Peter Ho Davies is the author of two novels, The Fortunes (winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Award and the Chautauqua Prize) and The Welsh Girl(long-listed for the Man Booker Prize), and two short story collections, The Ugliest House in the World (winner of the John Llewelyn Rhys Prize) and Equal Love (A New York Times Notable Book). His work has appeared in Harpers, The Atlantic, The Paris Review, The Guardian, and Washington Post among others, and has been widely anthologized, including selections for Prize Stories:The O. Henry Awards and Best American Short Stories. In 2003 Granta magazine named him among its Best of Young British Novelists. Davies is also a recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, and is a winner of the PEN/Malamud Award. He is currently on the faculty of the Helen Zell MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
Dwight Wilson will join us to share The Resistors, stories of slavery and the brave black, white, Native American, and multiracial men and women who fought against it.
About the Book
Wilson’s (The Kidnapped, 2018, etc.) new volume of historical fiction weaves together 24 short stories to create a remarkable, multihued portrait of America.
These are the stories of slavery and the brave black, white, Native American, and multiracial men and women who fought against it. The narrative begins in 1795. Esi and Kofi, two Fante from West Africa, were kidnapped and sent to Virginia to be sold. Esi was Fante royalty; Kofi was known for his bravery in confronting a lion. They were 12 years old. Purchased by a farmer from Daufuskie Island, they remained on his plantation until his death in 1801. Esi and Kofi (who assumed the English name Kenneth) married at 16 and were sold to Nathan Prescott of Culpeper, Virginia, to work on his “Fruits of the Spirit” plantation. They had many children, some of whom were forcibly fathered by Prescott. Kenneth earned small amounts of money on the side as a cobbler and was determined to buy his children’s freedom. Then, help appeared from another source. Quaker abolitionists established an underground railroad and offered sanctuary to those who made their way into free territory. In 1827, Kenneth’s daughter Sarah and two of her brothers were rescued by an “African-Shawnee” named Caesar and brought to live with a Quaker family in Ohio. The stories, narrated in the strong and textured voice of Sarah, span the first half of the 19th century. Here, she poignantly describes her father: “I know that Daddy was always a double-sided man: a Fante warrior dressed in a slave’s rags; dignified while disgraced.” The stories are the product of the author’s imagination, informed by years of research and personal lineage. Wilson, himself a Quaker, identifies Sarah as a “direct ancestor.” Each stand-alone tale conveys a quick snapshot of resistance, whether through overt acts of rescue/escape or the quiet refusal to submit to degradation of the soul. The conversational prose captures the cadence and imagery of the period, including racist slurs, but without contrived dialect.
Memorable characters and unique historical details illuminate slavery’s complex legacy.
About the Author
Dwight L. Wilson is father to four sons and grandfather to two grandsons and two granddaughters. He lives in Ann Arbor with his wife Diane, an attorney.
He spent 41 years as a school professional including serving as Headmaster and Dean as well as Assistant Chaplain at Oberlin College and Associate Dean at Marshall University. He is also a recorded Friends Minister who pastored Durham Maine Friends Meeting and is the only person of color to serve as General Secretary of Friends General Conference.
Currently he serves as Co-Director of the Washtenaw County Interfaith Round Table, helping to deepen the understanding and inter-congregation support of the myriad spiritual groups of Ann Arbor, Michigan and environs.
Among Friends, as a volunteer he has served on the national board of the American Friends Service Committee, as Clerk of Earlham School of Religion and as a trustee with Friends World College, Haverford College, Wilmington College, Medford Leas Retirement Center, Rancocas Friends School and Pendle Hill. With non-profits he has been Chair of the Wayne State Medical School Anti-Prostate Cancer Study Group, Afri-Male Institute and Burlington County Boys and Girls Club as well as a trustee with the Burlington County YMCA. SafeHouse Womens Center and Student Advocacy Center. He served seven years as Ann Arbor Human Rights Commission where for four years he chaired the Subcommittee on Police Oversight.
He has published historical fiction including The Kidnapped: A Collection of Stories, The Resistors: A Collection of Stories and six books in the series Esi Was My Mother. His book Modern Psalms in Search of Peace and Justice is fed by his Quaker faith and a lifetime of social activism. His haiku and essays on Japanese Poetry have been published in periodicals spanning the globe.
In addition to writing historical novels and modern psalms he has published both religious and educational articles in a variety of magazines and been featured author in The Inclusive School.
Fri, Oct 4, 5:30 PM
CREES Distinguished Lecture and Film. “From the Soviet Gulag to Franco’s Spain: Historical Fiction’s Power for Global Dialogue.” Ruta Sepetys, author. Lecture followed at 7 PM by a screening of Ashes in the Snow. Marius A. Markevicius, director (98 min., 2018), based on the novel Between Shades of Gray, by Ruta Sepetys. Sponsor: CREES. Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty.
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.
Social media is here to stay, and every writer should have some kind of online presence. But hard-sell techniques are so last-century, and savvy writers can do better. In this workshop, Alex Kourvo and Bethany Neal will show you how to make genuine connections online, interact with readers, and get your name out there in a low-stress way.
This is part of the monthly Emerging Writers Workshops, which offer support, learning, and advice for local authors. Each month, two weeks after the workshop, there is a meet-up where the instructors will read samples of your work and offer advice and assistance in a casual, supportive atmosphere.
Do you have a completed manuscript? Consider submitting it to the library’s imprint Fifth Avenue Press.
Drawing on archival research and fieldwork, this talk will explore how B.K.S.Iyengar, (1918-2014) widely acclaimed as a man instrumental in bringing postural yoga to the West, came to understand yoga as an art and see himself as an artist.
The Center for World Performance Studies Faculty Lecture Series features our Faculty Fellows and visiting scholars and practitioners in the fields of ethnography and performance. Designed to create an informal and intimate setting for intellectual exchange among students, scholars, and the community, faculty are invited to present their work in an interactive and performative fashion.
Please join us as we welcome River Coello to campus as our keynote speaker for National Coming Out Week 2019 and LGBTQ History Month 2019.
River Coello is a queer and trans multidisciplinary artist from Guayaquil, Ecuador living in Chicago, Illinois.
As an actor, River has appeared on various stage productions, having trained at Acting Studio Chicago, Second City Training Center, and the University of Michigan. As a writer, River’s work explores various liminalities of the human condition through a focus on River’s own identities and experiences, grounded in a deeply spiritual perspective.
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; email@example.com 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.