Celebrating our common humanity uniting us all.
On September 22, 29, and October 6, 7:00 pm, the theatre company, Apollo’s Troupe, will stage the theatre adaptation of the critically-acclaimed epic poem, The Parliament of Poets, written by Michigan poet Frederick Glaysher and published in 2012 by Earthrise Press. Fresh from performing in May at Wayne State University’s Studio Theatre, this stage adaptation of Mr. Glaysher’s epic work in verse keeps intact much of the beautiful poetry that exemplifies this spectacular book while seeking to reach a new audience with its message of how poetry and artistry from all times and cultures can elevate the world and redefine our lives for the better.
Glaysher studied with Robert Hayden during the last year of his life, worked for him as a secretary, and editing his Collected Prose for the University of Michigan Press and his Collected Poems for Liveright. Glaysher holds two degrees from U of M, the latter a Master’s in English. When it came time for writing his epic poem, Glaysher knew he had to include Robert Hayden to try to honor his former teacher, mentor, and friend.
Taking place on the moon at the Apollo 11 landing site, a lone poet finds himself charged by Don Quixote and “The Parliament of Poets” to spread a new message of beauty, unity, and love to all nations of our fractured modern world. He is then sent to meet with the great poets, myths, and characters from history, East and West, to be mentored on his quest towards enlightenment and understanding.
The cast is comprised of the poet himself, as a persona, The Poet of the Moon, as well as five talented actors playing multiple roles including Don Quixote, Merlin the Magician, Jane Austen, Ann Arbor Poet Robert Hayden, Leo Tolstoy, the Biblical prophet-poet Job, the great Chinese poet Du Fu, the African Queen Sogolon, and many more. These actors are Dennis Kleinsmith as Don Quixote and Tolstoy (Theatre Nova, JET, Shakespeare in Detroit, etc.), Krystle Dellihue as Robert Hayden and Queen Sogolon from the Mali epic Sundiata (Shakespeare In Detroit, Matrix Theatre, Redbud, PTD), Alexander Sloan, also as Robert Hayden and Jorge Luis Borges (Open Book, Water Works, Hope College), Marley Boone, as the Fairy Queen and the Chinese Tang poet Du Fu (Williamston, St. Dunstan’s, several Philadelphia theatres), Patrick Grimes, as the African Flying Tortoise Mbeku, Merlin, Virgil, and William Blake (Redbud, Morris, Young People’s Theatre). The stage manager is Briana O’Neal, the new resident stage manager at Theatre Nova (Eastern MSU, Ann Arbor Civic Theatre).
In the canto with Robert Hayden, he invokes the passage from Stephen Vincent Benet’s John Brown’s Body about one day there would be an American black poet who would sing for his people. Hayden then calls forth the fairies and magical beings from around the world, throughout time, to carry him and his “charge,” the Poet of the Moon, heavenward to the Apollo 11 landing site.
Based on staging by Jeff Thomakos, of the Michigan Michael Chekhov Studio, the show is a unique blend of poetry reading, protest play, and performance art with a powerful message of peace, love, and humanity on the tiny, blue marble floating in space that we all share together.
“I am very honored to try to bring this critically-acclaimed work, from one of Michigan’s most talented poets to life. I think it will be a unique and moving experience,” says Mr. Thomakos.
The show will be a Guest Production at Theatre Nova, 410 West Huron Street. Performances will take place 7:00 – 9:00 pm on Sunday evenings September 22, 29, and October 6. Tickets are at the door and online under Guest Productions, https://www.theatrenova.org/guest-productions $22 general, $15 students. Go to TheatreNova.org or EarthrisePress.Net for more information. Or call 248-453-4220. The Parliament of Poets can be purchased at Crazy Wisdom Bookstore.
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.
The Michigan Quarterly Review launches its fall issue. Details and contributor bios to come. Stay tuned!
Author and former director of the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at The University of Michigan visits as part of our ongoing Fiction at Literati Series, in support of her new novel The Professor of Immortality. Eileen will be in-conversation with Literati bookseller and author Lillian Li. A book signing will follow. The event is free and open to the public.
About the book: Professor Maxine Sayers once found her personal and professional life so fulfilling that she founded the Institute of Future Studies, a program dedicated to studying the effects of technology on our culture and finding ways to prolong human life. But when her beloved husband dies, she is so devastated she can barely get out of bed. To make matters worse, her son, Zach, has abruptly quit his job in Silicon Valley and been out of contact for seven months. Maxine is jolted from her grief by her sudden suspicion that a favorite former student (and a former close friend of her son) might be a terrorist called the Technobomber and that Zach might either be involved in or become a victim of this extremist’s bombing. Deserting her teaching responsibilities, her ailing mother, and an appealing suitor, Maxine feels compelled to set out and search for her son in order to warn and protect him, even as she knows she should report her suspicions to the FBI to prevent greater carnage.
Eileen Pollack graduated with a BS in physics from Yale and earned an MFA in creative writing from the University of Iowa. She is the author of the novels The Bible of Dirty Jokes, A Perfect Life, Breaking and Entering, andParadise, New York, the short-story collections In the Mouth and The Rabbi in the Attic, and the nonfiction books The Only Woman in the Room: Why Science Is Still a Boys’ Club and Woman Walking Ahead: In Search of Catherine Weldon and Sitting Bull. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Michener Foundation, the Rona Jaffe Foundation, and the Massachusetts Arts Council. Her novella “The Bris” was chosen to appear in Best American Short Stories, edited by Stephen King; two other stories have been awarded Pushcart Prizes, and her essay “Pigeons” was selected by Cheryl Strayed for Best American Essays. Formerly the director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Michigan, she now lives in New York City.
Lillian Li received her BA from Princeton and her MFA from the University of Michigan. She is the recipient of a Hopwood Award in Short Fiction, as well as Glimmer Train‘s New Writer Award. Her work has been featured in Guernica, Granta, and Jezebel. She is from the D.C. metro area and lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Number One Chinese Restaurant is her first novel.
CM Burroughs’ book of poems, The Vital System (Tupelo Press), illuminates what she calls “the protective capability of violence.” In the words of renowned French feminist scholar Hélène Cixous: “Burroughs delves into the ultra-sensitive roots of being; where sufferings and desires take shape, she gathers each breath as yet unheard and leads it to speech.”
Burroughs is an Associate Professor of Poetry at Columbia College Chicago. She has been awarded fellowships and grants from Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, Djerassi Foundation, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Cave Canem Foundation. She has received commissions from the Studio Museum of Harlem and the Warhol Museum to create poetry in response to art installations.
Her poetry has appeared in journals and anthologies including Poetry, Callaloo, jubilat, Ploughshares, VOLT, and Best American Experimental Writing 2015. Her second book, Master Suffering, will be published by Tupelo Press in 2020.
This event is free and open to the public.
The Zell Visiting Writers Series brings outstanding writers to campus each semester. 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 welcome three incredible poets–Oliver Baez Bendorf, Suzi F. Garcia, & David Hornibrook–as part of our ongoing Poetry at Literati Series. A book signing will follow. The event is free and open to the public.
Oliver Baez Bendorf’s debut full-length collection, The Spectral Wilderness (Kent State U.) was selected by Mark Doty for the Stan & Tom Wick Poetry Prize. His second book, Advantages of Being Evergreen, won CSU Poetry Center’s Open Book Poetry Competition and will be published September 10, 2019. His poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Poetry, BOMB, Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day, Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics, and elsewhere. He has been a featured reader at New Orleans Poetry Festival, The White House, Smith College, and Woodland Pattern. A recipient of honors and fellowships from CantoMundo, Lambda Literary, Vermont Studio Center, and University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Institute for Creative Writing, he is an assistant professor of creative writing at Kalamazoo College in Michigan. https://www.oliverbaezbendorf.com/
Suzi F. Garcia is the author of the chapbook, Dear Dorothy: A Home Grown Fairytale, Skull + Wind Press, 2020. The daughter of a Peruvian immigrant, raised in Arkansas, she has an MFA in Creative Writing with minors in Screen Cultures and Gender Studies. Suzi is an Executive Editor at Noemi Press, where she has worked with authors such as the Blunt Research Group, Jennifer Tamayo, Roberto Tejada, Thirii Myint, and Vanessa Villarreal. Suzi is a CantoMundo Fellow, a Macondista, and participated in the first-ever Poetry Incubator at the Poetry Foundation. She is teaching a 2019 Telluride Association Summer Program seminar. Her writing has been featured or is forthcoming from the Offing, Vinyl, Fence Magazine, and more. She has presented at PCA/ACA, AWP, and Console-ing Passions, among other national conferences.
David Hornibrook grew up in the suburbs of Detroit where he worked for many years as a caregiver and non-profit administrator. His poems have won multiple awards, including a Pushcart Prize. Hornibrook holds an MFA from the Helen Zell Writer’s Program at the University of Michigan.
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.
This week’s reading features Karolina Letunova and Mariya Zilberman.
Born and raised in a Siberian coal town, Karolina Letunova writes fiction. She is working on her first novel.
Mariya Zilberman is an Ann Arbor-based poet. She immigrated to the United States from Minsk, Belarus and grew up in Maryland.
Literati Bookstore is pleased to be on hand to booksell as James Poniewozik visits the Ann Arbor District Library’s downtown branch. The event will take place in the lobby and is free and open to the public.
About the book: In his new book Audience of One: Donald Trump, Television, and the Fracturing of America, New York Times’s James Poniewozik argues that what made Donald Trump isn’t simply business or politics or populism. To understand President Trump, Poniewozik states, we need to understand modern television itself. In this new book, he breaks down the medium in fresh, piercing ways, finding the parallels between television’s forty-year fracturing and Trump’s ascendancy from gossip item to reality star. Poniewozik traces the culture’s growing fascination with antiheroes and celebrity and demonstrates just how far that has extended into Trump’s presidency.
James Poniewozik has been the chief television critic of the New York Times since 2015. He was previously the television and media critic for Time and a media columnist for Salon. This event includes a signing with books for sale.
Skazat! is back, and have we got a season lined up for you! Join us at Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea Washington St. on September 24 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: BRYAN THAO WORRA
We welcome poet and Ford School of Public Policy professor Molly Spencer in support of her collection, If the house, winner of the 2019 Brittingham Prize judged by Carl Philips. A book signing will follow. The event is free and open to the public.
Molly Spencer‘s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Blackbird, Copper Nickel, FIELD, The Georgia Review, Gettysburg Review, New England Review, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, and other journals. Her critical writing has appeared at Colorado Review, Kenyon Review Online, Tupelo Quarterly, and The Rumpus. She holds an MPA from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University and an MFA from the Rainier Writing Workshop, and is a Poetry Editor at The Rumpus. Her collection, If the house, won the 2019 Brittingham Prize judged by Carl Phillips, and is forthcoming from the University of Wisconsin Press in October of 2019. A second collection, Relic and the Plum, won the 2019 Crab Orchard Open Competition judged by Allison Joseph, and will be out in September of 2020. Molly teaches at the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.