Calendar

Dec
6
Fri
Webster Reading Series: Meagean L. Dugger and Logan Lane @ UMMA Auditorium
Dec 6 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

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.

 

Dec
12
Thu
Ann Arbor Storytellers Guild: Story Night @ Crazy Wisdom
Dec 12 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Listen to old tales and new during an evening of adult stories. Ann Arbor Storytellers’ Guild members perform for the first hour. For the second half of the program we will be bringing in something new – come find out what we’re up to! Free. Donations welcome. Contact the Guild at annarborstorytelling.org

 

 

Jan
6
Mon
Thomas Lynch: The Depositions, and conversation with Keith Taylor @ Literati
Jan 6 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

We’re pleased to welcome the beloved author of The Undertaking in support of his latest, The Depositions: New and Selected Essays on Being and Ceasing to Be. The author will be in conversation with poet Keith Taylor. Signing to follow. Free and open to the public.

About the book: 

For nearly four decades, poet, essayist, and small-town funeral director Thomas Lynch has probed relations between the literary and mortuary arts. His life’s work with the dead and the bereaved has informed four previous collections of nonfiction, each exploring identity and humanity with Lynch’s signature blend of memoir, meditation, gallows humor, and poetic precision.

The Depositions provides an essential selection from these masterful collections—essays on fatherhood, Irish heritage, funeral rites, and the perils of bodiless obsequies—as well as new essays in which the space between Lynch’s hyphenated identities—as an Irish American, undertaker-poet—is narrowed by the deaths of poets, the funerals of friends, the loss of neighbors, intimate estrangements, and the slow demise of a beloved dog.

As Alan Ball writes in a penetrating foreword, Lynch’s work allows us “to see both the absurdity and the beauty of death, sometimes simultaneously.” With this landmark collection, he continues to illuminate not only how we die, but also how we live.

Thomas Lynch has authored five collections of poetry, one of stories, and four books of essays. His first, The Undertaking, won the Heartland Prize for Non-Fiction and the American Book Award, and was a finalist for the National Book Award. His writing has appeared in the AtlanticGrantaHarper’s Magazine, and the New York Times, among other publications. He works as a funeral director in Milford, Michigan, and teaches at the Bear River Writer’s Conference.

Jan
8
Wed
Indelible in the Hippocampus: Writings from the Me Too Movement @ Literati
Jan 8 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

We are delighted to welcome the publisher and three contributors to this intersectional collection of essays, fiction, and poetry featuring black, Latinx, Asian, queer, and trans writers for a panel discussion!

About the book: “Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter,” said Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford when she testified to congress in September 2018 about the men who victimized her. A year earlier, in October 2017, the hashtag #MeToo shone a light on the internalized, normalized sexual harassment and abuse that’d been ubiquitous for women for generations.

Among the first books to emerge from the #MeToo movement, Indelible in the Hippocampus is a truly intersectional collection of essays, fiction, and poetry. These original texts sound the voices of black, Latinx, Asian, queer, and trans writers, to name but a few, and says “me too” 23 times. Whether reflecting on their teenage selves or their modern-day workplaces, each contributor approaches the subject with unforgettable authenticity and strength.

Together these pieces create a portrait of cultural sea-change, offering the reader a deeper understanding of this complex, galvanizing pivot in contemporary consciousness.

Nandi Comer is the author of the American Family: A Syndrome (Finishing Line Press) and Tapping Out (Northwestern University Press, May, 2020). She is a Cave Canem fellow as well as a Callaloo fellow. She is a 2019 Kresge Artist Fellow. Her poems have appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Green Mountains Review, Muzzle, The Offing and Southern Indiana Review.

Emily Jace McLaughlin is a fiction writer and screenwriter. Her short stories have appeared in Catapult, VICE, Cutbank, and Fiction, among other journals. She is a graduate of the Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan, where she won Hopwood Awards for her novel, short fiction, essays and play, and where she currently teaches. She formerly wrote for Warner Brothers Television.

Polly Rosenwaike’s story collection, Look How Happy I’m Making You, was named one of Kirkus Reviews’ “Best Short Story Collections of 2019,” and Glamour’s “Best Books of 2019.” She works as a freelance editor in Ann Arbor and is the Fiction Editor for Michigan Quarterly Review.

Amanda Uhle is Executive Director and Publisher of McSweeney’s, known for its award-winning quarterly literary journal, humor website and eclectic book publishing program. She is co-founder, with Dave Eggers, of The International Congress of Youth Voices. For more than 11 years, Uhle was executive director 826michigan, a nonprofit tutoring and writing center for school-aged students in Detroit, Ann Arbor, and Ypsilanti. Trained as a journalist, she writes independently and is sometimes host of the author interview radio program and podcast, Living Writers. She remains involved with numerous youth writing organizations in Michigan and around the world, supporting their fundraising and programming as a volunteer consultant. She’s a board member of Choose Yourself, a youth-led organization working to raise fearless girls and young women in the nations of Africa and in the United States

Jan
9
Thu
Frithjof Bergmann: New Work, New Culture @ AADL Downtown (First Floor Lobby)
Jan 9 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

There was a time when the word “job” was a pejorative term. Now, many people around the world think a job—any job—to be a blessing, essential to thrive; even, survive. Frithjof Bermann will give a short reading from his book, recently released in English, New Work, New Culture, in which he skewers what he calls the “Job System” of organizing work, as being outdated and dysfunctional. He proposes an alternative. After his reading, there will be an audience discussion.

Frithjof H. Bergmann is emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Michigan.

This event includes books for sale.

Jan
10
Fri
Webster Reading Series: Asher Dark and Sassy Lee @ UMMA Auditorium
Jan 10 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

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.

 

Jan
15
Wed
Charles R. Eisendrath: Downstream from Here @ Literati
Jan 15 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

We welcome former TIME correspondent, founder of the Knight-Wallace Fellowships and Livingston Awards at the University of Michigan, Charles R. Eisendrath, in support of his collection Downstream from Here: A Big Life in a Small Place. Book signing to follow. Free and open to the public. 

About the book: 

“Why not learn how to learn by doing? Why not go backwards and forwards at the same time, intro-prospecting what’s gone into our gene pool by letting it come out as the future unfolded? Each of us is a family album that few of us take the time to reference. The trick is learning how to read the pages while making new ones at the same time. The turning part happens by itself — you just need to pay attention.”

Charles R. Eisendrath, in this series of essays spanning four decades, explores the things that grow lives of their own when left undisturbed at a second home — things like an “ancestor room,” a storm-struck forest, a player piano and a childhood fear of wild dogs. These essays are about the loves of a place inhabited temporarily, but which shape a person permanently.

These essays range from Anatolia to Argentina, from FDR’s secret wartime fishing trip to a plane crash in Costa Rica. The margin notes of academic articles lead to a grill admired by James Beard and a Saudi prince. Tenure at the University of Michigan inspires a cherry orchard and bulldozers invite ghosts. Serious, hilarious, inquisitive, spontaneous, Eisendrath introduces us to the people and places, the life, death and afterlife that goes on nonstop, all around us, all by itself.

Jan
16
Thu
Howard Markel: Literari: Essays at the Intersection of Medicine and Culture @ Nicola's Books
Jan 16 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

A FIRST-EVER COLLECTION FROM AMERICA’S MOST DISTINGUISHED HISTORIAN OF MEDICINE AND CULTURAL LIFE

From Howard Markel, author of An Anatomy of Addiction “Absorbing, vivid” —Sherwin Nuland, The New York Times Book Review, front page) and The Kelloggs (2017 National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist for Biography), Literatim is a collection of the writer’s essays on medicine, American culture, and how their intersections compose the interstitial matter of modern life.

Through topics ranging from illness to baseball to the lives of America’s most beloved artists and performers, Markel’s eye for the unexamined corners of contemporary life align with his singular storytelling ability for a collection that demonstrates how literature, like medicine, can be a portal to better understanding the human condition.

Selected and with an introduction by the award-winning and bestselling author, Literatim gathers more than 80 essays, a thirty-year retrospective of Markel’s work from 1987 to 2019. “Although writers and physicians use markedly different tools and approaches,” he writes, “both are recording and interpreting narratives.” Literatim is a stirring and entertaining testament to that persisting truth..

About the Author

HOWARD MARKEL, M.D., Ph.D., is the George E. Wantz Distinguished Professor of the History of Medicine, director of the Center for the History of Medicine at the University of Michigan. His books include Quarantine!, When Germs Travel, and An Anatomy of Addiction. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Journal of the American Medical Association, and The New England Journal of Medicine. Markel is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Poetry at Literati: Carmen Bugan: Lilies from America @ Literati
Jan 16 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

RC Creative Writing alumna Carmen Bugan is a poet and author of the critically acclaimed memoir Burying the Typewriter. She visits in support of her collection of new and selected poems, Lilies from America. Book signing to follow. Free and open to the public. 

About the collection: This selection of Carmen Bugan’s poems offers readers an experience with all the surprise and continuity of a long, complex novel. Childhood, youth, the move from a traditional rural world, dominated by lovingly described grandparents, to exile, urban life, parents aging, children growing – all the private normalities which are so often the material of poetry are here. But, from the striking opening, where the poet’s parents work secretly on a typewriter, buried and dug up after the children are in bed, on Samizdat protests against the government of Romania, normality collides with history. A reality of state surveillance, abuse and incarceration fills the poems with urgency, even as memories are revisited and sometimes revised.

Carmen Bugan’s books include the memoir Burying the Typewriter: Childhood Under the Eye of the Secret Police (Picador), which has received international critical praise, the Bread Loaf Conference Bakeless Prize for Nonfiction, and was a finalist in the George Orwell Prize for Political Writing, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. Her collections of poems are Releasing the Porcelain Birds and The House of Straw (both with Shearsman Books), and Crossing the Carpathians(Carcanet Press). She is also the author of a critical study on Seamus Heaney and East European Poetry in Translation: Poetics of Exile. Her work has been translated into several languages and she is a regular reviewer for Harvard Review Online. Bugan was awarded a large grant from the Arts Council of England, was a Creative Arts Fellow in Literature at Wolfson College, Oxford University, was a Hawthornden Fellow, the 2018 Helen DeRoy Professor in Honors at the University of Michigan, and is a George Orwell Prize Fellow. She has a doctorate in English literature from Balliol College, Oxford University. She now lives in the USA with her husband and children.

Jan
21
Tue
Fiction at Literati: Alexander Weinstein: Universal Love @ Literati
Jan 21 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

We’re pleased to welcome Alexander Weinstein back to the store as part of our ongoing Fiction at Literati series, in support of his new story collection Universal Love. Free and open to the public. Book signing to follow. 

About the book: A hypnotic collection of speculative fiction about compassion, love, and human resilience in the technological hyper-age, from Alexander Weinstein, author of Children of the New World.

Universal Love welcomes readers to a near-future world where our everyday technologies have fundamentally altered the possibilities and limits of how we love one another. In these gripping stories, a young boy tries to understand what keeps his father tethered to the drowned city they call home. A daughter gets to know her dead mother’s hologram better than she ever knew her living mother. And, at a time when unpleasant memories can be erased, a man undergoes electronic surgery to have his depression, and his past, forever removed.

Alexander Weinstein is the author of the critically acclaimed Children of the New World and the director of the Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing. Among his many publications, his fiction was awarded the Lamar York Prize and the Gail Crump Prize, has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and has been collected in the anthology 2013 New Stories from the Midwest. He is a professor of creative writing at Siena Heights University and a lecturer at the University of Michigan.