Our very own creative writing professor Christine Hume will be reading at Literati Bookstore in Ann Arbor, MI on Friday, November 3rd, 2017 at 7:00pm, alongside two poets, Donald Dunbar and Becky Win. Literati Bookstore is located at 124 E. Washington St., Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Christine Hume is the author of The Saturation Project (Solid Objects, 2019), a lyric memoir in the form of three interlinked essays, as well as three books of poetry. Her chapbooks include Lullaby: Speculations on the First Active Sense (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2008), Ventifacts (Omnidawn, 2012), Atalanta: an Anatomy (Essay Press, 2016), and a collaboration with Jeff Clark, Question Like a Face (Image Text Ithaca, 2017). She teaches in the interdisciplinary creative writing program at Eastern Michigan University.

Question Like A Face, by Christine Hume and Jeff Clark, is the second in an ITI Press series of pocket-sized, hard-bound, image-text collaborations between a writer and a visual artist. In powerful prose, Christine Hume looks at gender violence and complicity within the intimate and immediate interiors of a small city in Michigan. Like any tale of power, this one begins with the careless dismissal of a whole life.

Compelled by the constantly defaced and reappearing face of a young black woman shot by a white cop, whose image is affixed to walls around her community, Hume summons her visage as a call to outrage against her own complacency and against the silence surrounding our culture’s unending violence against women, especially women of color. She writes, I am living in a city that proliferates a question like a face. Her face appears and disappears on civic surfaces, her face replaces a blank space; her face replaces the city, piece by piece, claiming it, because her face is half hidden, in the half-light of waiting, half blowing in the wind, half stuck to the present, near a house where my family lives, where a young girl can look at it and think “not me.” A sequence of domestic photographs from police evidence files–hauntingly selected and cropped by Clark, punctuate Hume’s accounts with their simple, familiar violence.

About Shot: In alternating currents of prose and verse, SHOT reaches beyond the tradition of the nocturne to illuminate contradictory impulses and intensities of night. SHOT inhabits the sinister, visionary, intimate, haunted, erotic capacities to see and hear things at night, in the fertile void containing our own psychological and physical darkness. Via Levinas who locates self-knowledge and ethical contract in insomnia, this darkness is one “stuck full of eyes.” Here the insomniac falls into a Beckettian pattern of waiting, in an inextricable dialogue with a selfhood that cannot settle down. In a perpetual play between empirical and abstract knowledge, tantrum and meditation, SHOT creates torque that drives beyond material experience.

Please click this link for more details. http://www.literatibookstore.com/event/poetry-literati-donald-dunbar-christine-hume-becky-win


Recap: Fall 2017 BathHouse Event featuring Janet Kauffman

Thank you to all who attended the 1st Fall BathHouse event featuring the artist Janet Kauffman. The event featured mixed media and poetry readings from Janet Kauffman’s upcoming project, “Eco-dementia”. Below you will find images of Janet and also, Linette Lao, who provided Janet and the audience with a lovely introduction.

Please note, we are still accepting submissions for reviews of the event. If you would like your review published on the site then please submit to aesshaki@emich.edu.

Also, please visit Janet Kauffman’s website for more information about her work.


Winter 2017 BathHouse Reading Series

The EMU Creative Writing Department was pleased to host Nathaniel Mackey and Ted Pearson for the Winter 2017 BathHouse Reading Series which took place on March 01, 2017 at 1:30pm in the Student Center Auditorium and March 02, 2017 at 5:30pm in the Honors College Auditorium. Both Nathaniel and Ted presented thought-provoking works that engaged the audience throughout the events. Please take a moment to view the photos below from the event.

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Chicago Poets Theater Festival

Chicago Poets Theater Festival features Gardener of Stars, an Opera by Carla Harryman

Gardener of Stars, an Opera with set design by Chicago artist Julia Klein, offers performances by musician and composer Jon Raskin (Bay Area) on micro electronics, concertina, saxophone, and as speaking and singing voice; Tania Chen (London, San Francisco) on piano and as speaking/singing voice; cris cheek (Cincinnati and creative writing professor at Miami of Ohio) as speaking and singing voice; and Carla Harryman (Detroit and creative writing professor at EMU) as speaking voice.

Gardener of Stars shares the festival bill with works by composer Robert Ahsley, and poets theater icons Kevin Killian, Dodie Bellamy, and John Tipton.

Night three: December 9 information:

Night four: December 10 information:

Gardener of Stars, an Opera is supported with the help of the Eastern Michigan University Faculty Research Fund; EMU Dept. of English Language and Literature; National Performance Network; Links Hall; Sector 2337; and Kenning Editions.

Critic Heidi Bean on Carla Harryman’s poets theater:

Harriett Blog preview of Chicago Poets Theater Festival:

Literati Bookstore Reading: Thylias Moss

Author: Alasin Maynard

​In Ann Arbor, at the Literati Bookstore, there was a reading from Thylias Moss. This was one of the most interesting readings I have been to. Moss allowed the audience to choose which of her poems they would like for her read. The audience was free to ask questions and make comments throughout the reading, creating a dialogue between Moss and the audience. This dialogue created a personal connection between the speaker and the audience, and as audience member, that personal connection made the reading more powerful and enjoyable. It created an open atmosphere with a personal connection to the speaker and the poems.

When Moss was reading her poems, she was very expressive. Her voice changed when she read the poems as if she was taking a voice of a character, and she changed from soft to loud when she read certain parts. Instead of reading standing still, there was movement as she read them. This expression made it very interactive and visual, making it very powerful and creating a strong connection to it. It was also very interesting when she interrupted herself while she read the poem to explain something or to make a comment. These interruptions during the reading made it very interactive with the audience, and it gave the reading a unique and causal quality to it.
​In her poem, “Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery of Realties’ Red Dress Code” the words red and dress were switched around in different sentences in different ways. It was a very interesting way to play the language with those two words, and it gave the poem a sounding quality that was unique. In another poem “The Warmth of Hot Chocolate,” she had some very good and strange imagery such as “pure thoughts were the original cowboys”, and “my wings actually grow from my scalp.” She also put a new spun with human relationships to God that was very interesting, and the images described spoke for themselves. There was a new of view of God that I never heard of, and it included a new image of Him with wings. It broke the conventional views of God that I heard of, which was interesting to hear in a poem. It was very creative, descriptive, and had strong imagery.

​In another poem, Moss took peaches expanding the description and played with the word using phrases such as “peachy keen” or “Peaches of me.” She was using a peach’s physical characteristics, associations, and the word itself to create beautiful and playful language. It was amazing taking to have something like a peach and have it spun in all those different ways defamiliarizing the word peach.

​This was a very entertaining, powerful, and interesting reading. Moss has a very unique style of writing and reading that can’t be put a category. Her poems introduced new ways to break conventions, and different ways a reading can be performed. This interactive reading introduces new forms of writing. It made you think about new ways and forms you could create.

BathHouse Review – Daniel Borzutzky and Amy Sara Carroll

Author: Anthony Echols

On September 27, through September 28 Eastern Michigan University was presented with two amazing guess speakers, Amy Carroll, and Daniel Borzutzky. My immediate response of there reading or rather the immediate word that came to mind was inspiration. Although, their podium inside of Eastern’s auditorium isn’t exactly the definition of immediacy, both Amy and Daniel had no problem doing just that. Rather it be preforming over cartoons or words sprouting out of air there, word both about and in the poem itself are extremely elegant.

Reviewing Amy Carroll presentation, one could pull away with a sense of belonging, beauty, becoming of words and different ways words could be implicated. Even more traditional poem used multicultural wording with attachment not to the meaning but to the words themselves but the creative ways to use said words. Her emphasis on placement and crossing out of certain words were beyond my reach of enlightenment. She combines both the editing phase and the metamorphosis phase where one would change the raft into the final draft. This stage is something I have been waiting to play with but couldn’t quite grasp so needless to say her technique alone could have inspired the auditorium. Her performance most visual only brought more vision and more technique once read aloud. Her ability to embrace her mistake and create something that belongs to the world of artistry is simply phenomenal. Even the word placements on the photography have a hint of embracement of imperfection. Creating a more human, pleasing, warm feel to the photo. Amy Carroll, poetry and presentation created a very personal feeling, homely, human feeling. Even when presenting inspiring, intelligent, and extremely creative work she gave a sense of home with her words and phrases.

Daniel Borzutzky presentation used amazing word play, empathic tone, creative version, and the theme of pain and love. “They pay us…” is a phrase you would hear a lot during his presentation. Both a mixture of pain, love, money, take, borderization. Is like currency within his poems. Daniel would read his poem in a style that shows his overwhelming themes, as the quick sentence, fast past leaves you with a certain ignorance that the character within his own poem would feel. Biblical analogies used to expression confusion and emotion runs deep with his poem. The uses of many figurative languages, allusive, creative language, capture the inner darkest human emotions. Daniels use of words and visual representation of deborderization causes a creation of inspiration inside of anyone lucky enough to have the experience of watching him perform.

Both Amy and Daniel confessed multiple techniques and ways to create, engaging with them, causes only ways of enlightenment. There presence was felt, and their art receive. This bathhouse reading has only made me wish for a more personal sittings with these two to see how much more they can evolve me.

“The Performance of Becoming Human” BathHouse Review – Daniel Borzutzky

Author: Jarrod Saum

This is definitely the weirdest bathhouse event I have been to since my tenure at Eastern Michigan University; and not weird with a negative connotation, or any connotation, just simply different. Immediately as Daniel Borzutzky took the stage on Wednesday the 27th for his reading, I realize that he’s not like other authors. He reads monotone, no passion in his voice that other authors will implement in their work: The type of implement that cannot be written, but has to be performed. It is almost as if Daniel Borzutzky is two different people. He is the author in his head, and a professor and scholar elsewhere. Confused? Let me explain. Watching Daniel Borzutzky on stage was like watching a random stranger come off the street and read his piece. There was no punctuation, no conversations—nothing. It felt like behind that author was not passion, but sadness, exhaustion, and possibly indecision at what he wanted to feel.

The only time I noticed something different was when he read aloud from The Performance of Becoming Human. This is when I really noticed a distinct difference from the work. Physically it is written as poetry, when you look at it, you cannot help but implement some sort of surrealist claim to it and it is a nonsensical world. There are line breaks every other sentence, it doesn’t seem to connect in my mind except for when Daniel read it aloud. This is when I realized perhaps there was some passion behind his voice and he was letting me hear it the way it supposed to be heard. The novel came across as more prose writing, he put periods here and there where he purposefully left them out in the poetry. He broke his stanza’s with human nature and his book became more of a novel, less surreal and I began to understand it more and more. You see that was my problem with it to begin with—I felt it was pompous and overwritten to the point it was supposed to make no sense. The words were so large that it was deemed great simply because of the merit and the “contemporary form.” But rather attending the reading, and attending the performance Daniel did on the 28th, when he covered up Speedy Gonzalez, gave me a keen insight on how this novel is supposed to viewed, and supposed to be read. Giving it a second read through it’s as if Daniel Borzutzky has showed me where the invisible quotation marks are, where the punctuation is—but more importantly—the sadness in his eyes and voice showed me why they mustn’t be there.