Readings. Workshops, Literary celebrations of all sorts. Here is the Detroit reader’s one-stop portal into the the literary action of the city — not just the extraordinary ones Literary Detroit is hosting, but also the good work of our friends, neighbors, and partners.

Have an upcoming book or literary event to list here? Submit to literarydetroit@gmail.com.

Publishers: Want to arrange a book event in Detroit? We will be your hosts: connecting you to the right Detroit venue, partnering to create a distinctive event experience, amplifying the visit through media, and making sure your author gets from place to place with ease (and maybe a great dinner, too). Contact us at literarydetroit@gmail.com

All events are free, unless otherwise indicated. As well, the venue listed is located in Detroit, unless otherwise indicated.

***Shakespeare in Detroit Presents:
Antony & Cleopatra

Experience immersive performance art as SiD presents its sophomore production, “Antony and Cleopatra”, in the city’s New Center area. This is Shakespeare like you’ve never experienced before — site-specific Shakespeare. We will become an extension of our unique venue, Recycle Here, by creating a theatrical experience that includes costumes and set pieces made from materials directly from the recycling facility.

There is a strongly suggested donation of $10 for entry for non-Community sponsors; $5 for students (25 and under with student I.D.) and seniors (65 and up).

Showtimes are Saturday, March 15 at 7 p.m.; Sunday, March 16 at 2 p.m.; Friday, March 21 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, March 22 at 7 p.m. at 1331 Holden St, Detroit, MI 48202.

There will be a special event after the Sunday, March 16 show for Community Sponsors only. To learn more about becoming a Community Sponsor, email ShakespeareinDetroit@gmail.com.

Produced by: Sam White
Directed by: Kyle Grant
Costume design by: Cal Schwartz
Art director: James Johnson
Administrative Director: Bridget Dennis

We hope to see you in March!

March 15, 16, 21 and 22
7pm-10pm (March 16: 2pm)
Recycle Here
1331 Holden

Motor Signal Reading Series with Airea D. Matthews and Raymond McDaniel

Motor Signal is a monthly poetry reading series in Detroit, sponsored by Literary Detroit and hosted by Signal Return.

Motor Signal jolts the poetry reading out of its conventional form, inviting poets to invite poets who in turn invite the audience to play with language alongside them. Readers bring their poems & stories to life by mixing in impromptu performance, audience participation, communal composition, word games, interactive lessons, group storytelling, and more. The series assembles a new, dynamic literary collective with each event, unlocking words’ magic over the course of the evening–and beyond. Sponsored by Literary Detroit (http://literarydetroit.com/) and housed in Signal Return’s (http://www.signalreturnpress.org/) gorgeous space, Motor Signal will serve as a new hub for a literary community in Detroit.

March 18
Signal Return
1345 Division St

***Woodward Line Poetry Series: Andrei Codrescu, Katy Bohinc, Lee Ann Brown

Katy Bohinc, Lee Ann Brown and Andrei Codrescu will be the featured readers for the Woodward Line Poetry Series March 19, 2014

Katy Bohinc is a poet and longstanding contributor to the Chinese activist community. Work has recently appeared in “Armed Cell,” “Open Letters Monthly,” “Poor Claudia,” and “Dream Boat.” Selected letters from “Dear Alain (love letters of a poet to a philosopher)” is available now online from Summer BF Press. “Dear Alain” is scheduled to appear in its entirety in fall 2014.

Lee Ann Brown was born in Japan and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. She attended Brown University, where she earned both her undergraduate and graduate degrees.
She is the author of “In the Laurels, Caught” (Fence Books, 2013), which won the 2012 Fence Modern Poets Series Award. She’s also written “Crowns of Charlotte” (Carolina Wren Press, 2013), “The Sleep That Changed Everything” (Wesleyan, 2003), and “Polyverse” (Sun & Moon Press, 2000), which won the 1996 New American Poetry Competition, selected by Charles Bernstein.

In 1989, Brown founded Tender Buttons Press, which is dedicated to publishing experimental women’s poetry. She has taught at Brown University, Naropa University, Bard College, and The New School, among others. She currently divides her time between New York City, where she teaches at St. John’s University, and Marshall, North Carolina, where she directs the French Broad Institute (of Time & the River) and the Children’s Arts in the Mountains Program.

Andrei Codrescu was born in Sibiu, Romania, and immigrated to the U.S. in the 60s living in Detroit until 1967. In 1970, he wrote “License to Carry a Gun” (Big Table). In 1983, he founded Exquisite Corpse, a Journal of Books & Ideas in Baltimore, where he lectured at Johns Hopkins University. In the same year, he became a regular commentator on art and politics on NPR’s All Things Considered. A chaired professor of English and Comparative Literature at LSU in Baton Rouge, he continued editing Exquisite Corpse, commentating on NPR and lecturing.

He covered the dramatic events of 1989 in Romania for NPR and ABC News. His latest published work includes So Recently Rent a World: New and Selected Poems, 1968-2012″ (Coffee House Press), “The Posthuman Dada Guide: Tzara and Lenin Play Chess” (Princeton University Press) and “Bibliodeath: my Archives with Life in Footnotes” (Antibookclub).

March 19
The Scarab Club
217 East Farnsworth

***Magenta Giraffe’s 2014 Annual Staged Reading Festival

As part of the mission “to reestablish and expand Detroit’s theatre community,” Magenta Giraffe Theatre Company has chosen plays by Michigan natives and current Michigan residents to stage as part of a festival to take place March 21, 22, and 23, 2014.

Attendees will see a reading of each play and are encouraged to participate in a workshop-style discussion afterward. Several plays that have been read in past staged reading festivals have gone on to be produced in the region, and this event gives audience members an opportunity to become a part of the process of developing plays for eventual production. Admission is by donation only.

Followers of past staged reading festivals will see some familiar names as well as new ones! The schedule for the weekend is as follows:

March 21, 22, and 23, 2014
The Abreact Performance Space
1301 W. Lafayette, #1301

  • Something Greater
    By Kirsten Knisely
    Directed by: Frannie Shepherd-Bates
    Two codependent New York City roommates find themselves at odds when one invites his new love interest and her sister to stay the weekend. Severe culture clashes lead to revelations about marriage, children, and what people are willing to compromise for the ones they love.
    Friday, March 21
  • One Hundred Views of Mount Fiji
    By Evan Guilford-Blake
    Directed by: Michael Lopetrone
    One Hundred Views of Mount Fuji is about teen bullying, teen suicide, ethnic and sexual-preference prejudice, and being “different.” Loosely suggested by actual events — the suicides of three 16 year olds in one small community — the play (using Romeo and Juliet and Rashomon as framing devices) looks at the events leading to, and consequences of, the self-inflicted deaths of two 16 year olds, a gay Hispanic boy and an obese, Eastern European, Jewish girl, who consider themselves misfits (and who are treated as such by their peers).
    Saturday, March 22
    2 pm
  • One Cat Away From 61
    By Rikki B. Schwartz

    Directed by: Molly McMahon
    A woman with a strong aversion to therapy has her first session with Dr. Jacobs, and explores her journey through aging, relationships, and finding out exactly what kind of person she really is.
    Saturday, March 22
  • WALL: A Product of Resourcefulness and Efficiency in America’s Never-Ending Battle For Absolute Supremacy and General All-Around Kick-Assedness
    By J.R. Spaulding, Jr.

    Directed by: Mike McGettigan
    Mr. Rondo and his assistant Ms. Ricki want to build a wall as a symbol that will provide Americans purpose in what seems to be an otherwise meaningless and mundane life.  But this noble and most elementary task of theirs becomes increasingly more difficult to achieve as they face an incompetent workforce, a supply shortage, and a time crunch that will put them in an epic showdown against America’s mucky-mucks and The Man’s oppression.
    Saturday, March 22
  • Broken Pieces
    By Sean Paraventi

    Directed by: Matthew Turner Shelton
    Four grown siblings return home to attend the funeral of their mother and are forced to confront their harsh, overbearing father and deep-rooted, still-festering family wounds. With equal parts pain and humor, they discover how difficult it can be to fit the broken pieces back together.
    Sunday, March 23
    3:00 pm
  • Subsistence or Grow a Garden and Buy Some Ammo
    By Sally Jane Kerschen-Sheppard

    Directed by: Dave Woitulewicz
    In the midst of a global financial crisis, three adult siblings and their families find themselves reunited at the farm where they were raised. What should be a happy reunion slowly dissolves into a fierce battle over property; the financial and emotional value it holds.
    Sunday, March 23

***Evidence: New Writing in the Metro presents Art/Writing/Talks

Art critics Vince Carducci and Michael Stone-Richards deliver talks (with visuals) on Detroit cultural politics: Carducci’s “Envisioning Real Utopias in Detroit” and Stone-Richards’ “A Politics and Ethic of (In)visibility.” A general discussion follows, moderated by art writer/poet Glen Mannisto.

Saturday, March 22
Chez Elie
407 W. Marshall
Ferndale, MI

***Scratch the Page: T. Miller Takes the Mic

Don’t miss the second installment of iO’s 2014 Scratch the Page reading series, featuring award-winning slam poet Natasha T. Miller.

In addition to being an iO writer-in-residence, Miller is Detroit’s 2007 poetry “Grand Slam Champion” and has been voted a member of three National Slam Poetry teams. Currently, Miller is featured in a new national ad campaign celebrating Shinola Store Detroit and Motown’s creative resurgence. Watch her here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-DQ0PSErU8.

Miller will share the mic with Deonte Osayande, another celebrated iO writer-in-residence, and youth from Citywide Poets Insideout Literary Arts Project. Event is free and open to the public.

Scratch the Page is funded in part by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and a grant from Poets & Writers, Inc.

Saturday, March 26
Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit
4454 Woodward

***Contemporary American Authors Lecture Series: U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey

The Marygrove College English and Modern Languages Department proudly announces that US Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey will be the twenty-sixth guest in Marygrove’s Contemporary American Authors Lecture Series. Now serving in her second term as Poet Laureate, Trethewey will deliver the Lillian and Don Bauder lecture in Alumnae Hall at 8 pm on Friday, April 4. The event is free and open to the public.

A native of  Gulfport, Mississippi, Trethewey has published four poetry collections. She received the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Beinecke Library at Yale, and the Bunting Fellowship Program of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. Trethewey is currently Robert W. Woodruff Professor of English and Creative Writing at Emory University as well as State Poet Laureate of Mississippi.

Trethewey is the second sitting US Poet Laureate to visit Marygrove as part of the Contemporary American Authors Lecture Series. The first was Rita Dove in 1996. At Marygrove, Trethewey will be introduced by University of Maryland Professor Mary Helen Washington, formerly of the University of Detroit Mercy. Books by both Trethewey and Washington will be available for purchase, and both authors will sign copies of their work after the reading.

For more information, please visit http://english.marygrove.edu/caals/natasha-trethewey-2014.html or call 313-927-1383.

Due to the popularity of this speaker we ask that you register for tickets. Online: marygrove.edu/CAALS2014, Email: caalsevent@marygrove.edu, phone: 313-927-1383.

“Trethewey eschews the Polaroid instant, choosing to render the unsuspecting yearnings and tremulous hopes that accompany our most private thoughts—reclaiming for us that interior life where the true self flourishes and to which we return, in solitary reverie, for strength.” –Rita Dove

Friday, April 4
Alumnae Hall
Madame Cadillac Building
Marygrove College
8425 W. McNichols

***Prison Creative Arts Project: Detroit Book Release and Reading

The University of Michigan Prison Creative Arts Project (PCAP) invites you to celebrate the release of the Michigan Review of Prisoner Creative Writing, Volume 6! Entitled The Sky is On Fire, After All, this anthology features poems, short stories, essays, and other work by writers incarcerated in the state of Michigan.

The events will begin with a short welcome announcement by a PCAP representative and continue with selected readings from the anthology by friends and family of the featured writers. There will be time afterwards to meet current PCAP staff and volunteers, speak with readers, and purchase books and other merchandise.

Saturday, April 5
1515 Broadway

Hum: Jamaal May Book Party

Jamaal May is a poet, editor, and educator from Detroit, MI where he taught poetry in public schools and worked as a freelance audio engineer and touring performer. He is the author of Hum (Alice James Books, Nov 2013), winner of the Beatrice Hawley Award, and two poetry chapbooks (The God Engine and The Whetting of Teeth). His poems have been published widely in journals such as  The Believer, The New Republic, POETRY, PloughsharesKenyon Review, and New England Review.  A graduate of Warren Wilson’s MFA program for writers, Jamaal has received scholarships and fellowships from Bread Loaf Writers Conference, Cave Canem, The Frost Place Conference, and Callaloo. Other honors include the Stadler Fellowship from Bucknell University and the 2013 Indiana Review Poetry Prize. Jamaal has served as Associate Editor of West Branch and currently serves as series editor, graphic designer, and filmmaker for the Organic Weapon Arts Chapbook and Video Series. He is also a visiting faculty member at the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA program.

See more at www.jamaalmay.com

See more about Hum: here.

April 9
5e Gallery
4605 Cass Avenue (in the Cass Corridor Commons at the Unitarian Universalist Church)

***Brown Bag Colloquium Series: Literacy as gendered discourse: Engaging the voices of women in global societies

With Daphne Ntiri, WSU associate professor of Africana Studies.

April 17
Wayne State Humanities Center
2226 Faculty Administration Building
656 W. Kirby

Downtown Book Swap

Celebrate summer and stories in Lafayette Greens at Literary Detroit’s bookswap! Bring as many or as few books as you like, and pick up new-to-you books in exchange. Expect to find a rich and eclectic array of novels, nonfiction, poetry, and children’s books to peruse through. Hang out with us while enjoying your lunch or coffee, meet other readers in the city, play interactive bookish games, and talk about your vision for building a vibrant literary culture in Detroit. All for free! This is part of Detroit’s Lit in the Mitt Month, a series of extraordinary literary events in the city throughout May.

Friday, May 16
Lafayette Greens
132 W Lafayette Blvd.

Roxane Gay

Roxane Gay’s writing has appeared in Best American Short Stories 2012, Best Sex Writing 2012, Oxford American, American Short Fiction, West Branch, Virginia Quarterly Review, NOON, The New York Times Book Review, Bookforum, The Los Angeles Times, The Nation, The Rumpus, Salon, The Wall Street Journal’s Speakeasy culture blog, and many others. She is the co-editor of PANK and essays editor for The Rumpus. She teaches writing at Eastern Illinois University. Her first book, Ayiti, is a collection of fiction and nonfiction about the Haitian diaspora experience. Her novel, An Untamed State, will be published by Grove Atlantic and her essay collection, Bad Feminist, will be published by Harper Perennial, both in 2014.



Wednesday, May 21
Tangent Gallery
715 E Milwaukee St
(Secured parking lot and free street parking are both available.)

***RustBelt Midwest Regional Poetry Slam Prelims

4 team, 4 round preliminary slams at 1515 Broadway. The first competition on the first night is from 7pm-9pm followed by the second evening preliminary from 10pm-12am.

The first preliminary of day two is from 12pm-2pm which will be followed by another preliminary from 3-5pm. Rankings and Scores will be totaled after the final prelim and the competitors moving on to finals will be announced.

June 13-14
1515 Broadway (cafe)
1515 Broadway (address)

***RustBelt Midwest Regional Poetry Slam Prelims

4 team, 4 round preliminary slams at the Jazz Cafe in the Music Hall. The first competition on the first night is from 7pm-9pm followed by the second evening preliminary from 10pm-12am.

The first preliminary of day two is from 12pm-2pm which will be followed by another preliminary from 3-5pm. Rankings and Scores will be totaled after the final prelim and the competitors moving on to finals will be announced.

June 13-14
350 Madison

***RustBelt Midwest Regional Poetry Slam Finals

The top ten scoring individual poets go at it for the title of #1 poet of the festival and the top 4 teams battle it out to be named the 2014 Rustbelt Midwest Regional Poetry Slam Champion.

June 14
Boll Family YMCA
1401 Broadway

2 thoughts on “Book events.

  1. Pingback: Book events. frm @literarydetroit | Motown Writers Network . . . Michigan Literary Network

  2. Pingback: An Untamed Tour! | Roxane Gay

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