Calendar

Sep
6
Fri
Randall Monroe in Conversation with Jim Ottaviani @ Rackham Auditorium
Sep 6 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS

Literati Bookstore is thrilled to welcome Randall Munroe to Rackham Auditorium in downtown Ann Arbor in support of his latest book, How to: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems. The program will feature a presentation, conversation, and Q&A. A book signing will follow. Detailed instructions for the book signing to come.

Tickets are general admission and include a hardcover copy of How to, to be picked up at the venue the evening of the event. Literati will have additional copies of Randall Munroe’s previous titles available for purchase. Parking in downtown Ann Arbor on Friday evenings can be difficult. Surface spots are sparse, but a detailed map of available (and walkable) parking structures can be found here.

For any task you might want to do, there’s a right way, a wrong way, and a way so monumentally complex, excessive, and inadvisable that no one would ever try it. How To is a guide to the third kind of approach. It’s full of highly impractical advice for everything from landing a plane to digging a hole.

Bestselling author and cartoonist Randall Munroe explains how to predict the weather by analyzing the pixels of your Facebook photos. He teaches you how to tell if you’re a baby boomer or a 90’s kid by measuring the radioactivity of your teeth. He offers tips for taking a selfie with a telescope, crossing a river by boiling it, and powering your house by destroying the fabric of space-time. And if you want to get rid of the book once you’re done with it, he walks you through your options for proper disposal, including dissolving it in the ocean, converting it to a vapor, using tectonic plates to subduct it into the Earth’s mantle, or launching it into the Sun.

By exploring the most complicated ways to do simple tasks, Munroe doesn’t just make things difficult for himself and his readers. As he did so brilliantly in What If?, Munroe invites us to explore the most absurd reaches of the possible. Full of clever infographics and amusing illustrations, How To is a delightfully mind-bending way to better understand the science and technology underlying the things we do every day.

Randall Munroe is the author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers What If? and Thing Explainer, the science question-and-answer blog What If, and the popular webcomic xkcd. A former NASA roboticist, he left the agency in 2006 to draw comics on the internet full-time. He lives in Massachusetts.

Event Questions? Email john@literatibookstore.com

Sep
9
Mon
Fiction at Literati: Rachel DeWoskin: Banshee @ Literati
Sep 9 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

We welcome Rachel Dewoskin back to our store in support of her new novel, Banshee, which Cheryl Strayed calls “Sexy and sad, dark and funny, ruthless and kind, this is Rachel Dewoskin’s ferociously feminist masterpiece,” as part of our ongoing Fiction at Literati series. Free and open to the public. A book signing to follow. 

About the book:Samantha Baxter has a full, sane life–creative job, lovely family, and all the trappings of middle-age happiness. But when she gets a diagnosis that terrifies her, a lifetime of polite pleasing and putting others first ignites in her a surprising, pure rage. Maybe Sam will survive the surgery, and maybe not, but either way, she’ll spend the next three weeks burning her life down: sleeping with a student her daughter’s age, speaking every truth she’s ever swallowed, and refusing to apologize for her wildest, most essential self.

Rachel DeWoskin is the author of Someday We Will Fly (Penguin, 2019); Blind (Penguin, 2014); Big Girl Small (FSG, 2011); Repeat After Me (The Overlook Press, 2009); and Foreign Babes in Beijing (WW Norton, 2005). She is on the core fiction faculty at the University of Chicago, and is an affiliated faculty member of the Centers for East Asian Studies and Jewish Studies.

Sep
10
Tue
Poetry at Literati: Jeff Kass: Teacher/Pizza Guy @ Literati
Sep 10 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

We welcome Jeff Kass back to Literati for a reading from his new poetry collection, Teacher/Pizza Guy, as part of our ongoing Poetry at Literati series. Free and open to the public, book signing to follow. 

About the book: Explores the emotional and physical labor necessary to work nights as a pizza delivery driver and days as a high school English teacher.

Jeff Kass teaches tenth-grade English and creative writing at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He is the founder of the Literary Arts Program at Ann Arbor’s teen center, The Neutral Zone, where he was program director for twenty years. He is also the author of the award-winning short story collection Knuckleheads, the poetry collection My Beautiful Hook-Nosed Beauty Queen Strut Wave, and the thriller Takedown. He lives in Ann Arbor with the author Karen Smyte and their children, Sam and Julius.

Sep
11
Wed
Lara Zielin: Author Your Life @ AADL Westgate
Sep 11 @ 7:00 pm – 8:45 pm

As a published young-adult and romance author, Lara Zielin was always asking what her characters wanted and what would make them happy. Her life changed forever when she began to ask those same questions about herself.

At the start of 2018, Lara began a book she unimaginatively titled Lara’s Life to test whether writing about the life she wanted to have could actually help it come to pass.

Every day she wrote about herself like a character in the third person, and wrote about the things she wanted to have happen to this person. After a year of doing this, her life was markedly different.

Come hear Lara talk about the process of third-person writing and the reasons why writing about yourself this way can change cognitive patterns and lead to breakthroughs. Lara will explain how you can begin to put pen to paper in this way yourself, and she’ll give you prompts and writing tips for your own story.

This event includes a book signing and books will be on sale.

 

Poetry and the Written Word: Poetry Workshop @ Crazy Wisdom
Sep 11 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

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; eacmorso@sbcglobal.net or cwpoetrycircle.tumblr.com.

 

Sister Helen Prejean: River of Fire @ First United Methodist Church
Sep 11 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Tickets available now. Click here.

Literati is pleased to welcome Sister Helen Prejean to First United Methodist Church of Ann Arbor in support of her latest, River of Fire: My Spiritual Journey. Sr. Helen will be introduced by Ashley Lucas, Director of the Prison Creative Arts Project at the University of Michigan, and joined in conversation by Rev. Nancy S. Lynn. A Q&A and book signing will follow. 

limited number of book bundle tickets are available, and these include a hardcover copy River of Fire, reserved general admission seating at the front of the venue, and signing line priority (note that for parties wishing to sit together in this reserved area, each member must purchase a book bundle ticket).

Copies of River of Fire and a selection Sister Helen’s previous books will be available for purchase for all guests. Any person with books to sign may join the signing line, following all Book Bundle guests. 

Please note that FUMC’s sanctuary is not air-conditioned. Guests are welcomed and encouraged to bring personal fans if it proves to be a particularly warm evening. 

Parking in downtown Ann Arbor can be difficult. Surface spots are sparse, but a detailed map of available (and walkable) parking structures can be found here

About the Book: In this revelatory, intimate memoir of her childhood, her spiritual evolution, and how she became “lit” to her crusade, Sister Helen chronicles her journey from one who prayed for God to solve the world’s problems to one engaged full-tilt, hands-on, in the work to transform societal injustices. She writes about growing up in a well-off Baton Rouge family, one that still employed black servants in the racially segregated South, and how she joined the Sisters of St. Joseph at the age of eighteen. Life in the novitiate, which aimed at spiritual holiness, set strict boundaries of separation from the (sinful) “world” – but all that changed in the wake of Vatican II, which brought the winds of change in the Catholic Church. Inspired by Catholic activists such as Dorothy Day in the inner city and Jesuit priests who went to prison for destroying draft files in opposition to the Vietnam war, Sister Helen started to immerse herself in the struggle of poor people in New Orleans forced to live on the margins of society. River of Fire is at turns honest and humorous, and she writes openly about her friendships with other women who have inspired and nurtured her, as well as a close friendship with a priest— obsessively intent on marrying her—and how  these relationships challenged her vocation in “new territory of the heart” and propelled her further into deepening both her life in the Sisterhood and her engagement in  social justice, where she is today.

River of Fire is a story of faith and spirituality, doubt and belief, addressed to believers, agnostics, and “nones” alike.  It tells about  “catching on fire” to purpose and passion. Accessible, humorous, luminous and on point for these polarized times when awakened social conscience and citizen action have never been more needed, Sister Helen shows us how to live a spiritual life that is wide awake to the sufferings and creative opportunities of our world.

Helen Prejean, CSJ, is the author of the #1 national bestseller Dead Man Walking. A member of the Congregation of St. Joseph, she has appeared on 60 MinutesFrontlineThe Oprah Winfrey Show, ABC’s World News TonightThe Rachel Maddow ShowDemocracy Now!Crossfire, NBC’s special series on the death penalty, and NPR’s All Things Considered, and has been featured in The New York Times MagazineUSA TodayLos Angeles Times, and The New York Review of Books.

About First United Methodist Church: At First United Methodist Church of Ann Arbor, we welcome everyone of every ability! Young or old, Democrat or Republican, gay or straight, genderqueer or cisgender, filled with doubts or firm in your faith–you are invited to join us. Our congregation is grounded in the gospel of Jesus Christ, which tears down walls and builds up community. We are progressive and relevant–committed to seeking peace and building hope through worship, service, social justice, and educational opportunities in our local, national, and international communities. www.fumc-a2.org

Questions? Email John@LiteratiBookstore.com 

Poetry Salon: One Pause Poetry @ Argus Farm Stop
Sep 11 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm

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.

 

 

 

Sep
12
Thu
Zell Visiting Writers Series: Gala Mukomolova: Reading and Book Signing @ U-M Museum of Art Stern Auditorium
Sep 12 @ 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Gala Mukomolova’s full-length poetry book, Without Protection (Coffee House Press 2019), explores her complex identity―Jewish, post-Soviet, refugee, New Yorker, lesbian― through a Russian fable.

Mukomolova is a Moscow-born, Brooklyn-raised poet and essayist. She is the author of the chapbook One Above One Below: Positions and Lamentations (YesYes Books 2018). She received her MFA from the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan. Her past residencies include Vermont Studio Center, Six Points Fellowship for Emerging Jewish Artists and The Pink Door. Her poems and essays have appeared in Poetry, PEN American, PANK and elsewhere. She writes articles on astrology for NYLON and is cohost of the podcast Big Dyke Energy.

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

For any questions about the event or to share accommodation needs, please email asbates@umich.edu– we are eager to help ensure that this event is inclusive to you. The building, event space, and restrooms are wheelchair accessible. Diaper changing tables are available in nearby restrooms. Gender-inclusive restrooms are available on the second floor of the Museum, accessible via the stairs, or in nearby Hatcher Graduate Library (Floors 3, 4, 5, and 6). The Hatcher Library also offers a reflection room (4th Floor South Stacks), and a lactation room (Room 13W, an anteroom to the basement women’s staff restroom, or Room 108B, an anteroom of the first floor women’s restroom). ASL interpreters and CART services are available upon request; please email asbates@umich.edu at least two weeks prior to the event.

Braylon Edwards and Tom VanHaaren: Doing It My Way @ Nicola's Books
Sep 12 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Braylon Edwards and Tom VanHaaren are stopping in for a signing of their new book, Braylon’s autobiography, Doing It My Way. Please read signing information below.

Signing Information

No ticket is needed, but to join the signing line and have your book signed, you will need to purchase a copy from Nicola’s Books (either in-store or at the event) to receive a signing line ticket. Already bought your book from Nicola’s Books, but want to join the signing line? Simply bring your Nicola’s Books receipt to the store, and we will give you a signing line ticket.

About the Book

Braylon Edwards has heard all the talk—that he’s only out for himself, only about the money; he’s a bust, a bad guy, a troublemaker, a typical wide receiver who doesn’t get it. He’s also heard the cheering fans, heard them singing “The Victors” after wins in the Big House, and cherished the smiles he saw in the crowd. All of it leaves an impression, just as Edwards has left his mark in return. In this frank, unflinching autobiography, Edwards reveals the heartbeat behind the padded armor and shares how football helped him find his place and gave him a voice. He details his transformative time in Ann Arbor, how he felt when he was drafted by the Cleveland Browns, what was going through his head when he got traded to the Jets, and lays bare all the bumps, bruises, and unexpected turns along the way.

About the Author

Braylon Edwards played college football at the University of Michigan, where he received unanimous All-American honors and became the first receiver in Big Ten Conference history to record three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. He played in the NFL for the Cleveland Browns, New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers, and Seattle Seahawks.

Tom VanHaaren has covered college football and recruiting for ESPN since 2011. A Michigan native, Tom started his career in 2009, focusing on Michigan Wolverines football and recruiting. Tom, his wife, Laura, and their three children currently reside in southeast Michigan.

Camille Dungy and Sumita Chakraborty: Poetry in the Garden @ White Lotus Farms
Sep 12 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Come join us for a night of poetry in the garden. This free and public reading will feature award winning poet Camille Dungy and Sumita Chakraborty. The reading takes place in the serene White Lotus Farms garden and will feature a book signing with the poets afterwards.

This event is made possible by a generous Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs Grant and other donors.