We welcome acclaimed poet Michael Dickman to the store for a reading from his most recent collection, Days & Days, as part of our ongoing Poetry at Literati series. Free and open to the public, signing to follow.
About the collection: Michael Dickman’s intuitive, agile verse captures us in its unusual pulse. Image-driven and shape-driven, the poems of Days & Days touch on parenthood, childhood, local natural habitats, graffiti culture, roses, and romantic love. Dickman considers both the internal and external vistas that open before him in the course of a day, the memories and the immediate quandaries. The long centerpiece poem, “Lakes Rivers Streams,” is a reverie that picks up the flotsam of parenting days on its current. Other poems account for hotel days, or days spent watching TV, taking prescription drugs, watching butterflies. Throughout, we feel the dazzling originality of Dickman’s awareness; he meets the brutality, banality, and strange beauty of the quotidian with a level gaze, and with an urgent musicality that carries us beyond these lines and pages.
Michael Dickman is the author of three books of poems, The End of the West (2009), Flies (2011, winner of the James Laughlin Award), and Green Migraine (2015), and coauthor, with his twin brother , of 50 American Plays (Poems) (2012), and Brother (2016). He lives in Princeton, New Jersey, where he is on the faculty at Princeton University.
Janet R. Douglas, a former occupational therapist, suffered a massive stroke and spent the next decade overcoming physical and mental challenges to emerge as a different, more authentic version of herself. Join us as she shares her memoir, A Wonderful Stroke of Luck: From Occupational Therapist to Patient and Beyond.
About the Book
Janet R. Douglas, a former occupational therapist, suffered a massive stroke and spent the next decade overcoming physical and mental challenges to emerge as a different, more authentic version of herself. This inspired her to write her memoir, A Wonderful Stroke of Luck: From Occupational Therapist to Patient and Beyond.
Douglas addresses the effects of brain damage on personal identity and relationships, the power of faith and of the human spirit to overcome adversity and to accept that while full recovery may be beyond reach, life can still be full and rewarding. She also discusses the challenges of returning to her high-powered corporate position and navigating physical and psychological obstacles at home, work and in the community with humor and deep insight.
“When the idea of writing a book was first raised, I could neither read nor write normally,” said Douglas. “It took almost a decade of therapy to be strong enough physically and mentally to take on the challenge.”
“A Wonderful Stroke of Luck” presents the unique perspective of both therapist and patient as Douglas discusses the impact of a stroke, how it makes even the simplest tasks difficult, and how the noticeable disabilities it causes are only part of the struggle.
About the Author
Janet R. Douglas, an occupational therapist, specialized in the treatment of hand injuries at Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in London and worked with the World Health Organization before moving to the US. She was director of occupational therapy education at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago before earning a master’s degree in public health. Douglas then joined the world’s largest human resources and risk management consulting firm where she served as a Managing Director and Global Practice Leader. In semi-retirement, she works in refugee resettlement.
Award-winning Michigan authors Sarah Stewart and David Small return to AADL to discuss their latest picture book, This Book of Mine, a celebration of the power of reading and the ways in which books launch our adventures, give us comfort, challenge our imaginations, and offer us connection.
Husband-and-wife duo Sarah Stewart and David Small have worked together on several picture books, including The Gardener, which was named a Caldecott Honor Book, among many other awards. They live in a historic home filled with thousands of books on a bend of the St. Joseph River in Michigan.
This event is in partnership with Literati Bookstore. It includes a signing and books will be for sale.
**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.
Come with questions, a work in progress, or an empty notebook. All writers are welcome in this casual, supportive environment. Authors Bethany Neal and Alex Kourvo will be on hand to answer questions and give encouragement. Bethany and Alex will also provide private, one-on-one critiques if you choose to have them read your work. Sharing your writing with other attendees is not required and is completely voluntary.
This is an excellent opportunity to meet your fellow Ann Arbor writers as well as get feedback from published authors. This is a monthly meet-up that welcomes all writers to ask questions, connect with other writers, or simply have a dedicated time and place to work on their projects. Do you have a completed manuscript? Consider submitting it to the library’s new imprint, Fifth Avenue Press.
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.