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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.
A 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 Minutes, Frontline, The Oprah Winfrey Show, ABC’s World News Tonight, The Rachel Maddow Show, Democracy 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 Magazine, USA Today, Los 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
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org– 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 email@example.com at least two weeks prior to the event.
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.
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.
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.
Douglas Smith has been a social worker and community organizer for more than 40 years, in Chicago, Detroit, Ypsilanti, and now western Washtenaw County. His newest book of poetry is Social Work & Other Myths, a “poignant expression of compassion. These poems beseech us to identify with the humanity in the desperate, the afflicted, the abandoned, the evicted and the exiled.. Smith is a poet who creates an awareness that burrows into you and changes how you see.” (Brian Cox) .
The event begins with an Open Mic session when area poets can read their own work or share a favorite poem by another author in a welcoming atmosphere. This is part of a monthly series on the 2nd Thursday of most months in partnership withLes Go Social Media Marketing and Training. Signing to follow.
Tickets on sale now. Purchase here.
Literati Bookstore is honored to welcome renown, Booker Prize-winning author Salman Rushdie to Rackham Auditorium on the campus of the University of Michigan in support of his latest novel, Quichotte. The author will be joined in conversation by Rich Fahle of PBS Books.
Tickets are general admission and include a pre-signed hardcover copy of Quichotte, to be picked up at the venue the evening of the event. Literati will have additional copies of Salman Rushdie’s previous titles available for purchase. Parking in downtown Ann Arbor on Thursday evenings can be difficult. Surface spots are sparse, but a detailed map of available parking structures can be found here.
About the book:
A dazzling Don Quixote for the modern age—a tour de force that is as much an homage to an immortal work of literature as it is to the quest for love and family, by Booker Prize–winning, internationally bestselling author Salman Rushdie
Inspired by the Cervantes classic, Sam DuChamp, mediocre writer of spy thrillers, creates Quichotte, a courtly, addled salesman obsessed with television who falls in impossible love with a TV star. Together with his (imaginary) son Sancho, Quichotte sets off on a picaresque quest across America to prove worthy of her hand, gallantly braving the tragicomic perils of an age where “Anything-Can-Happen.” Meanwhile, his creator, in a midlife crisis, has equally urgent challenges of his own.
Just as Cervantes wrote Don Quixote to satirize the culture of his time, Rushdie takes the reader on a wild ride through a country on the verge of moral and spiritual collapse. And with the kind of storytelling magic that is the hallmark of Rushdie’s work, the fully realized lives of DuChamp and Quichotte intertwine in a profoundly human quest for love and a wickedly entertaining portrait of an age in which fact is so often indiscernible from fiction.
Salman Rushdie is the author of twelve novels—Grimus, Midnight’s Children (for which he won the Booker Prize and the Best of the Booker), Shame, The Satanic Verses, Haroun and The Sea of Stories, The Moor’s Last Sigh, The Ground Beneath Her Feet, Fury, Shalimar the Clown, The Enchantress of Florence, Luka and the Fire of Life, andTwo Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights—and one collection of short stories: East, West. He has also published four works of nonfiction—Joseph Anton, The Jaguar Smile, Imaginary Homelands, and Step Across This Line—and co-edited two anthologies, Mirrorwork and Best American Short Stories 2008. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University. A former president of PEN American Center, Rushdie was knighted in 2007 for services to literature.
Rich Fahle is Executive Producer of PBS Books and also the Chief Strategy Officer at 24G, a Detroit-based digital experience agency. He has worked with books and authors for more than 20 years. He was a Vice President at Borders Group, and prior to that, communications director at C-SPAN, where he helped launch Book TV.
Questions? Email John@literatibookstore.com
Tellers will be Beverly Black, Steve Daut, Jill Halpern,and Laura Lee Hayes – Storytelling has power. Much more than just talking about personal experiences, today’s professional, passionate and playful storytellers can grab your attention and hold you spellbound with each word and each gesture. Hosted by Steve Daut and Laura Lee Hayes. Mark your calendars and join us for Story Night in the Crazy Wisdom Tea Room
Amanda Goldblatt will join Elizabeth Ellen in conversation to discuss her debut title, Hard Mouth.
About the Book
For ten years, Denny’s father has battled cancer. The drawn-out loss has forged Denny into a dazed, antisocial young woman. On the clock, she works as a lab tech, readying fruit flies for experimentation. In her spare time, only her parents, an aggressively kind best friend, and her blowhard imaginary pal Gene—who she knows isn’t real—ornament her stale days in the DC suburbs.
Now her father’s cancer is back for a third time, and he’s rejecting treatment. Denny’s transgressive reaction is to flee. She begins to dismantle her life, constructing in its place the fantasy of perfect detachment. Unsure whether the impulse is monastic or suicidal, she rents a secluded cabin in the mountains. When she discovers life in the wilderness isn’t the perfect detachment she was expecting—and that she isn’t as alone as she’d hoped—Denny is forced to reckon with this failure while confronting a new life with its own set of pleasures and dangerous incursions.
Morbidly funny, subversive, and startling, Hard Mouth, the debut novel from 2018 NEA
Creative Writing Fellow Amanda Goldblatt, unpacks what it means to live while others are dying.
About the Author
AMANDA GOLDBLATT is a writer and teacher living in Chicago. She is a 2018 National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellow, and her fiction and essays have appeared in such journals as The Southern Review, NOON, Fence, Diagram, Hobart, and American Short Fiction. Hard Mouth is her debut novel.
About the Conversationalist
Elizabeth Ellen is the author of the novel Person/a, chosen by Lithub as a ‘best work of experimental literature’ for 2017. Her writing has been featured in such places as American Short Fiction, Salon, Bennington Review, BOMB, Joyland and Catapult. She is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize for her story, “Teen Culture,” included in her most recent collection Saul Stories. In 2018, she published her poetry collection Elizabeth Ellen. She is the founder of Short Flight/Long Drive books (SF/LD) and is deputy editor at Hobart literary journal. Her first story collection—Fast Machine—is an indie cult classic. She lives in Ann Arbor.
We welcome Christina Milletti to the store for a reading from her Juniper Prize-winning novel Choke Box: A Fem-Noir, part of our ongoing Fiction at Literati Series. Free and open to the public, book signing to follow.
About the book: When Edward Tamlin disappears while writing his memoir, Jane Tamlin (his wife and the mother of his young children) begins to write a secret, corrective “counter-memoir” of her own. Calling the book Choke Box, she reveals intimate, often irreverent, details about her family and marriage, rejecting — and occasionally celebrating — her suspected role in her husband’s disappearance.
Choke Box isn’t Jane’s first book. From her room in the Buffalo Psychiatric Institute, she slowly reveals a hidden history of the ghost authorship that has sabotaged her family and driven her to madness. Her latest work, finally written under her own name, is designed to reclaim her dark and troubled story. Yet even as Jane portrays her life as a wife, mother, and slighted artist with sardonic candor, her every word is underscored by one belief above all others: the complete truth is always a secret. But the stories we tell may help us survive — if they don’t kill us first.
Christina Milletti is associate professor of English at the University at Buffalo and author of the short story collection The Religious & Other Fictions. Her work has appeared in the Iowa Review, Best New American Voices, the Masters Review, Denver Quarterly, the Cincinnati Review, and the Brooklyn Rail, among other outlets.