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No Slowing Down: Ann Arbor cartoonist Dave Coverly celebrates the 25th anniversary of "Speed Bump"

Mon, 10/12/2020 - 2:30pm by christopherporter

Davy Coverly, Speed Bump

The easy part of compiling a book that celebrates a comic strip’s silver anniversary is, well, you’ve got lots of options.

“I’ll get reviews and comments that say, ‘Not a clunker in the bunch!’—but, you know, I had 10,000 to choose from,” said Ann Arbor-based cartoon artist Dave Coverly, whose book Speed Bump: A 25th Anniversary Collection debuted in September. “If anyone wants to visit my house, you could see a big plastic tub of cartoons that are terrible.” 

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Alison Swan's poetry collection "A Fine Canopy" celebrates the natural world

Mon, 10/05/2020 - 10:00am by christopherporter

Poet Alison Swan and her book A Fine Canopy

The natural world and the built environment sometimes seem so enmeshed that the borders between them blur. We walk into the fluorescent lighting of a store and then back out into the day’s weather. We go to the beach and some sand trails, then back inside vehicles and homes. 

Poet Alison Swan explores this complexity in the lives that we live both with nature and in our manmade world in her new collection, A Fine Canopy (Wayne State University Press). One poem called “Lake Effect” considers how the environment coexists and contends with human life: 

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Publisher Michelle Dotter details upcoming works from Ann Arbor's Dzanc Books

Fri, 09/25/2020 - 12:30pm by christopherporter

Michelle Dotter

Dzanc Books publisher and editor in chief Michelle Dotter. 

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Ken Fischer makes the case for collaboration and connectivity in his book "Everybody In, Nobody Out"

Wed, 09/16/2020 - 9:00am by christopherporter

Ken Fischer by Dominic Valente

Ken Fischer photo by Dominic Valente

This post contains two sections: a book review and a brief interview with Ken Fischer.

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Author and A2 Pioneer Instructor Jeff Kass Contemplates the Working Life in "Teacher/Pizza Guy"

Thu, 09/10/2020 - 12:15pm by christopherporter

Jeff Kass, Teacher/Pizza Guy

This story originally ran September 3, 2019. Kass is also author of the Fifth Avenue Press book "Takedown," a murder mystery. AADL cardholders can download the novel in PDF format here.

What do you do?

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Diane Cook's novel "The New Wilderness" envisions a world after extreme climate change

Wed, 08/26/2020 - 3:00pm by christopherporter

Diane Cook and her book The New Wilderness

Author photo by Katherine Rondina.

Imagine being dropped off in the wilderness, uninhabited except for 19 people with you and rangers who patrol the land. Modern amenities are nonexistent, but the upside is that the air quality is much better than the polluted city. You live nomadically and hunt, fish, and gather to survive. This is not an extended camping trip. It is your new way of life. 

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Dale Fisher's "Washtenaw County: Visions of the Eagle" offers a look at our lives before Covid

Mon, 08/10/2020 - 2:15pm by christopherporter

A photo of photographer Dale Fisher and his book Washtenaw County

It's just a fish-lens photo inside Yost Ice Arena. There's nothing special about it per se. The Michigan Wolverines are playing what looks to be the Wisconsin Badgers; it's 50 seconds into the game, a zero-zero tie, the stands are mostly full.

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Not a Fake Ad: I Spy two new books from the Ann Arbor Observer highlighting its beloved monthly contests

Wed, 07/22/2020 - 2:45pm by christopherporter

Fake Ad and I Spy books

If you live in the Ann Arbor school district, you are a recipient of the Ann Arbor Observer. The monthly magazine offers in-depth reporting on local issues and residents, a robust calendar of area events, and two long-running contests that are often the first things to which readers turn: "Fake Ad" and "I Spy."

If you're a superfan of these challenges, you won't have to wait until the next Observer arrives because the magazine is publishing two books of highlights from the contests: I Spy…Architecture: Photo Puzzles From the Ann Arbor Observer, Vol. 1 by Sally Bjork and The Fake Ad Book: 47 of the Best Fake Ads of All Time by Jay Forstner.

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Female protagonists populate U-M MFA graduate Sara Schaff's new collection of short stories

Wed, 07/15/2020 - 9:30am by christopherporter

Sara Schaff, The Invention of Love

What you have. What you want. What you hang on to. What you give up. 

Jeans. A house. A spouse. Drawings. Places. Jobs. A fantasy. 

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"Michigan Quarterly Review" launches "MQR Mixtape" to highlight new forms and writers

Mon, 06/22/2020 - 3:00pm by christopherporter

MQR Mixtape 1

The best ideas often come with pizza.

That's the edible the Michigan Quarterly Review staff usually scarfs -- along with Hershey Kisses -- during its annual end-of-the-academic-year gathering to brainstorm plans.