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Literature Stories

639 stories found. Showing page 1 of 22.

Telling tales: The Moth marks a year of storytelling with a grand slam

By Phreddy Wischusen

Published: 9/22/2010

Types: Arts, Literature

Every first Thursday of the month, a line of people in downtown Detroit — black, white, brown, young and old, professionals and the unemployed — stretches from the door of Cliff Bell's out to the Park Bar and then east along Elizabeth Street toward Woodward Avenue. Through rain, snow and...[MORE]

First blood: A2 author's debut kills

By Travis R. Wright

Published: 9/15/2010

Types: Arts, Literature, Books

Writers like to write about writers. Sometimes when that happens, however, the work reads as if they're writing for writers. Considering the resounding "write that which you know" mantra, it's hard to blame them. But when the work doesn't cross over, and most fails for some reason or other...[MORE]

The ambassador: Adman and author Toby Barlow has become a leading spokesman for his adopted city

By Travis R. Wright

Published: 9/15/2010

Types: Arts, Literature

Leave it to a writer to let a line like this fall out of his mouth: "In Detroit, you can see the embers of the American dream are still capable of catching fire."  Sure it verges on romantic, but, hey, this city needs dreamers — and doers — like Toby Barlow.  Two years after ...[MORE]

The Last Poet: Ron Allen: Portrait of a cultural worker

By Rayfield Allen Waller

Published: 9/1/2010

Types: Arts, Literature, Poetry

Editor's note: This story originally appeared in Metro Times for June 28, 1995: And how will I live, without money, without love, without fame? —Frank O'Hara "Some of the greatest artists never created anything," says poet Ron Allen, with a taunting grin. Beneath that gri...[MORE]

Remembering Ron Allen: 'Godfather of open mics' and more

By W. Kim Heron

Published: 9/1/2010

Types: Arts, Literature

"Ron was one of the heroic figures of the Cass Corridor in the '70s and '80s," wrote one fellow poet, Tyrone Williams, at an online discussion board. "A true Detroit legend, a master and an excellent fellow and stalwart friend," artist Maurice Greenia Jr. wrote in an e-mail.  Th...[MORE]

Hemingway's 'Last Good Country': Northern Michigan as he knew it

By John Cohassey

Published: 7/7/2010

Types: Arts, Literature, Books

It's great northern air. Absolutely the best trout fishing in the country. No exaggeration. Fine country. Good color, good northern atmosphere, absolute freedom, no summer resort stuff and lots of paintable stuff.  —Ernest Hemingway to his friend Jim Gamble, 1919 For Ernest Hemingway, nort...[MORE]

First lights: Papa Ernie's Mitten in pics and a local strip-bar revolutionary

By Metro Times book reviewers

Published: 7/7/2010

Types: Arts, Literature, Books

Picturing Hemingway's Michigan Michael R. Federspiel Wayne State University Press (Painted Turtle), $40, 200 pp. This past Fourth of July weekend, thousands of people from Chicago and its surrounding suburbs, such as Oak Park, holidayed at quaint bed-and-breakfast houses, new and rickety resorts,...[MORE]

Minstrelsy biopsy : Author Bill Harris on the great American scar

By Travis R. Wright

Published: 6/23/2010

Types: Arts, Literature, Books

"It's a bastard child who won't be invited to dinner anywhere," Bill Harris says of his latest work, Birth of a Notion (or The Half Ain't Never Been Told). He does so with a warm laugh, knowing too well there's no correct or clear shelf on which Notion belongs at the bookstore. But this bo...[MORE]

Lit up: Alice Walker in conversation and Herbert Muschamp in architecture

By Metro Times book reviewers

Published: 6/2/2010

Types: Arts, Literature, Books

The World Has Changed Conversations with Alice Walker Edited with an introduction by Rudolph P. Byrd The New Press, $25.95, 339 pp. Here we have an exceptionally unusual biography, if we can even call it that. A lineage of Alice Walker interviews conducted by a succession of writers from 1973 to...[MORE]

Idol thoughts: In his new book, John Waters writes about amateur pornographers, lesbian strippers, and Clarabell the Clown and reveals ... himself

By Andrea Appleton

Published: 5/26/2010

Types: Arts, Literature, Books

Leave it to John Waters to write what is perhaps the first loving, learned homage to outsider pornographers. In one chapter of his new memoir, Role Models (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $25, 320 pp.), Waters introduces Bobby Garcia, "the Almodóvar of Anuses, the Buñuel of Blow Jobs, ...[MORE]

'let's call this': Baseball beautitude from days gone by

By John Sinclair

Published: 4/7/2010

Types: Arts, Literature, Poetry

"let's call this" for Jayne Cortez baseball, poetry, & rhythm & blues— & all three in one most glorious day, april 15, 1982— let's call this opening day, like the sky opened up & grinned all over detroit & at the shrine of truth & be...[MORE]

Mind in the gutters: An incomplete and highly subjective selection of the sexiest characters in comics

By Sean Bieri

Published: 2/10/2010

Types: Arts, Literature, Comics

From chicks in chainmail bikinis to musclemen in tights, from the Tijuana bibles of old to the latest in panty-flashing fan service from Japan, sex and comics go together like a complete lack of social skills and comics. So here's a brief roundup of some notable comic book hotties — according ...[MORE]

Written on the mind and the body: John A. Rich argues that homicide statistics don’t tell the whole story when assessing urban violence

By Michael Corbin

Published: 2/3/2010

Types: Arts, Literature, Books

Wrong Place, Wrong Time: Trauma and Violence in the Lives of Young Black Men by John A. Rich Johns Hopkins University Press, $24.95, 232 pp. Tayvon pulls his shirt back down after showing me the scar that extends below his waistband to his groin and up to his sternum. About an inch wide, raised, ...[MORE]

The can can: A treasure trove of lavatory tomes for tiny attention spans

By Metro Times staff

Published: 1/27/2010

Types: Arts, Literature, Books

How Many Licks? (or, How to Estimate Damn Near Everything) by Aaron Santos, Ph.D. Running Press; 175 pp. In your entire life, how many times will you poop? And if you collected it all, how much would it weigh? Would it all fit in a train car? What about an Olympic-size swimming pool? I think abou...[MORE]

Artifact in verse: From Clairmount to crack, Ken Meisel still mourns

By Travis R. Wright

Published: 1/20/2010

Types: Arts, Literature, Poetry

1:30 p.m. We're headed east on West Grand Boulevard, passing by Hitsville, USA, a living relic of better days. Looking farther down the boulevard, there's the deserted Lee Plaza apartment building. Not a single pane of glass remains. It looks like a nightly news scene from Kosovo in the '90s. Toget...[MORE]

Winter of his discontent : Before On the Road, Jack Kerouac drank, wrote, loved and lost in Detroit

By John Cohassey

Published: 1/20/2010

Types: Arts, Literature, Books

In 1944 "a very strange screw of events began to turn," Jack Kerouac later reflected about the life-changing paths among rebellious writer friends. That year, Kerouac lived briefly with his first wife, Detroit-born Frankie Edie Parker. While in New York, Edie's network of friends helped to...[MORE]

Word up: From the hood to higher learning, teen poet Myriha Burton steps out

By Travis R. Wright

Published: 12/30/2009

Types: Arts, Literature, Poetry

Ever since Myriha Burton chopped her shoulder-length hair— to a Me'Shell Ndegeocello cropped coif — people tell her she looks like a poet. Well, that is what she does. See, this 18-year-old Cass Tech senior shows the kind of resolve common among world-class poetry competitors, a ghet...[MORE]

Rockin' reads: MT's annual guide to the year's grooviest rock literature

By Bill Holdship

Published: 11/25/2009

Types: Arts, Literature, Books

Full disclosure: Two of the books I'm enthusiastically endorsing this year — Harvey Kubernik's Canyon of Dreams: The Magic & Music of Laurel Canyon (Sterling, $29.95) and Robert Hilburn's Cornflakes With John Lennon & Other Tales from a Rock 'N' Roll Life (Rodale, $24.99) — were ...[MORE]

Literary largesse: An index of titles worthy of a spot under the tree

By Metro Times book critics

Published: 11/25/2009

Types: Arts, Literature, Books

Real Life & Liars by Kristina Riggle Avon A-HarperCollins, $13.99, pp. 327 Playing off the opening line of Tolstoy's Anna Karenina — "All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way" — Grand Rapids-based Kristina Riggle sweeps readers into a...[MORE]

'I began writing in mystery': A few words with Philip Levine

By Norene Smith

Published: 11/25/2009

Types: Arts, Literature, Poetry

For Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and poet Philip Levine, the small details of everyday life have always been newsworthy. From the awkward stumble of coming of age in a blue-collar town to the dirt-under-your-fingernails reality of factory labor, he's paying attention to lackluster circumstances and...[MORE]

Hanging around the scene: An obsessed photographer, eye-candy for crate diggers and a thousand lyrics

By W. Kim Heron

Published: 11/25/2009

Types: Arts, Literature, Books

The Jazz Loft Project: Photographs and Tapes of W. Eugene Smith from 821 Sixth Avenue 1957-1965 by Sam Stephenson Alfred A. Knopf, $40, 270 pp.  Sounds like a novel plot, doesn't it? In the late '50s, a world-famous (and drug-addicted) photographer retreats to a Manhattan building at the artsy in...[MORE]

Detroit gets booked: A shortlist of this year’s fab Motor City reads

By Michael Jackman

Published: 11/25/2009

Types: Arts, Literature, Books

For a city that's shrinking, Detroit sure gets a lot of play on the bookshelves. From appealing photographic books to auto histories to poetry anthologies, there's plenty of paper to stuff a stocking with this year. Take Up the Rouge! (Wayne State, $34.95), for instance. Former Freep journo and act...[MORE]

Lit up: Area hate-crime murders that caused panic, and a coffee-table tome of shuttered insane asylums

By Travis R. Wright

Published: 11/4/2009

Types: Arts, Literature, Books

The Slasher Killings: A Canadian Sex Crime Panic, 1945-1946 by Patrick Brode Wayne State University Press $22.95, 232 pp. In the mid-1940s, Windsor, Ontario, was a freewheeling incubator of vice. Troops returning from the war were welcomed home with a bevy of booze, houses in which to play...[MORE]

The new raconteurs : The Moth flies with a hip pocket full in Detroit

By Travis R. Wright

Published: 10/28/2009

Types: Arts, Literature

It's just before seven o'clock on a Thursday night in downtown Detroit, and we're making our way toward Cliff Bell's, a legitimate (now revamped and legal) speakeasy in the city's theater district. The club's curved awning crests the street's horizon like some sort of beacon; it's a striking club in...[MORE]

Ramblin' Gamblin' Men : New coffee-table book traces the history of one of Michigan's favorite rock 'n' roll sons

By Bill Holdship

Published: 10/21/2009

Types: Arts, Literature, Books

Local photographer Thomas Weschler — who officially served as Bob Seger's road manager from 1969 through 1973 — had unlimited access to Seger and his camp for several decades, both during and after his official managerial duties. In other words, Weschler was there, almost like a fly on t...[MORE]

Slammin'!: The Wonder Twins know there are eight million stories in the naked city

By D'Anne, Laura Witkowski

Published: 10/14/2009

Types: Arts, Literature, Poetry

So, what do you get when you cross a poetry slam and an open mic night at a comedy club? Probably something terrible that will bring shame to all involved. Thankfully, though, this is not what happens during a recent Moth StorySLAM. Yes, the increasingly popular public radio program has come to Detr...[MORE]

True value: This Crawford guy says get off your ass

By Travis R. Wright

Published: 10/14/2009

Types: Arts, Literature, Books

When was the last time you met a kid in middle or high school who was actually in shop class? I can't remember, and I have a 16-year-old sister. Information technology is at the forefront of American education, but those jobs are mostly sent overseas, so where does that leave the office worker? How ...[MORE]

Austentatious : Pride and Prejudice colored in ultraviolent zombie bedlam, Robert Fanning's latest, and a grumpy proofreader

By Metro Times book reviewers

Published: 8/26/2009

Types: Arts, Literature, Books

Though they have similarly rabid fan bases, you would never expect to find the worlds of Jane Austen and George A. Romero forcibly colliding, but collide they do, brilliantly in the ultimate postmodern mashup. Purists will be aghast that some artistic travesty has been committed here, but curious ru...[MORE]

Schoolyard verse: Detroit kid poets speak from the edge and the heart

By InsideOut Literary Arts Project

Published: 8/12/2009

Types: Arts, Literature, Poetry

I SPEAK I speak Arabic, From the heart of the east Feared by outsiders Arabie with a little New York flavor I speak The new tongue of young Arabics A new language Created to unite Our Arabie and American sides I wear A style all its own, Cultural yet modern I rock           A hijab wit...[MORE]

Lit Up: Old Joe Kennedy's dirty Hollywood, eagle-eyed tales of trailer-court Michigan and Nazi art thieves

By Metro Times book reviewers

Published: 7/29/2009

Types: Arts, Literature, Books

Joseph P. Kennedy Presents His Hollywood Years by Cari Beauchamp Alfred A. Knopf, $35, 506 pp. For Joseph P. Kennedy, success meant just one thing: More. More money, more power, more press, more sexual conquests, more brilliantly orchestrated yet shady business deals, and more respect and fame...[MORE]

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