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. For this installment, host Shelley Manis will speak with Professor Jennifer Proctor.
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.
Jennifer Proctor is an Associate Professor of Journalism and Screen Studies at the University of Michigan-Dearborn and co-founder and director of the inclusive teaching initiative EDIT Media (Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Teaching Media). She is a filmmaker and media artist whose internationally recognized, award-winning found footage work examines the history of experimental film, Hollywood tropes, and the representation of women in cinema. Her recent work, in particular, seeks to blur boundaries between avant-garde film practices and the scholarly video essay. Her 2018 film “Nothing a Little Soap and Water Can’t Fix,” which examines the bathtub as a feminized domestic space, won the Cutters Archival Film Award at the Ann Arbor Film Festival, Top Grit at the Indie Grits Film Festival, and Best Experimental Film at the St. Francis College Women’s Film Festival, in addition to screening at more than forty film festivals around the world. Her recent video, “Am I Pretty?” appropriates the voices of tween girls from YouTube videos to explore the development of self-image and self-esteem in the modern era. In addition to screening at film festivals, including the Ann Arbor Film Festival, “Am I Pretty?” appears in a special issue on audiography in [in]Transition: The Journal of Videographic Film and Moving Image Studies.
Open-mic storytelling competitions. Open to anyone with a five-minute story to share on the night’s theme. Come tell a story, or just enjoy the show!
6:30pm Doors Open | 7:30pm Stories Begin
*Tickets for this event are available one week before the show, at 3pm ET.
*Seating is not guaranteed and is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please be sure to arrive at least 10 minutes before the show. Admission is not guaranteed for late arrivals. All sales final.
Media Sponsor: Michigan Radio.
LANDMARKS: Prepare a five-minute story about the places and points that plot our course. Meeting at the top of the Empire State Building, seeing the world’s largest ball of yarn, or returning to your ancestral home. Making decisions big or small, from the Supreme Court to your Magic 8-ball. If you’ve reached the Y-shaped tree, you’ve gone too far.
Safa Al Ahmad, a Saudi Arabian journalist and documentary filmmaker, will receive the 2019 Wallenberg Medal from the University of Michigan. She has produced documentaries for the BBC and PBS about uprisings in the Middle East, particularly in Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Her 2014 BBC documentary, Saudi’s Secret Uprising, brought attention to government suppression of unreported popular demonstrations in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province. At great personal risk, she has been one of the few journalists to report from the ground on the crisis and conflict between Houthi rebels, militant groups, and the Yemeni government and its Saudi allies. Her documentaries for PBS’s Frontline, including “The Fight for Yemen” (2015), “Yemen Under Siege” (2016), and “Targeting Yemen” (2019), reveal the human cost and the underlying contending interests that are engaged in a deadly and complex regional conflict. As an Arab woman, she has won precious access to communities and human beings suffering in this war. Her courageous reporting has provided essential and intimate perspectives that challenge assumptions that often shape conventional journalistic narratives.
The medal will be awarded on November 19 at 7:30 p.m. in the Rackham Auditorium on the U-M campus, where Al Ahmad will give the Wallenberg Lecture.
The Wallenberg Medal and Lecture program honors the legacy of U-M graduate Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat who saved the lives of tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews near the end of World War II.
“Safa Al Ahmad shows how journalism can give a voice to persons who are voiceless and give witness to events that escape the world’s notice,” said John Godfrey, chair of the Wallenberg Committee. “She embodies the courage and commitment to human rights and human dignity that the Wallenberg Medal recognizes.”
The Wallenberg Medal and Lecture program honors Raoul Wallenberg who graduated from U-M’s College of Architecture in 1935. In 1944, at the request of Jewish organizations and the American War Refugee Board, the Swedish Foreign Ministry sent Wallenberg on a rescue mission to Budapest. Over the course of six months, Wallenberg issued thousands of protective passports and placed many thousands of Jews in safe houses throughout the besieged city. He confronted Hungarian and German forces to secure the release of Jews, whom he claimed were under Swedish protection, and saved more than 80,000 lives.
U-M awards the Wallenberg Medal annually to those who, through actions and personal commitment, perpetuate Wallenberg’s own extraordinary accomplishments and human values, and demonstrate the capacity of the human spirit to stand up for the helpless, to defend the integrity of the powerless, and to speak out on behalf of the voiceless. Safa Al Ahmad, through her courageous and outspoken work as a journalist and documentarian, demonstrates that one person, individually or collectively, can make a difference in the struggle for a better world.
Last year was historic in that the Wallenberg Medal was awarded to two youth-led organizations committed to ending gun violence, March For Our Lives of Parkland, Florida and The B.RA.V.E. Youth Leaders of Chicago. Recent recipients of the Wallenberg Medal include Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative; Masha Gessen, Russian-American author and activist; and Maria Gunnoe, environmentalist and social justice activist from rural West Virginia. A complete list of the twenty-six past recipients, along with video or transcripts of their lectures, can be found at the Wallenberg website (wallenberg.umich.edu).
The November 19 medal presentation and lecture is open to the public at no charge and will not be ticketed.
We’re partnering with Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Center to welcome Tia Powell in support of her book Dementia Reimagined. A book signing will follow. The event is free and open to the public.
About the book: The cultural and medical history of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease by a leading psychiatrist and bioethicist who urges us to turn our focus from cure to care.
Despite being a physician and a bioethicist, Tia Powell wasn’t prepared to address the challenges she faced when her grandmother, and then her mother, were diagnosed with dementia–not to mention confronting the hard truth that her own odds aren’t great. In the U.S., 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day; by the time a person reaches 85, their chances of having dementia approach 50 percent. And the truth is, there is no cure, and none coming soon, despite the perpetual promises by pharmaceutical companies that they are just one more expensive study away from a pill. Dr. Powell’s goal is to move the conversation away from an exclusive focus oncure to a genuine appreciation of care–what we can do for those who have dementia, and how to keep life meaningful and even joyful.
Reimagining Dementia is a moving combination of medicine and memoir, peeling back the untold history of dementia, from the story of Solomon Fuller, a black doctor whose research at the turn of the twentieth century anticipated important aspects of what we know about dementia today, to what has been gained and lost with the recent bonanza of funding for Alzheimer’s at the expense of other forms of the disease. In demystifying dementia, Dr. Powell helps us understand it with clearer eyes, from the point of view of both physician and caregiver. Ultimately, she wants us all to know that dementia is not only about loss–it’s also about the preservation of dignity and hope.
Dr. Tia Powell is Director of the Montefiore Einstein Center for Bioethics and of the Einstein Cardozo Master of Science in Bioethics program. She is Professor of Epidemiology, Division of Bioethics, and Psychiatry. She has bioethics expertise in public policy, dementia, consultation, end of life care, decision-making capacity, bioethics education and the ethics of public health disasters. She served four years as Executive Director of the New York State Task Force on Life and the Law, which functions as New York State’s bioethics commission. She has worked with the Institute of Medicine on many projects related to public health and ethics, and most recently served on the 2017 report on community approaches to address health inequities. She is a board certified psychiatrist and Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine, the American Psychiatric Association and The Hastings Center.
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.
The University of Michigan Prison Creative Arts Project, University of Michigan Carceral State Project, and Literati Bookstore are delighted to welcome Ebony Roberts to the Ann Arbor District Library’s Downtown Branch in support of her new memoir, The Love Prison Made and Unmade: My Story. Ebony will be in conversation with Ashley Lucas, Director of the Prison Creative Arts Project at the University of Michigan. A Q&A and book signing will follow.
About the book: Ebony grew up in Detroit in the 1980s. As a little girl she witnessed her parents’ brutal physical fights, often fueled by her father’s alcoholism. Then one day her father tried to kill her mother right before her eyes. That day she vowed she’d find a love she didn’t have to run from.
Ebony’s experiences as a child shaped her views on love and set the pattern for her future romantic relationships. Despite her determination not to repeat her parents’ mistakes—she would have a fairytale love—Ebony found herself drawn to bad boys: men who cheated; men who verbally abused her; men who disappointed her. Finally fed up, she swore to wait for the partner God chose for her.
Then she met Shaka Senghor, a man in prison for second-degree murder. Though she felt an intense spiritual connection, Ebony struggled with the idea that this man behind bars could be the love God had for her. Ultimately she ignored other people’s fears and took a chance on Shaka. Through letters and visits, the two fell deeply in love. Almost from the start Shaka and Ebony dreamed about their happily-ever-after. Once Shaka came home, they thought the worst was behind them. But Shaka’s release was the beginning of the end.
The Love Prison Made and Unmade is heartfelt. It reveals powerful lessons about love, sacrifice, courage, and forgiveness; of living your highest principles and learning not to judge someone by their worst acts. Ultimately, it is a stark reminder of the emotional cost of American justice on human lives—the partners, wives, children, and friends—beyond the prison walls.
Ebony Roberts is a writer, researcher, educator, and activist. A former school administrator, she has taught at Michigan State University and the University of Michigan. Ebony recently served as program director for #BeyondPrisons, an organization designed to uplift the voices of those impacted by the criminal justice system. She received her BA in Social Relations and Psychology, and a Ph.D in Educational Psychology from Michigan State University.
Reception at 6:30pm
Program to follow
We are excited to welcome Janet Gilsdorf to celebrate the launch of her book, Continual Raving: A History of Meningitis and the People Who Conquered It (Oxford University Press). Dr. Gilsdorf is a research scientist, pediatrician, educator and author. She is the Robert P. Kelch Research Professor Emerita at the University of Michigan, where she cares for children with complex infectious diseases, and formerly directed the Haemophilus influenzae research laboratory.
Continual Raving tells the combined stories of how scientists across the 19th and 20th centuries defeated meningitis — not through flawless scientific research, but often through a series of serendipitous events, misplaced assumptions, and flawed conclusions. The result is a story of not just a vanquished disease, but how scientific accomplishment sometimes occurs where it’s least expected.
Reception with light refreshments at 6:30pm, program and book signing to follow.
“In Continual Raving, Dr. Janet Gilsdorf, a true expert, brings alive for all readers a profoundly important history that is a paradigm for disease, failure, progress, and redemption. Recounting the origins and the activities of the protagonists make this is a real story of science, warts and all” — Martin Blaser, Author of Missing Microbes
RC student Dakota Sevcik directs “Play On,” a 1980 comedy.
Calling all writers! Get into the groove of writing by hanging out in our quiet space with lots of outlets to plug in a laptop!
Whether you’re working on a novel as part of National Novel Writing Month or another project, all are welcome to join.
National Novel Writing Month is a non-profit event that encourages teens and adults to tackle the challenge of writing a novel during the month of November. Participants begin writing on November 1 with the goal of writing a 50,000-word (approximately 175 page) novel by 11:59:59 pm, November 30.
Official NaNoWriMo writing sessions will be held at AADL during November, but get a head start and celebrate with this great kick off party!
RC student Dakota Sevcik directs “Play On,” a 1980 comedy.