Thanks to all who attended the 4th Annual Midwest Literary Walk on Saturday, April 21st! Our readers were phenomenal, our audience passionate, and our Open Mic inspirational - in short, it was a fantastic event. Thanks to all those who attended, special thanks to those who took the floor at Open Mic, gratitude to the writers whose words and performances made the day magical and eternal appreciation to those who made the day possible: Chelsea District Library, River Gallery, Chelsea Center for the Arts, and the Chelsea Writers’ Workshop, Purple Rose Theatre and Nicola’s Books. Thanks all around.
Reporter Sean Dalton from the Chelsea Standard joined us for the 12 pm event featuring ML Liebler, Robert Jones and David MacGregor at the Chelsea Center for the Arts. His article, complete with video, appeared the following Thursday and can be accessed here.
Here is an excerpt from Sean’s excellent article:
This year Chelsea’s fourth annual literary walk didn’t just elevate the written word and its power in the eyes of the public, it shined a light on some different mediums that writers use to deliver their messages.
At high noon, the duo of ML Liebler and Robert Jones burst through the door of the Chelsea Center for the Arts, guitar strumming, hands clapping and lyrics flying to a surprised and delighted group of nearly 80 attendees, who sat in awe as the pair stepped onto the stage like musical conquerors.
Liebler was the event emcee and an internationally-renowned Detroit poet and author. Jones is an American roots and African-American musical force of nature who has been blending poetry and music for two decades.
Earlier in the day, nature author Jerry Dennis and creative writing master Jeff Kass – a teacher at Pioneer High School and Eastern Michigan University, as well as literary arts director at The Neutral Zone – were at River Gallery.
And afterward, authors Lolita Hernandez, Onna Solomon and Thomas Lux were at the Chelsea District Library and River Gallery.
“Chelsea is an ideal town for this,” Lielber said after his session was over, adding that the short walking distance between points of interest like CCA, the library, River Gallery and other event partners made the “walk” in literary walk a no-brainer.
He felt that this year’s lineup was in line with the event goal of bringing noteworthy regional and national authors to Lit Walk.
Read the article in its entirety here and please plan to join us for year 5 in April 2013!
Michigan author Jerry Dennis has written a great deal about enjoying and interacting with Michigan’s natural resources, from his experience sailing from Chicago to the St. Lawrence Seaway in The Living Great Lakes, to smaller expeditions camping and canoeing near his Traverse City home.
His latest book, The Windward Shore, focuses on appreciating Michigan’s beauty from an observer’s point of view, rather than an active explorer. Dennis ruminates on our complex relationship with the Great Lakes, from vantage points like lakeside cottages, beaches and small towns.
From the introduction: “I wanted to present a true picture of a complex region, part of my continuing project to learn at least one place on earth reasonably well, and trusted that it would appear gradually and accumulatively—and not as a conventional portrait, but as a mosaic that included the sounds and scents and textures of the place and some of the plants, animals, and its inhabitants. Bolstered by the notion that a book is a journey that author and reader walk together, I would search for promising trails and follow them as far as my reconstructed knee would allow.”
11 am | First Hop | River Gallery
Jerry Dennis has emerged as one of America’s most celebrated writers
about nature and the outdoors. His essays in publications such as
Audubon, Smithsonian, and National Geographic Traveler have won
many awards and are frequently reprinted and anthologized. His
most recent book, The Windward Shore: A Winter on the Great Lakes,
has appeared on national bestseller lists, has been translated into
five languages, and is taught in many universities and high schools.
Jeff Kass teaches creative writing at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor
and at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti and is Literary Arts
Director at The Neutral Zone (Ann Arbor’s teen center). He is the
author of the chapbook poetry collection Invisible Staircase, the
essay collection From the Front of the Room about teaching, and the
short story collection Knuckleheads from Dzanc Books.
12 pm | 2nd Drop | Chelsea Center for the Arts
David MacGregor, playwright and a Resident Artist at the Purple Rose
Theatre, has produced plays such as The Late Great Henry Boyle (2006),
Vino Veritas (2008), Gravity (2010), and Consider the Oyster (2011). Gravity
was nominated for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in Drama, and Consider
the Oyster was just named Best New Play of 2010-2011 by the Rogue
ML Liebler is an internationally known and widely published Detroit
poet, university professor, literary arts activist and arts organizer. He
is the author of 13 books including the award winning Wide Awake
in Someone Else’s Dream. Liebler has taught English, American studies,
labor studies, Canadian studies and world literature at Wayne State
University in Detroit since 1980.
The Rev. Robert B. Jones has been a champion of American Roots music,
with a special emphasis on traditional African American music. Spiritual,
blues, work songs, field hollers, country music, folk songs, gospel, and original
songs are all a part of his American Roots Music. The Rev. Robert Jones has
been performing and recording a unique blend of poetry and music with acclaimed
Detroit Poet ML Liebler for almost 20 years across the US and abroad.
2 pm | 3rd Stop | Chelsea District Library
Lolita Hernandez is the author of Autopsy of an Engine and Other
Stories from the Cadillac Plant, winner of a 2005 PEN Beyond Margins
Award. She also is the author of two chapbook collections of poems:
Quiet Battles and Snakecrossing. After over 33 years as a UAW member
at General Motors, she now teaches in the Creative writing Department
of the University of Michigan Residential College.
Onna Solomon’s writing has appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, Denver
Quarterly, Cimarron Review, and 32 Poems, among others. She
received her Master’s in creative writing from Boston University, and
now lives and works in Ann Arbor, MI. In her free time time, she organizes
community art events through the Huron River Arts Initiative
3 pm | Over the Top | Chelsea District Library
Community Open Mic
Local poets and authors are invited to read their own work at the Open Mic. Readers
can sign up the day of the event; readers will be limited to three minutes per reading.
4 pm | Final Pop | River Gallery
Thomas Lux has been awarded grants and fellowships from the
Guggenheim Foundation, the Mellon foundation, and the National
Endowment for the Arts. His most recent work is God Particles. His
forthcoming collection, Child Made of Sand, will appear in the Fall of
2012. His collection of nonfiction essays, From the Southland is soon
to be released. Currently, he is Bourne Professor of Poetry and director of
the McEver Visiting Writers program at the Georgia Institute of Technology
as well as on the MFA faculties of Sarah Lawrence College and Warren Wilson