Thursday, December 3, 2020 - 4:19pm

A truly accurate portrayal of home and family often evades even the most adept of writers. Their universality works in direct contrast to their seeming ineffability. Nevertheless, these elusive constructs, when communicated correctly, prove to be some of the most effective techniques by which a writer may bridge the gap between the reader’s soul and their own.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020 - 9:57pm

And all of a sudden, with all the same anticipatory tension as in the beginning of an in-person performance, a body appeared on stage, bathed in ominous music and red light. He curved his frame in a serpentine manner, not a single motion rushed. They were fluid and led into one another, seeming to require great discipline and patience, while at the same time languid and natural. It was a gradual reawakening of the limbs, like the dancer was getting in touch with his senses again, slowly gaining a greater awareness of his body and its capabilities.

Sunday, November 29, 2020 - 10:15pm

It was 5:15 a.m. 11-year-old me noted with satisfaction that the book I had been reading all night, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” was only 50 pages from the end. I could go to bed, or I could finish what I had started approximately six hours and 500 pages ago. I looked back at my clock, looked down at the book and began the slog towards the end. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2020 - 12:47am
West Side Book Shop opened at 113 W Liberty Street in Ann Arbor in 1975.

For Jay Platt, bookselling has always been about stories and serendipity. Celebrating its 45th year on September 21, his store West Side Book Shop opened at 113 W Liberty Street in Ann Arbor in 1975, a few years after Platt graduated from the University with a degree in naval engineering.

Last week, Platt sat relaxed in a leather swivel chair, sipping water out of a small styrofoam cup as he described how this store began with just a few bookshelves, pointing out the rows and stacks of scattered books.

Monday, November 2, 2020 - 5:44pm

The Zell Visiting Writers Series, hosted by the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan, usually takes the form of a week in which visiting writers stay in Ann Arbor, teach workshops, give talks and soak in the magic of the city in the fall.

Thursday, October 29, 2020 - 5:51pm

Last week, The Michigan Quarterly Review’s Khaled Mattawa hosted poet and activist Reginald Dwayne Betts for an evening of visual art and poetry. The event was a celebration of Betts’s editorship of the MQR’s Fall 2020 issue, “Persecution.” While it was held over Zoom, I could imagine its invisible audience holding bated breath as Betts unleashed the power he’s harnessed from and since his confinement. 

Sunday, October 25, 2020 - 11:37am

I remember when my dad first suggested that I major in English. I was a freshman, about two weeks into my classes here at The University, and I had just finished telling him about how much I was enjoying my creative writing class. What I was also telling him was that more than anything, I wasn’t enjoying most of my other classes, and I wasn’t sure what I wanted to major in.

Sunday, October 18, 2020 - 2:09pm

In his 1988 poem “Introduction to Poetry,” Billy Collins laments the way his students have been taught to read poetry. Rather than “hold it up to the light like a color slide,” or “press an ear against its hive,” he writes that the students torture a confession — in this case meaning or significance — out of the poem. Once they have found its meaning, analyzed its metaphors and discussed its themes, they leave. 

Friday, October 16, 2020 - 11:40am

I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that I was late to join the ranks of TikTok’s user base. In fact, for years it would be safe to say I was actively anti-TikTok. I’d been taught by the media and some of my peers that it was meant for children, or at least those younger than me. Despite being a proud member of Gen Z, I’d deemed myself too old-fashioned for the interests of today’s youth.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020 - 5:01pm

A smiling student stands with a backpack slung over her shoulder, books and notebooks held in hand, no mask in sight. A reminder of simpler times. Elsewhere, recent graduates throw their hats in the air and a father teaches his son how to skateboard. A student pulls his friend into a party. The State Theatre and Bell Tower both stand tall, proud monuments of Ann Arbor and the University. These are some, but not all, of the frames in the new mural that has come to downtown Ann Arbor.