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Local Creators

The Ann Arbor area has no shortage of great authors, musicians, filmmakers, and artists. AADL wants to help you find some of that great local talent through our blog, our [:catalog|catalog], and our [:events/list/0/55|events]. AADL also provides access to the University of Michigan Press Online, a database where you can browse or search over 500 titles published by the University of Michigan Press right in your browser.

Our staff have pulled together some lists and tagged some content by local creators to help you find some homegrown work.


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Lists Tags

Movies & TV

Lists Tags
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Blog Post

A Woman Is a Woman Until She Is a Mother

Wed, 11/29/2017 - 1:39pm

The end of pregnancy is a strange time. You wait for the biggest change that can happen to a person other than death and yet, for most, you don’t know when the change will happen. When will the baby be born? When will a woman become a mother? When I was pregnant with my son, I read the title essay of A Woman Is a Woman Until She Is a Mother by Anna Prushinskaya probably 15 times. It became almost a talisman to me, a promise that he would eventually be born, that I would be able to cross over to motherhood.

In A Woman Is a Woman Until She Is a Mother, Prushinskaya writes beautifully about her experience balancing between places, between states: between pregnancy and motherhood, and between her Soviet homeland and her current home of Ann Arbor. Her essays range from parenthood to identifying local woody plants, and they are all gorgeous- sparse and lyrical.

I spoke with Prushinskaya about her experience writing the book, how motherhood has changed her as a writer, and the birth of her second son. Find our conversation on Pulp!

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Writing & Publishing

Fifth Avenue Press Book Release Reception: AADL's Local Publishing Imprint

Sunday November 5, 2017: 1:00pm to 3:00pm
Downtown Library: 3rd Floor Open Area
Grade 6 - Adult

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Blog Post

Calling All Creatives!! 24 Hour TEEN Film Competition

Wed, 12/21/2016 - 3:27pm

[img_assist|nid=352554|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=100]If you're familiar with the 24 or 48 hour film challenges, this is for you!

[|The Neutral Zone] is holding their own 24-hour film competition for teens this January. This event is done in collaboration with YPSI24, CTN and Arbor Day Films. Registration for the teen [|24-Hour Film Competition] is an online process where entrants sign up to participate (with parental permission) and agree to the official rules. Registration is FREE and open through January 27, 2017.

The competition kick-off will be held on Saturday, January 28, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. Registered filmmakers can check in at the Neutral Zone, located at 310 E. Washington Street in Ann Arbor. All participants must have a Consent form signed by a parent or guardian if they are under 18 years of age, before they will be permitted to participate. This will be provided on the Neutral Zone website & copies will be provided during the Check-in Event. Click [|here] for more registration details.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: The deadline for submissions is Sunday, January 29, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. (NOTE: The official 24-hour production time frame is from 10 a.m. 01/28/17 to 10 a.m. Sunday 01/29/17).
- Filmmakers need to submit their completed film on the USB drive, provided to them at the kick-off event.
- When submitting your film, be sure there is only ONE file on the USB drive and that the file includes the name of the film and the last name of the person who registered the team. (e.g. myfilm_filmmakerslastname.MP4 or .MOV)

SCREENING: A screening of the top 10 films will be held at the Neutral Zone on Saturday, February 4, 2017 from 5 – 7 p.m. The films will be screened as part of the Neutral Zone’s DIY Hack Event, which will include a special screening of filmmaker Rik Cordero’s Session Error. Winners will be announced at 7 p.m. and the grand prize will be awarded.

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Hooded Scarf Crochet

Saturday February 4, 2017: 10:00am to 11:30am
Downtown Library: Secret Lab

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Anything Goes in A2

Saturday June 18, 2016: 9:00am to 9:00pm
Malletts Creek Branch: Exhibits

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Lectures & Panel Discussions

A Listener's Guide to Improvisation with the Ingrid Racine Quartet and A2SF

Saturday July 2, 2016: 1:00pm to 2:00pm
Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

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Blog Post

Hot Fiction: Gold Fame Citrus

Tue, 03/29/2016 - 3:08pm


The dystopian novel [:catalog/record/1476483|Gold Fame Citrus] has gotten a lot of buzz in recent months. Named one of NPR’s Best Books of 2015 and reviewed favorably in the New York Times’ Sunday Book Review, The Lost Angeles Times and The Washington Post, the book shines as brightly as the white dune sea of the near-future southwestern United States that it describes. Author Claire Vaye Watkins is a writing professor here in Ann Arbor at the University of Michigan, and Gold Fame Citrus is a hit of a debut novel.

The apocalyptic world that Watkins paints so vividly is that of fiction… for now. Drought has struck the southwestern United States. High winds and broiling temperatures have created a rolling “dune sea”, devoid of almost all life, and moving across the country at breakneck speed. A few survivors hold out, among them former model Luz Dunn and her partner, Ray. The two live in an abandoned Hollywood mansion, surviving on rationed cola and whatever else they can find. When they discover a child one day, however, their world—unexpectedly stable despite the destruction around them—turns upside down. What follows is a fascinating look at how humans react in the face of fear and the unknown, when survival is constantly on the line. Deciding to leave California, Ray, Luz, and the baby attempt to cross the dune sea to make it to the eastern United States—overcrowded but still livable.

The setting of Gold Fame Citrus is fascinating in and of itself, but Watkins creates such a brilliant storyline and uses such descriptive language that readers may feel as though they are trekking across the dusty landscape next to Ray and Luz, with the sun beating down upon them, tasting salt and grit on their tongue. “Gold Fame Citrus is a dreamy story with a mystical streak and a core of juvenile irresponsibility that does not go unpunished,” writes Jason Sheehan in his review of the book for NPR. “She's [Watkins] got a knife eye for details, a vicious talent for cutting to the throbbing vein of animal strangeness that scratches inside all of us.” The characters are as intense as the landscape. Despite being in a place that is entirely unfamiliar to us today, the characters and their reactions make sense to readers, if not always in a positive way. “A great pleasure of the book is Watkins’s fearlessness, particularly in giving her characters free rein to be themselves. People who were shiftless and irresponsible before the disaster are shiftless and irresponsible afterward. This particular apocalypse is not an opportunity for redemption, and no one is ennobled by it,” reads the New York Times review of Gold Fame Citrus. “We were dishonest with ourselves and others before the apocalypse, Watkins suggests, and the same will hold true afterward. The world might be irrevocably altered, but we’re still us.”

Watkins is also the author of the short story collection [:catalog/record/1412179|Battleborn].

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Blog Post


Fri, 03/04/2016 - 3:05pm


Scott Ellsworth has just won the [|PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing 2016] for his book, [|The Secret Game: A Wartime Story of Courage, Change, and Basketball’s Lost Triumph]. It is the story of a 1944 illegal basketball game between the North Carolina College for Negroes in Durham and the Duke University Medical School team. Congratulations to Ellsworth, who is a lecturer in the UM Department of Afroamerican and African Studies.

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Blog Post

Distortion Pedals! Bzzzzzzzzzz!

Mon, 02/15/2016 - 9:24am


The [|Music Tools] collection is one of the largest [|Unusual Stuff] collections at AADL, and it keeps growing in size and use as more and more musicians (and knob twiddlers) find out about all the cool stuff that can be checked out.

Included in this are the many distortion pedals that are ready to give your guitar some extra fuzz. Check out the [|list] of what we have!

And to sweeten the deal, a [|bunch of them] are made in Ann Arbor by [|King Custom Electronics]. Their handmade pedals bring the sounds of tried and true vintage fuzz, paired with modern convenience, reliability and versatility. Creative designs help make these pedals something you can't find on the showroom floor. Made with the highest quality new old stock components, they're guaranteed to put the tone you want in the palm of your hands.

Sounds cool to me!