Posted tagged ‘Jane Piirto’

Award-Winning Authors Galore on U.P. Book Tour

July 4, 2011

Did you know that Escanaba native Tom Bissell had a Guggenheim fellowship? You’ll be able to catch the author of Chasing the Sea at Negaunee’s Vista Theater on July 14th, and at the Escanaba Public Library on July 16th.

Chasing the Sea Tom Bissell

Chasing the Sea by Tom Bissell

Tom Bissell is just one of more than 60 authors participating in the UP Book Tour which continues through July 23rd and includes more than 20 UP locations and 50 events.

Many of the tours’ participants are UP-based authors like Gretchen Preston, author of Valley Cats, Jerry Harju, well-known humor author, poet Marty Achatz, author of The Mysteries of the Rosary, and Beverly Matherne NMU professor and winner of numerous awards for her poetry that she produces in English and French, including most recently a book about the childhood of the French founder of Detroit, titled Lamothe-Cadillac. I know all of these authors well and have followed their work in some cases for nearly twenty years. I highly recommend each of their books.

Lamothe-Cadillac Beverly Matherne

LaMothe-Cadillac by Beverly Matherne

Many other authors on the tour may be new names to UP residents. One of NMU’s newest professors, Matthew Gavin Frank, who just moved to Marquette, is ready to meet lovers of poetry, food, and travel books. The author of Barolo, about Frank’s time spent working in the Italian wine country, will be part of an author panel at Peter White Public Library on July 13th. Joining Matthew will be Darrin Doyle, author of The Girl Who Ate Kalamazoo. Darrin and I both lived in Kalamazoo and attended Western Michigan University at the same time, so I can’t wait to talk to him about his depiction of Kalamazoo in his writing. Another of my former colleagues from Western Michigan University, Jonathan Johnson, is a well-known poet and the author of Hannah of the Mountains, as well as the son of Ron Johnson, an NMU creative writing professor.

The Girl who ate kalamazoo darrin doyle

The Girl Who Ate Kalamazoo by Darrin Doyle

And the tour also offers plenty of variety. Some authors write about the U.P., some about Michigan, some live in Michigan, others are former Yoopers who have returned for the tour. Adam Schuitema’s Freshwater Boys is set around Lake Michigan and was a Michigan Notable Book. Lauri Anderson and Jane Piirto are influenced by their Finnish heritage in their writings, and Saleem Peeradima is a native of India.

U.P. Ron Riekki

U.P. by Ron Riekki

Freshwater Boys

Freshwater Boys by Adam Schuitema

The U.P. Book Tour has been organized by Ron Riekki, author of U.P., a book currently in the works to be turned into a film. Riekki has brought together all these authors and seeks to bring them to places not normally on book tours, including places like Palmer and Gwinn in the U.P. His passion for U.P. literature has been apparent in the many interviews he has done, including on Public TV 13’s Media Meet and in Marquette’s Mining Journal. Riekki and all the authors, bookstores, and libraries participating on the tour hope that people will come out to support Michigan and U.P. literature and authors. Who says the only places worth reading about are New York, L.A., or London? We know that Michigan is a wonderful place to live, a place rich in history and storytelling, so it’s time to celebrate it.

For a full schedule of the UP Book Tour and author bios, visit Ron Riekki’s website at http://rariekki.webs.com/apps/blog/

Barolo Matthew Gavin Frank

Barolo by Matthew Gavin Frank

And if I may slightly alter the state motto, “If you seek a great award-winning author, look around you.”

Valley Cats Gretchen Preston

Valley Cats by Gretchen Preston

the Mysteries of the Rosary Martin Achatz

The Mysteries of the Rosary by Marty Achatz

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The U.P. Author Book Tour is in Full Swing

June 27, 2011

In case you haven’t heard, for the next month more than 60 authors who write about Michigan and the U.P. will visit more than 20 U.P. communities. I’ll be participating in several of the events.

The Mining Journal recently covered the first event of the book tour and quoted me extensively in part of the article as follows:

“Upper Michigan has long deserved wider attention for its diverse and rich culture and atmosphere,” Tichelaar said. “Everything exists here to make great fiction, from its history, to its powerful forces of nature, its isolation from the rest of the country, and the strength of its people. I wish to support all efforts to treat it as literature….As an author of Upper Michigan literature, I welcome fresh voices and differing points of view about the influence this area has upon people and how that influence is shaped into literature.

Ron Riekki, author of “U.P.” is the organizer of the book tour which will include Lisa Cerasoli Weaver, Matthew Gavin Frank, Beverly Matherne, Jerry Harju, Marty Achatz, Jonathan Johnson, Gretchen Preston, John Carr, Steve Hamilton, Roxanne Gay, Darrin Doyle, Jane Piirto, and numerous other Michigan and U.P. Authors. Book signings and author panels discussing Upper Michigan literature will be held in such diverse places as Marquette, Negaunee, St. Ignace, Houghton, Menominee, Palmer, and Gwinn.

View the full book tour schedule at Ron Riekki’s website: http://rariekki.webs.com/apps/blog/

The U.P. Book Tour is the biggest literary event ever to come to Upper Michigan. Come out and support Upper Michigan literature. After all, what better place to write about?