Let’s take a walk—a long walk, back over three centuries. At the dawn of the eighteenth century Detroit was established as simply an outpost for the French to take advantage of the fur trade while keeping the British at bay. The new book Detroit: An Illustrated Timeline, by Paul Vachon, points out many of the seminal events and noteworthy turning points of Detroit’s long journey, some little known: the city’s fall to the British during the War of 1812, the existence of slavery in Detroit as late as the 1820’s, and Mayor Hazen Pingree’s aggressive advocacy for the everyday citizen against corporate interests. Chapters devoted to the twentieth century highlight Detroit’s underappreciated architectural heritage, the development of its notable cultural institutions, as well as the exploits of assorted scoundrels, such as the Black Legion, the Purple Gang, Harry Bennett and Father Charles Coughlin.
Author Paul Vachon will join us to discuss and show images from Detroit: An Illustrated Timeline.
Martin Bandyke of Ann Arbor’s 107one will host this presentation. The event includes a book signing and books will be on sale.
We welcome Edgar Award finalist Paul Doiron as he reads from the latest installment of his bestselling Mike Bowditch series, Almost Midnight. Signing to follow. Free and open to the public.
About Almost Midnight: In this thrilling entry in Edgar Award finalist Paul Doiron’s bestselling series, a deadly attack on one of Maine’s last wild wolves leads Game Warden Mike Bowditch to an even bigger criminal conspiracy.
While on vacation, Warden Investigator Mike Bowditch receives a strange summons from Billy Cronk, one of his oldest friends and a man he had to reluctantly put behind bars for murder. Billy wants him to investigate a new female prison guard with a mysterious past, and Mike feels honor-bound to help his friend. But when the guard becomes the victim in a brutal attack at the prison, he realizes there may be a darker cover-up at play–and that Billy and his family might be at risk.
Then Mike receives a second call for help, this time from a distant mountain valley where Shadow, a wolf-hybrid he once cared for, has been found shot by an arrow and clinging to life. He searches for the identity of the bowman, but his investigation is blocked at every turn by the increasingly hostile community. And when Billy’s wife and children are threatened, Mike finds himself tested like never before. How can he possibly keep the family safe when he has enemies of his own on his trail?
Torn between loyalties, Mike Bowditch must respond in the only way he knows how: by bending every law and breaking every rule to keep his loved ones safe and the true predators at bay.
A native of Maine, bestselling author Paul Doiron attended Yale University, where he graduated with a degree in English. The Poacher’s Son, the first book in the Mike Bowditch series, won the Barry award, the Strand award for best first novel, and has been nominated for the Edgar, Anthony, and Macavity awards in the same category. He is a Registered Maine Guide specializing in fly fishing and lives on a trout stream in coastal Maine with his wife, Kristen Lindquist.
Join us for an afternoon with the beloved, bestselling, and award-winning Master of the Genre, Robert Crais, as he shares his brilliant new crime novel and Joe Pike’s most perilous case to date, A Dangerous Man. This is Robert’s only stop in Michigan!
About the Book
Joe Pike didn’t expect to rescue a woman that day. He went to the bank same as anyone goes to the bank, and returned to his Jeep. So when Isabel Roland, the lonely young teller who helped him, steps out of the bank on her way to lunch, Joe is on hand when two men abduct her. Joe chases them down, and the two men are arrested. But instead of putting the drama to bed, the arrests are only the beginning of the trouble for Joe and Izzy.
After posting bail, the two abductors are murdered and Izzy disappears. Pike calls on his friend, Elvis Cole, to help learn the truth. What Elvis uncovers is a twisted family story that involves corporate whistleblowing, huge amounts of cash, the Witness Relocation Program, and a long line of lies. But what of all that did Izzy know? Is she a perpetrator or a victim? And how far will Joe go to find out?
About the Author
Robert Crais is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of twenty novels, sixteen of them featuring private investigator Elvis Cole and his laconic ex-cop partner, Joe Pike. Before writing his first novel, Crais spent several years writing scripts for such major television series as Hill Street Blues, Cagney & Lacey, Miami Vice, Quincy, Baretta, and L.A. Law. He received an Emmy nomination for his work on Hill Street Blues, and one of his standalone novels, Hostage, was made into a movie starring Bruce Willis. His novels have been translated into forty-two languages and are bestsellers around the world. A native of Louisiana, he lives in Los Angeles.
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Literati is thrilled to welcome Ben Folds to the historic Blind Pig in support of his memoir, A Dream About Lightning Bugs. The program will feature Ben in-conversation with WDET’s Ann Delisi. A Q&A and signing will follow.
Tickets are general admission and include a hardcover copy of A Dream About Lightning Bugs to be picked up the venue the evening of the event. Doors will open at 6:30pm.
Please note that the Blind Pig is a standing room only venue.
Surface parking is available but may be limited. A map of downtown Ann Arbor structured parking is available here.
About the Book: Ben Folds is a celebrated American singer-songwriter, beloved for songs such as “Brick,” “You Don’t Know Me,” “Rockin’ the Suburbs,” and “The Luckiest,” and is the former frontman of the alternative rock band Ben Folds Five. But Folds will be the first to tell you he’s an unconventional icon, more normcore than hardcore. Now, in his first book, Folds looks back at his life so far in a charming and wise chronicle of his artistic coming of age, infused with the wry observations of a natural storyteller.
In the title chapter, “A Dream About Lightning Bugs,” Folds recalls his earliest childhood dream–and realizes how much it influenced his understanding of what it means to be an artist. In “Measure Twice, Cut Once” he learns to resist the urge to skip steps during the creative process. In “Hall Pass” he recounts his 1970s North Carolina working-class childhood, and in “Cheap Lessons” he returns to the painful life lessons he learned the hard way–but that luckily didn’t kill him.
In his inimitable voice, both relatable and thought-provoking, Folds digs deep into the life experiences that shaped him, imparting hard-earned wisdom about both art and life. Collectively, these stories embody the message Folds has been singing about for years: Smile like you’ve got nothing to prove, because it hurts to grow up, and life flies by in seconds.
Ben Folds is an American musician who has created an enormous body of genre-bending music that includes pop albums with Ben Folds Five, multiple solo albums, a classical piano concerto, and collaborations with artists ranging from Regina Spektor to William Shatner. Folds, who was also a judge for five seasons on NBC’s acclaimed a capella show The Sing-Off, was named the first-ever artistic advisor to the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in 2017. He is an outspoken champion for arts education and music therapy, serving on the distinguished Artist Committee of Americans for the Arts, and as chairman of the national ArtsVote 2020 initiative.
Ann Delisi has been an influential part of Detroit media for more than 20 years. From radio to television to voiceovers, Ann Delisi is a familiar voice to metro Detroiters. A Wayne State grad and former WDET staffer (1983-1995), Ann now hosts a show on WDET that is a fun, contemporary and thoroughly hand-picked approach to music that moves Detroit. Ann will guide us through the “essential music,” both new and familiar, that’s shaping our culture and feature music made in Detroit every hour. Ann’s show also brings you live performances, interviews and special features.
Additional event questions? Email John@LiteratiBookstore.com
We welcome Edward Renehan as he discusses his latest, a biography of Michigan entrepreneur, industrialist, banker, mayor, and sometimes cowboy Charles Stewart Mott. Signing to follow. Free and open to the public.
About the book: The name Charles Stewart Mott is today most widely recognizable when used in connection with the word Foundation. Established by the General Motors mogul in 1926, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation has made grants in excess of $3 billion over the past nine decades, both in Mott’s adopted hometown of Flint, Michigan, and around the world. But philanthropy is only one reason the life of Mott—entrepreneur, industrialist, banker, mayor, and sometimes even cowboy—is worth knowing about today.
Mott was born ten years after the death of Abraham Lincoln and one year before the 1876 centennial of the founding of the United States. He not only lived through the most dramatic technological shift and period of economic growth that had yet been known, but he actively participated in and contributed to these events as a major innovator and leader at General Motors, as a public official, and as a philanthropist who in many ways reinvented the nonprofit model. Known widely as Mr. Flint, Mott was elected three times as the city’s mayor and played a central role in modernizing and expanding its infrastructure and institutions. In office, Mott helped transform Flint from a town capable of efficiently accommodating a population of roughly thirteen thousand in the first decade of the twentieth century to a modern metropolis capable of hosting an industrial middle class of more than one hundred thousand.
This vivid biography portrays a complex, brilliant, often contradictory, and ultimately fascinating man. His life—both as a record of himself and as a reflection of his times—makes for a good and important story that will be enjoyed by readers interested in Michigan history and politics, the automotive industry, and global philanthropy.
Edward Renehan is author of over 20 books, including Dark Genius of Wall Street: The Misunderstood Life of Jay Gould, King of the Robber Barons and The Lion’s Pride: Theodore Roosevelt and His Family in Peace and War.
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; firstname.lastname@example.org or cwpoetrycircle.tumblr.com.
ONE PAUSE POETRY SALON is (literally) a greenhouse for poetry and poets, nurturing an appreciation for written art in all languages and encouraging experiments in creative writing.
We meet every Weds in the greenhouse at Argus Farm Stop on Liberty St. The poems we read each time are unified by form (haiku, sonnet, spoken word), poet, time / place (Tang Dynasty, English Romanticism, New York in the 70s) or theme / mood (springtime, poems with cats, protest poems). We discuss the poems and play writing games together, with time for snacks and socializing in between.
Members are encouraged to share their own poems or poems they like – they may or may not relate to the theme of the evening. This is not primarily a workshop – we may hold special workshop nights, but mostly we listen to and talk about poems for the sake of inspiring new writing.
Whether you are a published poet or encountering poetry for the first time, we invite you to join us!
$5 suggested donation for food, drinks and printing costs.
8-10 p.m., Argus Farm Stop greenhouse, 325 W. Liberty. $5 suggested donation. onepausepoetry.org, 707-1284.
As part of our ongoing Fiction at Literati Series, we welcome Zach Powers in support of his novel, First Cosmic Velocity, a stunningly imaginative novel about the Cold War, the Russian space program, and the amazing fraud that pulled the wool over the eyes of the world. Free and open to the public. Book signing to follow.
About the book: It’s 1964 in the USSR, and unbeknownst even to Premier Khrushchev himself, the Soviet space program is a sham. Well, half a sham. While the program has successfully launched five capsules into space, the Chief Designer and his team have never successfully brought one back to earth. To disguise this, they’ve used twins. But in a nation built on secrets and propaganda, the biggest lie of all is about to unravel.
By turns grim and whimsical, fatalistic and deeply hopeful, First Cosmic Velocity is a sweeping novel of the heights of mankind’s accomplishments, the depths of its folly, and the people–and canines–with whom we create family.
Zach Powers is the author of Gravity Changes, which won the BOA Short Fiction Prize, and his work has appeared in such places as American Short Fiction, Black Warrior Review, The Conium Review, and the Tin House blog. First Cosmic Velocity is his first novel.
As part of our ongoing Poetry at Literati Series, we welcome Valencia Robin in support of her debut collection, Ridiculous Light.
Valencia Robin’s first collection of poems, Ridiculous Light, won Persea Books’ 2018 Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize. A visual artist as well as a poet, her poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in the New York Times, TriQuarterly, Foundry, Black Renaissance Noire, Kweli, The Cortland Review and elsewhere. Says Diana Whitney of the San Francisco Chronicle about Ridiculous Light: “These are praise poems for a dark time, musical poems that conjure up stories, transcendent poems to give to your mother, your lover, your friends, yourself.” The New York Times says: “The narrative lyrics in this debut collection travel from intimate to socio-historical and back again, finding room for routine wonders.” A Cave Canem Fellow, Valencia Robin holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Virginia and an MFA in Art & Design from the University of Michigan. She currently lives in Charlottesville, Virginia. For more information, please see: valenciarobin.com
Join storyteller La’Ron Williams for a captivating and interactive performance. For over thirty years, La’Ron Williams has been an award winning and nationally acclaimed storyteller. He draws in listeners with his playful and malleable voice and inspires audiences with powerful tales.
La’Ron Williams is also a singer and instrumentalist. He uses many traditional instruments, including Cajon Drum from Peru, Caxixi Rattles from Brazil, and Mbira from Africa!
For Grades K-5.