Ambassador Dennis Ross is counselor and William Davidson Distinguished Fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Prior to returning to the Institute in 2011, he served two years as special assistant to President Obama and National Security Council senior director for the Central Region, and a year as special advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. For more than twelve years, Ambassador Ross played a leading role in shaping U.S. involvement in the Middle East peace process and dealing directly with the parties in negotiations. A highly skilled diplomat, Ambassador Ross was U.S. point man on the peace process in both the George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations.
Jeff Kass is bringing the poetry and we are supplying the pizza. Teacher/Pizza Guy is a funny and relatable collection for readers, thinkers, educators, and pizza lovers everywhere. Kass will be joined by local high school poets.
About the Book
Teacher/Pizza Guy is a collection of autobiographical poems from the 2016–17 school year in which Jeff Kass worked as a full-time English teacher and a part-time director for a literary arts organization and still had to supplement his income by delivering pizzas a few nights a week. In the collection, Kass is unapologetically political without distracting from the poems themselves but rather adds layers and nuances to the fight for the middle class and for educators as a profession.
The timing of this book is beyond relevant. As a public high school teacher in America, Kass’s situation is not uncommon. In September 2018, Time published an article detailing the ways in which many public school teachers across the country and in a variety of environments work multiple jobs to help make ends meet. Teacher/Pizza Guy chronicles Kass’s experience of teaching, directing, feeding people, and treading the delicate balance of holding himself accountable to his wife and kids, his students, his customers, and his own mental and physical health while working three jobs in contemporary America. The journey of that year was draining, at times daunting, at times satisfying, but always surprising. Many of the ideas for these poems were initially scribbled onto the backs of pizza receipts or scratched out during precious free moments amidst the chaos of the school day. A driving force behind the book is Philip Levine’s poem “What Work Is,” which Kass believes attempts to examine not only the dignity and complexity of what we think physical, tangible work is but also the exhausting, albeit sometimes fulfilling nature of emotional work.
About the Author
Jeff Kass teaches tenth-grade English and creative writing at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He is the founder of the Literary Arts Program at Ann Arbor’s teen center, The Neutral Zone, where he was program director for twenty years. He is also the author of the award-winning short story collection Knuckleheads, the poetry collection My Beautiful Hook-Nosed Beauty Queen Strut Wave, and the thriller Takedown. He lives in Ann Arbor with the author Karen Smyte and their children, Sam and Julius
Plessy v. Ferguson is synonymous with Jim Crow laws and the unjust legal doctrine of “separate but equal.” But few Americans know more than the name of the case and have just a superficial understanding of its origins and outcome. Joins us as award-winning author Steve Luxenberg discusses one of the most compelling and dramatic stories of the 19th century and his award-winning new book Separate: The Story of Plessy V. Ferguson, and America’s Journey from Slavery to Segregation.
This sweeping, swiftly paced, and richly detailed book is essential reading for any American looking to understand racism, the long struggle for civil rights, and the deep, often surprising history of our nation’s most devastating divide. On June 7, 1892 Homer Plessy, a light-skinned Creole bought a first-class ticket on the East Louisiana Railroad, boarding the whites-only first-class car. The train conductor promptly arrested him. The resulting case Plessy v. Ferguson (Ferguson was the state judge that ruled against Plessy and upheld the state’s law) was argued before the Supreme Court in 1896. Drawing from letters, diaries, and archival collections, and weaving biography, history, and legal drama together on a grand scale, Luxenberg recreates the personalities and debates that informed the Court’s decision and shaped race relations for generations.
The Story of Plessy v. Ferguson, and America’s Journey from Slavery to Segregation was named a New York Times Editor’s Choice, and was longlisted for the 2019 Cundill History Prize. As a work in progress, it won the 2016 J. Anthony Lukas Award for excellence in nonfiction. Steve Luxenberg is an associate editor at The Washington Postand an award-winning author. During his forty years as an editor and reporter, Steve has overseen reporting that has earned many national honors, including two Pulitzer Prizes. His first book, the critically-acclaimed Annie’s Ghosts: A Journey into a Family Secret, was a 2010 Michigan Notable Book and the 2013-14 Great Michigan Read. Steve lives in Baltimore.
This event will be followed by a book signing with books available for sale.
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.
Anelise Chen is the author of So Many Olympic Exertions (Kaya Press 2017), an experimental novel that blends elements of sportswriting, memoir, and self-help. A finalist for the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, the novel challenges modes of contemporary mythmaking and the validity and usefulness of our current narratives of success.
Chen’s essays and reviews have appeared in numerous publications, such as the NY Times, New Republic, Village Voice, and BOMB Magazine. She has received residencies and fellowships from the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, Blue Mountain Center, Banff Centre, the Wurlitzer Foundation, and she is currently a 2019-2020 Literature Fellow at the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart, Germany. She is an assistant professor of creative writing at Columbia University.
Chen is currently at work on a hybrid memoir, Clam Down (One World Random House), based on her mollusk column for the Paris Review. Bringing to mind Helen MacDonald, Rebecca Solnit, and Maggie Nelson, Chen transforms the ordinary clam into an unlikely metaphor for deep self-examination—how the specific shells we build for ourselves reflect our experiences of grief, assimilation, and connection.
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
We welcome law professor Joshua A. Douglas in support of his book, Vote for Us: How to Take Back Our Elections and Change the Future of Voting. A book signing will follow. The event is free and open to the public.
About the book: In contrast to the anxiety surrounding our voting system, with stories about voter suppression and manipulation, there are actually quite a few positive initiatives toward voting rights reform. Professor Joshua A. Douglas, an expert on our electoral system, examines these encouraging developments in this inspiring book about how regular Americans are working to take back their democracy, one community at a time. Told through the narratives of those working on positive voting rights reforms, Douglas includes chapters on expanding voter eligibility, easing voter registration rules, making voting more convenient, enhancing accessibility at the polls, providing voters with more choices, finding ways to comply with voter ID rules, giving redistricting back to the voters, pushing back on big money through local and state efforts, using journalism to make the system more accountable, and improving civics education. At the end, the book includes an appendix that lists organizations all over the country working on these efforts. Unusually accessible for a lay audience and thoroughly researched, this book gives anyone fed up with our current political environment the ideas and tools necessary to affect change in their own communities.
Joshua A. Douglas is a professor at the University of Kentucky College of Law. His most recent scholarship focuses on the constitutional right to vote, with an emphasis on state constitutions, as well as the various laws, rules, and judicial decisions impacting election administration. He has also written extensively on election law procedure. He is a coauthor of an election-law case book and a coeditor of Election Law Stories, which tells the behind-the-scenes stories of the major cases in the field. In addition, his media commentaries have appeared in the New York Times, USA Today, CNN, Reuters, the Washington Post, Politico, the Atlantic, Huffington Post, and Slate, among other outlets, and he has been quoted in major newspapers such as the New York Times and theWashington Post. He appeared live on CNN on Election Day 2016.
Lopez will join us for the evening to examine the lasting damage done by a daylong act of collaborative immigration enforcement in Washtenaw County, Michigan. He will share his title Separated, where Lopez discusses deportation’s rippling negative effects on families, communities, and individuals and reveals efforts to cope with trauma, avoid homelessness, handle worsening health, and keep families together.
About the Book
In Separated, Lopez examines the lasting damage done by a daylong act of collaborative immigration enforcement in Washtenaw County, Michigan. Exploring the chaos of enforcement through the lens of community health, Lopez discusses deportation’s rippling negative effects on families, communities, and individuals and reveals efforts to cope with trauma, avoid homelessness, handle worsening health, and keep families together.
About the Author
William Lopez is a clinical assistant professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health and collaborates and organizes with the Washtenaw Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights and Washtenaw ID Project. He lives in Ann Arbor with his partner and two children.
The Queen Next Door: Aretha Franklin, An Intimate Portrait is a book full of firsts, as photojournalist Linda Solomon was invited not only to capture historical events in Aretha’s music career showcasing Detroit, but to join in with the Franklin family’s most intimate and cherished moments in her beloved hometown. Join us for this special evening as she reflects on this book which documents Aretha’s life and career.
Linda Solomon met Aretha in 1983 when Linda was beginning her career as a photojournalist and newspaper columnist and was hired to capture the singer’s major career events, and to also document everything else. What developed over these years of photographing birthday and Christmas parties, annual celebrity galas, private backstage moments, photo shoots with the iconic pink Cadillac, and more, was a friendship between two women who grew to enjoy and respect one another.
Martin Bandyke, morning drive host on Ann Arbor’s 107one, will host this event which includes a signing with books for sale.
Building Bridges Across the Racial Divide with Larry and Sandy Feldman – Nov 9, 2 to 4 p.m. – Authors Larry and Sandy Feldman will share concepts and stories from their recently published book Building Bridges Across the Racial Divide. Free to Attend Event. Contact (269) 921-0531, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tickets on sale now. Click here to purchase.
Literati Bookstore is excited to welcome bestselling author André Aciman to Rackham Auditorium on the campus of the University of Michigan in support of the follow-up to Call Me By Your Name, Find Me. The program will feature a conversation and an audience Q&A. A book signing will follow.
Seating is general admission and there are three ticket types for this event. The Book Bundle ticket includes general admission, a copy of Find Me, and priority access to the signing line following the event for that ticket holder and a party of any group of ticket holders no greater than 3 persons total (including Book Bundle Ticket holder). Parties are encouraged to sit together (and arrive early) as guests will be released by row to join the signing line.
General Admission tickets are $10 and can be redeemed for $10 off a copy of Find Me if purchased at the venue the evening of the event.
Student General Admission tickets are free, and those guests are asked to present a valid school-issue ID at the door.
If not attending with a Book Bundle ticket holder, General Admission and Student General Admission guests may join the line following all Book Bundle ticket holders and their parties, provided they have a book they wish to have signed.
Surface parking in downtown Ann Arbor is limited. A detailed map of available (and walkable) parking structures can be found here.
About the book: No novel in recent memory has spoken more movingly to contemporary readers about the nature of love than André Aciman’s haunting Call Me by Your Name. First published in 2007, it was hailed as “a love letter, an invocation . . . an exceptionally beautiful book” (Stacey D’Erasmo, The New York Times Book Review). Nearly three quarters of a million copies have been sold, and the book became a much-loved, Academy Award–winning film starring Timothée Chalamet as the young Elio and Armie Hammer as Oliver, the graduate student with whom he falls in love.
In Find Me, Aciman shows us Elio’s father, Samuel, on a trip from Florence to Rome to visit Elio, who has become a gifted classical pianist. A chance encounter on the train with a beautiful young woman upends Sami’s plans and changes his life forever.
Elio soon moves to Paris, where he, too, has a consequential affair, while Oliver, now a New England college professor with a family, suddenly finds himself contemplating a return trip across the Atlantic.
Aciman is a master of sensibility, of the intimate details and the emotional nuances that are the substance of passion. Find Me brings us back inside the magic circle of one of our greatest contemporary romances to ask if, in fact, true love ever dies.
André Aciman is the New York Times bestselling author of Call Me By Your Name, Out of Egypt, Eight White Nights, False Papers, Alibis, and Harvard Square, and most recently Enigma Variations. He’s the editor of The Proust Project and teaches comparative literature at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He lives with his wife in Manhattan.
Additional event questions? Email John@LiteratiBookstore.com