Local Creators

The Ann Arbor area has no shortage of great authors, musicians, filmmakers, and artists. AADL wants to help you find some of that great local talent through our blog, our catalog, and our events. AADL also provides access to the University of Michigan Press Online, a database where you can browse or search over 500 titles published by the University of Michigan Press right in your browser.

Our staff have pulled together some lists and tagged some content by local creators to help you find some homegrown work.

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'Michigan's Drive-In Theaters' Discussed By Author Harry Skrdla With Ann Arbor's 107one host Martin Bandyke

Monday August 18, 2014: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Pittsfield Branch: Program Room

This event will be recorded

Here in Ann Arbor, watching outdoor movies at festivals is a way of life in the summertime. But how did we get here? What is the history of Michigan outdoor film venues? And why are drive-ins so scarce?

Revisit a part of Michigan History as Martin Bandyke, morning host on Ann Arbor's 107one, interviews Harry Skrdla about his new book "Michigan's Drive-In Theaters" and the history of these Michigan outdoor film venues. "Michigan's Drive-In Theaters" is a nostalgic depiction of the state's outdoor theaters from the pinnacle of their popularity to their downfall, and the subsequent resurgence of interest in the remaining theaters through more than 200 vintage images.

Harry Skrdla is an engineer and a historic-preservation consultant based in Ann Arbor who as contributed to the preservation and restoration of a number of noteworthy structures, including the ornate 1920s movie palace the Fox Theatre in Detroit, one of the last of its kind in America. The initial preservation of the Fox Theatre was overseen by Skrdla and fellow theatre historian, Greg Bellamy.

Books will be for sale at the event and the evening will include a book signing.

Adventure + Spirituality = Steps Out of Time

Several months back, Kate Soper gave me her book with this note tucked inside: "...I'm not sure what you'll think about this book! But my experience on the Camino meant a lot to me and I'd like to share it with you so here goes!" Full disclosure: I am a friend of Kate. That said, I also very much admire her book, Steps Out of Time: One Woman's Journey on the Camino.

Her spirited memoir is an account of a month-long, 500-mile hike across northern Spain to Santiago de Compostela. The narrative sparkles with natural beauty, camaraderie, memorable food, and the author’s personal determination to accomplish something magnificent. When she completed the hike, Kate was a changed woman.

Lots of research was done for this book, allowing Kate to offer practical advice including "12 Essential Tips for Santiago Pilgrims:" 1) Pack only lightweight, quick-drying clothing that you can layer. 2) Take well-fitting, well-used, and well-loved footwear, including good-quality, high-performance socks. 3) Your fully-loaded pack should weigh the lesser of 8 kg (17.6 lbs) or 10 percent of your body weight. (This includes a liter of water and the weight of the pack.). 4) Leave your phone at home. Ditto all other nonessentials. 5) Never leave in the morning without filling your water bottle and always carry food in your pack. 6) Wear a hat; keep your legs and arms covered or use sunscreen. 7) Bring a mechanical pencil and a lightweight journal (tearing off the cover will save a few ounces); write in it every day. 8) Unless you can sleep through noise equivalent to a freight train, bring ear plugs (snorers abound). 9) Be prepared to be humbled. 10) Remain determined to be open-minded. 11) Stop often to look and listen. 12) Try to be present in every moment.

This book is a great read and would well in a book group. Kate is retired and lives in Ann Arbor with her husband. She has worked as a lawyer, language professor, and U-M administator, among other jobs.

Historic Ann Arbor Architecture

Monday August 25, 2014: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Pittsfield Branch: Program Room

This event will be recorded

Authors Susan Wineberg and Patrick McCauley will discuss their new book "Historic Ann Arbor: An Architectural Guide". The book describes over 350 buildings in Ann Arbor, including 40 University of Michigan buildings. Style sections describe those of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries including Mid-Century Modern. Superb examples of this style can be found in many parts of Ann Arbor.

Susan Wineberg has served as President of the Washtenaw County Historical Society (1994-1999), on the Historic District Commission (HDC) three times, as Chair of the Awards Committee of the HDC for 20 years, on numerous committees including the Downtown, Landmark, Individual Historic Properties, Lower Town, Old Fourth Ward and Germantown Historic District Study Committees. She has written extensively on Ann Arbor and published Lost Ann Arbor in 2004, in addition to the second edition of Historic Buildings, Ann Arbor in 1992.

Patrick McCauly has volunteered at both the Kempf House Museum and Cobblestone Farm Museum, and served as Chair of the Fourth and Fifth Ave. Historic District Study Committee. He currently serves on the Ann Arbor Historic District Commission, having held the positions of Chair and Vice Chair, and also on the board of the Ann Arbor Historical Foundation. He has also bought and restored three neglected historic homes in Ann Arbor since 2001, winning a Rehabilitation Award from the Ann Arbor Historic District Commission (HDC) in 2009 for his efforts.

This event includes a book signing and books for sale.

Writing Workshop with Sara Ryan, queer author of YA novels and comics!

Monday June 23, 2014: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event is intended for Teens in Grades 6-12 and Adults

Sara will lead a few short writing exercises and answer questions about her books, publishing, and being an out queer author. Sara Ryan grew up in Ann Arbor. She's the author of the Lambda Literary Award finalist novel Empress of the World, the Oregon Book Award-winning novel The Rules for Hearts, and most recently of Bad Houses with Carla Speed McNeil, a TIME Magazine and USA Today Top Graphic Novel of 2013. Find her online at sararyan.com or @ryansara on Twitter. Literati Bookstore will be selling Sara's books and Sara will do a book signing.

Midwestern Gothic Reading

Saturday June 14, 2014: 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm -- Downtown Library: 4th Floor Meeting Room

Midwestern Gothic is proud to partner with the Ann Arbor District Library to host a reading of its contributors on Saturday, June 14, 2014.

Started in 2010, Midwestern Gothic is an Ann Arbor-based quarterly literary journal dedicated to featuring work about or inspired by the Midwest, by writers who live or have lived here. Midwestern Gothic aims to collect the very best in Midwestern writing in a way that has never been done before, cataloging the oeuvre of an often-overlooked region of the United States ripe with its own mythologies and tall tales—stories and poems that help to paint a portrait of the region. The event will consist of Midwestern Gothic contributors Rob Kenagy (poetry), Cindy Hunter Morgan (poetry), John Rodwan (creative nonfiction/poetry), and Jeff Kass (fiction/poetry) reading their work. The reading will be followed by a short reception.

AADL cardholders can download previous issues of MG from our catalog here.

Reveal Your Detroit

Reveal Your Detroit: An Intimate Look at at Great American City is a community engagement project led by the Detroit Institute of Arts.

The Detroit Revealed exhibition at the DIA featured more than fifty works created from 2000 to 2010. The artwork captured a diverse Detroit, featuring urban architecture, urban gardens, community, art, and decay.

Reveal Your Detroit is a community based public art response to the exhibit. The project was a dialog between the museum, established artists and community organizations, asking these questions:

What does your Detroit look like?
How do you want others to see it?

After it was announced in March 2012 the project received over 10,000 images taken with disposable cameras in less than three months. The photographs included in this book are from that lot and are photographs taken with disposable cameras by local residents, and for the most part not hobbyist or professional photographers. Even if you did not visit Detroit Revealed at the DIA this book is a wonderful celebration of collaboration and community and is a positive look at the heart of Detroit: its people.

Smell and Tell Series: Cooking with Flavor!

Wednesday June 11, 2014: 6:30 pm to 8:45 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event is intended for Teens (grades 6-12) and Adults.

Summer is herb season—just take a look at local markets! Fresh herbs add zest and character to delicious flavor pastes. Their aromatic properties transform plain dishes into multi-sensory experiences that perfume our kitchens and memories.
Flavor and fragrance expert Michelle Krell Kydd will teach you how to make three unforgettable flavor pastes for savory dishes, biscuits and soups. Learn how to create flavor “accords” and how these relate to specific cultures and cooking styles. Michelle blogs at Glass Petal Smoke, an award-winning blog that explores the connections between scent, food and science.

Local Music: Rebel Kind

Thursday June 26, 2014: 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event is intended for grades 6 - adult.

AADL is pleased to welcome Rebel Kind, a local pop/rock 'n' roll band with a sound veering from bubblegum to a bit of swagger, from sunshiny-jangle to shadow.

Their most recent album, Today, was recently released. For a preview of their sound, check out their Bandcamp page.

Book Release: Eric Shonkwiler's Above All Men at Literati, 2/17

This coming Monday, Literati Bookstore hosts a launch party for Eric Shonkwiler's Above All Men, at 7pm. The title is published by Michigan’s own MG Press, a micro-press devoted to publishing a small number of titles each year.

An extension of the literary journal Midwestern Gothic, MG Press retains the same core values: shining a spotlight on Midwest authors by focusing on works that showcase all aspects of life—good, bad, or ugly.

Tom Lutz of the Los Angeles Review of Books declares that "Shonkwiler takes the world on his own terms, and wrestles it to the ground.”

AADL cardholders who are curious about Shonkwiler's writing can download one of his stories, "Gripping the Heel," in Issue #3 of Midwestern Gothic. In fact, Midwestern Gothic's entire back catalog is available electronically for cardholders.

Eric Shonkwiler’s writing has appeared in The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Millions, Fiddleblack, [PANK] Magazine, and Midwestern Gothic. He was born and raised in Ohio, received his MFA from The University of California Riverside, and "has lived and worked in every contiguous U.S. time zone."

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