The U.P. Book Tour continues with events around the U.P. until July 7. The UP Book Tour has been enthusiastically received by audience members who have had the opportunity to meet some of their favorite authors as well as being introduced to new authors.
The U.P. Book Tour began in 2010 with a tour to promote U.P. a novel by Ron Riekki. Riekki expanded the Tour in 2011 and the Tour is bigger and better in 2012. The Tour includes stops at over 20 venues and author presentations by over 40 authors. The range of authors is as diverse as the sites in which they will appear.
One of the crowd favorites has been Ander Monson. Ander grew up in the Keweenaw Peninsula and is now on the faculty at the University of Arizona. His works of fiction include Other Electricities , and Vanishing Point. He received the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize for Neck Deep and Other Predicaments. His poetry includes Vacationland. Monson also edits the journal DIAGRAM.
Gordon Henry is a Professor of English at Michigan State University. His novel The Light People is a collection of poetry and essays filled with Native American wisdom and storytelling tradition. The pieces are provocative and encourage thoughtful reflection on the Native American experience.
Books for children and teens are not left off of the tour. Donald Hall has written a number of children's picture books in addition to his prose and poetry. Kids will love Ox Cart Man, I am the Dog, I am the Cat, The Man Who Lived Alone, Lucy's Christmas, Lucy's Summer, Old Home Day and When Willard Met Babe Ruth.
Janice Repka is a relatively new resident of the U.P. after accepting a faculty position at LSSU last year. She has been sharing her short stories and reading from her two teen novels The Stupendous Dodgeball Fiasco and The Clueless Girl's Guide to Being a Genius during this year's tour.
Also capturing the Native experience is the anthology Voice on the Water published by NMU Press. Grace Chaillier and Rebecca Tavernini edited this collection of stories, poems and images produced by Native American writers of the Great Lakes region.
Mystery writer Steve Hamilton will has written an original play The Tomato Thief that will be produced by the Soo Theatre Project. His Alex McNight mystery series, set in Paradise, Mich., will appeal to mystery readers who like a U.P. setting. His latest book Die a Stranger will be available July 3. Misery Bay, A Stolen Season, Ice Run, Blood in the Sky, North of Nowhere, The Hunting Wind and A Cold Day in Paradise round out the series.
Ghost Writers, Us Haunting Them edited by Keith Taylor and Laura Kasischke is a collection of contemporary Michigan literature with one subject - ghosts. Stories based on true events and created by the author's imagination are featured in this work. This anthology is part of Wayne State University Press' Made in Michigan Writer's series.
Jane Piirto was raised in Ishpeming and now serves as Distinguished Professor at Ashland University in Ohio. Her poems featured in Saunas capture the Finnish culture and life in the U.P. Also available are Young Mather in Ishpeming and A Location in the Upper Peninsula.
Sue Harrison is taking part in this year's U.P. Book Tour. She took the publishing world by storm in 1990 with her first novel in the Ivory Carver trilogy Mother Earth Father Sky set against the prehistoric splendor of the last Ice Age. The trilogy also includes My Sister the Moon and Brother Wind. Her second series, the Storyteller Trilogy includes Song of the River, Cry of the Wind and Call Down the Stars.
Nancy Barr is a former journalist whose heroine, Robin Hamilton, is a newspaper reporter in Escanaba. In the call of duty, Robin gets drug into Page One mysteries including Hit and Run, Whiteout and Vanished. Now living and working at MTU, Barr's U.P. settings and characters will appeal to most mystery readers.
TV6 weatherman Karl Bohnak will also be appearing as an author on the U.P. Book Tour. His books So Cold a Sky and Michigan's Upper Peninsula Almanac recount U.P. weather stories. He and his weather recollections are always a favorite with audiences.
U.P. book stores across the peninsula have been supportive of the U.P. Book Tour. Most of them have books by many of the U.P. Book Tour 2012 authors. Snowbound Books, Book World, North Wind Books, Aurora Books and Safe Harbor Books are UP Book Tour participants and will help you purchase your own copy of the works of featured authors. Many of the books are also available at your local public library or via interlibrary loan. Summer is a great time to Read the U.P.
- Pam Christensen