Notice: Access to Special Collections material, the Reading Room, and Instruction will temporarily be suspended starting on Aug.12, 2024 as the collection will be moved from the basement to 3 East. Normal operations are anticipated to resume late in the semester. Read more for current updates.
Notice: Access to Special Collections material, the Reading Room, and Instruction will temporarily be suspended starting on Aug.12, 2024 as the collection will be moved from the basement to 3 East. Normal operations are anticipated to resume late in the semester. Read more for current updates.
Notice: Maintenance affecting the library catalog will occur on July 26-29. The catalog will be available except for newly added e-resources, which will not appear until after the maintenance is completed and the backlog of changes can be delivered - possibly 10 days. In addition, renewals and changes to circulation status will not be visible in the EDS interface during this time.
Notice: Maintenance affecting the library catalog will occur on July 26-29. The catalog will be available except for newly added e-resources, which will not appear until after the maintenance is completed and the backlog of changes can be delivered - possibly 10 days. In addition, renewals and changes to circulation status will not be visible in the EDS interface during this time.
Notice: Due to ongoing construction, 4 East is currently closed to the public.  To obtain items located on 4 East, please place an online request for the item to be paged for you using the ‘Place Request’ button in the catalog. Please visit our Circulation FAQ page for assistance in using our catalog.
Notice: Due to ongoing construction, 4 East is currently closed to the public.  To obtain items located on 4 East, please place an online request for the item to be paged for you using the ‘Place Request’ button in the catalog. Please visit our Circulation FAQ page for assistance in using our catalog.

Michigan Writers

Michigan Writers Collection

Michigan Writers Collection

The Michigan Writers Collection, located in the Special Collections Division of the Michigan State University Libraries serves as a primary resource for the recognition, study, and appreciation of the literary tradition that exists and continues to evolve in Michigan. It is devoted to collecting and making accessible all the manuscripts and published works of selected writers with important ties to Michigan. Established in 1989, the collection already features several of the most outstanding writers of the last quarter century. Among those in the collection are winners of a Pulitzer Prize, the Yale Younger Poets Award, National Endowment for the Humanities awards, and Guggenheim Fellowships.

The collection was originally established to recognize only MSU students who later achieved national and international reputations for their literary work, such as Jim Harrison, Richard Ford, Carolyn Forche, Tom McGuane, Dan Gerber, Lev Raphael, Jim Cash, and Jack Epps. Given the important writing talent that exists throughout Michigan, however, the collection has been expanded to include over 70 writers, many of whom have participated in the Michigan Writers Series hosted by the MSU Libraries. The collection continues to grow and is used by MSU students, faculty, and visiting researchers.

Michigan Writers Series

The Michigan Writers Series recognizes and highlights the literary work of important writers who live and work in Michigan. Hosted by the MSU Libraries, the series features individual Michigan writers for an evening of readings and discussion with their audience. The readings, which are free and open to the public, take place throughout the academic year in the Library. The Michigan Writers Series also supports and complements the Michigan Writers Collection.

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Marcia Aldrich teaches creative writing at Michigan State University. She is the author of Girl Rearing, a collection of linked essays, published by W.W. Norton and part of the Barnes and Noble Discover New Writers Series. She has had essays appear in The Best American Essays, The Beacon Book of Essays by Contemporary American Women and been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes. Last fall her essay "My Mother's Toenails" appeared in The Best of Brevity and most recently her essay "The Bed of Metamorphosis," originally published in The Fourth Genre, was selected as a Notable Essay of 2006. She is completing a second collection of essays tentatively titled The Mother Bed.

Michigan Writers Series

February 9, 2007

Michael Rodriguez interviews writer Marcia Aldrich

Writer Marcia Aldrich and her friends read her selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Steve Amick

Steve Amick’s short fiction has appeared in McSweeney’s, The Southern Review, The New England Review, Playboy, Story, the anthology The Sound of Writing, and on National Public Radio. His first novel is entitled The Lake, The River & The Other Lake.

Amick holds an M.F.A. from George Mason University and has been a college instructor, playwright, copywriter, songwriter and musician. He lives in Michigan, dividing his time between his hometown, Ann Arbor, and a family cottage on a famously clear lake along the northern edge of the Lower Peninsula.

"The last writer to celebrate the charms of rural Michigan with equal panache was probably Ernest Hemingway."
--Los Angeles Times

"Amick's thrilling first novel The Lake, The River & The Other Lake, offers an entertaining look at people who 'have a lot of junk going on.' Set in the upper Michigan lake town of Weneshkeen, where tourists mix with locals in a series of clashes that move from the hilarious to the heartfelt ...Amazingly rich and colorful, the writing flows so smoothly that one's only regret might be that the novel has to end. Highly recommended."
--Library Journal

Steve Amick's website

Michigan Writers Collection

Special Collections' holdings of Amick's work

Michigan Writers Series

February 3, 2006

Michael Rodriguez interviews fiction writer Steve Amick

Fiction writer Steve Amick reads from his award winning book, "The lake, the river & the other lake : a novel."

Laura Apol

Laura Apol's poetry has appeared in numerous anthologies and literary journals, including a full-length collection, Falling into Grace. Her co-edited collection for young readers, Learning to Live in the World: Earth Poems by William Stafford, was the winner of a Hungry Mind Book of Distinction Award. Apol's first book was Falling Into Grace. Her latest book, Crossing the Ladder of Sun, won a 2004 Oklahoma Book Award.

Apol has a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa and is an Associate Professor of Education at Michigan State University.

"Crossing the Ladder of the Sun" engages the reader in complex and subtle questions about desire, loss, hope, eros, and ecology…Each poem is carefully sustained in tone, imagery, and feeling; each poem is characterized by a love for the delicacy and sturdiness of language. These are poems that know their connections to the rhythms of the heart.”
--Carl Leggo, author of Views from My Mother’s House

Michigan Writers Collection

Special Collections' holdings of Apol's work

Michigan Writers Series

September 30, 2005

Kara Gust interviews poet Laura Apol

Poet Laura Apol reads her selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Charles Baxter

Charles Baxter is the author of the novel The Feast of Love, which was a finalist for the National Book Award. He has published two other novels, First Light and Shadow Play; and four books of stories, including Believers. His essays on fiction are collected in Burning Down the House; and he has edited or co-edited two books of essays and an anthology, The Business of Memory and Bringing the Devil to His Knees, and Best New American Voices 2001. Baxter received the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His work has been widely anthologized, and has been translated into ten languages.

He was born in Minneapolis in 1947, graduated from Macalester College with a B.A. in 1969, and the State University of New York at Buffalo with a Ph.D. in 1974. He taught for several years at Wayne State University in Detroit. Then, in 1989, he moved to the Department of English at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and its MFA program. He now teaches at the University of Minnesota.

"Watch out for the 'quiet Midwestern' tag on [Baxter's] writing: That's the iceberg you will strike. There is nothing simple in his universe, and nothing solely on the surface. Baxter's intelligence and humor are submerged, and dangerous. You know--something like yours."
--Detroit Free Press

Charles Baxter's website

Michigan Writers Collection

Special Collections' holdings of Baxter's work

Michigan Writers Series

September 13, 2002

Michael Rodriguez interviews writer Charles Baxter

Writer Charles Baxter reads his selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Ruth Behar

Ruth Behar shares her experiences of crossing cultural borders through her work as a writer, editor, ethnographer, and documentary filmmaker. A recipient of the MacArthur Foundation "Genius" Award, as well as a John Simon Guggenheim Award, her books include Translated Woman: Crossing the Border with Esperanza's Story, The Vulnerable Observer: Anthropology That Breaks Your Heart, and Santa Maria Del Monte: The Presence of the Past in a Spanish Village. She has also translated the works of Cuban women poets and had a collection of her own poems produced by the Cuban publishing cooperative, Ediciones Vigia.

Behar was born in Havana, Cuba and came to live in New York with her family in 1962. She received her B.A. in Letters from Wesleyan University, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from Princeton University. She resides in Ann Arbor and is a Professor of Anthropology at the Universtiy of Michigan. She is also affiliated with University of Michigan programs in Women's Studies, Latina/Latino Studies, and Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

"Whether you are a comadre or a stranger, a storyteller or story-listener, [Translated Woman] reaches across kitchen tables, across cultures, and takes you into its confidence."
--Sandra Cisneros, author of Woman Hollering Creek

Ruth Behar's website

Michigan Writers Collection

Special Collections' holdings of Behar's work

Michigan Writers Series

February 15, 2002

Poet and essayist Ruth Behar reads her selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Elinor Benedict

Elinor Benedict won the May Swenson Poetry Award with her first poetry collection, All That Divides Us. She has also published five chapbooks of poetry, several short stories, and numerous interviews, reviews, and newspaper features. Her poems have recently appeared in Poetry, Shenandoah, Indiana Review, The Florida Review, and Dogwood. She is currently working on a new collection called Late News from the Wilderness.

Benedict holds an M.A. from Wright State University in Ohio and an M.F.A. from Vermont College. She was the founding editor of Passages North literary magazine in the 1980’s. A native Tennessean, she now lives in Michigan, where, for several years, she led a writers’ workshop at Bay de Noc Community College.

Michigan Writers Collection

Special Collections' holdings of Elinor Benedict's work

Michigan Writers Series

April 20, 2001

Stephanie Mathson interviews poet Elinor Benedict

Poet Elinor Benedict reads her selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Tom Bissell

After graduating from MSU in 1996, Escanaba native Tom Bissell joined the Peace Corps and taught English in the former Soviet republic of Uzbekistan. When he returned stateside, he worked for several years in book publishing. Among his editorial endeavors were the restoration to print of Paula Fox's novels and the editing of her memoir, Borrowed Finery; conceiving and editing The Collected Stories of Richard Yates; and conceiving A Galaxy Not So Far Away: Writers and Artists on Twenty-five Years of Star Wars. His criticism, fiction, and journalism have appeared in Agni, The Alaska Quarterly Review, The Boston Review, BOMB, Esquire, Harper's Magazine, Men's Health, Men's Journal, and Salon.

Bissell's first book, Chasing the Sea, was published in 2003. His short-story collection, God Lives in St. Petersburg: and Other Stories, was released in January 2005. He is currently writing a travel narrative about a trip to Vietnam he took with his father, a veteran of the Vietnam War. He lives in New York City.

"Bissell shines as a raconteur, if not as an analyst, and his ebullient narrative harks back to the travel classics of the nineteenth century, when the journey was an end in itself."
--The New Yorker

“The humor and poignancy in this blend of memoir, reportage and history mark the author as a front-runner in the next generation of travel writers.”
--Publisher’s Weekly review of Chasing the Sea.

Michigan Writers Collection

Special Collections' holdings of Tom Bissell's work

Michigan Writers Series

October 17, 2003

Stephanie Mathson interviews writer Tom Bissell

Writer Tom Bissell reads a section from his book "Chasing the sea" at the Michigan Writers Series

Terry Blackhawk

Founder and director of Detroit's acclaimed InsideOut Literary Arts Project, Terry Blackhawk, Ph.D., is the author of Body & Field, a collection of poetry, and a chapbook, Trio: Voices from the Myths. Her second full-length poetry collection, Escape Artist, received the 2002 John Ciardi Prize from BkMk Press. Her poems have appeared in Marlboro Review, Poet Lore, Michigan Quarterly Review, Southern Poetry Review and Yankee among others. She received the 1990 Foley Poetry Award, nominations for two Pushcart Poetry Prizes, and was a finalist for the Marlboro Prize in 1997 and 1999. Blackhawk conducts workshops on the connections between writing and art at the Detroit Institute of Arts and teaches graduate level writing classes for language arts teachers through Oakland University. She is recipient a National Endowment for the Humanities Teacher-Scholar Award, a Michigan Governors' Award in Arts Education, a United Black Artists Pioneering Teacher in the Arts Award, and a Michigan Council for the Arts artist-in-residence grant.

"Terry Blackhawk’s poems, crisp as the first apples of autumn, are tart, knowing, and full of the growth of summer. Poems like these can sustain you."
--Molly Peacock, 2002 Judge, the John Ciardi Prize for Poetry

Michigan Writers Collection

Special Collections' holdings of Terry Blackhawk's work

Michigan Writers Series

November 12, 2004

Michael Rodriguez interviews poet Terry Blackhawk

Poet Terry Blackhawk reads her selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Rainelle Burton

Rainelle Burton is a writer-in-residence in the Interdisciplinary Studies Program at Wayne State University and co-founder of the program’s Detroit Institute for Creative Writers. Her debut novel, The Root Worker, was published in 2001 and was reviewed and featured in O Magazine, Publishers Weekly, Ebony, Essence, Black Issues Book Review, the Chicago Tribune, Madison Times and the Ann Arbor News. The novel was a Great Lakes Book Award finalist in 2001. Burton is a Michigan regional representative for the International Women’s Writing Guild and workshop director at the Guild’s summer writers' conferences at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York.

"Rainelle Burton interweaves African American folklore with religious rumor in a moving and often suspenseful novel that borders on social commentary…(She) brilliantly dances on the border of the grotesque to allow the characters' anguish and innocence to seep into the reader's pores."
--Michelle Gipson in Black Issues Book Review.

Michigan Writers Collection

Special Collections' holdings of Rainelle Burton's work

Michigan Writers Series

October 31, 2003

Stephanie Mathson interviews writer Rainelle Burton

Writer Rainelle Burton reads excerpts from her book "The root worker" at the Michigan Writers Series

Bonnie Jo Campbell

Bonnie Jo Campbell's Women & Other Animals details the lives of extraordinary females in rural and small town Michigan. It won the Associated Writing Programs short fiction award and is now out in paperback. Her story, "The Smallest Man in the World", was awarded a Pushcart Prize; and her novel, Q Road, has been named a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers book. The New York Times has called her stories "Bitter but sweetened by humor," and Publisher's Weekly said Campbell details, "domestic worlds where Martha Stewart would fear to tread."

Campbell grew up on a small Michigan farm, in a house her Grandfather Herlihy built in the shape of an H. She learned to castrate small pigs, milk Jersey cows, and make chocolate candy. When she left home for the University of Chicago, her mother rented out her room. She has since hitchhiked across the U.S. and Canada, scaled the Swiss Alps on her bicycle, and traveled with the circus. She has led adventure tours in Russia, the Baltics, and throughout Eastern Europe. After earning a master's degree in mathematics in 1992, Campbell began writing fiction. She received her M.F.A. in creative writing from Western Michigan University, and now lives in Kalamazoo.

"Writing with extraordinary empathy and grace...Campbell raises to our ears a sound not heard often enough: the heartrending cry of the human heart in all its flawed complexity."
--Tony Earley, author of Here We Are in Paradise

Bonnie Jo Campbell's website

Michigan Writers Collection

Special Collections' holdings of Campbell's work

Michigan Writers Series

January 24, 2003

Stephanie Mathson interviews novelist Bonnie Jo Campbell

Novelist Bonnie Jo Campbell reads her selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Diane Carey is a New York Times best-selling author of over 40 books, including Waldenbooks, BDalton, and USAToday bestsellers. Carey became a Waldenbooks best-selling novelist with her lively novelization of the TV series, Harem, then went on to revolutionize the licensed line of Star Trek novels with her ground-breaking adventure Dreadnought!, which took the line to the New York Times Top Ten Bestseller List. Later Diane was asked to write the first original novel for Star Trek: The Next Generation. Several of Carey’s Star Trek novels thereafter went straight to the Upper NYT Bestseller list, including the Hardcover Top 15 novel, Best Destiny. Carey remained Pocket Books’ most dependable “anchor” author for many years, often asked to launch or bracket whole series-within-series. Carey has written two Civil War novels, Distant Drums and Rise Defiant, and a Young Adult series called Distressed Call 911. She is now working on new original science fiction and historical novels, as well as her first non-fiction book.

Michigan Writers Series

November 19, 2004

Leslie Behm interviews science fiction writer Diane Carey

Science fiction writer Diane Carey talks about science fiction at the Michigan Writers Series

Jacqueline Carey

Jacqueline Carey is the bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Kushiel's Legacy trilogy of historical fantasy novels and The Sundering epic fantasy duology. Carey’s debut novel, Kushiel’s Dart, won the 2002 Locus Award for Best First Novel; the 2001 Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award, Best Fantasy Novel; Barnes & Noble Top Ten Science Fiction & Fantasy of 2001; and Amazon.com Editors Top Ten Fantasy of 2001. The book’s sequel, Kushiel’s Chosen, won Borders Top Ten Fantasy of 2002 Award. The last of the trilogy, Kushiel’s Avatar, was awarded Amazon.com Editors Top Ten Fantasy of 2003. Her previous publications include short fiction, essays, and the non-fiction book, Angels: Celestial Spirits in Art & Legend.

An avid reader, Carey began writing fiction as a hobby in high school. After receiving B.A. degrees in psychology and English literature from Lake Forest College, she took part in a work exchange program and spent six months working in a bookstore in London. While living abroad, the desire to write professionally emerged as a driving passion. Upon returning, she embarked in earnest on a writing career, which came to fruition a decade later. During this time she worked at the art center of an area college, gaining a strong background in the visual arts. She currently lives in west Michigan.

"The promise of Kushiel's Dart, the first volume of Carey's immense trilogy set in a skewed Renaissance world, is more than realized in this splendid conclusion…Effortlessly rich in adventurous incident, with a huge cast of well-defined characters, this poignant and robust story will appeal to both fantasy lovers and fans of erotic romance."
--Peter Cannon, in a Publisher’s Weekly review of Kushiel’s Avatar

Jacqueline Carey's website

Michigan Writers Collection

Special Collections' holdings of Carey's work

Michigan Writers Series

November 7, 2003

Leslie Behm interviews essayist and fantasy writer Jacqueline Carey

Essayist and fantasy writer Jacqueline Carey reads excerpts from her book "Godslayer" at the Michigan Writers Series

Jim Cash and Jack Epps

Writing partners Jim Cash and Jack Epps, Jr. have co-authored numerous box office hits over the past 20 years. Their credits include: Legal Eagles, starring Robert Redford and Debra Winger; Top Gun, starring Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis; The Secret of My Success, with Michael J. Fox; Turner & Hooch, starring Tom Hanks; Dick Tracy, starring Warren Beatty and Madonna; and Anaconda, starring Jennifer Lopez, Eric Stoltz and Jon Voight. Their last film writing credit was The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas.

Cash, a native of Grand Rapids, received his B.A. in English from MSU in 1970 followed by a M.A. in Television and Radio in 1972. For many years he taught writing and film history at MSU and supported a writing award named in his honor. Jim Cash died in 1999.

Epps, who grew up in the Detroit area, received his B.A. in English from MSU in 1972. While a student, he worked as a film critic for the State News and founded and directed the pathbreaking and critically praised Mid-West Film Festival held in East Lansing in the early 1970s. Today Jack Epps lives with his family in Santa Monica, California, where he continues to write for film and television, and teaches at the USC Film School.

They began their writing relationship while MSU students and wrote their first story together in the MSU Union Grill in 1975. Soon afterwards Epps moved to Hollywood, but the separation did not impede their ability to write successful screenplays. Probably one of the most unique writing relationships in the history of Hollywood, Cash lived in East Lansing, Michigan, while Epps live in Santa Monica, California. They collaborated by computer across country and only saw each other face to face a handful of times.

Michigan Writers Collection

Special Collections' holdings of Jim Cash and Jack Epps' work

Patricia Clark

Patricia Clark is the author of North of Wondering, which won the first book award from Women in Literature Press and was published in 1999. She is also the co-editor of Worlds in Our Words: An Anthology of Contemporary American Women Writers. Her poems have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Poetry, Slate, Stand, and the Poets Against the War anthology. In 2003, she received a grant from ArtServe Michigan and was also awarded a residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Center in Annaghmakerrig, Ireland. Other awards include The Mississippi Review Poetry Award in 1996, the Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America in 1990, an award from the Fine Lines/Oil of Olay Contest co-sponsored by the Poetry Society of America in 2004, and residencies at The MacDowell Colony, the Virginia Center for the Arts, and the Ragdale Foundation.

Patricia Clark grew up in Tacoma, Washington, later graduating from the University of Washington with a B.A. in Economics. Her other degrees include an M.F.A. from the University of Montana, and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Houston. She teaches creative writing at Grand Valley State University in Michigan, where she is Professor in the Department of Writing and the university's poet-in-residence. In her role at GVSU, Patricia coordinates the fall Poetry Night readings which have featured Billy Collins, Robert Hass, Naomi Shihab Nye, Rita Dove, and Charles Wright. She is also the director of GVSU's Writing in Ireland program, which brings students to Trinity College, Dublin and Queens University, Belfast.

"Wondering is a small town in Montana. In Patricia Clark's North of Wondering, with its ambitious allusion to Robert Frost's first collection North of Boston, place, culture, and climate intersect with reasoning and emotions to map the contours of wondering, as if the word itself were a small town, or a particular region, somewhere, that she wanted us to experience in all its complexity, from the nuances of questioning to marveling"
--Mary Stewart Hammond

Patricia Clark's website

Michigan Writers Collection

Special Collections' holdings of Clark's work

Michigan Writers Series

March 18, 2005

Michael Rodriguez interviews poet Patricia Clark

Poet Patricia Clark reads her selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Since its publication midway through 2005, Clemens’s Made in Detroit has received much attention, and created some controversy. Made in Detroit is the story of a young man’s education in social and racial realities most writers would rather avoid. But it is also the story of a literary apprenticeship in the classic American mold. In addition to his youthful Catholicism, Clemens acquired another belief–in reading and writing–and he embraced the writer’s vocation with the enthusiasm that only those raised in a household devoid of books can. Yet, in coming to grips with Detroit, and race relations in America in general, he discovered that there are places–geographic, mental, emotional–where even literature cannot help.

Paul Clemens grew up in the northeast corner of Detroit, just south of the city’s famed 8 Mile border. In his moving and affectionate memoir, Clemens, born the year Detroit’s first black mayor (the legendary Coleman Young) was elected, tracks his own growth to maturity against the background of the city’s long decline during Young’s twenty years at the helm.

“In Made In Detroit, Paul Clemens tells a personal account of the life and death of an American city. Love among the ruins is never easy, sweet, comfortable, or without a sense of injury, and so it proves here. With clarity, courage, and a deep familiarity with his literary predecessors—from James Joyce to James Baldwin—Clemens has written a book as riven, wounded, and yet surprisingly durable as its subject.”
--Jeffrey Eugenides, author of The Virgin Suicides and Middlesex

Michigan Writers Series

March 31, 2006

Michael Rodriguez interviews author Paul Clemens

Author Paul Clemens reads from his book "Made in Detroit" at the Michigan Writers Series

Steve has been writing horror/fantasy for most of his life. There usually isn't a time when he's not working on something - even if it is just staring out the window. His novels include, Dream Thieves, BearWalker, Soul Temple, and M, and his short stories have appeared in over a dozen magazines, including Implosion, The Midnight Gallery, Into the Darkness, Altered Perceptions, and FrightNet.

Steve is the Dean of Developmental Education at Baker College of Allen Park, and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in English Composition at Wayne State University. He recently sold the motion picture rights to his novel Demonesque to After Dark Productions of Los Angeles. He writes fiction for both adult and juvenile audiences, and doesn't foresee stopping any time soon.

Michigan Writers Series

March 19, 2004

Stephanie Mathson interviews science fiction writer Steven Climer

Science fiction writer Steven Climer reads his selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Jim Daniels

A native of Warren, Michigan, a working-class suburb less than a mile from Detroit, Jim Daniels' poetry reflects the physicality of manual labor, the noises and smells of machine shops and factories, the metallic glint of polished steel and iron. His first two poetry collections, Places/Everyone and Punching Out, set in Detroit neighborhoods and factories, have been described as realistic, gritty, and sometimes violent, but were praised for their tough, spare style and unsentimental portrayal of working people's lives. His third book, M-80, centers on urban violence and its after-effects, while his more recent books, Niagara Falls, Blessing this House, and Blue Jesus changed course with their issues of faith. He has edited or co-edited four anthologies of poetry, including Letters to America: Contemporary American Poetry on Race, and American Poetry: The Next Generation. Daniels also wrote the screenplay for "No Pets," an independent feature film directed by Tony Buba, and wrote "Heart of Hearts," a one-act play produced at the 13th Street Repertory Theater in New York. His most recent works include: Street, a collection of poems paired with the photos of photographer and Carnegie Mellon professor Charlee Brodsky; and Dumpster, an independent feature film Daniels wrote and produced, both of which appeared in 2005.

He is the author of eight books of poems, including Show and Tell: New and Selected Poems, which was a finalist for the 2004 Paterson Poetry Prize. Daniels' second book of short stories, Detroit Tales, received a bronze medal for the 2004 ForeWord Book of the Year in the fiction-short stories category. Places/Everyone won the Brittingham Prize for Poetry from the University of Wisconsin Press. Daniels' other awards include two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and two from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. He has also received a Pushcart Prize and was included in Best American Poetry 2000.

Educated at Alma College and Bowling Green State University, Daniels is a Professor of English and Creative Writing at Carnegie-Mellon University. Jim Daniels lives with his wife, the writer Kristin Kovacic, and their two children, Ramsey and Rosalie, in Pittsburgh.

"Jim Daniels writes with grace and unsentimental sympathy about ordinary, hard- edged lives, their celebrations and failures and strivings. There is a world of dreams beneath the skin of even the toughest city. Detroit Tales maps it beautifully."
--Jean Thompson, author of Wide Blue Yonder

Michigan Writers Collection

Special Collections' holdings of Jim Daniels' work

Michigan Writers Series

April 14, 2000

Jane Arnold interviews poet and short story writer Jim Daniels

Poet and short story writer Jim Daniels reads his selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

September 21, 2007

Michael Rodriguez interviews Jim Daniels, Professor of English and Creative Writing at Carnegie Mellon University

Jim Daniels, Professor of English and Creative Writing at Carnegie Mellon University, reads from his works and answers questions from audience at the Michigan Writers Series

January 19, 2012

Jim Daniels, Professor of English and Creative Writing at Carnegie-Mellon University, reads from his latest book at the Michigan Writers Series

Michael Delp

Michael Delp's essays, poetry, and fiction have been published in a wide range of magazines, and he is the author of three books: Over the Graves of Horses, a collection of poems; Under the Influence of Water, a collection of essays, poems and short stories; and The Coast of Nowhere: A Meditation On Rivers, Lakes and Streams.

Delp received his B.A. from Alma College, and has also studied at Western Michigan University and Central Michigan University. He has twice been the winner of the Passages North/NEH Poetry Competition, and has won a PEN Syndicated Fiction Award. He is the editor of Contemporary Michigan Poetry: The Third Coast. Delp is currently the director of creative writing at the Interlochen Arts Academy.

"Honest, innocent and lusting-by turns abstract and then specific, in the manner of all loves. Delp hears, sees, tastes and writes about another world, one that he sees just at the edge of the trees, just into the shadows. [Under the Influence of Water] was written by a man with a clean heart."
--Rick Bass

Michigan Writers Collection

Special Collections' holdings of Delp's work

Michigan Writers Series

October 13, 2000

Novelist Michael Delp reads his selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Pamela Ditchoff

Pamela Ditchoff is the author of The Mirror of Monsters and Prodigies: A Novel. This "semifictional" oral history of midgets, giants, conjoined twins, hermaphrodites, and other human oddities mixes fact and fiction to tell the tales of these people from their point of view. Like a nightmarish daydream or a hazy trip through a carnival freak show, Ditchoff's book suggests that its pages are mirrors and the reader should think again before deciding which images are truly monstrous. Her latest novel, Seven Days and Seven Sins, like a modern-day Our Town, explores the subtle tragedies and the hope for redemption, tucked deep inside every house in a banal suburban neighborhood.

Ditchoff has also published work in Slipstream Magazine (Issue #10 Protest Theme), a yearly anthology of some of the best poetry and fiction available today in the American small press.

Pamela Ditchoff resides in Lansing, Michigan.

"Well researched and well written, this engrossing novel is a truly stunning debut work…"
--Kathleen Hughes.

Michigan Writers Collection

Special Collections' holdings of Pamela Ditchoff's work

Michigan Writers Series

October 8, 1999

Maria Bruno interviews novelist Pamela Ditchoff

Novelist Pamela Ditchoff reads her selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Chris Dombrowski's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Bloomsbury Review, Colorado Review, Crazyhorse, Mid-american Review, New Letters, Ninth Letter, Orion, Seneca Review, and other journals, and have been anthologized in Joyful Noise: An Anthology of American Spiritual Poetry. His awards include the Associated Writing Programs Intro Award, Alligator Juniper's National Poetry Prize, and a Poetry Fellowship from the University of Montana, where he received his MFA

Born in Lansing, MI, Dombrowski works as a river-guide, poet-in-the-schools, and creative writing instructor at the University of Montana in Missoula, where he lives with his family. In spring 2007, he will serve as Writer-in-Residence at Interlochen Center for the Arts.

Michigan Writers Series

April 13, 2007

Michael Rodriguez interviews poets Jack Ridl & Chris Dombrowski

Poets Jack Ridl & Chris Dombrowski reads their selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Mr. Douglas, a former anthropology graduate student at MSU, is the author of several notable books, including: Bright Islands in a Dark Sea and Simply Human. His most recent project is The Sorceress's Tale, an epic fantasy comprised of three related but independent novels set in Provence a few centuries after the fall of Rome. The first two books in the series are The Sacred Pool and The Veil of Years. Read more about Mr. Douglas on his website.

"Douglas's sequel to The Sacred Pool continues the story of a resourceful young woman whose knowledge of history, magic, and the old religion provides the key to fighting the emergence of the Black Time. The author's meticulous historical research and his grasp of the relationship between Christianity and ancient paganism should attract fans of historical fantasy."
--Library Journal review of The Veil to Tears.

Michigan Writers Series

November 9, 2001

Leslie Behm interviews science fiction writer L. Warren Douglas

Science fiction writer L. Warren Douglas reads his selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Jack Driscoll

Jack Driscoll is the author of four books of poetry, three novels, and a collection of short stories. His poetry and fiction have been published in over 100 journals, magazines and anthologies. His latest novel, How Like an Angel, is the story of a Michigan family's knotted emotional lives. He is currently Writer-in-Residence at Interlochen Center for the Arts.

Driscoll holds an M.F.A. from the University of Massachusetts, and a B.A. Magna Cum Laude, from Windham College. Driscoll has been the recipient of an NEH Independent Study Grant, NEA Creative Writing Fellowship, MCA Creative Artist Grant for Poetry and for Fiction. He has been the recipient of seven PEN Syndicated Fiction Awards, and the winner of the PEN/Nelson Algren Fiction Award, among many others. He was also the recipient of the 1992 AWP Short Fiction Award, the 1998 Pushcart Editors Book Award for Lucky Man, Lucky Woman, the 1999 Independent Book Publishers' Award, and the 1999 Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Award.

"...Driscoll's prose has verve to it, life and humor and clear-eyed harshness, an eye for nature and how people move through it that make [How Like an Angel] taste like a cold beer after a long day's hike."
--Chicago Tribune

Michigan Writers Collection

Special Collections' holdings of Jack Driscoll's work

Michigan Writers Series

November 4, 2005

Kara Gust interviews writer Jack Driscoll

Writer Jack Driscoll reads his selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Stuart Dybek

Stuart Dybek has published three short story collections: Childhood and Other Neighborhoods, The Coast of Chicago, and I Sailed With Magellan; and two volumes of poetry: Brass Knuckles and Streets in Their Own Ink. He has been anthologized frequently and regularly appears in magazines such as the New Yorker, the Atlantic, Harper’s Magazine and the Paris Review.

He has received numerous awards, including: a 1998 Lannan Award; the 1995 PEN/Bernard Malamud Prize "for distinctive achievement in the short story"; an Academy Institute Award in Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1994; a Guggenheim Fellowship; two fellowships from the NEA; a residency at the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Center; and a Whiting Writers Award. He has also received four O. Henry Prizes, including an O. Henry first prize for his story, "Hot Ice." Dybek's story, "Blight," was awarded the Nelson Algren Prize and his collection, Childhood and Other Neighborhoods, which was nominated for the National Book Critics' Circle Award, received the 1981 Prize for Fiction from the Society of Midland Authors and the Cliff Dwellers Award from the Friends of Literature.

Dybek grew up on Chicago’s South Side in a Polish-American neighborhood called Pilsen or Little Village, which is also the main setting for his fiction. He received an M.A. in Literature from Loyola University in Chicago and an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa. He teaches at Western Michigan University when he is not in Chicago, and is a member of the permanent faculty for the Prague Summer Writers Seminars. He is a contributing editor for several magazines and serves regularly as a judge for various literary awards. His work as also been translated into several languages.

“[The Coast of Chicago] is a book about trying to bridge polarities: the past and future, tradition and assimilation, hopelessness and joy, night and day.”
--Don Lee, Ploughshares editor

Michigan Writers Collection

Special Collections' holdings of Stuart Dybek's work

Michigan Writers Series

April 18, 2003

Michael Rodriguez interviews writer Stuart Dybek

Writer Stuart Dybek reads his selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Loren D. Estleman

Novelist Loren Estleman is well-known to fans of two popular genres. Mystery readers know him as the author of the Amos Walker series, featuring a hard-boiled private investigator in Detroit's underworld, while those who prefer Westerns will have enjoyed the recent Aces and Eights and The Hider. Since the appearance of his first novel, The Oklahoma Punk in 1976, Loren D. Estleman has written 53 books and hundreds of short stories and articles. An authority on both criminal history and the American West, Estleman has been called the most critically acclaimed author of his generation. He has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Allan Poe Award, and England's Silver Dagger Award.

He has received sixteen national writing awards: three Shamuses from the Private Eye Writers of America, four Golden Spurs from the Western Writers of America, two American Mystery Awards from Mystery Scene Magazine, two Outstanding Mystery Writer of the Year awards from Popular Fiction Monthly, two Stirrup Awards for outstanding articles in the Western Writers of America magazine, The Roundup, and three Western Heritage Awards from the National Cowboy Hall of Fame. In 1987, the Michigan Foundation of the Arts presented him with its award for literature. In 1997, the Michigan Library Association named him the recipient of the Michigan Author’s Award.

A sought-after speaker and a veteran journalist of police-beat news, Estleman graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 1974 with a B.A. in English Literature and Journalism. On April 27, 2002, EMU presented him with an honorary doctorate in letters. He left the job market in 1980 to write full time. He lives in Michigan and is married to mystery novelist, Deborah Morgan.

Loren D. Estleman's website

Michigan Writers Collection

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Michigan Writers Series

January 22, 1999

Jane Arnold interviews mystery writers Lev Raphael and Loren D. Estleman

Mystery writers Loren D. Estleman and Lev Raphael read their selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Robert Fanning is the author of Old Bright Wheel (Ledge Press Poetry Chapbook Award 2003) and The Seed Thieves. His poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Poetry, Ploughshares, The Atlanta Review, The Hawaii Review, America, The Ledge, and Artword Quarterly. A graduate of the University of Michigan and Sarah Lawrence College, Fanning's writing awards include a Creative Artist Grant from ArtServe Michigan, the Inkwell Poetry Award, and the Foley Poetry Award.

Michigan Writers Series

February 23, 2007

Sara Miller interviews poet Robert Fanning

Poet Robert Fanning reads his selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Joseph Featherstone

Joseph Featherstone's first full-length book of poetry, Brace's Cove, shows that he has developed from a prose writer, journalist, and critic into a terrific poet. For all the close focus of the individual poems, Brace's Cove expresses an entire contemporary American life over the last 20 years. The collection's title--an Atlantic cove to the north of Gloucester, Massachusetts--points to Featherstone's grounding in particulars, especially his painterly love affair with landscape, nature, and the animal world. Featherstone is that great rarity, a poet completely accessible to new readers of poetry who also gets the highest praise from veteran poets who prize craft and workmanship.

He served as an editor of the New Republic from the middle 1960's to the 1980's, when his literary criticism, his political journalism, and his writing on education made him one of the country's best-known critics. (Education Week recently listed him as one of 100 notable figures who influenced US education over the course of the last century.) He has taught at Harvard, Brown, and Michigan State. He has also spent the last two decades as an educational practitioner--first as headmaster of the Commonwealth School in Boston, and then as one of the founders and faculty leaders of an acclaimed teacher education program at Michigan State.

Featherstone was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and grew up in Japan. He now lives with his wife, Helen Featherstone, and their 3 daughters in Gloucester, Massachusetts, and East Lansing, Michigan.

"Brace's Cove is a remarkably beautiful first book of poems. These poems are unembellished, permeable, musically sweet, riddled with necessity. Featherstone is urgent and authentic and wild with clarity; he has the gift of truth."
--Lucie Brock-Broido, poet and director of the Creative Writing Department at Columbia University.

Joseph Featherstone's website

Michigan Writers Collection

Special Collections' holdings of Featherstone's work

Michigan Writers Series

February 9, 2001

Jane Arnold interviews poets Joseph Featherstone and Dennis Hinrichsen

Poets Dennis Hinrichsen and Joseph Featherstone read their selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Katherine Fishburn

Katherine Fishburn received a Ph.D. from Michigan State University. She is a retired MSU professor of English who has now devoted her life to creating message-oriented art. The Dead Are So Disappointing is her first collection of poetry.

"The Dead Are So Disappointing is a daughter's unflinching meditation on the days immediately preceding and following her father's death-and an interrogation into the lasting impact his life has had on her own. This collection stands revealed as an integral part of a long-delayed mourning process as the daughter struggles to reconcile the competing emotions of anger and grief, betrayal and loyalty, that surfaced after her father's death. ... Katherine Fishburn's first collection of poems is truly moving. As she probes 'the grief of time,' she rehearses the complexities of life in families, with families and without them, easily taking us with her into the private tangles of contemporary relationships."
-- Linda Wagner, Martin Hanes Professor of English, UNC, Chapel Hill

Katherine Fishburn writes: "In one way or another I have always been a poet-in the way I see the world and in the way I write about it. From both my parents I learned early the habit of words. I learned to look up their meaning, follow the path of their usage, revel in their sound and construction. The unabridged dictionary has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. One might even say it elevated my thoughts. For, not only did my family consult it regularly, we also used it as a booster chair to help young children reach their dinner.

From both my parents, but most particularly my father, I learned the art of seeing nature-comets in their orbits, spiders at their webs, beetles in their astounding numbers (weighing in at a quarter million species), birds in residence and in migration. Nothing was too small or insignificant to examine for hours on end. Everything must be accounted for, identified, researched, and understood. Only then could I say that I had truly seen an assassin bug, a garter snake, a snapping turtle.

From my mother, herself an English teacher, I learned to hear the poets sing and note their patterns. Be they from Chaucer, Shakespeare or Tennyson, the poets' words thundered and echoed throughout my childhood and in conjunction with my father's scientific training helped to shape my relationship with the world-be it the relationship I have had with canines, amphibians, arthropods, or humans.

Michigan Writers Series

March 31, 2000

Jane Arnold interviews poet Katherine Fishburn

Poet Katherine Fishburn reads her selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Carolyn Forché

Carolyn Forché's first poetry collection, Gathering The Tribes, won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award from the Yale University Press. In 1977, she traveled to Spain to translate the work of Salvadoran-exiled poet Claribel Alegría, and upon her return, received a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, which enabled her to travel to El Salvador, where she worked as a human rights advocate.

Her second book, The Country Between Us, received the Poetry Society of America's Alice Fay di Castagnola Award, and was also the Lamont Selection of the Academy of American Poets. Her translation of Alegria's work, Flowers From The Volcano, was published in 1983, and that same year, Writers and Readers Cooperative published El Salvador: Work of Thirty Photographers, for which she wrote the text. In 1991, her translations of The Selected Poetry of Robert Desnos, with William Kulik, was published. Her articles and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, Esquire, Mother Jones, and others. Forché has held three fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts, and in 1992 received a Lannan Foundation Literary Fellowship.

Her anthology, Against Forgetting: Twentieth Century Poetry of Witness, was published in 1993, and in 1994, her third book of poetry, The Angel of History, was chosen for The Los Angeles Times Book Award. In 1998 in Stockholm, she was given the Edita and Ira Morris Hiroshima Foundation for Peace and Culture Award, in recognition of her work on behalf of human rights and the preservation of memory and culture. In April of 2000, a new book of her translations of Claribel Alegría, Sorrow, was published. Her fourth book of poems, Blue Hour, was published in 2003. She also co-translated Selected Poetry of Mahmoud Darwish.

Carolyn Forché, poet, editor, translator, and activist, teaches in the M.F.A. Program in Poetry at George Mason University in Virginia, and lives in Maryland with her husband, Harry Mattison and their son, Sean-Christophe. Born in Detroit, she graduated with a B.A. in 1972 from Justin Morrill College, a residential college at MSU devoted to the liberal arts.

"The voice we hear in Blue Hour is a voice both very young and very old. It belongs to someone who has seen everything and who strives imperfectly, desperately, to be equal to what she has seen. The hunger to know is matched here by a desire to be new, totally without cynicism, open to the shocks of experience as if perpetually for the first time, though unillusioned, wise beyond any possible taint of a false or assumed innocence."
--Robert Boyers

Michigan Writers Collection

Special Collections' holdings of Forché's work

Michigan Writers Series

April 23, 2015

Poet and author Carolyn Forché speaks at the Michigan Writers Series

Richard Ford

Richard Ford is the author of the widely admired collection of short stories, Rock Springs; another collection of stories, Women with Men: Three Stories; the novella, The Womanizer; and five novels: A Piece of My Heart, The Ultimate Good Luck, Wildlife, The Sportswriter and Independence Day. In 1995, Independence Day was selected as the MSU Libraries' four millionth volume. That same year Richard Ford won the Pulitzer Prize as well as the Pen/Faulkner Award for that novel. His most recent work, A Multitude of Sins, is a collection of short stories.

In addition, he has also served as editor for The Granta Book of American Short Stories, Eudora Welty: Stories, Essays, and Memoirs, and The Essential Tales of Chekhov. His many stories and essays have appeared in such magazines and journals as Granta, The New Yorker, Michigan Quarterly, TriQuarterly, The Best American Essays, The Best American Short Stories, and The Best American Sports Writing.

Richard Ford came to MSU from Mississippi as a student in 1962, graduating with a B.A. in English in 1966. After brief enrollment in law school, he turned to writing fiction and received his M.F.A. from the writing program at University of California, Irvine. In addition to his steady production of fiction, Ford has also taught writing and literature at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Princeton University, and Williams College. A resident of Maine and Louisiana, Ford is a frequent visitor back to East Lansing. In 1997, he received MSU's Distinguished Alumni Award for his outstanding literary accomplishments. His papers and manuscripts are located in Special Collections where they are available for use.

"Haunting.. In each of these stories..there is something as delicate as the atmosphere in a Henry James tale...There is also the spirit of something ineffable... a yearning for the world to be better than we expect. Chekhov and Cheever mastered such miracles from everyday dramas. Ford is among their company."
--The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, review: A Multitude of Sins

Michigan Writers Collection

Special Collections' holdings of Ford's work

Linda Nemec Foster

Linda Nemec Foster is the author of six collections of poetry, including: A History of the Body, A Modern Fairy Tale: The Baba Yaga Poems, Trying to Balance the Heart, Contemplating the Heavens, and Living in the Fire Nest, which was a finalist for the Bluestem Poetry Award and the Poet’s Prize sponsored by the Roerich Museum in NYC. Her work has been widely published in national literary journals, including The Georgia ReviewMid-America Review, International Poetry ReviewQuarterly WestIndiana ReviewNimrod, and River Styx, and in major anthologies from Penguin, Virago, Macmillan and other publishers. Linda Nemec Foster's poetry has been translated, produced for the stage, and exhibited in art galleries in Michigan and New York.

She has won four grants for her poetry from the Michigan Council for the Arts, a fellowship from the National Writers' Voice of NYC, and a creative artist grant in literature from ArtServe Michigan. Her latest book of poems, Amber Necklace from Gdansk, was nominated for a number of major book awards, including the Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets, the Paterson Poetry Prize, the Phi Beta Kappa Poetry Award, and the Levis Reading Prize. In 2003, it was selected as a finalist for the Ohio Book Award in Poetry.

Foster received her B.A. from Aquinas College and her M.F.A. in creative writing from Goddard College in Vermont. Foster currently lives in Grand Rapids and in 2003 she was selected to be that city’s first poet laureate. She served as director of the literature program for the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts and teaches poetry workshops for young people through Creative Writers in Schools, a project of ArtServe Michigan. 

"What strikes me about the work of Linda Nemec Foster beyond the large heart that pulses through her lines, is the metaphoric richness and fascination with language that shape her immigrant chronicles set in Poland and America. A deft storyteller, Foster brings wit, empathy, and a precise eye for detail as she speaks for the rituals of family and the sorrows of the dispossessed. [Amber Necklace from Gdansk] is a powerful collection of poems and deserves a wide audience."
--Colette Inez

“Place and people, language, history, habitat and blood: the free range of Linda Nemec Foster’s richly textured witness is a gift - these poems, jewels.”
--Thomas Lynch on Amber Necklace From Gdansk

Linda Nemec Foster's website

Michigan Writer's Collection

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Michigan Writer's Series

March 26, 1999

Jane Arnold interviews poet Linda Nemec Foster

Poet Linda Nemec Foster reads her selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

January 23, 2004

Michael Rodriguez interviews poet Linda Nemec Foster

Poet Linda Nemec Foster reads her selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Dave Galanter is a Michigan native who studied Journalism at MSU, and after college he authored the first of several Star Trek projects, among these the Voyager book, Battle Lines, and the Next Generation duology Maximum Warp. He has also written a few e-books, and, most recently, his short story, "Eleven Hours Out" was included in the Tales of the Dominion War anthology.

His not-so-secret Fortress of Solitude is in Owosso, from where he pretends to have a hand in managing the message board websites he co-owns: ComicBoards.com and TVShowBoards.com. He also edits and is the main contributor to his own website, a political blog, SnarkBait.com (no longer operating - 2023).

Dave spends his non-day-job time with family and friends, or burying himself in other writing projects, which at some point might actually see the light of day if he ever gets off his duff.

Michigan Writers Series

October 8, 2004

Stephanie Mathson interviews science fiction writer Dave Galanter

Science fiction writer Dave Galanter reads from his book "Battle lines" at the Michigan Writers Series

Dan Gerber

Dan Gerber is a poet, novelist, and essayist whose work includes: The Revenant, American Atlas, Grass Fires, A Voice From the River, A Last Bridge Home, Trying To Catch the Horses, and A Second Life: A Collected Nonfiction. His poems and stories have appeared in The Nation, The New Yorker, Sports Illustrated, New Letters, Playboy, Outside, Fourth Genre, Tricycle, Poetry, and The Georgia Review.

Novelist Jim Harrison, who coedited the literary journal Sumac with Gerber from 1968-72, provides the epigraph for one poem and a perfect summation of Gerber's gifts: "It's very difficult to look at the world and into your heart at the same time." Gerber's poems, imbued with a mystical Zen pantheism—a still and clarified center—instruct and console by their unadorned revelations in which the human, represented by Gerber, cohabit the natural world without dominating it.

Gerber has traveled extensively as a journalist, particularly in Africa. He has been the writer-in-residence at both Michigan State and Grand Valley State universities; and has lectured, read, and taught at numerous colleges, universities, libraries, schools, and museums throughout the United States and England. He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, won the 1992 Michigan Author Award, and has had work selected for The Best American Poetry 1999, and received The Mark Twain Award for distinguished contributions to Midwestern Literature in 2001. Gerber has loaned his personal papers and manuscripts to Special Collections where they are currently being organized for use.

Gerber is a 1962 MSU graduate. He and his family now divide their year between central California and southeastern Idaho.

"Dan Gerber is an unique poet. More than any of his contemporaries he immediately makes the relatively ordinary a transcendent state. His work is completely untarnished by fad or fashion and I enter it again and again with a sense of wonderment. When our age passes, this work will remain."
-- Jim Harrison

Michigan Writers Collection

View Special Collections' holdings of Dan Gerber's work

Michigan Writers Series

October 15, 1999

Poet Dan Gerber reads his selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

October 24, 2017

Poet and novelist Dan Gerber reads selections from his poetry at the Michigan writers series

Gary Gildner

Gary Gildner's 20 published books include: Blue Like the Heavens: New & Selected Poems, Somewhere Geese are Flying: New & Selected Stories, The Second Bridge, Warsaw SparksMy Grandfather's Book, A Week in South Dakota, and The Bunker in the Parsley Fields, which received the 1996 Iowa Poetry Prize.

He has also received a National Magazine Award for Fiction, Pushcart Prizes in fiction and non-fiction, the Robert Frost Fellowship, the William Carlos Williams and Theodore Roethke poetry prizes, and two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships. Gildner has been the writer-in-residence at Reed College, Davidson College, Seattle University, and Michigan State University, and has been a Senior Fulbright Lecturer to Poland and Czechoslovakia. He has given readings of his work at the Library of Congress, the Academy of American Poets, YM-YWHA (New York), Manhattan Theatre Club, and at some 300 colleges and schools in the U.S. and abroad.

"The Warsaw Sparks, his memoir of coaching baseball in communist Poland, has been a 'homerun hit' within a different literary field," said Dr. Joy Dworkin, associate professor of English at Missouri Southern. "In all of his writing, Gary Gildner's voice is direct, unmannered, and intelligent about 'what we do.' How we watch our young toddler watch a deer, how we dream of death, or how we suddenly learn a fresh detail from a family story."

Gary Gildner was born in West Branch, Michigan, and received his B.A. and M.A. in English at Michigan State in 1960 and 1961 respectively. Currently, he lives with his family in Idaho.

"A beautiful book! Poet Gary Gildner is on the trail of many things: the surprises of nature at his place in Idaho, the spirit of Slovakia following the Velvet Revolution, the stagnation of bureaucracy, the fresh words of his late-life daughter. Like one of Conrad's narrators, Gildner senses both the elusiveness of his subject and their kinship. His search proves compulsive, compelling, and ultimately illuminating. The reader will want to follow."
-- Hunt Hawkins, author of The Domestic Life and President of the Joseph Conrad Society

"There’s such a good feeling about these stories-that the writer knows his people, the whole texture of their lives, in different lights, that he’ll take you a long way into them, and you’ll always be surprised and satisfied in the right way, never tricked or betrayed."
-- Alice Munro, on Somewhere Geese are Flying: New & Selected Stories

Michigan Writers Collection

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Michigan Writers Series

September 24, 2004

Michael Rodriguez interviews author Gary Gildner

Author Gary Gildner reads his selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Diane Glancy

For the renowned author of Native American Poetry, Diane Glancy, writing has been a journey. As artist in residence for the State Arts Council of Oklahoma, she traveled the state for a decade, teaching the skills of writing, oral communication and critical thinking. Her growing reputation as a writer opened the door to a fellowship at the prestigious University of Iowa Writers Workshop, then to a faculty position at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she teaches Native American Literature and Creative Writing in Poetry, Fiction, Essay/Nonfiction, Scriptwriting and Environmental Writing.

Glancy also taught in the masters program of the Bread Loaf School of English on the campus of the Native American Preparatory School in Rowe, New Mexico, in 1999. She was the 1998 Edlestein-Keller Minnesota Writer of Distinction, University of Minnesota, where she taught Topics in Advanced Poetry. Glancy also was the Native American Inroads Mentor at The Loft in Minneapolis where she taught Creative Nonfiction in 1997. She has recently published the novel, Designs of the Night Sky.

In addition to her numerous published works of Native American Poetry, Diane Glancy is the author of the recently published novel, Designs of the Night Sky. Glancy's poetry, scripts, essays, and fiction have earned her numerous literary prizes including an American Book Award, the Minnesota Book Award in Poetry, the Native American Prose Award and a Sundance Screenwriting Fellowship.

Diane Glancy was born in 1941 in Kansas City, Missouri, of a Cherokee father and an English/German mother. She received her B.A. from the University of Missouri in 1964 and an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa in 1988. She appeared in the Michigan Writers Series as a guest reader by courtesy of the Red Cedar Review.

Diane Glancy's website

Michigan Writers Collection

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Michigan Writers Series

March 11, 2002

Poet and Novelist Diane Glancy reads her selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Novelist and short story writer Jaimy Gordon is the author of She Drove Without Stopping and the underground fantasy classic, Shamp of the City-Solo. Her fourth novel, Lord of Misrule, won the 2010 National Book Award for fiction. Jaimy Gordon is a professor of English at Western Michigan University.

Michigan Writers Series

March 15, 2002

Stephanie Mathson interviews Jaimy Gordon, professor of creative writing at Western Michigan University

Jaimy Gordon, professor of creative writing at Western Michigan University, reads from her novel in progress "Lord of misrule" and answers questions from audience at the Michigan Writers Series

Anne Harris is the author of the novels The Nature of Smoke and Accidental Creatures. Her latest, the forthcoming Inventing Memory, is a feminist romance that tackles the question, "Can women and men find happiness and liberation together?" and goes all the way to ancient Sumeria and back to find the answer.

Harris has been a long-term advocate of women's rights, reproductive freedom and GLBT rights. Accidental Creatures, won the first-ever Spectrum Award for best novel dealing with GLBT characters, themes and issues. The Nature of Smoke achieved distinction with a starred review in Publisher's Weekly and a listing in Locus Magazine's recommended reading list. Common themes in her work are chaos theory, biotechnology, personal freedom and transformation.

Harris has lived in the metro Detroit area all her life, and her first two books are set in near-future Detroit industrial dystopias. She has, at various times, worked as an operations research analyst for the Department of Defense, a vegetarian cook, a dry-cleaner, a book store clerk, a small-town reporter and a PR writer. She has a degree in computer and information science from Oakland University. Anne Harris lives in Royal Oak with her husband Steve, their dog, Rodney, and cats, Hector and Mavis.

Michigan Writers Series

February 14, 2003

Leslie Behm interviews science fiction writer Anne Harris

Science fiction writer Anne Harris reads her selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Jim Harrison

The recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship, Jim Harrison is a poet, novelist, essayist, and screenwriter whose work enjoys a substantial world-wide following among critics and general readers alike. His novels and novellas--including Wolf, A Good Day to Die, Farmer, Legends of the Fall, Warlock, Sundog, Dalva, The Woman Lit by Fireflies, Julip, The Road Home, and The Beast God Forgot to Invent--have been published in twenty-two languages, and many of them have been adapted to the screen as feature motion pictures.

His nine volumes of poetry include Plain Song, Locations, Letters to Yesenin, The Theory and Practice of Rivers, After Ikkyu, and The Shape of the Journey. In 2000, Harrison published his first children's book, The Boy Who Ran to the Woods, which is a semi-autobiographical account of his own childhood in northern Michigan.

His only book of non-fiction is Just Before Dark, an anthology of work from three decades that includes essays on food, travel, literature, and the natural world which have appeared in publications as disparate as Sports Illustrated, Esquire (where he once served as food editor), and Psychoanalytic Review. A French film documentary about Harrison and The Hour of the Wolf was released in Europe in 1993.

Harrison received B.A. and M.A. degrees in English and Comparative Literature from Michigan State University in 1960 and 1966 respectively. Born in Grayling in 1937, raised in Reed City and Haslett, he is the son of a county agent who moved the Harrison family to the East Lansing area so his children could attend Michigan State University.

"The novella all but boils over with dreams -- dreams of literature, love, loss, of all those epic L-words that too few writers seem brave enough, in these chilly times, to address on anything but ironic terms. "I Forgot to Go to Spain" is imbued with all the gravelly melancholy of a Tom Waits ballad, but it never once, despite that swarm of L-words, forces sentiment; the autumnal passion that drives the tale is never less than tactile. I could go on -- about the casual lack of geometry and astounding texture of Harrison's prose, about the delicacy of his characterizations -- but why? "I Forgot to Go to Spain" is above my twerpy praise. It's simply thrilling to see a writer reach for the sky and actually grab it."
-- Jonathan Miles

Michigan Writers Collection

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Amy Hassinger

Amy Hassinger is the author of two novels. Deemed "superb" by O, the Oprah Magazine, and "truly penetrating" by Salon.com. Nina: Adolescence has been translated into Dutch and Portuguese, won a Publisher’s Weekly Listen Up! Award and was selected as Audio Book of the Year by ForeWord Magazine. Her second novel, The Priest's Madonna, is forthcoming in 2006. Hassinger was named a semi-finalist for the 2005 Julia Peterkin Award and received a finalist award in prose from the Illinois Arts Council. Her story “The Kiss” received the Peter S. Prescott Prize in 1994. Her stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Arts and Letters, Salt Hill, Natural Bridge, MsFit Magazine, and Blithe House Quarterly Online, and have been anthologized in Best Lesbian Love Stories. She is also the author of Finding Katahdin: An Exploration of Maine's Past.

Hassinger grew up in Newton, Massachusetts, and graduated from Barnard College and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where she received her M.F.A. in fiction writing. She taught English to middle school students, as well as writing and literature to undergraduates, and is currently on the faculty of the University of Nebraska's M.F.A. in Writing Program. She lives in Urbana, Illinois with her husband and daughter. Hassinger is a former resident of Okemos, Michigan.

“Very few writers are able to give the period of adolescence the wider resonance of serious adult literature. In Nina: Adolescence, Amy Hassinger does so brilliantly. This is an exciting debut by a splendid young writer.”
-- novelist Robert Olen Butler

Amy Hassinger's website

Michigan Writers Collection

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Michigan Writers Series

February 6, 2004

Stephanie Mathson interviews novelist Amy Hassinger

Novelist Amy Hassinger reads her selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Gordon Henry

In 1984, Gordon Henry published a chapbook titled Outside White Earth, with the Blue Cloud. His poetry and fiction has been published in numerous journals and anthologies, including The Black Warrior Review, Raccoon, the Mid-American Review, The North Dakota Quarterly, Earth Power Coming, Songs From This Earth on Turtles Back, Returning the Gift, Stories Migrating Home, and Everything Matters. His first novel, The Light People, was nominated for a National Book Award in 1994 and won the American Book Award in 1995.  Henry is currently working on a second novel and a collection of poems. He also hopes to do an oral history and biography of Turtle Mountain elder, Francis Cree.

Henry is an enrolled member of the White Earth Chippewa Tribe of Minnesota. While his father served in the United States Navy, Henry grew up traveling and living on military bases and on the White Earth Reservation with ten brothers and sisters. Both of his parents, Gordon Henry, Sr. and Wilma Henry, were born and raised on the White Earth Reservation.

After studying at Michigan State University and earning his Ph.D. in Literature at the University of North Dakota, Henry has taught at Ferris State University, Alma College, University of Michigan, and was a Fulbright Lecturer in Spain. Currently, he is an associate professor of English at MSU and lives in Big Rapids with his wife, Mary Anne, and their daughters.

"For me storytelling is important because it has the capacity to change, or turn, the consciousness of both the storyteller and the listener."
--Gordon Henry, in a North Dakota Quarterly interview.

Michigan Writers Collection

View Special Collections' holdings of Gordon Henry's work

Michigan Writers Series

February 19, 1999

Jane Arnold interviews poet and novelist Gordon Henry

Poet and novelist Gordon Henry reads his selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

October 14, 2005

Author Gordon Henry reads his selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Lolita Hernandez

Lolita Hernandez's poetry and fiction draw from the rhythms and language of her Trinidad and St. Vincent heritage, and are tempered by 33 years as a UAW worker, 21 of them at the Cadillac Plant in Detroit. She is the author of Autopsy of an Engine and Other Stories From the Cadillac Plant, which won a 2005 PEN Beyond Margins Award. She is also the author of two collections of poems: Quiet Battles and Snakecrossing. Her work appears in many literary publications, and she reads from her works in the Detroit area and nationally.

Hernandez taught creative writing at the Western Wayne Correctional Facility and compiled the resulting work into an anthology entitled Gittin Down: Profiles from Michigan Prison Writers. She has also taught creative writing at the Wayne State University Labor School, sociology and composition at the Detroit College of Business, as well as Diversity in Society online for Davenport University. She works for the UAW in the UAW-GM Quality Network. Hernandez has an M.F.A. in creative writing from the Vermont College of Norwich University, a B.A. in journalism from Wayne State University, a B.A. in psychology from the University of Michigan; and a UAW journeyman card in Experimental Product Engineering Layout and Assembly. She is an active member of UAW Local 160.

"In her account of the closing of the Clark Street facility of the Cadillac Motor Company, Lolita Hernandez positions herself at the intersection of journalism and literature. Here is not only a report from the assembly line, brilliantly told. This is also a talented writer's record of loss, a poet’s meditation from inside the working place."
--Richard Rodriguez

Michigan Writers Collection

View Special Collections' holdings of Lolita Hernandez' work

Michigan Writers Series

February 17, 2006

Diana Rivera interviews writer Lolita Hernandez

Writer Lolita Hernandez reads her selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Conrad Hilberry

Conrad Hilberry, retired from the faculty of Kalamazoo College, has published five books of poems and four chapbooks. The most recent of these are Player Piano, Taking Notes on Nature's Wild Inventions, and Sorting Smoke: New and Selected Poems, which was the winner of the Iowa Prize. He has also been one of the editors of the three "Third Coast" anthologies of Michigan Poetry published by Wayne State University Press in 1976, 1988 and 2000. Luke Karamozov, a psychological case study, was published by Wayne State in 1987. That same year, Beggar Moon, a musical written with Merwin Lewis, was performed at the Kalamazoo Festival Playhouse.

Conrad Hilberry grew up in Michigan. He earned his B.A. at Oberlin College and his M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin and taught at Kalamazoo College until his recent retirement.  

Michigan Writers Collection

View Special Collections' holdings of Conrad Hilberry's work

Michigan Writers Series

November 18, 2005

Kara Gust interviews poet Conrad Hilberry

Poet Conrad Hilberry reads his selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Mr. Hines, a 1996 graduate of Michigan State University, is the author of numerous articles and fantasy stories, including an award-winning story in Writers of the Future XV. His work has also appeared in Speculations, Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine, and most recently, the horror anthology The Book of all Flesh. He lives in the Lansing area and works for the State of Michigan as a computer technician. He also volunteers as a crisis counselor and sexual assault counselor at The Listening Ear. His next novel, Goldfish Dreams is set for publication in 2003. Goldfish Dreams is a departure from the science fiction genre, and is based in part on his experiences with the Listening Ear.

Jim C. Hines' website

Michigan Writers Series

March 29, 2002

Leslie Behm interviews science fiction writer Jim C. Hines

Dennis Hinrichsen

Dennis Hinrichsen's recent works include Cage of Water, a full-length collection of poems, and a chapbook, Message To Be Spoken into the Left Ear of God. His other collections of poetry are The Attraction of Heavenly Bodies, The Rain That Falls This Far, and Detail from The Garden of Earthly Delights, which won the 1999 Akron Poetry Prize. He has been the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and two grants from the state of Michigan. His poems have appeared in American Literary Review, Black Warrior Review, Crab Orchard Review, Field, Notre Dame Review, and Passages North, have been featured on the Poetry Daily and The Academy of American Poets websites, and have won awards from Carolina Quarterly and Poetry Northwest. He lives in Lansing, Michigan and teaches at Lansing Community College.

“For Hinrichsen, paradox is a way of knowing. He enacts this philosophical stance in the quick yet attentive movement of his lines…Hinrichsen’s unhinged singing lets momentum have its way. Yet we are moved in the old sense-by empathy.”
--Christine Hume, on Message To Be Spoken into the Left Ear of God

Michigan Writers Collection

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Michigan Writers Series

February 9, 2001

Jane Arnold interviews poets Joseph Featherstone and Dennis Hinrichsen

Poets Dennis Hinrichsen and Joseph Featherstone read their selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

September 10, 2004

Stephanie Mathson interviews poet Dennis Hinrichsen

Poet Dennis Hinrichsen reads his selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Craig C. Holden

Toledo native Craig Holden's first novel is entitled The River Sorrow. The success of the book allowed Holden to begin writing full time and his second novel, The Last Sanctuary, appeared in 1996. His third book, Four Corners of Night, met with tremendous critical acclaim, garnering Holden the 1999 Great Lakes Book Award for fiction and making the USA Today bestseller list. Holden’s fourth novel, The Jazz Bird, is a fictionalized account of a 1920s Cincinnati society murder. His most recent novel, The Narcissist's Daughter, was published in 2005.

Holden attended the University of Toledo, receiving a B.A. through the Honors Department in psychology, biology, and philosophy. He received an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Montana. He has worked as a literary and film rights agent, as well as a professor at the universities of Michigan and Toledo. He and his family live outside Ann Arbor, Michigan.

"In the fifth novel from a veritable master of the craft, what begins as a simple if risky affair leads from obsession through rage to a revenge plot that will transform the lives of everyone involved. The Narcissist’s Daughter is an unforgettably intelligent and moody thriller"
--Simon & Schuster

“…Holden delves deep into the murk of the Jazz Age, blending mystery and history in a heady cocktail…The poignancy of the story lies in Holden's uncanny ability to make hip creations believable, flaws and all, and in his evocation of the charged and sultry 1920s.”
--Jeff Zaleski, Publisher’s Weekly review of The Jazz Bird

Craig Holden's website

Michigan Writers Collection

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Michigan Writers Series

September 12, 2003

Stephanie Mathson interviews novelist Craig Holden

Novelist Craig Holden reads his selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

G. Scott Huggins was born in California but was raised in Kansas. He received his B.A. from Kansas State University, and his M.A. from Michigan State University. He now lives in Michigan, where his hobbies of bookselling and cat maintenance take up the time he does not devote to writing.

Huggins attended the MSU Clarion Writers' Workshop in 1997, and won second prize in the L. Ron Hubbard Writers & Illustrators of the Future contest in Fall 1999. His works have appeared in Writers of the Future, Vol. 15, Amazing Stories, Andromeda Spaceways, and Karen Joy Fowler's MOTA 3: Courage anthology.

Michigan Writers Series

March 28, 2003

Leslie Behm interviews science fiction writer Scott Huggins

Science fiction writer Scott Huggins reads his poem at the Michigan Writers Series

David James

David James has published three poetry collections, including: A Heart Out of This World, Do Not Give Dogs What is Holy, and I Dance Back, as well as a chapbook, I Will Peel This Mask Off. His one-act play, After Godot, was produced off-Broadway at the Theatre-Studio in September 2003. The author’s other one-act plays include, The Aftermath and Finding the Muse, both of which were produced off-Broadway at the American Globe Theatre in April 2003 and April 2002, respectively. The Buckham Alley Theatre in Flint, Michigan, produced James’ full-length play, Like Ships in the Night, in September 2002. The Telepath at Lucky's Bar and Grill, a one-act play, was produced at the Nantucket Theatre, Massachusetts in April 2004.

James received a B.A. from Western Michigan University in English and Creative Writing, and an M.A. from Central Michigan University in Creative Writing. He also holds an Ed.D. from Wayne State University in Curriculum and Instruction. He is currently an English Instructor at Oakland Community College.

"His writing is imaginative, clear, accessible, and funny. David is one of an all too small minority of poets who is able to use humor in his work. He is a writer who entertains without playing to his audience, a writer genuinely interested in the art of communication."
--Stuart Dybek

Michigan Writers Collection

View Special Collections' holdings of James' work

Michigan Writers Series

April 2, 2004

Michael Rodriguez interviews playwright and poet David James

Playwright and poet David James reads his selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Laura Kasischke

Laura Kasischke has published six books of poetry, the most recent entitled Gardening in the Dark; as well as Fire & Flower, Wild Brides, What It Wasn't, and Dance and Disappear. She has also published three novels: Suspicious River, White Bird in a Blizzard, and The Life Before Her Eyes. Her work has been recognized with numerous honors, including the Juniper Prize, the Pushcart Prize, the Elmer Holmes Bobst Award for Emerging Writers, and the Alice Fay DiCastagnola Award. She has also been the recipient of fellowships awarded by the Ragdale Foundation, the MacDowell Colony and the National Endowment for the Arts. She is the Resident Poet for The Frost Place in New Hampshire.

Kasischke teaches in the M.F.A. program and the Residential College at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Her writing has appeared in Harper’s, The New Republic, The Iowa Review, and elsewhere.

"...intricately constructed, beautifully written... In less skillful hands Leila's would be just a depressing story about a very troubled young woman. Kasischke's writing endows it with universality and elevates it to tragedy. It's an amazing first novel."
--from the Boston Globe review of Suspicious River

Michigan Writers Series

February 5, 1999

Jane Arnold interviews poet and novelist Laura Kasischke

Poet and novelist Laura Kasischke reads her selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Josie Kearns

The poems of Josie Kearns have appeared in The Georgia Review, Iowa Review, Poetry Northwest Passages North, and have been widely anthologized elsewhere. She is the author of Life After the Line, and New Numbers, as well as the editor of New Poems from the Third Coast: Contemporary Michigan Poetry. She has been awarded grants from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, the Cowden Fellowship, three Hopwood Awards from the Jules and Avery Hopwood Foundation, and the first MacLeod-Grobe Prize from Poetry Northwest. She has been a soda jerk, reporter, factory worker, and grants writer, and currently teaches Creative Writing and Literature at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

"The title poem begins with an epigraph apparently spoken by a scientist who was trying to explain the term overkill to a congressional committee: 'We need new numbers for this.' Kearns then begins looking for those new numbers, the ones that might fit situations that fall outside our usual patterns of quantification. She even gives these numbers names, and those names in her table of contents create their own weirdly beautiful catalog: Sping, Clazura, Quaro, Endearth, Eenum, Lumaroon, Leethum. And then she gives these numbers their situations"
--Keith Taylor, on New Numbers

"Is the straw
and the camel and its back
and the last haystack in which
the poison needle is found."
--Ann Arbor Observer, 2000

Michigan Writers Collection

View Special Collections' holdings of Josie Kearns' work

Michigan Writers Series

November 2, 2001

Stephanie Mathson interviews poet and author Josie Kearns

Poet and author Josie Kearns reads her selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Judith Kerman has published eight books or chapbooks of poetry; most recently the chapbook, Galvanic Response.  The first edition of her book-length prose poem, Mothering, received Honorable Mention in poetry in the 1978 Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award competition, a national first books competition. A second edition of Mothering, including the related play “Dream of Rain,” was published by Ridgeway Press in 1996, and an expanded hypertext version of Mothering appeared in Eastgate Quarterly 2:2, in Summer 1996. Her bilingual collection, Plane Surfaces/Plano de Incidencia, translated by Johnny Durán, was published in Santo Domingoby CCLEH in 2002. Kerman has published poems and translations in Calyx, The MacGuffin, Chelsea, Visions International, The Hiram Poetry Review, House Organ, Oxalis, Black Bear Review, The Bridge, Snowy Egret, Chelsea, the Michigan Quarterly Review, Earth’s Daughters, Moving Out, and many other publications. She founded Mayapple Press in 1977 (25 titles to date), and Earth's Daughters, the oldest feminist literary magazine still publishing, in 1971. Kerman's book of translations, A Woman in Her Garden: Selected Poems of Dulce María Loynaz, was published in 2002. She also created the content material for a website about Loynaz, who won the 1992 Cervantes Prize.

Other books of Kerman's poetry include the chapbooks 3 Marbles, Driving for Yellow Cab, The Jakoba Poems, and Obsessions. In addition to her poetry, she has published a scholarly anthology, Retrofitting Blade Runner: Issues in Ridley Scott's Blade Runner and Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? She is active in translation and scholarship of the fantastic.

Kerman was a Fulbright scholar in the Dominican Republic from January through July 2002. During that period, she translated poetry and fiction by leading Dominican women writers. She has created a 25-minute video documentary about Dominican Carnaval traditions. She also created a major webpage for the Museo del Hombre Dominicano, the national anthropology museum, although this is no longer online.

She also pioneered in computer-based poetry in the mid-1980's, and co-designed COLLOQUY, an interactive poetry (hypertext) authoring system forthcoming from Eastgate Systems. She is currently involved in translations of Cuban women poets, especially Dulce Maria Loynas.

Kerman was born in Bayside, NY in 1945. She received a B.A. with Honors in History from the University of Rochester, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in English from SUNY at Buffalo. She has held previous administrative and faculty positions at SUNY at Buffalo, University of Michigan, Henry Ford Community College, Kent State University, and Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. She is Professor of English at Saginaw Valley State University in Michigan and a founding member of the Communication and Multimedia faculty. She served as Dean of Arts and Behavioral Sciences at SVSU from 1991 to 1997.

"These spare poems are like finely wrought Japanese paintings, their quick brushstrokes capturing fleeting and extraordinary moments in life. It is a pleasure to travel with this poet, to discover her eccentricities, to see how she translates what she observes, to gain new insights into the complexities of the imagination." --Judith Minty

Judith Kerman's website

Michigan Writers Collection

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Michigan Writers Series

November 1, 2002

Stephanie Mathson interviews poet and author Judith Kerman

Poet and author Judith Kerman reads her selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Michael Kimball (born February 1, 1967 in Lansing, MI) is the author of three novels: The Way the Family Got Away, How Much of Us There Was, and Dear Everybody.

Sam Lipsyte (author of Home Land, The Subject Steve, and Venus Drive) calls Kimball "a hero of contemporary fiction."

Kimball is a founding editor of Taint Magazine, and the recipient of a grant from the New York Foundation for the Arts, a Boswell and Johnson Award, and the Lidano Fiction Prize. His short fiction has also appeared in numerous literary magazines, including Open City, Prairie Schooner, Post Road, and New York Tyrant. He studied at Michigan State University and New York University, and now lives in Baltimore, MD.

Michigan Writers Series

October 7, 2008

Michael Rodriguez interviews fiction writer Michael Kimball

Fiction writer Michael Kimball reads his selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Walter Richard Knupfer's poetry has been published in The Paris Review, Ploughshares, The Antioch Review, and other literary journals. He has served as the U.S. Editor for the journal Modern Poetry in Translation and as a guest editor for The Iowa Review. Knupfer is the Executive Director of the Michigan Humanities Council.

Michigan Writers Series

November 5, 1999

Jane Arnold interviews poet and novelist Walter Richard Knupfer

Poet and novelist Walter Richard Knupfer reads his selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Kathe Koja is the best-selling author of The Cipher, Bad Brains, Skin, and Strange Angels. She has won the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in First Novel and the Locus Award. Her short stories have appeared in Whisper of Blood, The Best of Pulphouse, and other anthologies, as well as in Asimov's SF and Fantasy & Science Fiction, among other magazines. She is a Detroit native, and lives there with her husband and son.

Michigan Writers Series

April 6, 2001

Leslie Behm interviews science fiction writer Kathe Koja

Science fiction writer Kathe Koja reads her selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Michael P. Kube-McDowell

Michael P. Kube-McDowell has been called "the finest new writer of cosmic science fiction in twenty years" and his writing praised as "reminiscent of Arthur C. Clarke at his best." After growing up in southern New Jersey, Kube-McDowell came to MSU as a National Merit Scholar and graduated in 1976.

His first novel, Emprise, launched the thousand year "Trigon Disunity" future history, and was a finalist for the Philip K. Dick Award. His most acclaimed novel to date, The Quiet Pools, was a Book-of-the-Month selection and nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novel.

A prolific writer of both short stories and novels, Kube-McDowell has been featured in Analog, Asimov's Amazing, Rod Serling's Twilight Zone, and Fantasy and Science Fiction, as well as the anthologies "After the Flames" and "Perpetual Light". Three of his stories have been adapted as episodes of the TV series "Tales From the Darkside". He has also dabbled in music, written for television, been a stringer for a daily newspaper, and published short fiction, reviews, assorted nonfiction and erotica. He was honored for teaching excellence by the 1985 White House Commission on Presidential Scholars.

Kube-McDowell was an instructor in MSU's internationally famous Clarion Science Fiction Workshop. Outside of science fiction, he is the author of more than 500 non-fiction and news articles on subjects ranging from space careers to "scientific creationism" to an award-winning four-part series on the state of American education.

Michigan Writers Collection

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Michigan Writers Series

November 17, 2000

Leslie Behm interviews science fiction writer Michael Kube-McDowell

Science fiction writer Michael Kube-McDowell reads his selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Gerry LaFemina

Gerry LaFemina is the author of several chapbooks, four full length collections of poetry, a collection of prose poems, numerous published stories, essays and poems, and is a co-translator, along with Sinan Toprak, of Voice Lock Puppet, poems by contemporary Turkish poet Ali Yuce.

Gerry LaFemina’s books include: 23 Below; Shattered Hours: Poems 1988-94; Zarathustra in Love; and Graffiti Heart, which received the 2001 Anthony Piccione Prize in Poetry from Mammoth Books. His collection, The Parakeets of Brooklyn, received the 2003 Bordighera Prize in Poetry.

A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, LaFemina holds an M.F.A. in Poetry from Western Michigan University, as well as an M.A. in Literature with an emphasis on Twentieth-century Literature from WMU. He has taught at Nazareth College, Kirtland Community College, West Virginia University, Wheeling Jesuit University and Sarah Lawrence College. The Distinguished Poet-in-Residence at Frostburg State Univeristy in Maryland, he now directs that school's Frostburg Center for Creative Writing.

"I consider Gerry LaFemina to be the Iggy Pop of Contemporary American poetry."
--Jim Daniels

Michigan Writers Collection

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Michigan Writers Series

February 27, 2004

Stephanie Mathson interviews poet Gerry LaFemina

Poet Gerry LaFemina reads his selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Margo LaGattuta

Margo LaGattuta has five published collections of poetry: Embracing the Fall, The Dream Givers, Noedgelines, Diversion Road, and The Heart Before the Course. She has an M.F.A. from Vermont College, and is the Midwest Editor for Plain View Press in Austin, Texas, where she has edited six new anthologies: Variations on the Ordinary, Almost Touching, Wind Eyes, Up from the Soles of Our Feet, At the Edge of Mirror Lake, and Beyond the Lines.

LaGattuta is a two-time winner of the Midwest Poetry Award and a National Federation of State Poetry Societies Founders Award, and she has been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize. She publishes a column in Phenomenews and is the Associate Editor for Suburban Lifestyles, where she writes a column, articles, and theater reviews. She teaches writing at University of Michigan-Flint and Oakland Community College, and hosts a radio program, Art in the Air, on WPON radio (AM 1460). Her poetry and creative non-fiction are featured in national literary anthologies and journals. She is currently working on a new writing process book, Writing like a River, as well as a new book of poems, Bears Are Taught to Use Cameras.

Michigan Writers Series

February 25, 2000

Jane Arnold interviews poet Margo LaGattuta

Poet Margo LaGattuta reads her selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Patrick Lebeau

Patrick Russell LeBeau is the author of a book of poetry: Stands Alone, Faces, and Other Poems. He has published several articles and made many presentations on general topics of Native American history and culture, including a chapter in a book on Indian mascots entitled, "The Fighting Braves of Michigamua: Adopting the Visage of American Indian Warriors in the Halls of Academia." He also has authored Rethinking Michigan Indian History, a text that honors the Chippewa, Ottawa, and Potawatomi and the twelve federally recognized tribes of Michigan by recognizing their role and place in Michigan history.

LeBeau received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, and currently is the Director of the American Indian Studies Program and an Associate Professor of Writing, Rhetorics, and American Cultures at Michigan State University. He is also a 2004 member of the Board of Directors of the Michigan Humanities Council and is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation of South Dakota, in his father's home state. His mother is from Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation, North Dakota.

Michigan Writers Series

September 29 2000

Jane Arnold interviews poet Patrick Russell LeBeau

Poet Patrick Russell LeBeau reads his selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Peter Levine is best known for his work in sport and American social history, especially for his books: A.G. Spalding and the Rise of Baseball; Idols of the Game with Robert Lipsyte; and Ellis Island to Ebbets Field: Sport and the American Jewish Experience. He has also written a novel, The Rabbi of Swat, which is a re-imagining of the baseball season of 1927--the year Babe Ruth hit 60 home runs and led the Yankees to the American League pennant.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, a graduate of Columbia and Rutgers, Levine taught in the History department at MSU since 1969, the year he left graduate school. Trained originally as a Jacksonian political historian, Levine's scholarly and writing interests expanded to encompass the entire 19th century and beyond. His works engage in a wide range of interelated themes and topics, including the immigrant experience and assimilation, American-Jewish history and culture, and American popular culture. Peter Levine retired from MSU in 2000 and now lives in Brooklyn where he continues to write. He is also an actor, appearing in numerous productions in New York and throughout the Northeast.

"Baseball has always been about fathers and sons, courage and love, but no fiction has ever brought them all together with such rich sentiment, hilarious history and an eye for the game. Mazel tov. A home-run for Levine"
--Robert Lipsyte, sports writer, New York Times

Michigan Writers Collection

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Michigan Writers Series

January 28, 2000

Jane Arnold interviews novelist Peter Levine

Novelist Peter Levine reads selections from his work at the Michigan Writers Series

Liesel Litzenburger

Liesel Litzenburger's essays and stories have appeared in numerous literary journals, magazines, and anthologies. Three Rivers Press/Random House published her novel-in-stories, Now You Love Me, in February 2007. She has written and reviewed for the Chicago Tribune and the Detroit Free Press.

Litzenburger has taught writing at Central Michigan University and several other colleges and universities, including the University of Michigan, and held a position as Acting Chair of the Creative Writing Program at the Interlochen Arts Academy. She served as the 2001 Writer-in-Residence at New College of the University of South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee campus, a distinguished residential college that serves as the honors college of the State University System. She was the recipient of a 2003 Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs Creative Artist Grant for fiction writing. Litzenburger's first novel, The Widower, was published by Shaye Areheart Books in August 2006.

Michigan Writers Collection

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Michigan Writers Series

Interview of Michigan author Liesel Litzenburger on growing up in Northern Michigan, the characters in her writing and how she has woven in her childhood experiences

Michigan author Liesel Litzenburger reads from her novel in progress at the Michigna Writers Series

Deanne Lundin

Deanne Lundin is the author of a poetry collection, The Ginseng Hunter's Notebook. Her poems have appeared in The Georgia Review, Prairie Schooner, Shenandoah, Kenyon Review, Colorado Review, Antioch Review, and elsewhere. While a Lecturer at University of Michigan, she developed an instructional Web site using the poetry archives at the Bentley Historical Library as an introduction to research in Special Collections.

Lundin has studied at Harvard, the Eastman School of Music, and holds an M.F.A. from the University of Michigan. She is completing a Ph.D. in American Women's Poetry at UCLA. She was the winner of a 1997 Hopwood Award, and has also served as a judge for the Hopwood Awards.

"Deanne Lundin's The Ginseng Hunter's Notebook is an authentic poetic harmonium, blending a probative and anxious post-modernism with a nearly primitive lyric sensibility. I am struck and pleased by her lucid sense of the present, clarifying the moment as we live it, but equally awed by the transformations of her fractious narratives, wrung from her wide and wild historical flair. Hildegard of Bingen meets the Internet, indeed! Here are potions, conjurations, folkloric remedies, like voices from a vexing past–are they our real parents? are they our demons? –as acrid, as overwhelming, as they are brilliant and healing. The Ginseng Hunter's Notebook is a marvelous debut."
--David Baker

Michigan Writers Collection

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Michigan Writers Series

February 7, 2003

Michael Rodriguez interviews poet Deanne Lundin

Poet Deanne Lundin reads her selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Thomas Lynch

Thomas Lynch is an essayist, poet and funeral director. His most recent book, released in June of 2005, is Booking Passage: We Irish and Americans. Other more recent books include: The Undertaking, Still Life in Milford, and Bodies in Motion and at Rest. He published his first volume of poetry, Skating with Heather Grace, in 1987. Following this unique collection of poems, he published his next volume of poetry Grimalkin & Other Poems. Lynch is regularly featured on the op-ed page of The New York Times, The Boston Globe and The Times of London, as well as in the pages of Harper's. He has appeared on C-SPAN, MSNBC, the NBC Today program and the PBS series, On Our Own Terms.

His collection of essays, The Undertaking—Life Studies from the Dismal Trade, won the Heartland Prize for non-fiction, The American Book Award, and was a Finalist for the National Book Award. It has been translated into seven languages. A second collection of essays, Bodies in Motion and at Rest, won The Great Lakes Book Award. He is the recipient of grants and awards from The National Endowment for the Arts, The Michigan Council for the Arts, The Michigan Library Association, The Writers Voice Project, The National Book Foundation, The Arvon Foundation in Great Britain and The Irish Arts Council.

Lynch is an Adjunct Professor in the graduate creative writing program at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He lives in Milford, Michigan where, for the past twenty-five years, he has been the funeral director of Lynch & Sons funeral home. He also keeps an ancestral cottage in West Clare, Ireland.

Thomas Lynch's website

Michigan Writers Series

April 9, 2001

Poet and essayist Thomas Lynch reads selections from his poetry and answers questions form the audience

Stephanie Mills

Stephanie Mills has written and spoken on ecology and social change since her Mills College commencement speech in 1969, in which she announced she would forego having children due to concerns about overpopulation and its effects on the environment. Her writings include: Whatever Happened to Ecology?,  an account of the evolution of her ecological consciousness and commitment, and In Service of the Wild, a book about restoring and reinhabiting damaged land. Mills edited In Praise of Nature, a compilation of reviews of and excerpts from major works on environmental literature, as well as Turning Away from Technology: A New Vision for the 21st Century, which reflects her choice in life to be "willfully backward about technology." Her latest book, Epicurean Simplicity, addresses the rewards and challenges of a simple life.

Mills lives in northern Michigan, where she works as a freelance author and lecturer.

"What is perhaps most impressive about Stephanie Mills is the insistence with which she keeps pointing out the relationship between our individual choices and the fate of our species and others with which we share this earth."
--Lorraine Anderson

Stephanie Mills' website

Michigan Writers Collection

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Michigan Writers Series

October 19, 2001

Terry Link interviews writer and ecologist Stephanie Mills

Writer and ecologist Stephanie Mills reads her selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

September 19, 2008

Kara Gust interviews author and bioregionalist Stephanie Mills

Author and bioregionalist Stephanie Mills reads her selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Judith Minty

Judith Minty's first book, Lake Songs and Other Fears, received the United States Award of the International Poetry Forum in 1973. Since then she has published three other full-length collections of poetry including: Yellow Dog Journal, In The Presence Of Mothers, and Dancing The Fault; and three chapbooks including: Letters To My Daughters, Counting The Losses and The Mad Painter Poems. Minty’s poetry, essays and short stories have been published in numerous magazines and in over fifty anthologies. Her work has been recognized with numerous honors, including the Villa Montalvo Award for Excellence in Poetry and the Eunice Tietjens Award from Poetry magazine.

After earning an M.F.A. at Western Michigan University in 1973, Judith Minty taught at universities in Michigan and the west coast, and was director of the Creative Writing Program at Humboldt State University in Arcata, California from 1982 to 1993. She has been a Visiting Professor/Poet in Residence for the creative writing program at the University of Alaska in Anchorage. She has also taught in or been the visiting poet for the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, the University of California at Santa Cruz, Interlochen Center for the Arts, Syracuse University, even at the Muskegon Correction Facility in Michigan.

A sense of place is one of the recurring themes in Judith Minty's poetry. Born in Michigan, she grew up spending the school year in Detroit and summers camping in the North Woods with her family. She now lives in western Michigan near the Lake Michigan shoreline, and spends part of each year at a cabin on the Yellow Dog River in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

"...the clear and white world created by a winter's storm, the dramatic changes of the seasons, and the presence, in history and legend, of Indians. [Judith Minty's] poems give a physical sense of life in the Midwest."
--Helen Collier, in Woman Poet: The Midwest.

Michigan Writers Collection

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Michigan Writers Series

April 23, 1999

Jane Arnold interviews poet Judith Minty

Poet Judith Minty reads selections from her works at the Michigna Writers Series

O’Leary, a native of Saginaw, holds a B.A. in Journalism from Wayne State University. His poetry has appeared in literary magazines across North America and in Other Voices, Other Doors, a volume of collected works that span 20 years of his writing. His novels include, The Impossible Bird, Door Number Three, and The Gift. Currently, he is an Associate Creative Director at an advertising agency where his work has won numerous industry awards.

"As a posthumous fantasy, then, The Impossible Bird is a pure success... Philip K. Dick texture...cool de Chirico surreality...some of the estranged crystalline ring of Jonathan Carroll or Jonathan Lethem or Robert Charles Wilson... In the end The Impossible Bird does molt out of its sf trappings and (lifts) our hearts."
--John Clute, The New York Review of Science Fiction

Michigan Writers Series

October 3, 2003

Leslie Behm interviews science fiction writer Patrick O'Leary

Science fiction writer Patrick O'Leary reads his selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

William Penn

William S. Penn's collection of narrative essays, All My Sins Are Relatives, won the 1995 North American Indian Prose Award. He has also published a novel The Absence of Angels, a collection of short stories, This is the World; and the novel, Killing Time with Strangers, which won the 2001 American Book Award for Literary Merit. His most recent collection of narrative essays, Feathering Custer, was released in 2001.

He is the editor of As We Are Now: Mixblood Essays on Race and Identity, and The Telling of the World: Native American Stories and Art. He has been the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts award; the Stephen Crane Prize for Fiction; a Michigan Arts Council award; and Writer of the Year in 1997 and Editor of the Year in 1998, both from the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers. His book, The Telling of the World: Native American Stories and Art, was named to the list of Best University Press Books of 2000.

W.S. Penn is a Native American writer and professor of English at Michigan State University. In 2003, he received a Distinguished Faculty Award from MSU. He likes to use the term "mixblood" to describe his own background, which is a mixture of Nez Perce, Osage and English. He was raised in Southern California where he attended Claremont College. He earned his undergraduate degree at UC Davis and stayed on for three years of graduate school, from 1970 to 1973. He later earned his doctorate at Syracuse.

"In This Is The World, Penn moves through spaces, encounters characters, and confronts humanity with a sage's omnipotence, yet at the same time with an unassuming voice, devoid of pretentiousness. His words are unflinching, but also unselfconscious."
--MSU Press

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Michigan Writers Series

November 19, 1999

Jane Arnold interviews essayist and fiction writer William Penn

Rachael Perry

Rachael Perry, a native of Michigan, finished her first collection of stories, How to Fly, while working at a library in Düsseldorf, Germany. Her stories are greatly influenced by her experiences in small Midwestern towns, where everybody knows somebody who knows somebody, and the natural splendor of all four seasons and freshwater lakes shapes character like the glaciers once shaped this land. Her stories have appeared in StoryQuarterly, River City, Hayden’s Ferry Review, South Dakota Review, Elysian Fields Quarterly: The Baseball Review and other places, and she has been nominated twice for Pushcart prizes.

She received her B.A. in journalism from Michigan State University, where she proudly contributed to The State News and helped the newspaper earn two consecutive Pacemaker awards-one while serving as Editor-in-Chief. She also earned an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Bowling Green State University, where she taught undergraduate workshops, served as Technical Editor for the Mid-American Review, and was a recipient of the Devine Fellowship.

"This rainbow of stories [in How to Fly] will dazzle you."
--Bonnie Jo Campbell, author of Q Road

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Michigan Writers Series

January 28, 2005

Michael Rodriguez interviews fiction writer Rachael Perry

Fiction writer Rachael Perry reads her selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Lev Raphael

Lev Raphael is the author of seventeen books published in nearly a dozen languages, including two novels about survivors, Winter EyesThe German Money, and a collection of Jewish memoirs and essays, Journeys & Arrivals. The son of Holocaust survivors, Lev Raphael was one of the first of America's Second Generation writers and started publishing short stories about children of survivors in 1978. Many of these stories were collected in his award-winning book, Dancing on Tisha B'Av. His most recent collection of stories, Secret Anniversaries of the Heart, was released in 2006, as well as Writing a Jewish Life: Memoirs. Raphael's fiction has been widely anthologized in the U.S. and Britain, most recently in the anthology Criminal Kabbalah, which contains Lev's latest story featuring a child of survivors: "Your Papers, Please." He is also the author of the Nick Hoffman mystery series set in Michigan at the fictional State University of Michigan in Michiganapolis and is the winner of the Reed Smith Fiction Prize and International Quarterly’s Prize for Innovative Writing (judge: D.M. Thomas).

Born and raised in New York City, he received his M.F.A. in Creative Writing and English at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst where he won the Harvey Swados Fiction Prize for a Holocaust-themed story later published in Redbook. Raphael holds a Ph.D. in American Studies from Michigan State University. Raphael taught at the university level in New York, Massachusetts and Michigan for 13 years and the first course he designed was a multi-disciplinary study of the Holocaust. He left teaching over a decade ago to write and review full-time.

"Lev Raphael's stories are as thrilling as his thrillers, but for an entirely different set of reasons: the psychological perspicacity, good humor and deep empathy with which he approaches all the secret anniversaries of the heart—his lovely title—that make up his characters' wonderfully flawed humanity."
--Jonathan Wilson, author of A Palestine Affair

Lev Raphael's website

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Michigan Writers Series

January 22, 1999

Jane Arnold interviews mystery writers Lev Raphael and Loren D. Estleman

Mystery writers Loren D. Estleman and Lev Raphael read their selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

September 15, 2006

Kara Gust interviews writer Lev Raphael

Writer Lev Raphael reads his selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Jack Ridl

Jack Ridl, a professor of English at Hope College, is the author of six collections of poetry, including: The Same Ghost, Between, After School, Poems from the Same Ghost and Between, and Against Elegies. His most recent chapbook, Outside the Center Ring, explores life with the circus, and is based on his experiences as a child behind the scenes. Along with his poetry, Ridl has collaborated with Peter Schakel, also an English professor at Hope College, to author Approaching Literature in the 21st Century: Fiction, Poetry, Drama, as well as Approaching Poetry: Perspectives and Responses. Ridl and Schakel also co-edited 250 Poems, A Portable Anthology.

Jack Ridl's collection of poetry, Against Elegies, was selected by Sharon Dolin and Billy Collins for the 2001 Chapbook Award from The Center for Book Arts in New York City. His poem "The Dry Wallers Listen to Sinatra While They Work" was chosen by David St. John for the 2002 Say-the-Word Poetry Award from The Ellipse Art Center in Arlington, Virginia. He has been widely anthologized; and his poems have been published in such literary magazines as LIT, The Georgia Review, FIELD, Poetry, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, Gulf Coast, The Denver Quarterly, Chelsea, Free Lunch, The Journal, Passages North, and Poetry East. In 1996, The Carnegie Foundation named him Michigan Professor of the Year.

Ridl grew up in the worlds of big time sports and the circus; his father coaching basketball at Westminster College and the University of Pittsburgh. Ridl was a point guard and a shortstop. He also spent a lot of his time with his cousin who was a circus man. Jack's poems often reflect these influences, as does his teaching.

Ridl lives along Lake Michigan with his wife, Julie. He has been a member of the Hope faculty since 1971, and is also the founder of Hope College's The Visiting Writers Series, which, since 1985, has brought more than 150 writers to campus.

Of his poems, U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins wrote: "Against Elegies arises from a sense of curiosity about life in both its plain and puzzling aspects. These poems feel their way forward and are attentive enough to the reader to make us feel included--happy accomplices to his search." And Naomi Shihab Nye has written, "Jack Ridl gracefully renders all realms of experience in a voice that is brave, compelling, and true; anyone who still has a glimmer of thought that poetry is two steps removed from life would do well to read his poems."

Jack Ridl's website

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Michigan Writers Series

November 22, 2002

Stephanie Mathson interviews poet and author Jack Ridl

Poet and author Jack Ridl reads his selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

April 13, 2007

Michael Rodriguez interviews poets Jack Ridl & Chris Dombrowski

Poets Jack Ridl & Chris Dombrowski reads their selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Robert Root

Robert Root has written or edited ten books on a variety of topics including the teaching of writing and the composing of nonfiction. Among his most recent books are Time by Moments Steals Away: The 1848 Journal of Ruth Douglass, The Island Within Us: Isle Royale Artists-in-Residence 1991–1998, The Fourth Genre: Contemporary Writers of/on Creative Nonfiction, and E. B. White: The Emergence of an Essayist. Recovering Ruth, his latest publication, is a memoir of the travels and entanglements surrounding the search for evidence of the life of Ruth Douglass. It was winner of the 2004 Michigan Notable Book Award and a finalist for the 2006 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in the "Special Awards of the Jury" category.

He received his B.A. in English from State University College, Geneseo, New York, in 1966, and taught 11th and 12th grade English classes at Wilson Central School until January, 1970. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. in English from the University of Iowa, in 1971 and 1975, respectively. He was a writer for the Westinghouse Learning Corporation in Iowa City while he completed post-doctoral study in rhetoric and composition during 1975-1976. In August 1976 he joined the Department of English Language and Literature at Central Michigan University. Over the course of the next twenty-eight years he taught courses in composition and rhetoric, nonfiction, editing, English education, literature, and media.

He also taught occasional seminars in literature focusing on literary nonfiction and major essayists. He was active as an advisor for candidates in the Master's of English in Composition and Communication program. He chaired or served on the thesis committees of master's candidates in creative nonfiction, nonfiction literary criticism, composition theory, English education, and media criticism. As a scholar, he presented frequently at national conferences of the National Council of Teachers of English, the Conference on College Composition and Communication, the Associated Writing Programs, the Popular Culture and American Culture Associations, and the Rhetoric Society of America, as well as at international conferences in Canada and England and regional conferences of the Michigan Council of Teachers of English. He retired from CMU in 2004 to devote more time to the writing of creative nonfiction and studies of nonfiction.

"Here is essaying at its very best—search and salvage, test and measure—mining the language for what’s precious and rare. In Recovering Ruth, Robert Root works rich intersecting veins of history and humanity, biography and self-discovery, people, places, lives, and times. The reader is the richer for it.”
--Thomas Lynch, author of The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade

Robert Root's website

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Michigan Writers Series

December 7, 2001

Stephanie Mathson interviews essayist and memoirist Robert Root

Sandra Seaton

Sandra Seaton is the author of the award-winning play The Bridge Party, for which she won a Theodore Ward Prize for New African American Playwrights. The Bridge Party was also chosen for inclusion in Strange Fruit: Plays on Lynching by American Women, edited by Judy Stephens and Kathy Perkins. Sandra Seaton’s work, From The Diary of Sally Hemings, is a collaboration with composer William Bolcom, who set Seaton’s text to music. A song cycle, the work recreates the thoughts and feelings of Sally Hemings throughout her long relationship with Thomas Jefferson by means of fictional diary entries.

A Professor of English at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, Sandra Seaton teaches courses in playwriting, fiction writing, and African American Literature. Her scholarly work, which has been microfilmed by the Tennessee State Archives, focuses on research about African American communities in the South from colonial times through the era of segregation.

Sandra Cecelia Seaton was born in Columbia, Tennessee. The stories of her grandmother and her mother remain an important influence on her writing. Seaton's grandmother instilled in her granddaughter a great pride in the work of their relative Flournoy Miller, who wrote the book and starred in Shuffle Along, a musical that many believe inaugurated the Harlem Renaissance. She received her B.A. from the University of Illinois. She earned her M.A. in Creative Writing at Michigan State University.

Sandra Seaton's website

Michigan Writers Collection

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Michigan Writers Series

April 19, 2002

Stephanie Mathson interviews playwright Sandra Seaton

Diane Seuss-Brakeman

Diane Seuss' recent work has appeared in The Georgia Review, Artful Dodge, Rattle and Primavera. Her poems have been anthologized in Are You Experienced?, September 11, 2001: American Writers Respond, Boomer Girls: Poems by Women from the Baby Boom Generation, and New Poems from the Third Coast. Her book, It Blows You Hollow, was published in 1998. Seuss won the Allen Ginsberg Memorial Poetry Prize in October 2000, and her poems that appeared in Poetry Northwest and Primavera were nominated for The Pushcart Prize.

She was raised in Niles, Michigan, and in 1995, she received a fellowship for a residency with the Atlantic Center for the Arts in Florida. She was the first recipient of the Jewel Heart Poetry Prize, and is currently the writer in residence at Kalamazoo College.

"Here's what I've been waiting for: Diane Seuss-Brakeman's fresh, deep-digging poems, the rich texture of detail and metaphor, and under the images --exuberance, tenacity, loss. For me, the God poems offer a search, a wrestling as bold and intense as any since G. M. Hopkins."
--Conrad Hilberry on It Blows You Hollow

Michigan Writers Collection

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Michigan Writers Series

September 26, 2003

Michael Rodriguez interviews poet Diane Seuss

Poet Diane Seuss reads her selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Catherine Haluska Shaffer writes both fantasy and science fiction. She attended the Clarion workshop in 1997 (accompanied by her ferret, Sebastian), and has been writing seriously ever since. Her first publication, "Improving Slay Times in the Common Dragon," was published in Odyssey #2, 1998. Other published works include "The World Opened Up for Me," an essay on the Clarion experience, published in Speculations in October 2001, and "To Be or Not to Be," also published in Speculations, in December 2001.

Awards include: the Ann Arbor Science Fiction Society's Clarion Scholarship, 1997; L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future Contest, Honorable Mention, First Quarter 2000; and L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future Contest, Semifinalist, First Quarter 2001.

Setting ambitious goals, Ms. Shaffer's goal for 2002 is to write a story of at least 5000 words every three weeks. (This follows her 2001 resolution to write a story a month for 12 months.) In addition, she has established a Story a Month group to challenge writers.

An owner of ferrets (if one can be said to own a ferret), Ms. Shaffer has also written several hilarious items about ferrets, both fiction and non-fiction, notably "A Thousand Naps and a Nap" and "The Furry Plague."

Michigan Writers Series

October 4, 2002

Stephanie Mathson interviews science fiction writer Catherine Haluska Shaffer

Science fiction writer Catherine Haluska Shaffer reads her selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Marc Sheehan

Marc Sheehan's collection of poetry is entitled Greatest Hits. His poems, fictions, and essays have appeared in Apalachee Quarterly, Atlanta Review, Kansas Quarterly, Louisville Review, Michigan Quarterly, and others. His poetry has been included in New Poems from the Third Coast, an anthology of contemporary poetry. His essay, "A Different Kind of Priest" appeared in Peninsula: Essays and Memoirs by Michigan Writers. Sheehan has been awarded grants from the NEA and the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs. He is currently the associate editor and book review editor for the journal Fourth Genre: Explorations in Nonfiction.

Marc Sheehan was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1954. He holds advanced degrees in English from Central Michigan University and the University of Michigan.

"These are such well-made poems. Manifest is the sharp edge of self-editing and a careful ear. Sheehan understands the traffic between myth and biography, the space between utterance and quiet. Greatest Hits is a powerful and welcome debut."
--Thomas Lynch, Michigan Poet

Michigan Writers Collection

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Michigan Writers Series

November 10, 2000

Jane Arnold interviews poet and essayist Marc Sheehan

Poet and essayist Marc Sheehan reads his selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Sue William Silverman

A short story writer and teacher of creative nonfiction, Sue William Silverman is author of the award winning and powerful memoir entitled Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You, a revealing and evoking look at a child's incestuous experiences. Her second memoir, Love Sick: One Woman's Journey Through Sexual Addiction, tells of her double life as an adult. Hieroglyphics in Neon, a collection of poetry, is Silverman's most recent work.

Silverman has had two short stories nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and is a frequent judge for fiction and nonfiction writing awards. She also conducts creative writing and nonfiction work shops at various colleges, universities and writing conferences around the country.

In addition to writing, she is an associate editor of the literary journal, Fourth Genre: Explorations in Nonfiction, as well as a professional speaker on the issues of child abuse, family dynamics, and addictions. Silverman received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from Aquinas College for her work in literature and child abuse victim advocacy. She is a member of the faculty of the M.F.A. in Writing program at Vermont College.

Silverman lives in Michigan with her cat, Quizzle.

Sue William Silverman's website

Michigan Writers Series

October 22, 1999

Jane Arnold interviews memoirist and short story writer Sue William Silverman

Sue William Silverman reads her selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Anita Skeen

Anita Skeen is the author of four volumes of poetry: The Resurrection of the Animals; Each Hand a Map; Outside the Fold, Outside the Frame; and Portraits. Her poetry, short fiction, and essays have appeared in numerous literary magazines and anthologies. She is currently completing a new volume of poetry, a collection of short stories, and a first novel, Minor Chords.

Skeen was born in 1946 and grew up in West Virginia. She graduated from Concord College in Athens, West Virginia, and received her graduate degrees from Bowling Green State University. She is a Professor of English, as well as the Director of the Residential Option in Arts and Letters Program at Michigan State University; and teaches Creative Writing, Women's Studies, and Canadian Studies. Prior to coming to MSU, she was on the faculty of the English Department and M.F.A. Program at Wichita State University. While at WSU, Skeen co-founded the Kay Closson Women Writing Series. The series, presented annually by the WSU Center for Women’s Studies since 1981, is now known as the Words By Women Series. She is also Director of the Creative Arts Festival and the Fall Writing Series at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico.

"In Anita Skeen's world, the past rolls in like fog, unpredictably, to trouble and reconfigure the present. It is a world well worth visiting despite its hazards. Moreover, she has the uncanny ability to make me feel that I have already seen part of it, but not enough; so that I linger until I become part of her pemanent audience. In the landscape of American poetry Anita Skeen matters."
--George Ellenbogen

Michigan Writers Collection

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Michigan Writers Series

September 10, 1999

Jane Arnold interviews poet Anita Skeen

Poet Anita Skeen reads her selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Leonora Smith

Leonora Smith was born between V-E and V-J day in Great Falls, Montana, and spent the first six months of her life living in a dresser drawer. A baby boomer and proud product of her generation, Smith's formative years took her from the Eisenhower Administration to the summer of love. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Contemporary Michigan Poetry, Alaska Quarterly Review, Exquisite Corpse, and Nimrod. A collection of her poetry, Spatial Relations, was published in 2001. She won the 2002 Gwendolyn Brooks poetry prize (Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature) for “Purple,” written with support from her 2001 IRGP grant. She has been awarded creative writing grants from the Michigan Council for the Arts (fiction); the Virginia Studio Center; the Atlantic Center for the Arts; the Banff Centre for the Arts; and from MSU.

Smith has a dual Ph.D. in English and Curriculum from MSU, with an emphasis on research in the teaching of writing at the college level and above. With stints as a waitress and bartender, she is now an associate professor of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures at Michigan State University. She has worked as a free-lance writer for government and industry; as editor of Muses (the alumni magazine of MSU's College of Arts & Letters); and as associate editor for Years Press. She is on the editorial board of Fourth Genre.

"Smith’s versatility to move in and out of fiction and reality, memory and present is impressive, as well as her wit intellect around femininity...[her] use of descriptive, colorful and imaginative language was a shot in the arm to some mundane poetry that seems to have permeated the mainstream"
--Una-Kariim, City Pulse

Michigan Writers Collection

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Michigan Writers Series

January 25, 2002

Poet and fiction writer Leonora Smith reads her selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Steinberg's most recent book is Still Pitching: A Memoir. Other books include the anthology, Peninsula: Essays and Memoirs From Michigan, The Fourth Genre: Contemporary Writers of/on Creative Nonfiction and Those Who Do, Can (the latter two with Robert L. Root Jr.), and The Writer's Way with Clinton S. Burhans, Jr. Peninsula was a finalist for both the ForeWord Magazine Anthology of the Year Award and for the 2000 Great Lakes Booksellers Award. In addition, Steinberg has published numerous personal essays, memoirs, and poems in such journals as The Missouri Review, New Letters, The Bellingham Review, and The Florida Review, among many others. Dr. Steinberg is a Professor Emeritus of American Thought & Language at MSU.

“With adroit precision and quiet enthrallment, Mike Steinberg leads us into the American Epoch that was New York and baseball in the 1950s. But to say that Still Pitching is simply about baseball is to say that Moby Dick was a good little book about whales.”
--Dennis Lehane, author of Mystic River

Michigan Writers Series

November 21, 2003

Stephanie Mathson interviews writer Michael Steinberg

Writer Michael Steinberg reads from his memoir "Still pitching" at the Michigan Writers Series

Alison Swan

Alison Swan’s poems and prose have appeared in many publications, including most recently The Dunes Review, TriQuarterly, and the books The Saugatuck Dunes: Artists Respond to a Freshwater Landscape (Saugatuck Dunes Coastal Alliance), which she coauthored, and Michigan: Our Land, Our Water, Our Heritage (University of Michigan Press/The Nature Conservancy). She is the creator of the book Fresh Water: Women Writing on the Great Lakes, a collection of creative nonfiction prose by well-known and emerging poets, fiction writers, and essayists. The Library of Michigan named Fresh Water: Women Writing on the Great Lakes (Michigan State University Press) a Michigan Notable Book. Swan's poem “Porch Swing,” (Bloodroot Press) published as a limited edition, fine arts book and broadside is included in rare book collections throughout the U.S., including the New York Public Library, the University of Michigan, and Michigan State University.

Swan is Adjunct Professor of Environmental Studies at Western Michigan University, and she regularly presents talks and workshops for writers, environmentalists, and others, about the intersection of reading, writing, and ecological awareness. She has been a Mesa Refuge Fellow (Common Counsel Foundation) and she was co-winner with her husband David Swan, of the Michigan Environmental Council's Petoskey Prize for Grassroots Environmental Leadership for their ultimately successful efforts to preserve the wild duneland of  Saugatuck Dunes State Park. Presently, she works with the Saugatuck Dunes Coastal Alliance to protect and preserve the ecological, cultural, and historical character of the Saugatuck Dunes region.

Born in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, Swan graduated from Michigan State University with a B.A. in English Literature, and she received her M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Michigan. After living in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Seattle, Washington; and Cambridge, Massachusetts, she has settled in Saugatuck, Michigan, with her family.

Michigan Writers Collection

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Michigan Writers Series

September 27, 2002

Stephanie Mathson interviews poet and essayist Alison Swan

Poet and essayist Alison Swan reads her selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

November 2, 2007

Michael Rodriguez interviews environmentalist, essayist and poet Alison Swan

Essayist and poet Alison Swan reads from her works and answers questions from audience at the Michigan Writers Series

Keith Taylor

Keith Taylor will have two new books out in 2006: Guilty at the Rapture, a collection of poems and stories; and Battered Guitars: The Poetry and Prose of Kostas Karyotakis, a book he translated with his friend William Reader. He has published a collection of very short stories, five chapbooks of poems, and two co-edited volumes. Over the years his work has appeared in numerous places, ranging from Story to the Los Angeles Times, from Bird Watcher's Digest to the Chicago Tribune to Michigan Quarterly Review, Poetry Ireland, and The Southern Review. He has won awards for his work here and in Europe.

Taylor coordinates the undergraduate program in creative writing at the University of Michigan and formerly managed Shaman Drum, a leading independent book store in Ann Arbor. A native of Canada, Taylor now lives with his wife and daughter in Ann Arbor.

Michigan Writers Collection

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Michigan Writers Series

April 9, 1999

Jane Arnold interviews poet and prose writer Keith Taylor

Poet and prose writer Keith Taylor reads his selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

October 5, 2007

Kara Gust interviews poet and writer Keith Taylor

Poet Keith Taylor reads from his works and answers questions from audience at the Michigan Writers Series

F. Richard Thomas

F. Richard Thomas has published two full-length collections of poetry, Frog Praises Night and Death at Camp Pahoka; six chapbooks of poetry; and a short novel, Prism: The Journal of John Fish. His poetry and fiction have appeared in many journals and anthologies. He has edited an anthology of poetry, The Landlocked Heart, and an anthology of essays entitled Americans in Denmark. Thomas' Literary Admirers of Alfred Stieglitz is a scholarly book on the relationship of poetry and fiction to photography.

He has received Michigan Council for the Arts awards for his poetry, an MSU grant to complete a work of fiction, and two Fulbright awards to Denmark. In 2004, he received the Mark Twain Award from the Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature for his poetry and fiction. He has also been editor/publisher of Centering Magazine and Years Press chapbooks of poetry between 1973 and 1990.

Thomas was born in Evansville, Indiana in 1940. He attended Purdue University, University of Minnesota, and Indiana University, where he received a Ph.D. in English. He is now a retired MSU professor and lives with his wife, Sharon, in Haslett, Michigan. They spend part of every year in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where his son and daughter own and manage the Red Mountain Cafe.

"Whether it's food, family, or travel, Dick Thomas has a different slant on the subject. His is a voice laced with love and anger, frustration and humor, the voice of a man simply trying to get home no matter where he happens to be"
--Roger Pfingston, author of Something Iridescent

Michigan Writers Collection

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Michigan Writers Series

February 11, 2000

Jane Arnold interviews poet and novelist F. Richard Thomas

Poet and novelist F. Richard Thomas reads his selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Jeff Vande Zande

Jeff Vande Zande has published three chapbooks of poetry: Transient; Last Name First, First Name Last; and Tornado Warning. He has also published a chapbook of short stories entitled The Bridge, as well as a full-length collection, Emergency Stopping and Other Stories. His poetry and short stories have appeared in over fifty small press magazines and journals, including College English, Passages North, Controlled Burn, The MacGuffin, and Fugue. Two of his poems were nominated for the 1999 Pushcart Prize, and poet Jim Daniels nominated his work for a 2003 Pushcart. In 2005, he completed a novel manuscript entitled All the Difference, and over the summer of 2004 he completed a novella entitled Threatened Species. He is seeking publishers for both works.

Jeff Vande Zande lives with his wife, son, and daughter in Bay City, Michigan, where he teaches at Delta College.

"Emergency Stopping & Other Stories is a complex, deeply moving collection. Vande Zande's powers of observation and empathy, his eye for the revealing detail, the feeling of raw authenticity his dialogue creates, all make this a memorable collection that should be read, and reread."
--Jim Daniels

Michigan Writers Collection

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Michigan Writers Series

February 11, 2005

Kara Gust interviews author Jeff Vande Zande

Author Jeff Vande Zande reads his selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Robert VanderMolen

Robert VanderMolen has been publishing poems in such periodicals as Caliban, Salt Lick, Parnassus, Cincinnati Poetry Review, Epoch, Grand Street, and Sulfur since the mid-1960s. The 1995 recipient of an NEA Fellowship for poetry, he has authored a number of collections, including: The Pavilion, Along the River, Night Weather, Of Pines, The Lost Book, Variations, and Peaches, the most recent of which is Breath.

An alumnus of Michigan State University, VanderMolen earned an M.F.A. from the University of Oregon in 1973 and resides in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with his wife and two sons. As a rule, four times a year he heads up to a cabin in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for extended stays.

"In Breath, Robert VanderMolen finds and propounds the courage to hold himself accountable for the unaccountable consequences of Attention, of Vision. Thus his is a law without bounds and an unconditional mercy. The Sublime is always inappropriate, and VanderMolen delights in sublimity without shame. Honor him."
--Donald Revell

“VanderMolen’s poems are always kinetic, always on the move, and among the sexiest being written in America today. Read ‘Saturday’ if you want to experience VanderMolen at the top of his form. He has a knack for quoting real or imaginary dialogue that is both funny and very much to the point: ‘The older you get / The worse you look without money,’ for example. He splices with assurance; he jump-cuts with ease.”
--Richard Tillinghast, on Breath

Michigan Writers Collection

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Michigan Writers Series

October 15, 2004

Michael Rodriguez interviews poet Robert VanderMolen

Poet Robert VanderMolen reads his selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Arthur Versluis

Arthur Versluis has taught and written on a wide range of topics, from American agrarianism and Christian esotericism to contemplative traditions and practices. He is very interested in the philosophy of teaching and in the contemporary plight of the humanities, as well as in the central role that first-year writing courses play in university education. He has taught Writing: American Radical Thought and honors courses, as well as other versions of first-year writing at other institutions. Versluis has lectured on such subjects as American Transcendentalism and Asian religions, esotericism, mysticism, and mythology at the University of Dusseldorf, Germany; the Sorbonne, France; in London; and in Australia. He has also taught creative writing and a variety of courses that integrate the study of religion and writing. He developed an innovative course in Religious Studies at Michigan State--the first survey of Western esotericism taught in the United States.

Versluis is also a founding member of the Association for the Study of Esotericism, and is the editor-in-chief of Esoterica, an electronic journal devoted to the academic study of esotericism. Versluis has been awarded a Fulbright scholarship to Germany. Among his published works are: The Esoteric Origins of the American Renaissance; Wisdom's Book: The Sophia Anthology; Wisdom's Children: A Christian Esoteric Tradition; and American Transcendentalism and Asian Religions.

His family owns a multi-generational farm on the west side of Grand Rapids, Michigan, about which he has published a novel entitled Island Farm. Dr. Versluis earned his Ph.D from the University of Michigan and is Professor of Writing, Rhetoric and American Culture at Michigan State University.

Michigan Writers Series

January 26, 2001

Jane Arnold interviews essayist Arthur Versluis

Essayist Arthur Versluis talks about his book "Island farm" and the evolution of farming at the Michigan Writers Series

Robert Vivian

Essayist, Poet, playwright, and short story writer Robert Vivian grew up in the Dundee neighborhood of Omaha. He has had over twenty plays produced off and off-off Broadway. Several have been published, with monologues appearing in the international anthologies Best Men and Women's Stage Monologues from 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998. He holds a PhD in English from University of Nebraska - Lincoln.

Among his most recent plays is Something is Wrong, performed in Omaha by the Blue Barn Theatre. His current project is an adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's Ghosts for Studio Arena Theatre in Buffalo, New York, which will premiere in February, 2006. His work has appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Creative Nonfiction, Glimmertrain, Jabberwock, Janus Head, The New York Quarterly, River Teeth, Sycamore Review, Turnrow, and elsewhere.

His collection of creative nonfiction, Cold Snap as Yearning, won the Midland of Society Awards in for Nonfiction and the Nebraska Book Award for nonfiction in that same year. Many of the book's essays first appeared in Harper's, Creative Nonfiction, Salt Hill, Sycamore Review, Seneca Review, and elsewhere. He was a finalist for the 2004 Iowa Short Fiction Award for his collection Eating the Bible. New work is out or forthcoming in Georgia Review, Massachusetts Review, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere. Essays have been included in the list of Notable Essays in Best American Essays (2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005). His first novel, The Mover of Bones, is due out from the University of Nebraska Press in fall of 2006. He is an assistant professor of English at Alma College in Michigan.

Michigan Writers Series

September 29 , 2006

Kara Gust interviews writer Robert Vivian

Writer Robert Vivian reads from his novel "The mover of bones" at the Michigan Writers Series

Anca Vlasopolos

Anca Vlasopolos is Professor and Head of Comparative Literature in Wayne State University's English Department. She specializes in comparative literature, feminist studies, and contemporary women's drama. Dr. Vlasopolos received her B.A. in English from Wayne State University in 1970, her M.A. in Comparative Literature in 1971 from the University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Michigan in 1977. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Vlasopolos has published poetry, novels and a memoir. Her memoir No Return Address: A Memoir of Displacement was published by Columbia University Press in 2000. Her mystery/police procedural set in Detroit, Missing Members, was published in 1990. Her essay "Where All the Lights Were Bright" was included in Peninsula: Essays and Memoirs by Michigan Writers (Michigan State University Press, 2000). Ridgeway press published her poetry collections, Through the Straits, At Large, In 1997, and The Evidence of Spring, in 1989.. Her scholarly work is voluminous, and is wide-ranging, including an article in Science Fiction Studies #30 (July 1983) on Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

Michigan Writers Collection 

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Michigan Writers Series

October 27, 2000

Jane Arnold interviews poet and novelist Anca Vlasopolos

Poet and novelist Anca Vlasopolos reads her selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Diane Wakoski

Diane Wakoski has published more than forty collections of poetry. Her body of work includes four books that constitute her series, The Archaeology of Movies and Books, --Argonaut Rose, The Emerald City of Las Vegas, Jason the Sailor, and Medea the Sorceress. Several of her other collections include: Emerald Ice: Selected Poems 1962-1987, which won the Poetry Society of America's William Carlos Williams Award; and The Collected Greed, Parts 1-13. In addition to her poetry, she has also published four books of essays: Toward a New Poetry, Variations on a Theme, Creating a Personal Mythology, and Form Is an Extension of Content.

She has received a Fulbright fellowship, a Michigan Arts Foundation award, and grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Michigan Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts. In 2003, Wakoski received the 13th annual Michigan Author Award, which honors a Michigan writer for contributions to literature. This award is sponsored jointly by the Michigan Center for the Book and the Michigan Library Association.

Diane Wakoski was born in Whittier, California and educated at the University of California, Berkeley. She now lives in East Lansing, Michigan, where she has been named an MSU Distinguished Professor in the Department of English, and since 1976 has been the writer in residence.

"Poetry is the art of saying what you mean but disguising it."
--Diane Wakoski

More information on Diane Wakoski

Michigan Writers Collection

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Michigan Writers Series

September 14, 2001

Stephanie Mathson interviews poet Diane Wakoski

Poet Diane Wakoski reads her selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

April 23, 2011

Poets Diane Wakoski and Jerome Rothenberg read their selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Sylvia Watanabe

Sylvia Watanabe, a fiction writer and essayist, has taught in the Creative Writing Program at Oberlin College since 1995. Her first collection of stories, Talking to the Dead, was a finalist for the 1993 PEN Faulkner Award and a recipient of the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award for fiction. She has received a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship in fiction and an Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Grant in nonfiction. Her stories and personal essays have been widely anthologized and have been included in the O.Henry and Pushcart Prize collections. With Carol Bruchac, she has co-edited two anthologies of Asian American literature, Home to Stay and Into the Fire, published by the Greenfield Review Press.

Michigan Writers Series

March 16, 2001

Jane Arnold interviews short story author Sylvia Watanabe

Short story author Sylvia Watanabe reads her selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Ted (Theodore) Weesner

Ted Weesner's first novel, The Car Thief, won the Great Lakes Writers Prize; and a later novel, The True Detective, was cited by the American Library Association as one of the notable books of 1987. His other works include A German Affair, Winning the City, Children's Hearts: Stories, Novemberfest, and Harbor Lights: a Novel. His short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Esquire, The Atlantic Monthly, Ploughshares, and Best American Short Stories.

Ted Weesner grew up in Flint, Michigan. He left school at sixteen, spent three years in the army, and later attended Michigan State University and the University of Iowa. He received his B.A. in English from MSU in 1962. The recipient of Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Humanities awards, he lives in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and teaches at Emerson College in Boston.

Michigan Writers Collection

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Keith Widder

Keith R. Widder served as Curator of History, Mackinac Island State Park Commission for over 25 years. He has written extensively on the history of the western Great Lakes and is author of Battle for the Soul: Metis Children Encounter Evangelical Protestants at Mackinaw Mission, 1823-1837.

Keith's history of MSU’s first 70 years, Michigan Agricultural College, won the Historical Society of Michigan's 2005 'State History Award.' This is the first of a three-volume set that will be published during the Michigan State University Sesquicentennial, beginning in 2005.

Michigan Writers Collection

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Michigan Writers Series

November 3, 2006

Michael Rodriguez interviews historian and author Keith Widder

Author Keith Widder reads from his book "Michigan Agricultural College : the evolution of a land-grant philosophy, 1855-1925" at the Michigan Writers Series

Wilson, a Ph.D. candidate in English at MSU, was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1971. He has published nearly 100 stories in magazines and anthologies throughout the world. He is also the author of the books The Kafka Effekt, 4 Ellipses, Irrealities and the recently released Stranger on the Loose.

D. Harlan Wilson's website

“…With a sophisticated and painfully honest style, Wilson makes dark miracles and surreal revelations appear more substantial (and acceptable) than the 'normal' conventions of logic that he turns inside-out. These fictions blur borderlands between thought and action, appearance and substance...”
--William P. Simmons, author of By Reason of Darkness

Michigan Writers Series

January 16, 2004

Leslie Behm interviews science fiction writer D. Harlan Wilson

Science fiction writer D. Harlan Wilson reads his selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Jeff Wray

Jeff Wray is assistant professor of English and co-director of Film Studies at MSU. His research interests include Film Studies, Filmmaking, Screenwriting, Third World and Black U.S. cinema, and Gay cinema. He has written and directed the films The Evolution of Burt; The Soul Searchers: A Trilogy; China; August; The Beautyful Ones; and Affirmative Action. He directed the film The Slave Ship Injustice.

Michigan Writers Series

October 20, 2006

Michael Rodriguez interviews screenwriter Jeff Wray

Screenwriter Jeff Wray reads his selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Mark Yakich

Mark Yakich's first book of poems, Unrelated Individuals Forming a Group Waiting to Cross, was a winner of the 2003 National Poetry Series. His second collection, The Making of Collateral Beauty, is a companion and descendant of the first; and winner of Tupelo Press' Snowbound Chapbook Award. He is an assistant professor of English at Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant.

"Mark Yakich is an original... In the unabashedly unwieldy title and in each poem, there are no borders drawn between the commonplace and the metaphysical. There are journeys, crossings, and departures—all evocative of the loneliness, alienation, and desire for identity with another (person or place), which, formalized, makes this work recognizable as art of a very high order."
--James Galvin, Guggenheim Foundation and National Endowment

Mark Yakich's website

Michigan Writers Series

March 17, 2006

Michael Rodriguez interviews poet Mark Yakich

Poet Mark Yakich reads his selected works at the Michigan Writers Series

Having sold her first short story at the age of 20 in 1986, Ms. Zettel has gone on to sell over a dozen more, primarily in the science fiction genre. Her first novel, Reclamation, won the Locus Award for Best First Novel in 1997. Her second book, Fool's War, was a New York Times notable book of the year (1998). Her Third novel, Playing God, made the New York Public Libraries list of Best Books for theTeen Age in 1999. Her most recent novel is titled The Quiet Invasion.

Michigan Writers Series

February 16, 2001

Leslie Behm interviews science fiction writer Sarah Zettel

Science fiction writer Sarah Zettel reads her selected works at the Michigan Writers Series