Fellow Youths: Giant Daze

We read John Allison's continuing slice-of-life comic series, Giant Days! We talk about college life, how we choose our friends, and how weird it is that a series can be 12 volumes long and have no actual story. Listen along as we discuss two-dimensional female characters and how they make us want to die, then find out what else we're watching and playing right now! 

Martin Bandyke Under Covers for February 2020: Martin interviews Jeff Guinn, author of The Vagabonds: The Story of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison's Ten-Year Road Trip

Jeff's book tells the fascinating story of two American giants—Henry Ford and Thomas Edison—whose annual summer sojourns introduced the road trip to our culture and made the automobile an essential part of modern life, even as their own relationship altered dramatically.

Author Event | Morgan Parker Discusses Magical Negro

Magical Negro is an archive of black everydayness, a catalog of contemporary folk heroes, an ethnography of ancestral grief, and an inventory of figureheads, idioms, and customs. These American poems are both elegy
and jive, joke and declaration, songs of congregation and self-conception. They connect themes of loneliness, displacement, grief, ancestral trauma, and objectification, while exploring and troubling tropes and stereotypes of Black Americans. Focused primarily on depictions of Black womanhood alongside personal narratives, the collection tackles interior and exterior politics—of both the body and society, of both the individual and the collective experience.

In Magical Negro, Parker creates a space of witness, of airing grievances, of pointing out patterns. In these poems are living documents, pleas, latent traumas, inside jokes, and unspoken anxieties situated as firmly in the past as in the present—timeless black melancholies and triumphs.

For this event, Parker was in conversation with Aisha Sabatini Sloan, Visiting Professor of Creative Nonfiction at the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan.

Author Event | Ebony Roberts: The Love Prison Made and Unmade: My Story

Author Ebony Roberts is joined by Ashley Lucas, Director of the Prison Creative Arts Project at the University of Michigan, for a discussion of Ebony's new memoir, The Love Prison Made and Unmade: My Story. As a little girl growing up in Detroit, Ebony witnessed her parents’ brutal physical fights, often fueled by her father’s alcoholism. Her experiences as a child shaped her views on love and set the pattern for her future romantic relationships. She found herself drawn to men who cheated; verbally abused her; and disappointed her. 

When she met Shaka Senghor, a man in prison for second-degree murder, she felt an intense spiritual connection, but struggled with the idea that this man behind bars could be the love God had for her. Ultimately she ignored other people’s fears and took a chance. Through letters and visits, they fell deeply in love. Once Shaka came home, they thought the worst was behind them, but Shaka’s release was the beginning of the end.

The Love Prison Made and Unmade is heartfelt. It reveals powerful lessons about love, sacrifice, courage, and forgiveness; of living your highest principles and learning not to judge someone by their worst acts. Ultimately, it is a stark reminder of the emotional cost of American justice on human lives—the partners, wives, children, and friends—beyond the prison walls.

Author Event | Jill Grunenwald: Reading Behind Bars

Author Jill Grunenwald reads from her new book Reading Behind Bars: a True Story of Literature, Law, and Life as a Prison Librarian. After graduating with a Masters in Library and Information Science, Jill returned to Northeast Ohio and took a job as a librarian at an all-male, minimum security prison on the far west side of Cleveland. Reading Behind Bars is the true account of her experiences there.

Fellow Youths: Somebody's Watching YOU

We talk about our latest obsession: YOU (the Lifetime-turned-Netflix show). Ashley and Nicole admit their long-standing love of doomed couple dramas on the Lifetime channel, and Audrey talks about serial killers. We also cover red flags, dumb heroines, the MANY downsides of dating your stalker, and why it's important to own curtains. Plus, we're watching K-dramas and Fyre Fest documentaries, and sinking hours of our lives into Stardew Valley. Follow along (from a safe distance) as we discuss the creepiest love story ever told!

Author Event | Linda Solomon: The Queen Next Door: Aretha Franklin, An Intimate Portrait

The Queen Next Door: Aretha Franklin, An Intimate Portrait is a book full of firsts, as photojournalist Linda Solomon was invited not only to capture historical events in Aretha’s music career showcasing Detroit, but to join in with the Franklin family’s most intimate and cherished moments in her beloved hometown.  In this talk she reflects on this book which documents Aretha's life and career.