Literati is honored to host Sid Smith who will be sharing her husband’s book Canio’s Secret: A Memoir of Ethnicity, Electricity, and my Immigrant Grandfather’s Wisdom about the life of his grandfather Canio Grieco
About Canio’s Secret:
In 1950s Chicago, a young boy hides in his bedroom closet to escape a father’s habitual rage. There he conjures up another paternal figure in his artistic Italian grandfather, Canio Grieco, his glimpse into happiness. With his wondrous tricks and stories of “Italy,” his library and drawings, his baseball and opera, Canio becomes the model of creativity for the lonely, introverted grandson.
Surviving through ingenuity and imagination, young Greg is fascinated by electricity and the world of men: he sticks his fingers in Christmas light sockets, finds unexpected mentors in a washing machine repair shop, fantasizes about the fate of missing fathers, and eventually betrays his grandfather at the billiard table.
Canio’s Secret is a coming-of-age story chronicling a boy’s poignant struggle to find consolation in his mother’s Catholicism and to break free of his father’s anger. Told through intimate portraits of parents and grandparents, nuns and janitors, friends and local characters, and their unsettling – often humorous – encounters, it is also the vibrant portrait of a multi-ethnic neighborhood soon to be scattered by white flight. And, as the older writer ponders his grandfather’s influence, the memoir becomes a meditation on Canio’s enigmatic advice, offered in the summer of 1953: “Happiness is all that’s required.”
Join us for a presentation by Arthur Nusbaum, Third Mind Books. He will be sharing his most recent book Starting from San Franciso: Thomas Rain Crowe in Conversation with Third Mind Books. He will be presenting poets that are featured in the book along with a live reading of their works.
About the Book
The seismic cultural impact of Kerouac, Ginsberg and Burroughs was followed by a series of aftershocks. “Starting from San Francisco ‘ measures a vital instance of this natural process, the circle of aspiring poets and publisher Thomas Rain Crowe and the resurrected Beatitude magazine in the 1970’s who used a small-press explosion to sustain and move beyond what their predecessors had inspired. the format here is interview and, with the commitment of on who was there and considerable sincerity, Crowe explores the dimensions of a flourishing literary excitement that deserves to be better known. the result is a singular history.” (John Tytell, author of “Naked Angels: The Lives and Literature of the Beat Generation.” [New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 1976]). Based off Third Mind Books founder Arthur Nusbaum’s acclaimed presentation at the 2017 European Beat Studies Network Conference in Paris, France, this publication contains the full untold story of the Second San Francisco renaissance and the Baby beat Generation, which encompasses and exceeds the bird’s eye view revealed in Nusbaum’s expansive presentation. On August 4, 2018, Third Mind Books collaborated with The Beat Museum in San Francisco, holding a book launch and poetry reading for this publication, in which many of this epoch’s participants took part. The book was assembled by an editorial team including Nusbaum, his protege Joe Provenzano and Crowe himself. To quote the esteemed Beat-&-Beyond scholar (and our other blurb contributor) David Stephen Calonne, “For those who think that they already know all there is to know about Beat literary history, this book will provide many illuminating surprises.
About the Author(s)
Arthur S. Nusbaum is a long-time collector and independent scholar of the Beat Generation and its legacy, with special emphasis on the life and work of William S. Burroughs.
In 2010 Nusbaum founded Third Mind Books in Ann Arbor, Michigan, which aims to combine precision condition-grading and rigorous historical specificity in each listing; to truly “curate” every offering.
Thomas Rain Crowe was born in 1949 and is an internationally known poet, translator, editor, publisher, anthologist and recording artist and author of thirty books of original and translated works. During the 1970s he lived abroad in France, then returned to the U.S. to become editor of Beatitude magazine and press in San Francisco, and one of the “Baby Beats” where he was co-founder and Director of the San Francisco International Poetry Festival. In the 1980s, after returning to his boyhood home in North Carolina, he was a founding editor of Katuah Journal: A Bioregional Journal of the Southern Appalachians and founded New Native Press. In 1994 he founded Fern Hill Records (a recording label devoted exclusively to the collaboration of poetry and music). Almost immediately, he formed his spoken-word and music band The Boatrockers, performing widely in the Southeast and producing two CDs.
In 1998 his book The Laugharne Poems, which was written at the Dylan Thomas Boat House in Laugharne, Wales, during the summers of 1993 and 1995 with the permission of the Welsh government, was published in Wales by Gwasg Carreg Gwalch. In the same year, his ground-breaking anthology of contemporary Celtic language poets, Writing The Wind: A Celtic Resurgence (The New Celtic Poetry), which includes poetry in Welsh, Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Breton, Cornish and Manx was published in the U.S., and his first volume of translations of the poems of the 14th century Persian poet Hafiz, In Wineseller’s Street, was released. He has translated the work of Yvan Goll, Guillevic, Hugh-Alain Dal, Marc Ichall and Hafiz. In 2002 a second volume of his translations of Hafiz, Drunk on the Wine of the Beloved: 100 Poems of Hafiz, was published by Shambhala. For six years he was Editor-at-Large for the Asheville Poetry Review. His memoir in the style of Thoreau’s Walden based on four years of self-sufficient living in a wilderness environment in the woods of western North Carolina from 1979 to 1982, Zoro’s Field: My Life in the Appalachian Woods, was published by the University of Georgia Press in the spring of 2005. It is the winner of the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association’s 2005 Ragan Old North State Award for Non-fiction as well as the Southern Environmental Law Center’s prestigious Reed Award for a best book of nonfiction on the environment.
He currently resides in the Tuckasegee community of Jackson County in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina, where he writes features and columns on culture, community and the environment for the Smoky Mountain News. His literary archives have been purchased by and are collected at the Duke University Special Collections Library in Durham, North Carolina.
1:30-3:30 pm – Roundtable in Hebrew: Readings of texts and discussion with UM faculty and graduate students: Maya Barzilai, Yael Kenan, Nadav Linial, Marina Mayorski, Shachar Pinsker
4:00-5:30 pm – Panel in English: Discussion with the authors about shared themes and questions from U-M faculty and graduate students
Moderator: Maya Barizlai
5:30-6:30 pm – Reception with Authors
6:30-7:45 pm – Conversation with Authors: Maya Arad, Dory Manor, Ruby Namdar, and Moshe Sakal (in English. Books will be available for sale)
Moderator: Shachar Pinsker
The symposium brings four writers, who stand at the forefront of contemporary Hebrew literature in Israel and the US, in conversation with University of Michigan scholars and students. It features the highly acclaimed writers Maya Arad, Ruby Namdar, and Moshe Sakal, and the prize-winning poet, translator, and editor Dory Manor. Writers and scholars will discuss the meaning of writing Hebrew today in Israel and around the world, and the contacts between Hebrew and other languages. They will consider the challenges of translation, editing, and disseminating literature in a global context, as well as the political implications of Hebrew literature today.
The front entrance of Rackham, located on East Washington, is accessible by stairs and ramp. There are elevators on both the east and wends ends of the lobby. The assembly hall is on the fourth floor.
If you have a disability that requires an accommodation, contact the Judaic Studies office at email@example.com or 734-763-9047.
This Georgetown University sociology professor and New York Times opinion writer–a Detroit native–discusses MLK and African American leadership in the 21st century.
2-4:30 p.m., 100 U-M Hatcher Grad Library Gallery, enter from the Diag. Free. 764-7522.
Panel discussion on U-M Afroamerican and African studies professor Naomi André’s book, with André, RC and U-M women’s studies professor Abigail Stewart, and U-M musicology professor Gabriela Cruz.
3:30 p.m., 2239 Lane Hall, 204 S. State. Free. 764-9537
Retired Detroit minister Bill Wylie-Kellerman discusses his new book about his wife’s illness and death, written from his spiritual perspective. Signing.
Transformation, Aesthetics, and Beauty: Translating Zen Master Ikkyu and Classical Chinese Poetry
Translators Sarah Messer and Kidder Smith will introduce Zen Master Ikkyu, an unconventional 14th century enlightened Zen Master who wrote poems in Classical Chinese, upended gender roles, and transformed the aesthetics of medieval Japan. They will also discuss how they translated Ikkyu’s poetry since Sarah didn’t know any Chinese at the start. All of us together will then translate a poem from Chinese into English, using the same method that Sarah and Kidder employed. We will conclude by enjoying some cheese from White Lotus Farms (where Sarah works), understanding that cheesemaking also involves transformation, aesthetics, mindfulness, and beauty.
RC alumna Sarah Messer is the author of four books, a hybrid history/memoir, Red House (Viking), a book of translations, Having Once Paused: Poems of Zen Master Ikkyu (University of Michigan Press) and two poetry books Bandit Letters (New Issues), and Dress Made of Mice (Black Lawrence Press). Messer co-founded One Pause Poetry and teaches Creative Writing at the RC and is a cheesemaker at White Lotus Farms.
For many years Kidder Smith taught Chinese history at Bowdoin College in Maine, where he also chaired the Asian Studies Program. He is the lead translator of Sun Tzu—the Art of War (Shambhala), and (with Sarah Messer), Having Once Paused: Poems of Zen Master Ikkyu (University of Michigan Press).
Let Me Sing and I’m Happy is the history of an actress who sings popular songs. It is also a handbook detailing an approach to bringing the song to life. Author Morris writes “For forty years I’ve been privileged to sing the greatest songs from our American musical theater history – Kern, Berlin, Gershwin, Porter, and Rodgers and Hart. I was fortunate to find a musical partner, William Bolcom, who felt the same way, who helped me illuminate and bring to life the history and drama in each song. Our approach gained us entry into the serious-music concert world. It helped us, in Schiller’s words, to ‘…unite that which fashion had sternly parted.’”
5:30 p.m., 100 U-M Hatcher Grad Library Gallery, enter from the Diag. Free. 763-8994.