We welcome Jeff Kass back to Literati for a reading from his new poetry collection, Teacher/Pizza Guy, as part of our ongoing Poetry at Literati series. Free and open to the public, book signing to follow.
About the book: Explores the emotional and physical labor necessary to work nights as a pizza delivery driver and days as a high school English teacher.
Jeff Kass teaches tenth-grade English and creative writing at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He is the founder of the Literary Arts Program at Ann Arbor’s teen center, The Neutral Zone, where he was program director for twenty years. He is also the author of the award-winning short story collection Knuckleheads, the poetry collection My Beautiful Hook-Nosed Beauty Queen Strut Wave, and the thriller Takedown. He lives in Ann Arbor with the author Karen Smyte and their children, Sam and Julius.
Tellers will be Beverly Black, Steve Daut, Jill Halpern,and Laura Lee Hayes – Storytelling has power. Much more than just talking about personal experiences, today’s professional, passionate and playful storytellers can grab your attention and hold you spellbound with each word and each gesture. Hosted by Steve Daut and Laura Lee Hayes. Mark your calendars and join us for Story Night in the Crazy Wisdom Tea Room
We welcome University of Michigan professor Alexandra Minna Stern to discuss her new book, Proud Boys and the White Ethnostate: How the Alt-Right is Warping the American Imagination, which Kirkus calls “An important study that extends the knowledge from other recent books that have demonstrated a stubbornly pervasive network of white nationalists.”
About the book: What is the alt-right? What do they believe, and how did they take center stage in the American social and political consciousness?
From a loose movement that lurked in the shadows in the early 2000s, the alt-right has achieved a level of visibility that has allowed it to expand significantly throughout America’s cultural, political, and digital landscapes. Racist, sexist, and homophobic beliefs that were previously unspeakable have become commonplace, normalized, and accepted—endangering American democracy and society as a whole. Yet in order to dismantle the destructive movement that has invaded our public consciousness, we must first understand the core beliefs that drive the alt-right.
To help guide us through the contemporary moment, historian Alexandra Minna Stern excavates the alt-right memes and tropes that have erupted online and explores the alt-right’s central texts, narratives, constructs, and insider language. She digs to the root of the alt-right’s motivations: their deep-seated fear of an oncoming “white genocide” that can only be remedied through swift and aggressive action to reclaim white power. As the group makes concerted efforts to cast off the vestiges of neo-Nazism and normalize their appearance and their beliefs, the alt-right and their ideas can be hard to recognize. Through careful analysis, Stern brings awareness to the underlying concepts that guide the alt-right and animate its overlapping forms of racism, xenophobia, transphobia, and anti-egalitarianism. She explains the key ideas of “red-pilling,” strategic trolling, gender essentialism, and the alt-right’s ultimate fantasy: a future where minorities have been removed and “cleansed” from the body politic and a white ethnostate is established in the United States. By unearthing the hidden mechanisms that power white nationalism, Stern reveals just how pervasive this movement truly is.
Professor Stern is the author of the prize-winning book Eugenic Nation: Faults and Frontiers of Better Breeding in Modern America, (University of California Press, 2005) and Telling Genes: The Story of Genetic Counseling in America (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012) is a Choice 2013 Outstanding Academic Title in Health Sciences.
We welcome University of Michigan Professor Susan J. Douglas in support of her new book, Celebrity: A History of Fame. Free and open to the public, book signing to follow.
About the book: Today, celebrity culture is an inescapable part of our media landscape and our everyday lives. This was not always the case. Over the past century, media technologies have increasingly expanded the production and proliferation of fame. Celebrity explores this revolution and its often under-estimated impact on American culture. Using numerous precedent-setting examples spanning more than one hundred years of media history, Douglas and McDonnell trace the dynamic relationship between celebrity and the technologies of mass communication that have shaped the nature of fame in the United States.
Susan J. Douglas is the Catherine Neafie Kellogg Professor of Communication Studies at The University of Michigan. She is the author of five books, including The Rise of Enlightened Sexism (2010), Listening In: Radio and the American Imagination (1999) and Where The Girls Are: Growing Up Female with the Mass Media (1994).
All invited to listen to guild members swap stories or bring their own to tell, at the AASG monthly meeting.
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!
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.
This week’s reading features Nishanth Injam and Monica Rico.
Nishanth Injam is a fiction writer from Telangana, India. He currently lives in Ann Arbor.
Monica Rico is a second generation Mexican-American from Saginaw, MI and a 2019 CantoMundo Fellow. She works for the Bear River Writers’ Conference.
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; email@example.com or cwpoetrycircle.tumblr.com.
The Michigan Quarterly Review launches its fall issue. Details and contributor bios to come. Stay tuned!
Author and former director of the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at The University of Michigan visits as part of our ongoing Fiction at Literati Series, in support of her new novel The Professor of Immortality. Eileen will be in-conversation with Literati bookseller and author Lillian Li. A book signing will follow. The event is free and open to the public.
About the book: Professor Maxine Sayers once found her personal and professional life so fulfilling that she founded the Institute of Future Studies, a program dedicated to studying the effects of technology on our culture and finding ways to prolong human life. But when her beloved husband dies, she is so devastated she can barely get out of bed. To make matters worse, her son, Zach, has abruptly quit his job in Silicon Valley and been out of contact for seven months. Maxine is jolted from her grief by her sudden suspicion that a favorite former student (and a former close friend of her son) might be a terrorist called the Technobomber and that Zach might either be involved in or become a victim of this extremist’s bombing. Deserting her teaching responsibilities, her ailing mother, and an appealing suitor, Maxine feels compelled to set out and search for her son in order to warn and protect him, even as she knows she should report her suspicions to the FBI to prevent greater carnage.
Eileen Pollack graduated with a BS in physics from Yale and earned an MFA in creative writing from the University of Iowa. She is the author of the novels The Bible of Dirty Jokes, A Perfect Life, Breaking and Entering, andParadise, New York, the short-story collections In the Mouth and The Rabbi in the Attic, and the nonfiction books The Only Woman in the Room: Why Science Is Still a Boys’ Club and Woman Walking Ahead: In Search of Catherine Weldon and Sitting Bull. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Michener Foundation, the Rona Jaffe Foundation, and the Massachusetts Arts Council. Her novella “The Bris” was chosen to appear in Best American Short Stories, edited by Stephen King; two other stories have been awarded Pushcart Prizes, and her essay “Pigeons” was selected by Cheryl Strayed for Best American Essays. Formerly the director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Michigan, she now lives in New York City.
Lillian Li received her BA from Princeton and her MFA from the University of Michigan. She is the recipient of a Hopwood Award in Short Fiction, as well as Glimmer Train‘s New Writer Award. Her work has been featured in Guernica, Granta, and Jezebel. She is from the D.C. metro area and lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Number One Chinese Restaurant is her first novel.