This is one of the many times of year when Michigan’s state motto keeps coming to mind: If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you. Hills and woods and water and sky — and everywhere, right now, in the sun and in the rain, cherry orchards in bloom. Although I know cherry blossoms were not that different when I photographed them last year (and will be equally beautiful next year), I can’t help grabbing for my camera again and again. Since they speak for themselves, however, I’ll let them do just that for the remainder of today’s post.
Another of last year’s themes that will repeat in 2019 is my Thursday Evening Author series (TEA). I’ll be welcoming back three guests from former years and introducing to my TEA audience two seasoned writers new to Northport, with one change: this year series guests will appear only every other week, for a total of five rather than last year’s eleven.
We will begin with Kalamazoo poet Jennifer Clark on June 27. Jennifer is coming back with a new book of poetry, A Beginner’s Guide to Heaven. Her previous visit was lively and full of surprises, and I expect no less this year. We look forward to having her with us to kick off our 2019 season — so glad to have a returning poet as our opening headliner!
Leelanau’s own Kathleen Stocking is no stranger to Dog Ears Books, and you certainly won’t want to miss her event in Northport on July 11. Kathleen is a Leelanau treasure, and From the Place of the Gathering Light: Leelanau Pieces is destined to join Letters From the Leelanau as a Michigan classic. Need I say more?
Our third returnee is Dorene O’Brien from Detroit. Dorene’s new collection of short stories, What It Might Feel Like to Hope, has been gathering praise right and left, so we are delighted that she will be with us to do a reading and signing on July 25 on her annual Leelanau visit. Also, as a writer who also teaches writing, Dorene will no doubt have some words of wisdom in the Q&A following her reading.
Another Detroit writer, Michael Zadoorian, comes to us for the first time on August 8, with his new novel, Beautiful Music. Did you read The Leisure Seeker? (Maybe see the movie?) Michael’s reputation has been building for a while now, so it will be exciting to welcome him in Northport.
Finally, on August 22, we will host Charles R. Eisendrath, a “reporter’s reporter” (according to Tom Brokaw), formerly on the staff of Time magazine and now making his home in northern Michigan. Charles comes to us with a beautiful nonfiction book, Downstream From Here: A Big Life in a Small Place, addressing experiences from fly fishing and making maple syrup to witnessing assassination. Really!
So please put all five dates on your summer calendar now! And if you do not usually read fiction or nonfiction or poetry, make this the season you will step outside your reading comfort zone and try something new, because all of our TEA guests have already given richly of themselves in their books and now give of themselves additionally with these guest appearances in Northport. We are so fortunate!