Take a hike @ Lakewood Nature Area

Lakewood croppedLakewood cropped

Join us for a botanical walk at this lovely 7-acre park on the west side of town. Your guide will be one of Ann Arbor’s Natural Area Preservation staff members. Hike up and down the hills blanketed by oak-hickory woodlands; enjoy views of streams and ravines cutting through the park. Bring your camera and take a photo to submit in the Natural Area Preservation’s 4th Annual Photo Contest.

Meet in the parking lot of Lakewood School, 344 Gralake, rain or shine.

Thursday, June 18 | 7:00-8:30 PM | Lakewood Nature Area | All Ages

If dazzling language thrills you....

...read Tinkers, a first but hopefully not the last novel by Paul Harding. As George lies on his deathbed, memories come crashing down on him like his apocalyptic hallucinations of his house crumbling, floor by floor, on top of him. In his reveries, George has flashes of his father, an epileptic traveling salesman whose seizures are described as electrical phenomena. George had repaired clocks for a living and Harding's descriptions of that work as well as his evocations of nature and some minor characters make for a rich, satisfying reading experience for those who love language as well as story. Booklist says: "Writing with breathtaking lyricism and tenderness, Harding has created a rare and beautiful novel of spiritual inheritance and acute psychological and metaphysical suspense."

One you can't put down

When Will There be Good News? by Kate Atkinson is her latest featuring detective Jason Brodie. The story which Publishers Weekly calls her "stellar third novel," begins with a horrific crime and the rest of the novel masterfully puts the missing pieces together. You'll love Reggie, the 16 year old resourceful babysitter who becomes a heroine of sorts. And the suspense is unending. You may want to start with Case Histories and One Good Turn before this one but it does well as a stand alone. Atkinson is the 1995 winner of the Whitbread (now the Costa) award.

Washtenaw County Older Michiganians Rally

Attend this gathering on Monday, June 1, 10 am - 12 pm for updates on key issues affecting seniors, such as health care options, affordable housing, in-home care, transportation, protection from elder abuse and financial exploitation. Speakers will include Jill Kind from Blueprint for Aging, Terri Blackmore, Washtenaw Area Transportation Study, Chris White, AATA, financial issues with John Crotteau and Josh Ard, and Michigan legislators Sen. Liz Brater and Rep. Pam Byrnes. The Older Michiganians Rally will take place at St. Joseph Senior Health Building, Lower Level, 5361 McCauley Dr., Ypsilanti. Call Amy Smyth at 800-852-7795 with questions. Refreshments will be provided.

Two poets

Today, May 24 is the birthday of two poets, different in origins and influences, but both renowned. Joseph Brodsky was born in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1940. His father was kicked out of the army for being Jewish and the family fell into poverty. Brodsky started writing poetry at the age of 15. In his twenties, his poetry began attracting a large audience. The Soviet government eventually sent him to a labor camp for five years but because of protest, his sentence was commuted. He came to the U.S. and taught at several universities including the University of Michigan. The writer of not only poems but also plays and essays, Brodsky received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1987 and became the Poet Laureate of the U.S. in 1991.

Bob Dylan, nee Robert Zimmerman, was born in 1941 in Duluth, Minnesota. His first musical influence was his parents who listened to the Grand Ole Opry but after hearing Little Richard on the radio, he wanted to play rock and roll. He was in a band through high school but when he went to the University of Minnesota and began hearing the traditional folk music of people like Odetta, he traded in his electric guitar for an acoustic one.

Dylan's influence on music and popular culture has been profound, spawning a golden age of social protest songs and a love for the clever, seemingly contorted Chagall-like word images he created. Dylan's move from acoustic protest to electronic, to country and blues also reflected the changing faces of American music. The Library has many of his recordings and his newest, Together Through Life, is on order. Who can forget, once hearing them, the first few lines of "Subterranean Homesick Blues" and not smile at Dylan's universal empathy for the human condition?

Johnny's in the basement
Mixing up the medicine
I'm on the pavement
Thinking about the government...
Look out kid
It's somethin' you did
God knows when
But you're doin' it again..

Morningstar Investment Database Computer Training Class

wall streetwall street

Four spots are still available for the Morningstar Investment Database Class being held at the Downtown Library Computer Training Center on Wednesday, April 29th from 4-5 pm.

Keep that promise you made on April 15th to get a handle on your investments by learning how to use the Morningstar Database—ranked by Barron’s and Forbes as one of the top investing sites. Now, more than ever, it pays to have solid, unbiased information to make investment decisions. Register online or by calling 327-4555.

Celebrate National Poetry Month

To help celebrate National Poetry Month, come to a reading and open mike event this Thursday, April 9, 7.pm. at the Downtown Library. Acclaimed poet and Central Michigan University Professor Robert Fanning will be reading from both old and new work, the latest of which, American Prophet, is a series of observations by an imaginary black suited prophet who travels through America, visiting its dry cleaners, back streets, big cities and rural landscapes, testing the pulse of the country. One reviewer comments: "...these lyrics work the way poetry is meant to work, they move us past presumption and lax acceptance, past what we think we know, to make us rethink our staid convictions, whatever those might be." After Fanning's reading, people will have the opportunity to read their own work to a very friendly cadre of fellow writers and poetry lovers.

Great concerts this weekend, for free!

daniel bernard roumaindaniel bernard roumain

The The University of Michigan School of Music offers some outstanding free concerts. Two are coming up tonight. The first, at 5:15 p.m., at the School of Music's Rehearsal Hall, is by the the Prism Quartet. These U/M alums perform progressive saxophone music. The New York Times calls the group "mellifluous and stylistically versatile." The second concert, at 7 p.m., in the Stamps Auditorium, features Daniel Bernard Roumain, a Haitian-American composer who combines classical influences with funk, rock and hip-hop. He will be joined by U of M faculty and students. Take advantage of this great opportunity to hear some excellent and innovative music.

A master playwright remembered

Today is the birthday of Tennesse Williams who was born Thomas Lanier Williams in Columbus, Mississippi in 1911. Williams had a very unhappy childhood and dropped out of college continued to write. He eventally returned to college in Iowa where his first plays were performed and were resounding successes. His work is characterized by smoldering emotion, either expressed or just beneath the suface. He also wrote screenplays, novels, short stories, and a book of poetry. His play, A Streetcar Named Desire was recently produced by the Purple Rose Theater in Chelsea and got rave reviews.

Modern love- a literary take

Originally published in 1980, Shirley Hazzard's novel The Transit of Venus displays her prodigious talent. Hazzard, a past winner of National Book Critics Award, tells the story of Caroline and Grace Bell who have come from Australia to find work and love in England. Caro enters into a passionate but not long lived affair with playwright Paul Ivory. Her sister, Grace, the "good girl," marries and leads a conventional life but yearns for something more. The bulk of the book is centered on Caro, as she's called, and the revelation of some secrets that change her conception of self and history. Hazzard doesn't cast her characters as angels or sinners but through rich prose, exposes the consequences of human vulnerability.

Syndicate content