharing her new essay collection Interior States. She will joined for a discussion about her work by writer and Literati bookseller Young Eun Yook.
About Interior States:
A fresh, acute, and even profound collection that centers around two core (and related) issues of American identity: faith, in general and the specific forms Christianity takes in particular; and the challenges of living in the Midwest when culture is felt to be elsewhere.
What does it mean to be a believing Christian and a Midwesterner in an increasingly secular America where the cultural capital is retreating to both coasts? The critic and essayist Meghan O’Gieblyn was born into an evangelical family, attended the famed Moody Bible Institute in Chicago for a time before she had a crisis of belief, and still lives in the Midwest, aka “Flyover Country.” She writes of her “existential dizziness, a sense that the rest of the world is moving while you remain still,” and that rich sense of ambivalence and internal division inform the fifteen superbly thoughtful and ironic essays in this collection. The subjects of these essays range from the rebranding (as it were) of Hell in contemporary Christian culture (“Hell”), a theme park devoted to the concept of intelligent design (“Species of Origin”), the paradoxes of Christian Rock (“Sniffing Glue”), Henry Ford’s reconstructed pioneer town of Greenfield Village and its mixed messages (“Midwest World”), and the strange convergences of Christian eschatology and the digital so-called Singularity (“Ghosts in the Cloud”). Meghan O’Gieblyn stands in relation to her native Midwest as Joan Didion stands in relation to California – which is to say a whole-hearted lover, albeit one riven with ambivalence at the same time.
MEGHAN O’GIEBLYN is a writer who was raised and still lives in the Midwest. Her essays have appeared in Harper’s Magazine, n+1, The Point, The New York Times, The Guardian, The New Yorker, Best American Essays 2017, and the Pushcart Prize anthology. She received a B.A. in English from Loyola University, Chicago and an MFA in Fiction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her husband.
Young Eun Yook is a singer/writer born in Korea and New Jersey. She is a recipient of the Lucille Clifton memorial scholarship from Community of Writers at Squaw Valley and The Paul Mariani Fellowship at The Glen Workshop. You can find her work in the anthology, Goodbye Mexico: Poems of Remembrance and elsewhere. Young Eun received her MFA from the University of Michigan where she won The Meader Family Award and the Se-AH Haiam Scholarship. She is a Kundiman fellow.
Irina Khutsieva is RC Artist in Residence.
The theater world in Russia is lively as ever, with a range of styles and interests represented by innovative and original work. But that world is also under significant threat as the Russian state puts increasing pressure on theaters and especially directors. The substance of the great art of theater is communication, respect, reverence, and an unflagging belief in humanity. Theater thrives on humanity the way flowers feed on soil, sun, and water. It in turn produces the conditions for humanity to grow. Theater produces and nurtures community and brings people together. In her lecture, Irina Khutsieva will expound on the relationship between theater, state and society in today’s Russia.
Irina Khutsieva is a stage director and acting instructor in Moscow, Russia. Trained at “GITIS,” the Russian Academy of Theatrical Art, she has more than 30 years of experience in Russian theater. She now directs her own studio theater, the Chamber Theater, Moscow, founded in 2004. Khutsieva has staged more than 50 plays in Russia, Germany, and the U.S. She has worked at one of Russia’s most distinguished theater academies – the Shchepkin Higher Theatre Institute, associated with the State Academic Maly Theatre of Russia. She also has extensive experience teaching college drama majors. A specialist and practitioner of the Stanislavski Method, she incorporates the principles and traditions of Russian psychological theater and has also developed her own staging and teaching methods. In recent years, she has directed a major gala performance shown on Russian national TV and has run workshops for professional actors in regional towns throughout Russia.
U-M Program in Creativity and Consciousness Studies Consciousness Next! Series presents Dr. Julia Mossbridge, whose recent book The Premonition Code: The Science of Precognition, How Sensing the Future Can Change Your Life (with Theresa Cheung) was published on October 16.
The presentation will feature examples of precognitive experiences—where an individual has knowledge about the future that s/he could not have obtained via “normal” channels—and will cover what makes a precognition something other than coincidence. Dr. Julia Mossbridge, who contends that receiving accurate information about future events is neither unscientific nor uncommon, will explain how the scientific evidence for precognition, combined with what we know about consciousness and the nature of time, makes precognition a reasonable phenomenon to investigate further through research and application.
Mossbridge is a fellow at the Institute of Noetic Sciences and a visiting scholar at Northwestern University in the Department of Psychology. Her book Transcendent Mind, published by the American Psychological Association in 2017, is one of the first academic books to examine paranormal experiences (nonlocal, physically transcendent dimensions of consciousness). Her research focus is precognition and its ramifications for creativity and healing, the time-consciousness relationship, and further capacities of consciousness that are coherent with an emergent, more integral conception of mind.
The U-M Program in Creativity and Consciousness Studies (PCCS) is directed by music professor and consciousness theorist Ed Sarath. It brings together colleagues from a wide range of fields to explore creativity and its underpinnings in consciousness and ramifications thereof for emergent models of education, spirituality, sustainability, social justice, and peace.
The PCCS Consciousness Next! series examines a range of phenomena and ideas that unite cutting-edge scientific research and age-old spiritual wisdom.