Maya Angelou needs no introduction. The famed poet will speak tomorrow afternoon at 1:30 p.m. at Hill Auditorium as part of this year’s Ross School of Business reunion activities – and if you can still scramble and get tickets, it will definitely be a worthwhile event.

But it’s not just once in a blue moon that a celebrated writer graces our acoustically perfect auditorium. Various University departments and organizations host notable author events, poetry readings and other literary-minded happenings throughout the year. (Check out the Zell Visiting Writer Series, J. Edgar Edwards reading Series and Mark Webster Reading Series schedules on the English department website, ).

Combined with the impressive list of names Shaman Drum and Borders pulls in from all over the country, each year’s calendar of literary events shows Ann Arbor has a pretty decent scene.

Non-fiction writer and Harper’s Magazine contributing editor Tom Bissell came to Borders last year, and so did sports/pop culture iconoclast Chuck Klosterman. Yale Younger Poets prize-winning poet Richard Siken came to Shaman Drum, as did the revolutionary John Sinclair. Bret Easton Ellis – the favorite author of many a jaded underclassman – was slated to read from his midlife crisis novel “Lunar Park” last September until he canceled because of “a broken foot.” But English Prof. Laura Kasischke did read at Shaman Drum to promote the release of her novel “Be Mine,” which Ellis is currently converting to screenplay.

Some of the best readings feature the University’s own, like Kasischke (who also holds an MFA degree from the University). English Prof. Linda Gregerson released her poetry collection “Magnetic North” in March, accompanied by a reading.

Here are a few upcoming events to check out, hitting all the bases:


The Fourth Annual Janey Lack Reading:

Charles ”Ambrosio

Today, 5 p.m. at Rackham Amphitheater

The Whiting Award winner and PEN/Faulkner finalist will read later today


“What Do Gay Men Want?”

David Halperin

Tuesday, 4 p.m. Oct. 23 at Shaman Drum

Shaman Drum Bookshop

Most famous for teaching “How to be Gay” course – fantastic professor.


Wes Anderson and Jason Schwartzman

Oct. 15 6 p.m. at Borders

The esteemed independent filmmaker and the actor who stars in and helped write his new film “The Darjeeling Limited” will appear.

OK, so these guys aren’t authors per se, but they do write for the screen, and they’re as influental as any of them.

And it’s at Borders, possibly one of the more anticipated crowded bookshop Q&As since . at least the Klosterman one.

– Chou wants to start a book club. Want to join? E-mail her at

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