Stories indexed with the term ‘book festivals’

Column: Book Fare

The Kerrytown BookFest’s Community Book Award, which honors local contributions to publishing and book arts, will go to Tom and Cindy Hollander when the festival returns for its 10th year on Sunday at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market.

Cindy and Tom Hollander

Cindy and Tom Hollander. (Photo by M. Morgan)

Chief among those contributions is Hollander’s School of Book & Paper Arts, which for almost 20 years has offered workshops, classes and studio space for book artists (my husband among them) and drawn students and teachers from around the country to Ann Arbor. So there is more than a touch of irony in the timing of Sunday’s award: When the 11th annual BookFest rolls around, the school will be no more.

I talked to Tom and Cindy earlier this week about their decision to close the school at the end of the spring 2013 term. In response to what they describe as diminishing enrollment, they say they are stepping away from one branch of a business that has expanded dramatically from the tiny shop on the second floor of Kerrytown Market & Shops in 1991. Today, the main floor of Hollander’s offers a lavish collection of fine papers and stationery, desk sets, decorative boxes and gifts along with bookbinding supplies; Hollander’s Kitchen Store is upstairs.

“When we opened our store,” Cindy said, “I can say I never heard the word ‘book art.’” But by 1994, she and Tom were teaching workshops and by 2002, they were using the lower level of their Kerrytown space for the Hollander’s School of Book & Paper Arts. Tom gives some credit for that expansion to local book artist Barbara Brown, who in the mid-1990s was leading occasional workshops at Hollander’s while also attending summer sessions at the American Academy of Bookbinding in Telluride, Colo.

“She’d come back after taking these classes,” Tom said, “and she really talked it up” – eventually persuading him to check things out for himself. “I’d been around the next level [of book arts] for long enough that I got interested in more than just business – I was ready for something different,” he said. “I wanted to go to the next level myself.” [Full Story]

Column: Book Fare

The Ann Arbor Book Festival returns May 14-15 with its chief draw, a daylong Writer’s Conference, as the centerpiece of an event that has been streamlined to conform to some – you guessed it – sobering financial realities.

Ann Arbor Book Festival board

An Ann Arbor Book Festival board meeting at the offices of the Ann Arbor State Bank (from left): Peter Schork, Kathy Robenalt, Jeff Kass, Evans Young, Bill Gosling, John Knott.

The starkest of those is the absence of Shaman Drum Bookshop, which closed its doors last summer. The bookstore had been a key sponsor since its owner, Karl Pohrt, took a key role in launching the festival in 2003. The void, for the festival as well as the community, has been deeply felt.

Pohrt’s staff “was extremely helpful in attracting some of our main guest authors,” said festival executive director Kathy Robenalt, “so that was a loss we had to work with.” And the woes of the wider industry have hit home, too: publisher-paid author tours are far from routine anymore, meaning fewer authors who might be able to appear at the festival on, say, HarperCollins’ dime.

Pohrt remains on the 18-member festival board, along with Bill Zirinsky, who owns returning sponsor Crazy Wisdom Bookstore and Tea Room with his wife, Ruth Schekter. [Full Story]

Arthur Conan Doyle Collection Unveiled

Books opened in case for display.

"The Sign of the Four" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is included in the collection in multiple forms.

On Monday, April 27, University of Michigan libraries will open an exhibit from a special collection of works by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: “Clues Beyond Sherlock Holmes: The Arthur Conan Doyle Collection at Michigan.” UM will hold an opening reception May 17.

When The Chronicle dropped by on Thursday before the Monday opening, Kathryn Beam and Kate Hutchens, curators of the exhibit, were nailing down the final details of the material to be shown on the seventh floor of Hatcher Library. Most of the glass display cases were already filled with books, many of them resting on custom-crafted cradles, to allow a glimpse inside the volumes. A shop-vac attested to the work in progress. Later in the day, some of the conservationists were to arrive to work on the wall-mounted glass cases.

Where did the material in the university’s Conan Doyle collection come from, and what occasioned the exhibit? [Full Story]