We welcome award-winning author Aaron Hamburger as part of our ongoing Fiction at Literati series, in support of his latest novel Nirvana is Here. Book signing to follow. Free and open to the public.
About the book: When his ex-husband is accused of sexual harassment in the #metoo era, history professor Ari Silverman is forced to confront long-buried trauma from his childhood, where he and his high school crush bonded over the raw emotion of Kurt Cobain’s lyrics in the segregated suburbs of 1990s Detroit.
“A tender self-reckoning, Nirvana Is Here brings the past full circle. Hamburger deftly reveals how incidents recede–even if they leave their mark–to bring new hopes into focus.” –Foreword Reviews
“Deft characterization of a person who seeks to close the space between the past and present self.” –Lambda Literary Review
“Hamburger is tender and provocative in his examinations of sexual abuse, racial strife in ’90s Detroit, and the way that discovering Nirvana changes everything about Ari’s world. The complexities of this novel are deftly handled by Hamburger, whose sensitive and observant prose is a pure joy to read on every page.” –Electric Literature
Aaron Hamburger is the author of a story collection titled The View from Stalin’s Head (Random House), winner of the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His second book, the novel Faith for Beginners (Random House), was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, O, the Oprah Magazine, Details, The Village Voice, Poets & Writers, Tin House, Out, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Forward and numerous other publications. In addition, he has also won fellowships from Yaddo, Djerassi, the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, and the Edward F. Albee Foundation as well as first prize in the Dornstein Contest for Young Jewish Writers. He has taught creative writing at Columbia University, the George Washington University, New York University, Brooklyn College, and the Stonecoast MFA Program. He currently resides in Washington, D.C.
We welcome author Sarah Miller in support of her nonfiction book for young readers, The Miracle & Tragedy of the Dionne Quintuplets. A book signing will follow the event. The event is free and open to the public.
About the book: In this riveting, beyond-belief true story from the author of The Borden Murders,meet the five children who captivated the entire world. When the Dionne Quintuplets were born on May 28, 1934, weighing a grand total of just over 13 pounds, no one expected them to live so much as an hour. Overnight, Yvonne, Annette, Cécile, Émilie, and Marie Dionne mesmerized the globe, defying medical history with every breath they took. In an effort to protect them from hucksters and showmen, the Ontario government took custody of the five identical babies, sequestering them in a private, custom-built hospital across the road from their family–and then, in a stunning act of hypocrisy, proceeded to exploit them for the next nine years. The Dionne Quintuplets became a more popular attraction than Niagara Falls, ogled through one-way screens by sightseers as they splashed in their wading pool at the center of a tourist hotspot known as Quintland. Here, Sarah Miller reconstructs their unprecedented upbringing with fresh depth and subtlety, bringing to new light their resilience and the indelible bond of their unique sisterhood.
Sarah Miller is the author of the historical fiction novels Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller, which was called “an accomplished debut” in a starred review from Booklist and was named an ALA–ALSC Notable Children’s Book, and The Lost Crown, a novel hailed as “fascinating” in a starred review from Kirkus Reviews and named an ALA–YALSA Best Book for Young Adults
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 Nishanth Injam and Monica Rico.
Nishanth Injam is a fiction writer from Telangana, India. He currently lives in Ann Arbor.
Monica Rico is a second generation Mexican-American from Saginaw, MI and a 2019 CantoMundo Fellow. She works for the Bear River Writers’ Conference.
Join author Karin Risko and photographer Rodney Arroyo as they share highlights of their book, A History Lover’s Guide to Detroit, an intimate tour of the city that put the world on wheels. Discover an amazing history of innovation, philanthropy, social justice, and culture.
This event includes a signing with books for sale.
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.
We welcome law professor and author Leah Plunkett in support of her recent book Sharenthood: Why We Should Think Before We Talk about Our Kids Online. A book signing will follow. The event is free and open to the public.
About the book:
From baby pictures in the cloud to a high school’s digital surveillance system: how adults unwittingly compromise children’s privacy online.
Our children’s first digital footprints are made before they can walk–even before they are born–as parents use fertility apps to aid conception, post ultrasound images, and share their baby’s hospital mug shot. Then, in rapid succession come terabytes of baby pictures stored in the cloud, digital baby monitors with built-in artificial intelligence, and real-time updates from daycare. When school starts, there are cafeteria cards that catalog food purchases, bus passes that track when kids are on and off the bus, electronic health records in the nurse’s office, and a school surveillance system that has eyes everywhere. Unwittingly, parents, teachers, and other trusted adults are compiling digital dossiers for children that could be available to everyone–friends, employers, law enforcement–forever. In this incisive book, Leah Plunkett examines the implications of “sharenthood”–adults’ excessive digital sharing of children’s data. She outlines the mistakes adults make with kids’ private information, the risks that result, and the legal system that enables “sharenting.”
Plunkett describes various modes of sharenting–including “commercial sharenting,” efforts by parents to use their families’ private experiences to make money–and unpacks the faulty assumptions made by our legal system about children, parents, and privacy. She proposes a “thought compass” to guide adults in their decision making about children’s digital data: play, forget, connect, and respect. Enshrining every false step and bad choice, Plunkett argues, can rob children of their chance to explore and learn lessons. The Internet needs to forget. We need to remember.
Leah Plunkett is Associate Dean for Administration, Associate Professor of Legal Skills, and Director of Academic Success at the University of New Hampshire School of Law. She is Faculty Associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University.
We welcome Jon Sands as part of our ongoing Poetry at Literati series, in support of his latest collection It’s Not Magic. Free and open to the public. Book signing to follow.
About the collection: Snapshots of youth, displayed with verve and sparkling clarity, in a new collection of poems that “dazzles with its linguistic sleight of hand” (Richard Blanco). From jaunts through New York subways, to a Cincinnati Waffle House, to a chance encounter with one’s future life partner, Sands writes in turns autobiographically and imaginatively, drawing on voices from his private world and the public sphere to create an urgent portrait of youth that is almost rebellious in its sheer, persistent joy. Nostalgic and vivid, this collection of poems is written reverie. Selected by Richard Blanco, Jon Sands is the winner of the 2018 National Poetry Series.
Jon Sands is the author of The New Clean and the cohost of The Poetry Gods podcast. His work has been featured in the New York Times and anthologized in The Best American Poetry. He’s received residencies and fellowships from the Blue Mountain Center, the Brooklyn Arts Council, the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses, and the Jerome Foundation. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.
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.