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Talk, Talk, Talk: Zach Damon's "Ann Arbor Tonight" puts a local spin on the late-night TV chat format

Tue, 01/25/2022 - 12:00pm by christopherporter

Zach Damon sits behind his desk on the set of the show his hosts, Ann Arbor Tonight. He's wearing a suit and tie, has a bit smile, and his black hair is slicked back. On his desk is a microphone, a coffee mug, pen and paper, and some University of Michigan football memorabilia.

Photo courtesy of Zach Damon.

At age 6, Zach Damon discovered his love of public speaking.

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Grains, Beans, Seeds, and Legumes: Chef and U-M alum Abra Berens offers recipes and social context for them in her new book, "Grist"

Thu, 01/20/2022 - 9:00am by christopherporter

Abra Berens and her book Grist

When you start paying closer attention to a food or beverage, you notice more details among different types or brands. Experts who focus on wine or coffee, for example, are able to discuss the nuances and tasting notes of unique varieties.

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Utah poet laureate and U-M grad Paisley Rekdal considers the implications of cultural appropriation in literature in "Appropriate: A Provocation"

Wed, 01/19/2022 - 1:15pm by christopherporter

Paisley Rekdal and her book Appropriate

Paisley Rekdal examines cultural appropriation in literature in her new nonfiction book, Appropriate: A Provocation. However, this collection is not essays, as one might expect. 

Instead, Appropriate consists of letters addressed to a student who is a new writer, and this structure offers a different, more conversational, and inquisitive tone. This recipient is not based on any specific person but inspired by many students and colleagues. The letters refer to the student as X. 

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Empty Mug helps U-M student musicians find a sense of community

Thu, 12/16/2021 - 9:00am by christopherporter

Gravy Train band

Gravy Train photo by Lila Turner.

Despite the pandemic, music organizations on the University of Michigan’s campus are thriving. Students are yearning to hear music over loudspeakers, dance in sweaty houses, and produce their own songs, and organizations like Empty Mug are here to provide, whether through having concerts, recording live videos, or releasing music.

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Conversation Starter: Chuck Marshall Unites Local Music Community on "Fans With Bands" Podcast

Tue, 12/14/2021 - 9:00am by christopherporter

Brenda Sodt Marshall and Chuck Marshall from the Fans With Bands podcast

Chuck Marshall with wife Brenda Sodt Marshall. Photo by Chuck Marshall.

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Race, Class & Miscegenation: Jean Alicia Elster fictionalizes family history in her new young adult novel, "How It Happens"

Tue, 12/07/2021 - 12:00pm by christopherporter

Jean Alicia Elster and her book How It Happens

Jean Alicia Elster’s new young adult novel, How It Happens, chronicles the hardships and inequality faced by Black women from the late 1800s through 1950 and beyond. The story she tells has a personal note. It is the fictionalized account of three generations of Elster’s family, starting in Tennessee with maternal grandmother, Addie Jackson, and continuing in Detroit with her daughter, Dorothy May Ford, and granddaughter, Jean. 

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Ann Arbor's Linda Cotton Jeffries keeps readers in suspense with her new mystery novel, "Seeing in the Quiet"

Wed, 12/01/2021 - 4:00pm by christopherporter

Linda Cotton Jeffries and her book Seeing in the Quiet

Two suspected murders 20 years apart, one of a child and another the death of an old woman. An observant photographer who was a child at the scene of the first murder and documented the second. A killer with a grudge. A kind-hearted detective who is a growing love interest. 

These situations lay the foundation for Seeing in the Quiet, a new mystery novel by Ann Arbor author Linda Cotton Jeffries. At just under 200 pages, the plot-driven book moves quickly while the characters try to unravel what happened at each of the potential murders set in Pittsburgh. 

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Nawaaz Ahmed’s characters in "Radiant Fugitives" grapple with identity amidst slow political progress and fallout from their personal choices 

Tue, 11/30/2021 - 4:00pm by christopherporter

Nawaaz Ahmed and his book Radiant Fugitives

What motivates us? What power do we have over the trajectory of our lives? How can people be so close and so far away from each other at the same time? 

These questions and many others linger as the story of a divided family and the people in their orbit unfolds in Radiant Fugitives. This first novel by Nawaaz Ahmed, a graduate of the University of Michigan’s MFA program, is told by Ishraaq, who is the newborn baby of Seema, a mother estranged from her family for the choices she’s made. Ishraaq serves as a keen, omniscient observer who understands each person’s perspective and how we are all driven by love or fear or both. This unique position of the narrator shows the reader how each person contributes to events and the emotions surrounding them. 

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U-M prof Jeffrey Veidlinger on his book "In the Midst of Civilized Europe: The Pogroms of 1918-1921 and the Onset of the Holocaust"

Mon, 11/29/2021 - 3:00pm by christopherporter

Jeffrey Veidlinger and his book In the Midst of Civilized Europe: The Pogroms of 1918-1921 and the Onset of the Holocaust

Jeffrey Veidlinger, a celebrated historian and Joseph Brodsky Collegiate Professor of History and Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan, scoured trial records, official documents, and witness statements to assemble his new book, In the Midst of Civilized Europe: The Pogroms of 1918-1921 and the Onset of the Holocaust, which recounts organized violence against Jewish people in the Ukraine and Poland before World War II.

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U-M's production of Shakespeare’s "A Midsummer Night’s Dream" is all about the love—and the laughs

Mon, 11/22/2021 - 9:00am by christopherporter

Helen Shen (Hermia) and Caleb Quezon (Lysander) star in U-M's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream

Helen Shen (Hermia) and Caleb Quezon (Lysander) star in U-M's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Photo by Vincent J. Cardinal.

William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of the Bard’s most popular comedies and one of the most accessible for modern audiences.