We all had a great time in Lansing, Michigan last Saturday when Michigan luminaries got together and shared our love of books. I somehow got tapped to moderate a panel with the two heavyweights, National Book Award fiction winners, Jaimy Gordon (Lord of Misrule) and Jesmyn Ward (Salvage the Bones.) The event was at the Library of Michigan and darling Christopher took some photos.
Here we are, the three of us, Jaimy in the middle, up on stage in front of the assembled crowd, which included former governor Jim Blanchard, among other Michigan notables. I was very happy to be asking the questions rather than answering them, and if you want to know whether two glasses of wine affects my ability to moderate, well, you will have to click on this link to the videotaped interview. (I’m not recommending it, but am merely offering it
Chris took this photo of all of us assembled on stage. I was a notable author this year, so I’m in the photo, while Jaimy Gordon was notable in 2010.
1st row, left to right: Susan Whitall, Kevin John, Sara Fitzgerald, Thomas Wilson, M. Christine Byron, Bruce Kopytek, Jack Dempsey, Jane Shapiro
2nd row, left to right: Dan Johnson, Bill Vlasic, BONNIE JO CAMPBELL, Ellen Airgood, Scott Sparling, Keith Taylor, Anthony Youn and Colleen Murray Fisher
Though very notable, Jesmyn’s book was not officially a Michigan Notable book as she only lived in Michigan while she was getting her MFA in creative writing at U of M and she writes about her native Mississippi.
I was so happy to snag some extra tickets to share with my friends. Here are some of them:
Here are my girl pals Susan Ramsey and Jamie Blake, who were great company in the car on the way there. (Chris drove, so we chatted).
And it was great fun to have my Lansing bookselling pals here too, Scott Harris (owner of Everybody Reads) and Randall Glumm (former owner of Way Station Books). These guys make any party funner.
Here’s a photo Chris took of Sandra Seaton (playwright and librettist), Peter Blickle (Jaimy’s Peter) and Jaimy Gordon.
Here I am talking to Governor Blanchard. By now I’ve had another glass of wine, so I just kept grinning at him. The thing behind us is a little rock garden
Here’s a photo in which Jesmyn is smiling. I think she is not drinking before going on stage. Smart gal!
And this is another photo of Jesmyn, here looking thoughtful.
If you haven’t heard enough about this event or the Michigan Notable Books program, here is Bill Castanier’s column about the evening’s event:
And here is the Library of Michigan’s official site listing their twenty choices.