In A Citizen’s Guide to Beating Donald Trump, David Plouffe, former Obama campaign manager, offers an action plan for how we can put our country back on track without having to leave our jobs, move to Iowa, or spend every waking moment on the election. According to Plouffe, there are at least 65 million Americans who are likely committed to voting for a different path than what the President has plotted, and it is our responsibility to grow that number and make sure the support materializes in actual votes. Plouffe believes we can beat Donald Trump in 2020, and he has a plan every one of us can use.
Plouffe’s message is simple: the only way change happens, especially on this scale, is one human being talking to another. It won’t happen magically; it won’t happen because of debates and conventions—it will happen because of you. And your neighbor. Your babysitter. Your best friend. It relies on all of us—progressives, anti-Trump conservatives, used-to-be Republicans, third-party voters—banding together and familiarizing ourselves with the Democratic candidate’s policies so we can explain to a voter who is on the fence, or considering voting third party, that four more years of Trump will do nothing but wreak more irreparable havoc on our already-thinning democracy. It relies on us correcting fiction with fact. It relies on us empowering each other to do the right thing.
David Plouffe served as the campaign manager for Barack Obama’s primary and general election victories in 2008 and later joined the White House as a Senior Advisor, with responsibility for his re-election victory in 2012. He was previously a senior executive at Uber and currently leads policy and advocacy efforts at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. He lives in San Francisco, CA.
This event is in partnership with Literati Bookstore and includes a signing with books for sale.
This week’s reading features Zahir Janmohamed and Joumana Altallal.
Zahir Janmohamed is a fiction writer from Sacramento, California.
Joumana Altallal is an Iraqi-Lebanese poet and educator. Before moving to Ann Arbor, she lived in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Come out to a special storytime with author Aya Khalil. Her picture book follows an Egyptian-American girl who learns to appreciate her second language, Arabic, after a class project intended to celebrate everyone’s identity.
About the Book
Kanzi’s family recently moved from Egypt to America, and on her first day in a new school, what she wants more than anything is to fit in. Maybe that’s why she forgets to take the kofta sandwich for lunch, but that backfires when Mama shows up at school with the sandwich. Mama wears a hijab and calls her daughter Habibti (dear one). When she leaves, the teasing starts.
That night, Kanzi wraps herself in the beautiful Arabic quilt her teita (grandma) in Cairo gave her and writes a poem in Arabic about the quilt. Next day her teacher sees the poem and gets the entire class excited about creating a “quilt” (a paper collage) of student names in Arabic. In the end, Kanzi’s most treasured reminder of her old home provides a pathway for acceptance in her new one.
About the Author
Aya Khalil is a freelance journalist and educator. She holds a master’s degree in Education with a focus in Teaching English as a Second Language. THE ARABIC QUILT is based on true events growing up, when she immigrated to the US from EGYPT at the age of one with her older brother and parents. Her articles have been published in The Huffington Post, The Christian Science Monitor, The Post & Courier, Toledo Area Parent, and more. She’s been featured in Yahoo!, Teen Vogue, Book Riot and more. She lives in Toledo with her husband and three children. Visitwww.ayakhalil.com for more information.
About the Illustrator
The illustrator is Anait Semirdzhayan, who lives in the Seattle area with her husband and children. The Arabic Quilt is the fifth picture book she has illustrated.
Living in Detroit, Nadine Marshall is a poet, avid reader, collaborator, and curator with an MSW and B.S. in Psychology/African American Studies. Their work intimately explores the intersection of being genderless, black, and queer – asking what was to lead to what is. Nadine is interested in using literary art, poetry specifically, to build communities with radical hope and love. Their words have reached the audiences of TEDxUofM, The National Poetry Slam, The Rustbelt Regional Poetry Slam, CUPSI, the ShadeJournal, and Freezeray Poetry Journal.
Sweetland’s Writer to Writer series lets you hear directly from University of Michigan professors about their challenges, processes, and expectations as writers and also as readers of student writing. Each semester, Writer to Writer pairs one esteemed University professor with a Sweetland faculty member for a conversation about writing.
Writer to Writer sessions take place at the Literati bookstore and are broadcast live on WCBN radio. These conversations offer students a rare glimpse into the writing that professors do outside the classroom. You can hear instructors from various disciplines describe how they handle the same challenges student writers face, from finding a thesis to managing deadlines. Professors will also discuss what they want from student writers in their courses, and will take questions put forth by students and by other members of the University community. If there’s anything you’ve ever wanted to ask a professor about writing, Writer to Writer gives you the chance.
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.
Jenny Zhang’s story collection, Sour Heart (Lenny, 2017), centers on immigrants who have traded their endangered lives as artists in China and Taiwan for the constant struggle of life at the poverty line in 1990s New York City. It examines the many ways that family and history can weigh us down and also lift us up. From the young woman coming to terms with her grandmother’s role in the Cultural Revolution to the daughter struggling to understand where her family ends and she begins, to the girl discovering the power of her body to inspire and destroy, these seven stories illuminate the complex and messy inner lives of girls struggling to define themselves.
Zhang is also the author of the poetry collection Dear Jenny, We Are All Find. Her second collection of poetry, My Baby First Birthday, is forthcoming from Tin House. She is the recipient of the Pen/Bingham Award for Debut Fiction and the LA Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction.
This event is free and open to the public. Onsite book sales will be provided by Literati Bookstore.
UMMA is pleased to be the site for the Zell Visiting Writers Series, which brings outstanding writers each semester. The Series is made possible through a generous gift from U-M alumna Helen Zell (AB ’64, LLDHon ’13). For more information, please visit the Zell Visiting Writers Series webpage.
We welcome poet John James in support of his widely acclaimed debut collection The Milk Hours. The event is free and open to the public, a book signing will follow.
“‘Home is a question, ‘ writes John James in The Milk Hours, a remarkable debut in which sorrow leads to an astonishing intimacy with the world. The speaker is pensive but inquisitive, bewildered by the loss of a father and renewed by love and parenthood. Art, science, and travel, like mortality, become tethers to the elegant and chaotic truths of our world. The Milk Hours is a moving and urgently crafted testament to resilience and to beauty.” –Eduardo C. Corral
“The titular poem in John James’s debut collection refers not only to the luminous hour of infant nurture, although that is its occasion, but to the violent loss of his father, an event distant enough that ‘snowmelt smoothes the stone cuts of his name.’ James’s searing attention is upon the fleeting, the untethered, upon fecundity and decay, the cosmic and the molecular. These are also the poems of a young father’s daily life in the wane of empire, who wishes ‘to remember things purely, to see them / As they are, ‘ and who recognizes in what he sees our peril. ‘The end, ‘ he writes, ‘we’re moving toward it.’ James is, then, a poet of our precarious moment, and The Milk Hours is his gift to us.” –Carolyn Forché
John James is the author of Chthonic, winner of the 2014 CutBank Chapbook Award. His poems appear in Boston Review, Kenyon Review, Gulf Coast, Poetry Northwest, Best American Poetry 2017, and elsewhere. Also a digital collagist, his visual art is forthcoming in the Adroit Journal, Quarterly West, and LIT. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he is pursuing a PhD in English at the University of California, Berkeley.
This week’s reading features Sarah Duffett and Michael M. Weinstein.
Sarah Duffett is a writer from New England and the cohost of the Webster Reading Series. She currently lives in Ann Arbor.
Michael M. Weinstein is a poet, teacher, translator, and cohost of the Webster Reading Series. Originally from New York, he now lives in Ann Arbor.
We welcome award-winning author Clare Beams in support of her novel The Illness Lesson. Following a reading, the author will be in conversation with author Julie Buntin. The event is free and open to the public and a book signing will follow.
About the book:
“Brilliant, suspenseful…A masterpiece.”–Elizabeth Gilbert, author of City of Girls
“A brainy page-turner that’s gorgeous and frightening in equal measure.”–Leni Zumas, author of Red Clocks
A searing novel which probes the world’s approach to women’s bodies and women’s minds, and the time-honored tradition of doubting both.
At their newly founded school, Samuel Hood and his daughter Caroline promise a groundbreaking education for young women. But Caroline has grave misgivings. After all, her own unconventional education has left her unmarriageable and isolated, unsuited to the narrow roles afforded women in 19th century New England.
When a mysterious flock of red birds descends on the town, Caroline alone seems to find them unsettling. But it’s not long before the assembled students begin to manifest bizarre symptoms: Rashes, seizures, headaches, verbal tics, night wanderings. One by one, they sicken. Fearing ruin for the school, Samuel overrules Caroline’s pleas to inform the girls’ parents and turns instead to a noted physician, a man whose sinister ministrations–based on a shocking historic treatment–horrify Caroline. As the men around her continue to dictate, disastrously, all terms of the girls’ experience, Caroline’s body too begins to betray her. To save herself and her young charges, she will have to defy every rule that has governed her life, her mind, her body, and her world.
Clare Beams is the author of the story collection We Show What We Have Learned, which won the Bard Prize and was a Kirkus Best Debut of 2016, as well as a finalist for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize, the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award, and the Shirley Jackson Award. With her husband and two daughters, she lives in Pittsburgh, where she teaches creative writing, most recently at Carnegie Mellon University and the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts.