In connection with the publication of her new book – “Red Doc >” – the New York Times profiles the poet and author Anne Carson through a series of email exchanges and personal interviews. “She moved to Ann Arbor, years ago, to teach at the university. Although she no longer teaches there, she has remained, because she’s in love with her house: a 1957 Frank Lloyd Wright-ish building with, she says, windows that make her feel as if she’s simultaneously inside and outside. [Her husband Robert] Currie, who grew up in Michigan, doesn’t love living there — he wants to be in New York — but Carson can’t bring herself to leave.” [Source]
It hasn’t been easy for people devoted to books in this community to keep the annual Ann Arbor Book Festival and Writer’s Conference going.
The publishing industry as we knew it is all but gone, as is the bookselling industry. (A visit to the almost ghostly downtown Borders store on a recent Friday night grimly reminded us of this.) The Great Recession all but dried up sponsorship and grant money for the arts in general and the literary arts in particular.
So how did organizers manage to bring back the book festival for another year?
Like most of us, by deciding what expenses weren’t essential, by figuring out how to stretch a buck and by some simple community cooperation.
Check out the schedule and you’ll see that this year’s festival – set for Saturday, June 25 – is being presented essentially in conjunction with the Neutral Zone’s Volume Summer Institute and the Ann Arbor Summer Festival.
Jeff Kass, Neutral Zone’s creative arts director who is heading up the book festival this year, says organizers were faced with “trying to move forward with the book festival under difficult economic circumstances, and we really didn’t have the resources to go it alone anymore.”
Dear Loyal Readers,
Although I was officially on vacation this week, because I spent a few days retracing Ernest Hemingway’s haunts in northern Michigan, I decided to take a couple hours – more than I intended! – to combine two of my previous columns: one that ran in the Detroit News in 1998, and one that Time commissioned in 1999 but didn’t run, due to JFK Jr.’s tragic plane crash the same week.
I was inspired by meeting again with Ernest H. Mainland, Hemingway’s nephew, whom I first met 12 years ago pursuing these pieces. He has become a good friend. Then, after a round of golf, I coaxed another old friend, Jeff Johnson, into joining me for an impromptu tour of nearby Horton Bay. While telling Jeff about some of the stories Hemingway based there, a man named Robert walked down the road and joined us, then invited us for a drink with his girlfriend at his rental cabin just up the road – which turned out to be Shangri-La, where the Hemingways honeymooned in 1922.