**Warning** The following description and the content of this event contains information and discussions of sexual abuse which some readers may find triggering.
In November 2000, after receiving an anonymous fax alleging that singer R. Kelly had a “problem with young girls,” journalist Jim DeRogatis broke the story wide open. DeRogatis thought his investigative journalism would have an impact; instead Kelly’s career flourished. Now, close to twenty years later, the full story will finally be told. Soulless is the only book to tell this complete story, as well as the story behind the story, by the only person to tell it – Jim DeRogatis.
About the Book
In November 2000, after receiving an anonymous fax alleging that singer R. Kelly had a “problem with young girls,” journalist Jim DeRogatis broke the story wide open, publishing the shocking allegations that the R&B superstar had groomed girls, sexually abused them, and paid them off. DeRogatis thought his investigative journalism would have an impact; instead Kelly’s career flourished.
Now, close to twenty years later, the full story will finally be told. Soulless: The Case Against R. Kelly (Abrams Press; June 4, 2019; U.S. $26.00; Hardcover) by Jim DeRogatis is a darkly riveting account of the life and actions of R. Kelly, and their horrible impact on dozens of girls. A work of tenacious journalism and powerful cultural criticism, the book tells the story of Kelly’s career and DeRogatis’s investigations, including in-depth interviews with a number of key figures who have never spoken publicly before, and brings the story up to the moment when things finally seem to have changed.
This past January, the docuseries Surviving R. Kelly reignited the public interest in Kelly. Later that month, RCA Records dropped him from their label. In February, he was indicted in Chicago on ten counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. However, before the recent outcry from the docuseries, no one seemed to care: not the music industry, not the culture at large, not the parents of numerous other young girls. But DeRogatis stayed on the story. He was the one who was given the disturbing videotape that led to Kelly’s 2008 child pornography trial, the one whose window was shot out, and the one women trusted to tell their stories—of a meeting with the superstar in a classroom, a mall, a concert, or a McDonald’s that forever warped the course of their lives.
Soulless is the only book to tell this complete story, as well as the story behind the story, by the only person to tell it.
About the Author
Jim DeRogatis is an associate professor of instruction at Columbia College Chicago and the host, with Greg Kot, of the nationally syndicated public radio show Sound Opinions. DeRogatis spent fifteen years as the pop music critic at the Chicago Sun-Times. He lives in Chicago.
All invited to listen to guild members swap stories or bring their own to tell, at the AASG monthly meeting.
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.
Jill Bialosky is an Executive Editor and Vice President at W. W. Norton & Company. She edits fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. Some titles she has edited include The Burning Girl by Claire Messud, History of Love by Nicole Krauss, Another Bullshit Night in Suck City by Nick Flynn, The Booker short list Madeliene Thien’s Do not Say We Have Nothing, and Neel Mukerhjee’s Booker short list novel, The Lives of Others, In Other Rooms, Other Wonders by Daniyal Mueenuddin( finalist for the Pulitzer and National Book awards), Family Life by Akhil Sharma, one of the ten best books in the New York Times Book Review. Other fiction authors are Molly Antopol, Kirsten Valdez Quade, Manil Suri, Rose Tremain, Mark Slouka, Bonnie Jo Campbell, John Dufresne, and Lan Samantha Chang. She has edited all of Mary Roach’s bestselling books including Stiff and most recently, Grunt. Some of the poets she has worked with include Joy Harjo, Poet Laureate, 2019 Audre Lorde, Adrienne Rich (recipient of the National Medal of Honor from the National Book Award), Ai, (winner of the National Book Award,) BH Fairchild, (winner of the National Book Critics Circle award), Stanley Plumly, (winner of the National Book Critics Circle award), Philip Schultz (Pulitzer Prize winner), Eavan Boland, Joy Harjo, Alice Oswald, Mark Doty, Li-Young Lee, Kim Addonizio, A. Van Jordan, Kimiko Hahn, Alice Fulton, Marie Howe, David Baker, Dorianne Laux, Gerald Stern, Robert Bly, Matthew Dickman, Reginald Dwayne Betts, Cate Marvin. Tina Chang.
Douglas Kelbaugh comes to AADL to discuss his new book, The Urban Fix: Resilient Cities in the War Against Climate Change, Heat Islands and Overpopulation.
Cities are one of the most significant contributors to global climate change. The rapid speed at which urban centers use large amounts of resources adds to the global crisis and can lead to extreme local heat. The Urban Fix addresses how urban design, planning and policies can counter the threats of climate change, urban heat islands and overpopulation, helping cities take full advantage of their inherent advantages and new technologies to catalyze social, cultural and physical solutions to combat the epic, unprecedented challenges humanity faces.
The book fills a conspicuous void in the international dialogue on climate change and heat islands by examining both the environmental benefits in developed countries and the population benefit in developing countries. Urban heat islands can be addressed in incremental, manageable steps, such as planting trees and painting roofs white, which provide a more concrete and proactive sense of progress for policymakers and practitioners. This book is invaluable to anyone searching for a better understanding of the impact of resilient cities in the monumental and urgent fight against climate change, and provides the tools to do so.
Douglas Kelbaugh, FAIA, is Emil Lorch Collegiate Professor of Architecture and Urban Planning at the Taubman College of Architecture & Urban Planning, University of Michigan.
This event includes a signing and books will be for sale.
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.
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.