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.
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.
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.
The Michigan Quarterly Review launches its fall issue. Details and contributor bios to come. Stay tuned!
We are pleased to present Ann Arbor poet Paul Bernstein who will read from his new poetry book, What the Owls Know. He began publishing his poetry as an undergrad at U of M in the 1960s. Paul was not only a member of Ann Arbor’s vibrant artistic and cultural community but also an SDS militant and later editor/writer for the underground paper Up Against the Wall Street Journal. After leaving school he embarked on a varied career as a library worker/weekend hippie, anti-war activist, full-time staff writer for various radical socialist papers, medical editor, and managing editor. Paul resumed writing poetry some 20 years ago and his work now appears regularly in journals and anthologies. He is also a prizewinning amateur country music lyricist and a published photographer. Recent work has also appeared or is forthcoming in Down in the Dirt, Third Wednesday, Muddy River Poetry Review, New Plains Review, and U.S. 1 Worksheets. Paul moved back to Ann Arbor in 2011, where he often attends and/or participates in local poetry events.
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 with Les Go Social Media Marketing and Training. Light refreshments, signing to follow.
“In his debut poetry collection, Paul Bernstein takes stock of a life, experiencing the richness and despairs of this material world and anticipating his soul’s inevitable transmigration to the next. Like the owls in the title poem, Bernstein voices wisdom that others may fear, as he and the night birds “lurk in gloom / for ghosts to rise up / from their graves.” These are poems from a man who has seen life stretch both before and behind him, both a youthful traveler “romp[ing] in the cowboy west” and an older, more disillusioned presence “stuck with you, / a dead lump of stone / I can’t move,” a Sisyphus of the heart who awaits eventual relief. Come join Bernstein in his astute poems, which snatch moments of sly joy, meaning, and possible redemption like seeds scattered throughout the rocky ground of a fully-lived life.”
—John F. Buckley, Author, Sky Sandwiches
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.
National Coming Out Day is observed annually to celebrate coming out as an LGBTQ+ or ally, and to raise awareness of the LGBTQ+ community and civil rights movement.
Our stories can be powerful to each other. Come celebrate the journey of coming out by witnessing local poets, writers, and artists perform pieces about their own journeys and identities.
This event is part of AADL’s 2019 National Coming Out Day events.
Open-mic storytelling competitions. Open to anyone with a five-minute story to share on the night’s theme. Come tell a story, or just enjoy the show!
6:30pm Doors Open | 7:30pm Stories Begin
*Tickets for this event are available one week before the show, at 3pm ET.
*Seating is not guaranteed and is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please be sure to arrive at least 10 minutes before the show. Admission is not guaranteed for late arrivals. All sales final.
Media Sponsor: Michigan Radio.
INK: Prepare a five-minute story involving things written or drawn in ink. Manifestos, diaries, contracts…dotted lines. Commitments! Tattoos you relish or regret. Documents that finally solve the mystery. Notes and letters you wish you take back. The pen is mightier than the sword? Ok, no pencils allowed.