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Wednesday, June 12,2013

The squid, the bear and the guy who ate his own baby

Michigan author launches tour of dark fable set in magical woods

by Bill Castanier
Mat Bell's debut novel, "In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods," is popping up on some impressive must-read lists this summer.
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Wednesday, May 29,2013

Diverse 'Voices'

Grand Ledge writing group publishes third collection of work

by Bill Castanier
The Grand Ledge writers' group, Writing at the Ledges, thinks big — and thinking big this year resulted in a 387-page collection of essays, poems and short stories.
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Wednesday, May 22,2013

Drawn that way

Lansing children's author keeps character grounded in real world

by Bill Castanier
If Ruth McNally Barshaw has her way, Ellie McDoodle will never see 13, play a video game or use a cell phone. And the Lansing author and illustrator will have her way, since she is the creator of the five-book young adult series "The Ellie McDoodle Diaries," about a 12-year-old who journalizes her life, accompanied by doodle drawings.
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Wednesday, May 15,2013

Last comics standing

Local comic book collector to showcase collection at weekend event

by Bill Castanier
Dan Frazier has long been drawn to comic books. The Lansing native, 52, has been collecting comics since he was young, and throughout his life he's accumulated more than 30,000 — about a third of which are signed.
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Wednesday, May 1,2013

Wait for it ...

Pulitzer Prize-winning MSU grad reflects on his early struggles

by Bill Castanier
A woman from a local book club recently accosted me about Richard Ford's novel, "Canada." She'd read my review, but was perplexed by its lack of kinetic action.
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Wednesday, April 24,2013

Pedaling Detroit

Author takes a unique look at the beleaguered metropolist

by Bill Castanier
When he was researching his book, "Detroit City Is the Place to Be: The Afterlife of an American Metropolis," Rolling Stone contributing editor Mark Binelli wanted to see a different side of Detroit than the one portrayed in popular media — a side even some of us "locals" have only seen by expressway on our way to see the Tigers, the Lions or a show at the Fox Theatre. To accomplish this, he spent a year in the city, exploring the streets by bicycle.
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Wednesday, April 10,2013

April literary round-up

As spring settles in, literature aficionados have a rich selection of events to choose from

by Bill Castanier
Lovers of great literature will have their hands — or at least their bedside tables — full if they want to stay up with the remarkable number of distinguished authors who will be visiting Lansing in the next few weeks.
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Wednesday, March 27,2013

Read poets society

East Lansing's celebrates poetry throughout April

by Bill Castanier
April is National Poetry Month, and, like the flowers it often celebrates, poetry is about to spring forth all around town. Michigan State University's Residential College in the Arts and Humanities' Center for Poetry has several activities planned for the month, including three poetry readings, a poetic chalking of a section of the Lansing River Trail and Poetry in Motion, which is hitching a ride on local CATA buses for the second year in a row.
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Monday, March 18,2013

Writers with issues

Bonnie Jo Campbell kicks off a series devoted to authors addressing Michigan life

by Bill Castanier
Wednesday, Jan. 25 — Michigan State University associate dean and writing professor Edward Watts wants to make the Midwest less of a flyover zone when it comes to literature. Watts, who has long been teaching the works of Midwest writers, is the driving force behind a series of three events featuring Michigan writers who delve into political socio-economic issues.
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Wednesday, March 13,2013

‘When I fail, I learn’

John Smoltz’s 'Starting and Closing' addresses baseball and Christian faith

by Bill Castanier
Thursday, May 31 — John Smoltz’s professional baseball career is a highlight reel in itself, but he still calls hitting an eighth-inning walk-off home run to win the Lansing area Diamond Classic in 1985 one of his greatest moments in baseball. One of his worst moments occurred just a couple of weeks earlier, when his Waverly High School team was knocked out of the state finals by Okemos in a rain-shortened game he thought his team had won.
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