Spend Your Summer Fighting Dragons!

Need something to do Wednesday nights this summer? Why not try playing the fantasy role-playing game, Dungeons and Dragons? Local comic and gaming shop, Vault of Midnight, sponsors a weekly game called D&D Encounters which has a new season starting May 16th.

The “Dungeon Master” and other players are always welcoming to help newcomers get into the game, and the library has everything you’ll need to create a character: Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms and Heroes of the Fallen Lands have all the information needed to create your own human wizard, dwarf cleric, elf ranger, halfling thief, and many more.

Ann Arbor School for the Performing Arts Celebrates 20th Anniversary


The Ann Arbor School for the Performing Arts will be having its 20th Anniversary Benefit Gala on Saturday, May 12th at the Michigan Theater. There are two events to which the public may purchase tickets. The first is the gala, which will begin at 2:00 p.m. and will have music, cocktails, and hors d’oeuvres. Tickets for this event also include admission to the concert that will take place after the gala at 3:30 p.m. The concert will feature performances by the Junior String Orchestra, the Sterling String Orchestra, and the Youth Symphony Orchestra. The concert will feature classical works by such composers as Vivaldi, Haydn, and Holst, as well a selection from The Dark Knight among other selections.

Date: Saturday, May 12th
Time: 2:00 p.m. –VIP Reception
3:30 p.m.—Concert
Place: The Michigan Theater
Tickets: Gala and concert--$125.00
Concert only-- $10.00 for adults
$5.00 for students and children

Fun Friday Night at the U-M Museum of Natural History

The U-M Museum of Natural History is having their Fun Friday Night tomorrow, May 4, 2012. They'll be staying open until 9:00 p.m. to offer dinosaur tours and other activities, including several discounted ($3) planetarium shows - at 5:30, 6:30, 7:30, and 8:30 - that focus on what you can see in the night sky. If you're waiting to check out one of our new circulating telescopes and aren't familiar with the constellations and stargazing in general, this is a great first step toward getting the most out of your telescope when it comes in! The Museum also holds regularly scheduled weekend planetarium shows throughout the year.

Purple Rose Theatre Presents A Concert Reading Of Jeff Daniels' New Play "The Meaning of Almost Everything"

Tuesday May 1, 2012: 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Join Purple Rose Theatre Company for a concert reading of Jeff Daniels' new play, "The Meaning of Almost Everything," which is scheduled for its World Premiere at the Purple Rose Theatre for the 2012-2013 season. Artistic Director Guy Sanville will lead an audience feedback session after the reading. Purple Rose wants to know what YOU have to say about this new play.

Two men exist in nothingness. One wants to remain. The other is isn't so sure. Jeff Daniels' newest play explores the questions, the fear and the joy of being alive in a thought-provoking and theatrical way.

Celebrate National Poetry Month with Poet Laureate Billy Collins

In celebration of National Poetry Month and National Library Week, the Ypsilanti District Library is proud to present Poet Billy Collins on Thursday, April 12 at 7 pm at Washtenaw Community College’s Towsley Auditorium in the Morris Lawrence Building. Teens and adults are welcome to attend this special event which is free and open to the public.
Dubbed “the most popular poet in America” by Bruce Weber in The New York Times, Billy Collins is famous for conversational, witty poems that welcome readers with humor but often slip into quirky, tender or profound observations on the everyday, reading and writing, and poetry itself. He served two terms as the U.S. Poet Laureate, from 2001-2003, was New York State Poet Laureate from 2004-2006, and is a regular guest on National Public Radio. He has taught at Columbia University, Sarah Lawrence, and Lehman College, City University of New York where he is a distinguished professor.
Collins was born in 1941 in New York City. He earned a BA from the College of the Holy Cross, and both an MA and PhD from the University of California-Riverside. Though Collins published throughout the 1980s, it was his fourth book, Questions about Angels (1991) that propelled him into the literary spotlight. Subsequent works garnered comments noting that Collins’s skillful, smooth style and inventive subject matter “helps us feel the mystery of being alive” and “Rarely has anyone written poems that appear so transparent on the surface yet become so ambiguous, thought-provoking, or simply wise once the reader has peered into the depths.”
A few of his major works include: Nine Horses: Poems (2002), The Trouble with Poetry (2005), Ballistics (2008) and Horoscopes for the Dead (2011). Collins has described himself as “reader conscious”—“I have one reader in mind, someone who is in the room with me, and who I’m talking to, and I want to make sure I don’t talk too fast, or too glibly. Usually I try to create a hospitable tone at the beginning of a poem. Stepping from the title to the first lines is like stepping into a canoe. A lot of things can go wrong.”
The site of the reading will be at Washtenaw Community College’s Towsley Auditorium located at 4800 East Huron River Drive, Ann Arbor, MI.

Notable Author and Beat Poetry Enthusiast Anne Waldman to Visit Ann Arbor

Internationally acclaimed poet Anne Waldman, co-founded with Allen Ginsberg, the celebrated Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado and is the author of more than 40 books. On April 13th and 14th, Waldman will be visiting Ann Arbor on behalf of the One Pause Poetry Series. The events will take place at METAL, at 220 Felch Street in downtown Ann Arbor.

Waldman, active in the Beat Poetry, New York School, and Black Mountain movements, is an integral member of the "Outrider" experimental poetry community, a culture she has helped create and nurture for over four decades as writer, editor, teacher, performer, magpie scholar, and cultural/political activist. Her work is energetic, passionate, panoramic, and fierce at times. Publishers Weekly recently referred to Waldman as "a counter-cultural giant." Waldman will be reading from The Iovis Trilogy: Colors in the Mechanism of Concealment (Coffee House Press, 2011), a 25-year project in the making.

The schedule for the events is as follows:
April 13, 7-9pm: Reading with Anne Waldman. Reception and book-signing to follow.
April 14, 10:30am-noon: Conversations with Poets: Anne Waldman. One Pause Director Sarah Messer interviews Anne Waldman on her approach to poetry. This interview will be recorded and archived as a part of the One Pause Archive Project.

All readings and conversations are free and open to the public.

One Pause Poetry is part of the nonprofit arts organization Copper Colored Mountain Arts, which serves Southeastern Michigan and is sponsored by the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation.

Newbery Honor Recipient Jennifer Holm to Speak at UofM

Jennifer Holm is the author of several critically acclaimed books for children and young adults, including three novels that have received the prestigious Newbery Honor: Our Only May Amelia, Turtle In Paradise, and Penny From Heaven. Holm is also recognized for her popular youth graphic novel series, Babymouse.

Holm will be participating in the Sarah Marwil Lamstein Children's Literature Lecture as a part of the Zell Visiting Writers Series on March 29th, 2012. The event starts at 5:10pm and will be located in the The Helmut Stern Auditorium on the ground floor of the University of Michigan's Museum of Art (UMMA) at 525 South State Street on the U-M's Central Campus.

Admission is free and open to the public.

Sustainable Farmer and Entrepreneur Joel Salatin to Visit Ann Arbor

Joel Salatin, the well-known organic farmer, will be coming to Ann Arbor's Michigan Theater on Tuesday, April 24th by way of the People's Food Co-op of Ann Arbor (PFC), to "share how his farm serves as a prototype to the way local food can lead to our agricultural, environmental, and nutritional salvation. Noting that our food system now faces challenges in biosecurity, food safety, energy, integrity, and humane animal husbandry, he will explain how local production, processing, distribution, and patrons in the Ann Arbor area can reshape our food future."

Salatin's ideas and progress in the world of sustainable farming have been featured in Michael Pollan’s bestselling book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, in the documentary films Food, Inc. and Fresh, and also in his very own books, Folks, this Ain't Normal and Holy Cows and Hog Heaven. "Since his cutting-edge sustainable farm, Polyface Inc., began inspiring people throughout the world, his charismatic nature and ability to produce provocative and poignant proclamations about the unfortunate state of our food system have made him one of the most influential voices in the sustainable food movement today."

The event will take place at the Michigan Theater in Downtown Ann Arbor on Tuesday, April 24th, 2012 from 8pm to 10pm. Tickets are $15 for the General Public, and $13 for Students & PFC Members. Available at ticketmaster.com or surcharge-free at the People's Food Co-op of Ann Arbor.

Brick Bash 2012

Craving LEGOS? Join the community of Ann Arbor for some FREE Lego fun at the 2012 Brick Bash!

The event will feature displays of Lego creations crafted by talented Lego hobbyists from near and far! Even you can get in on the fun - there will be tables piled high with thousands of LEGO, Duplo, and Bionicle pieces for you to craft your very own creations. In addition, Bricks for Brains will have fun and educational building projects for everyone to take part in. For more information, see the list of featured exhibits and activities.

The event will take place at Morris Lawrence Building on the campus of the Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, Michigan and last all day Saturday, March 24th from 11am to 6pm. Both admission and parking are free!

Derrick Jensen Speaks

Derrick Jensen, the arch-environmental-activist, is coming to the area in March to present a keynote lecture for the Porter Chair Speaker Series at Eastern Michigan University. Derrick speaks and writes an urgent message about how the dominant culture of excess is killing the planet. But what do you DO about it? His version of an answer to my question is pretty radical and on March 22nd, in Pease Auditorium, at 7:30pm, you can hear it in his own words. He manages over and over again to score the point: if we don’t change our direction, we will end up where we are headed.

We own many of Derrick’s books and you can read his regular column in Orion magazine, also in our collection. This documentary, End-Civ: Resist or Die, is based on one of his books and spells out some of his persistent themes in changing directions. For more information about his visit, which includes a reception and book signing and a Friday workshop, look here.

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