We welcome Matthew Thoburn & Mary Biddinger to read from their latest collections as part of our ongoing Poetry at Literati Series. Book signing to follow. Free and open to the public.
Matthew Thorburn is the author of seven collections of poetry, including Dear Almost, winner of the Lascaux Prize in Collected Poetry. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and son.
Mary Biddinger is the author of six poetry collections: Prairie Fever (Steel Toe Books, 2007), the chapbook Saint Monica (Black Lawrence Press, 2011), O Holy Insurgency (Black Lawrence Press, 2013), A Sunny Place with Adequate Water (Black Lawrence Press, 2014), Small Enterprise (Black Lawrence Press, 2015), and a collaboration with Jay Robinson titled The Czar (Black Lawrence Press, 2016). She is also the co-editor of a volume of essays, The Monkey and the Wrench: Essays into Contemporary Poetics (with John Gallaher, University of Akron Press, 2011). Her latest is a collection of prose poems, Partial Genius.
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.
Come kick off a new year of poetry with us at Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea Washington St. with a fabulous feature by Dennis Hinrichsen! 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: DENNIS HINRICHSEN!
Dennis Hinrichsen is the author of three chapbooks and seven previous full-length collections. His most recent work is is [q / lear], a chapbook from Green Linden Press, and Skin Music, winner of the 2014 Michael Waters Poetry Prize from Southern Indiana Review Press. His previous books include Rip-tooth (2010 Tampa Poetry Prize), Kurosawa’s Dog (2008 FIELD Poetry Prize), and Detail from The Garden of Earthly Delights (1999 Akron Poetry Prize). Other awards include the 2015 Rachel Wetzsteon Chapbook Prize from Map Literary for Electrocution, A Partial History as well as the 2016 Third Coast Poetry Prize and a 2014 Best of the Net Award. New work of his can be found in two anthologies from Michigan State University Press, Undocumented: Great Lakes Poets Laureate on Social Justice, and RESPECT: An Anthology of Poems on Detroit Music. From May 2017 – April 2019, he served as the first Poet Laureate of the Greater Lansing [MI] area.
We welcome debut novelist Jennifer Acker in support of The Limits of the World.
About the book: Spanning four generations and three continents, The Limits of the World illuminates the vast mosaic of cultural divisions and ethical considerations that shape the ways in which we judge one another’s actions. A dazzling debut novel–written with rare empathy and insight–it is a powerful depiction of how we prevent ourselves, unwittingly and otherwise, from understanding the people we are closest to.
“The Limits of The World is such a smart, compassionate and elegant novel, so deeply invested in morality and the subtleties of families, cultures, and continents, that it feels delicious and exciting to recall that this is Jennifer Acker’s debut.”–Lauren Groff, author of Florida
Jennifer Acker is founder and editor in chief of The Common. Her short stories, essays, translations, and reviews have appeared in the Washington Post, Literary Hub, n+1, Guernica, The Yale Review, and Ploughshares, among other places. Acker has an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars and teaches writing and editing at Amherst College, where she directs the Literary Publishing Internship and organizes LitFest. She lives in western Massachusetts with her husband. The Limits of the World is her debut novel.
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.
Literati is pleased to be the official bookseller for the Zell Visiting Writing Series, produced by the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan.
Ilya Kaminsky’s widely acclaimed parable in poems, Deaf Republic (Graywolf, 2019), reads like a two-act political drama in which lyric poems trace the experiences of citizens living under martial law. A New Yorker review called it a work of “profound imagination.” Poems from Deaf Republic were awarded Poetry magazine’s Levinson Prize and the Pushcart Prize.
Kaminsky is also the author of Dancing In Odessa (Tupelo Press, 2004), and Musica Humana (Chapiteau Press, 2002). Kaminsky has won the Whiting Writer’s Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Metcalf Award, the Dorset Prize, a Ruth Lilly Fellowship, and the Foreword Magazine’s Best Poetry Book of the Year award. Recently, he was on the short-list for the Neusdadt International Literature Prize. His poems have been translated into numerous languages and his books have been published in many countries including Turkey, Holland, Russia, France, Mexico, Macedonia, Romania, Spain and China, where his poetry was awarded the Yinchuan International Poetry Prize. His poems have been compared to work by Anna Akhmatova, Osip Mandelstam, and Marina Tsvetaeva.
He is the editor of several anthologies, among them The Ecco Anthology of International Poetry (Ecco, 2010), co-edited with Susan Harris, which John Ashbery praised as “immediately indispensable;” A God in the House: Poets Talk About Faith(Tupelo Press, 2012), co-edited with Katherine Towler; Gossip and Metaphysics: Russian Modernist Poets and Prose (Tupelo Press, 2014), co-edited with Katie Farris and Valzhyna Mort; and In the Shape of the Human Body I am Visiting the Earth: Poems from Far and Wide (McSweeney’s, 2017) with Dominic Luxford and Jesse Nathan. With Jean Valentine, he has co-translated Dark Elderberry Branch: Poems of Marina Tsvetaeva.
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’re pleased to welcome acclaimed author and Orange Prize for Fiction recipient Madeline Miller in support of her beloved novel, Circe. This event is free and open to the public. Seating will be limited and will be first come / first served. We will seek accommodate additional standing room guests in an overflow area with audio from the event.
About the book: Follows Circe, the banished witch daughter of Helios, as she hones her powers and interacts with famous mythological beings before a conflict with one of the most vengeful Olympians forces her to choose between the worlds of the gods and mortals.
Madeline Miller was born in Boston and attended Brown University where she earned her BA and MA in Classics. She lives in Narbeth, PA with her husband and two children. The Song of Achilles was awarded the Orange Prize for Fiction and has been translated into twenty-five languages.
We welcome ESPN investigative reporter and Peabody Award recipient Dan Murphy to discuss start by Believing: Larry Nassar’s Crimes, the Institutions that Enabled Him, and the Brave Women Who Stopped a Monster. A book signing will follow the author talk. The event is free and open to the public.
About the book: The definitive, devastating account of the largest sex abuse scandal in American sports history-with new details and insights into the institutional failures, as well as the bravery that brought it to light.
For decades, osteopathic physician Larry Nassar built a sterling reputation as the go-to doctor for America’s Olympians while treating countless others at his office on Michigan State University’s campus. It was largely within the high-pressure world of competitive gymnastics that Nassar exploited young girls, who were otherwise motivated by fear and intimidation, sexually assaulting hundreds of them under the guise of medical treatment.
In Start by Believing, John Barr and Dan Murphy confront Nassar’s acts, which represent the largest sex abuse scandal to impact the sporting world. Through never-before-released interviews and documents they deconstruct the epic institutional failures and individuals who enabled him. When warnings were raised, self-serving leaders chose to protect their organizations’ reputations over the well-being of young people.
Following the paths traveled by courageous women-featuring a once-shy Christian attorney and a brash, outspoken Olympic medalist-Barr and Murphy detail the stories of those who fought back against the dysfunction within their sport to claim a far-from-inevitable victory. The gymnasts’ uncommon perseverance, along with the help of dedicated advocates brought criminals to justice and helped to fuel the #MeToo revolution.
Start by Believing reveals the win-at-all-costs culture in elite athletics and higher education that enabled a quarter century of heinous crimes.
Dan Murphy is an investigative reporter at ESPN. He was honored with a Peabody Award and the IRE Sports Investigations Award in 2019. His coverage of college athletics and broader issues in the world of sports has appeared on ESPN’s digital, television and print outlets. Based now in Michigan, Murphy is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.
We welcome Christopher Fort, who holds a PhD in Slavic Languages and Literature from the University of Michigan in support of his translation of preeminent Uzbek poet and litterateur Abdulhamid Sulaymon o’g’li Cho’lpon, Night and Day. The event is free and open to the public, signing to follow.
About the book: Night and Day, an unfinished dilogy by Uzbek author Cho’lpon, follows the terrible fate of a young Uzbek girl condemned to marry a sexual glutton. The novel raises questions about the nature of Russian colonialism, resistance to it, and the intentions of the author, whose life was lost to Stalinist terror.
Christopher Fort holds a PhD in Slavic Languages and Literatures from the University of Michigan and an MA in Russian Area Studies from The Ohio State University. He is also the translator of Uzbek author Isajon Sulton’s “The Eternal Wanderer”.
We welcome poet and scholar Adam Falkner in support of his debut full-length collection, The Willies.
About the collection: The Willies, poet and scholar Adam Falkner’s first full-length collection, offers a sharp and vulnerable new portrait of the journey into queerhood in America. In a voice that Dr. Cornel West heralds as “prophetic in bleak times,” Falkner departs from a more familiar coming out narrative to center the stories of several dueling selves. Masquerading white boy. Child of an addict. Closeted varsity athlete. Grief-struck friend. Through snapshots of “Willies” both tragic and humorous, merciless and humane, Falkner offers powerful new ways of understanding the intersectional linkage that binds queer shame to cultural appropriation. The Willies traverses Wu-Tang Clan listening parties to pine forests in the Catskill Mountains to rehab waiting rooms to depict the various costumes we hide within toward navigating the legacies of toxic masculinity, and the many interior tensions synonymous with queer life. At it’s core, The Willies asks us to consider not Who will we become if we give name to that which scares us? but rather Who might we become if we do not?
Dr. Adam Falkner is a poet, educator and arts & culture strategist. He is the author of Adoption (Winner of the 2017 Diode Editions Chapbook Award) and The Willies (Button Poetry, 2020), and his work has appeared in a range of print and media spaces including on programming for HBO, NBC, NPR, BET, in the New York Times, and elsewhere. A former high school English teacher in New York City’s public schools, Adam is the Founder and Executive Director of the pioneering diversity consulting initiative, the Dialogue Arts Project, and Special Projects Director for Urban Word NYC.