We welcome J. Ryan Stradal back to Literati for a reading in support of his latest, widely acclaimed novel, The Lager Queen of Minnesota, as part of our ongoing Fiction at Literati series. Free and open to the public, book signing to follow.
About the book: A novel of family, Midwestern values, hard work, fate and the secrets of making a world-class beer, from the bestselling author of Kitchens of the Great Midwest.
“[The Lager Queen of Minnesota has] complex female characters, sudden tragedies, culinary descriptions that awaken all your senses.” –Entertainment Weekly
J. Ryan Stradal is a contributing editor at TASTE Magazine. His bestselling debut, Kitchens of the Great Midwest, won the 2016 American Booksellers Association Indie’s Choice Award for Adult Debut Book of the Year and also the 2016 Midwest Booksellers Choice Award for debut fiction. Born and raised in Minnesota, he now lives in Los Angeles.
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: NATASHA T MILLER
Natasha T Miller is a Detroit, MI native, Kresge Artist Fellow, performance poet, LGBTQ activist, film producer, and founder of the “Artists Inn Detroit”. Natasha has been a member of four national slam teams, starred in a national sprite commercial, a Shinola CNN ad, and she is a Women of the World Poetry Slam 3-time- top five finalist. She has awed audiences across the world at more than a hundred universities, and venues, performing in stadiums for as many as thirty thousand people. She has been featured in magazines such as Vogue, Elle, entrepreneur magazine, and many more. She’s had poems featured on sites like The Shaderoom, the offing magazine, afterellen and many more. Just recently she opened up for the famous band Mumford and Sons in front of the first sold out crowd at the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. Natasha currently tours the world using her words to enlighten, create equality, and most importantly spread truth, and forgiveness in the tradition of so many great leaders before her.
NEXT MONTH: BRYAN THAO WORRA!
We welcome Peg Alford Pursell to the store to read from her collection of hybrid stories and fables, A Girl Goes Into the Forest, as part of our ongoing Fiction at Literati series. Following a reading, she’ll be in conversation with fellow author Polly Rosenwaike (Look How Happy I’m Making You). Free and open to the public, book signing to follow.
About the book: Following her acclaimed debut, Show Her a Flower, A Bird, A Shadow, award-winning author Peg Alford Pursell explores and illuminates love and loss in 78 hybrid stories and fables. A Girl Goes into the Forest immerses readers in the complex desires, contradictions, and sorrows of daughters, wives, and husbands, artists, siblings, and mothers.
In forests literal and metaphorical, the characters try, fail, and try again to see the world, to hear each other, and to speak the truth of their longings. Powerful, lyrical, and precise, Pursell’s stories call up a world at once mysterious and recognizable.
A Girl Goes into the Forest invites fans of Lydia Davis and Helen Oyeyemi into a world where “no one can deter a person from her mistakes.”
Peg Alford Pursell is the author of is the author of Show Her a Flower, A Bird, A Shadow, a collection of hybrid with praise from Peter Orner, Joan Silber, Antonya Nelson, Glen David Gold, and others, and featured by Poets & Writers magazine’s second annual 5 over 50, December 2017. Her work has appeared in Permafrost, the Los Angeles Review, Joyland Magazine, and other journals and anthologies. She is the founder and director of the national reading series Why There Are Words and of WTAW Press. She lives in Northern California.
Polly Rosenwaike has published stories, essays, and reviews in The O. Henry Prize Stories 2013, The New York Times Book Review, Glimmer Train, New England Review, The Millions, and the San Francisco Chronicle. The fiction editor for Michigan Quarterly Review, she lives in Ann Arbor with the poet Cody Walker and their two daughters.
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.
September 25 – Jenifer DeBellis, M.F.A., is author of the poetry collection Blood Sisters, founding director of aRIFT Warrior Project, and editor of Pink Panther Magazine. She directs the Detroit Writers’ Guild. A former Meadow Brook Writing Project fellow, she teaches writing for Saginaw Valley State University and Macomb Community College.
We welcome New York Times-bestselling author Marty Makary in support of his latest, The Price We Pay: What Broke American Health Care–And How to Fix It. Free and open to the public, book signing to follow.
About the book: One in five Americans now has medical debt in collections and rising health care costs today threaten every small business in America. Dr. Makary, one of the nation’s leading health care experts, travels across America and details why health care has become a bubble. Drawing from on-the-ground stories, his research, and his own experience, The Price We Pay paints a vivid picture of price-gouging, middlemen, and a series of elusive money games in need of a serious shake-up. Dr. Makary shows how so much of health care spending goes to things that have nothing to do with health and what you can do about it. Dr. Makary challenges the medical establishment to remember medicine’s noble heritage of caring for people when they are vulnerable.
The Price We Pay offers a roadmap for everyday Americans and business leaders to get a better deal on their health care, and profiles the disruptors who are innovating medical care. The movement to restore medicine to its mission, Makary argues, is alive and well–a mission that can rebuild the public trust and save our country from the crushing cost of health care.
Marty Makary, MD, MPH, is a surgeon and Professor of Health Policy at Johns Hopkins University and the author of the New York Times bestseller, Unaccountable. A leading voice for physicians in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today, he was the lead author of the articles introducing a surgical checklist, later adapted by the W.H.O. and has published extensively on health care costs, vulnerable populations, and quality science. He served in leadership at the W.H.O. Safe Surgery Saves Lives project and has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine. He lives in the Washington DC area.
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 acclaimed poet Khaled Mattawa in support of his latest collection, Mare Nostrum.
About the book: “On the bridges to those slippery worlds, we are wrapped in gold foil, disease free. Who is saving whom? The question’s not stated, only implied.” In 2013, the Italian government implemented Mare Nostrum, an operation intended to limit immigration from Africa and the Middle East to European countries. For the refugees, the journeys were harrowing, often ending in shipwrecks or imprisonment, and the arrivals were wracked with uncertainty. Here, the poet Khaled Mattawa conjures a pointed, incantatory account of the refugee experience in the Mediterranean. In reclaiming the operation’s name Mare Nostrum (our sea in Latin), he renders us culpable for the losses, and responsible to those risking their lives in pursuit of hope and respite from oppression. The voices are many, and the lyrics ritualistic, as if Mattawa has stirred ghosts from the wreckage. Part narrative, part blessing, this chapbook begs of its readers: Do you remember? Mattawa’s writing is a lighthouse for politics of the twenty-first century, and this chapbook a stunning memorial.
Acclaimed poet Khaled Mattawa conjures a pointed, incantatory account of the refugee experience during Operation Mare Nostrum.
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.