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Local Learning at Literati

All Events Take Place at Literati Bookstore

At Literati Bookstore we believe that learning is a necessary pleasure. We believe that reading makes us not only more curious and knowledgable, but also kinder. We created Local Learning at Literati because we wanted to create accessible opportunities for learning in our community: affordable, welcoming to beginners, unfussy, and taught by passionate, dedicated experts. Each event will cost either $10 or $15 to attend, and participants will receive a beautiful introduction to printmaking, or compassionate communication, or ceramics, or mushrooms, just to name a few examples, from a local expert. Local Learning at Literati begins Summer 2018. We would like to invite you to attend.

We hope you leave a Local Learning event having tried something new, if not having learned something new, maybe the wild-sprout start of a project in hand, maybe equipped to be a little kinder, and maybe a little more indulgent of your curiosities. And of course, participants will also receive a really good list of books on the topic, available to purchase on-site, to take home, read, and continue that unending story of learning. We invite you to celebrate the expertise in our community by joining us to create, ask questions, make messes, meet others, make meaning, and read. With the Local Learning at Literati series, we offer our bookstore to you as a place where your creativity, kindness, and curiosity grow deep roots. 

All events begin at 7pm! They should last approximately one hour. 

Please see below for full descriptions of each event. If you have questions or inquiries, please email us at

May 9

SOLD OUT! Pinch a Pot into Shape with Nancy Bulkley of Yourist Studio

Please note that this event is SOLD OUT. 

Get soothed and grounded: we'll engage in the slow, quiet process of making pinch pots. Each piece of clay opens and unfolds in its unique way, showcasing fragility and strength in this form. We'll leave the outside raw, showing the marks where the clay was stretched.

Nancy Bulkley has been working with clay for over 25 years. She began her undergraduate work at the University of Michigan art school and received her BFA from Alfred University in upstate New York. She teaches ceramics at Yourist Studio in her hometown of Ann Arbor, Michigan.

$15. 7pm. 

May 17

Take Flight with the Wild Birds of Michigan and Emily Strelow

An intro to birding migration in Michigan from biologist and fiction writer Emily Strelow. We will discuss the importance of field marks, bird sounds, flyways, weather, books and online media in the world of birding. Bring your questions and desire to learn birding basics. No experience necessary. 

Emily Strelow has an MFA in Creative Writing from University of Washington in Seattle and an undergraduate degree in Environmental Science. Her first novel, The Wild Birds, was published March of 2018 with Rare Bird Books. She was born and raised in Oregon’s Willamette Valley but now lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. For the last decade she combined teaching writing with doing seasonal avian field biology. While doing field jobs she camped and wrote in remote areas in the desert, mountains and by the ocean. She is a mother to two boys, a naturalist, and a writer.

$10. 7pm. 

June 11

Communicate Compassionately with Lisa Gottlieb

In this interactive gathering, Lisa Gottlieb, social worker and certified Nonviolent Communication trainer will share practical tools that you can start to use immediately to increase empathy and connection in your lives with family, loved ones, friends, co-workers and difficult people in your life.

Lisa Gottlieb, MSW, works as a school social worker in the Washtenaw County Juvenile Detention Center, and coaches individuals, small businesses, faith based organizations and schools through the lens of NVC- Nonviolent-Compassionate Communication, a way of living and connecting that reduces conflict and increases harmony. Lisa is also a certified Kripalu Yoga Teacher, and an avid reader. 

$10. 7pm. 

June 14

SOLD OUT! Try Three Types of Printmaking with Chelsea O'Hayer of Ann Arbor Art Center

Learn three takes on printmaking from artist Chelsea O'Hayer: Gyotaku Fish Printing, a traditional Japanese method of printing fish, printmaking with manhole covers, and screenprinting. 

Chelsea O'Hayer is Education Coordinator and printmaking instructor at the Ann Arbor Art Center. She received her BA in Studio Art from Saint Mary's College and recently graduated with an MFA in printmaking from Michigan State University. She is passionate about both traditional and alternative ways of making prints and sharing the power of print with the community. 

$15. 7pm.

July 10

Learn to Knit with the Good People of Spun

Learn to knit with the good people of Spun. We'll use summerweight yarns for this session, and you'll learn skills to use the whole year round. 

Carol and Pete Sickman-Garner quit their day jobs (Carol: freelance editor; Pete: Marketing Manager at Zingerman's) and opened Spun, a yarn shop in Ann Arbor's Kerrytown neighborhood, in December 2015. Spun seeks to be a destination for area knitters and crocheters, offering a friendly, knowledgeable staff; a wide selection of yarn and tools; and regularly scheduled classes and free Drop-in and Ask-a-Knitter sessions. 

$15. 7pm. 

July 16

Explore the DIA's African-American Art Collection

This event takes place at Literati Bookstore. Literati Bookstore will host a docent from the DIA who will present "In Our Own Voice," a visual discussion about the museum's African American collection. Enhance your awareness of the creative contributions of African Americans from the 19th century through the present day. This talk provides a lens to examine issues of race, gender, politics and culture.

The Detroit Institute of Arts has one of the largest and most significant art collections in the United States. With more than 65,000 artworks that date from the earliest civilizations to the present, the museum offers visitors an encounter with human creativity from all over the world

$10. 7pm.

August 2

SOLD OUT! Forage for Mushrooms with Travis Blume of Argus Farmstop

This bookstore presentation will equip the first-time forager for venturing into the field of mushroom-hunting. Have you ever chanced upon fungal-friend in the forest or field and thought to yourself: "What would happen if I ate that?" Come and get acquainted with your local myco-meal prospectives with Michigan Wild Mushroom I.D. Expert Travis Blume. We'll learn about how to identify species with confidence, where and when to find them, and perhaps most importantly, how to recognize toxic lookalikes. 

Travis Blume is a humble, passionate amateur. He doesn't even own a microscope. He's been foraging in the midwest for a few years and is MAMI/MDARD certified. Travis certifies the wild-foraged mushrooms available for purchase at both locations for Argus Farm Stop (they've offered 12 species of wild mushroom for sale since 2015), and has dabbled in cultivation of Shiitake, Wine Caps, Reishi, and other species of edible mushroom. He has a new companion forager Sandy Paws; she once chomped a morel before Travis could pick it.

$10. 7pm.

August 15

Heal and Nourish Community with Alejandra Foerg and Sylvia Nolasco of Pilar's Tamales

Alejandra Foerg and Sylvia Nolasco believe that food is healing physically and spiritually. Ale and Sylvia will discuss how they make food that heals communities, families, and mothers during postpartum care. 

Alejandra Foerg grew up in the small border town of Nogales, Az and is happy to now be part of the Ann Arbor community. As a post-partum doula working on her DONA certification she hopes to contribute her loving care, knowledge, experience, and empathy for the new family. Sylvia Nolasco is owner of Pilar's Tamales--where Ale also works--and is a community activist, a yoga teacher, and a refugee from El Salvador, who sought sanctuary in the US with her family in 1981. 

$15. 7pm.