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.
Join us for the February edition of the East Side Reading Series!
Hosted on the 2nd Floor of The Commons: https://thecommonsdetroit.com/
The Line Up:
Marlin M. Jenkins
ANNA CLARK is a writer in Detroit. The author of two books, and the editor of a third, her nonfiction has been published in The Boston Review, Midwestern Gothic, Guernica, the New York Times, Belt, and elsewhere. She is the guest editor of a forthcoming special issue of the Michigan Quarterly Review, titled “Not One Without,” and she is a contributing editor at Waxwing Literary Journal. Anna has been a Fulbright fellow in creative writing in Nairobi, Kenya; a writer-in-residence in Detroit schools; and a longtime leader of writing and improv theater workshops in prisons. She co-curates the Motor Signal Reading Series. Anna graduated from the University of Michigan and Warren Wilson College’s MFA Program for Writers.http://annaclark.net/
CHERYL CRABB is a fiction writer and journalist. Her debut novel, The Other Side of Sanctuary, was published by Adelaide Books of New York in January of 2020. She is a recent graduate of the MFA in Writing program at Vermont College of Fine Arts and has a master’s degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Her work has appeared in various publications, including the Hartford Courant and in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution where she reported as a staff writer. Cheryl has volunteered with 826michigan, a non-profit organization that inspires school-aged students throughout Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and Detroit to write and skillfully and confidently. She and her family live in Northville and frequently visit the Sleeping Bear Dunes along Lake Michigan where the book is set in the fictional town of Sanctuary. http://www.cherylcrabb.com/
MARLIN M. JENKINS was born and raised in Detroit and is the author of the chapbook Capable Monsters (Bull City Press). His poetry has been given homes by Indiana Review, The Rumpus, Iowa Review, Waxwing, TriQuarterly, New Poetry from the Midwest, and the forthcoming Arab Love Poems anthology. He has worked as a teaching artist with young writers at Inside Out Literary Arts in Detroit and the Neutral Zone in Ann Arbor. He earned his MFA in poetry at the University of Michigan, where he then taught writing and literature and was nominated for the Ben Prize for outstanding teaching of writing. He currently lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
CAROLINE MAUN is an associate professor of English at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. She teaches creative writing and American literature and is the Chair. Her poetry publications include the volumes The Sleeping (Marick Press, 2006), What Remains (Main Street Rag, 2013), and three chapbooks, Cures and Poisons and Greatest Hits, both published by Puddinghouse Press, and Accident, published by Alice Greene & Co. Her poetry has appeared in The Bear River Review, The MacGuffin, Third Wednesday, Peninsula Poets, and Eleven Eleven, among other places. http://www.carolinemaun.com/
DANIELLA TOOSIE-WATSON is a poet, visual artist and educator from New York. She has received fellowships and awards from the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop, the InsideOut Detroit Literary Arts Project, The Watering Hole, and the University of Michigan Hopwood Program. Her poetry has appeared in Callaloo, Virginia Quarterly Review and SLICE Magazine and is forthcoming in the anthology The BreakBeat Poets Volume 4: LatiNEXT. Daniella holds a BA in English from the College of Saint Rose and received her MFA from the University of Michigan Helen Zell Writers’ Program.
We welcome contributors to Michigan State University Press’s anthology Respect: The Poetry of Detroit Music. featuring Dawn McDuffie, Sonya Pouncy, Keith Taylor, Ken Mikowloski, Dennis Hinrichsen, Brian Gilmore, Charlie Brice, Cal Freeman, Zilka Joseph and M.L. Liebler. Free and open to the public. A signing will follow. The event is free and open to the public.
About the book: While there have been countless books written about Detroit, none have captured its incredible musical history like this one. Detroit artists have forged the paths in many music genres, producing waves of creative energy that continue to reverberate across the country and around the world. This anthology both documents and celebrates this part of Detroit’s history, capturing the emotions that the music inspired in its creators and in its listeners. The range of contributors speaks to the global impact of Detroit’s music scene–Grammy winners, Pulitzer Prize winners, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, and poet laureates all come together in this rich and varied anthology.
Dr. Elizabeth Goodenough explores the landscapes of the Great Lakes as they shape the lives of children, writers, and illustrators. She offers images and tales of lighthouses and shipwrecks from the inland seas, a biosphere with the power to influence artists forever. Stories of displaced children, indigenous youth, and runaways portray stormy passages. What geography constitutes “home” in picture books, Y/A and graphic novels, legends, and film? How do we retain and preserve the settings we first encountered? Goodenough investigates how a sense of belonging and becoming abides within, sustaining or haunting a lifetime. In this session we recall regional memories, ideas about nature, and narratives of outdoor exploration. Registration is encouraged but not required.
Goodenough has taught literature at Harvard, Claremont McKenna, and Sarah Lawrence colleges, and the University of Michigan. She has published several volumes in Childhood Studies, and her award-winning PBS documentary, Where Do the Children Play?, helped initiate a national dialogue on outdoor play.
Immediately following the presentation, we invite you to this month’s Special Collections After Hours Event, The Great Lakes in Children’s Literature.
Look at the Great Lakes region through the eyes of Michigan children’s authors, including Tom Pohrt, Nancy Willard, and Joan Blos. In addition to published works, we will also have selected archival materials and artwork on display.
The Great Lakes represent the largest body of freshwater in the world and are surrounded by diverse ecosystems and communities, from the rust belt steel mills that sit on Indiana’s sand dunes to the protected forests of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Nonetheless, from Western New York to Eastern Minnesota, to grow up in the Great Lakes region means to grow up anchored to a landscape shaped by water, and to a social and economic environment built on a history of using (and often abusing) this abundant water source.
This event follows a lecture by Elizabeth Goodenough at 3:00pm, Growing Up Near the Great Lakes. Please join us for both events!
This event is part of Special Collections After Hours, a monthly open house series sharing highlights from the many books, documents, and artifacts in the Special Collections Research Center. Each event is open to everyone and will offer a new group of themed materials for visitors to explore. Open houses are held on the second Tuesday of each month during the academic year. Light refreshments are provided.