Motor City literary scene stirs to life with the coming of spring

Arts / Article

Organizer Kim Hunter introduces readers at a previous Woodward Line Poetry event.

As Detroit shakes off a record-worst winter, new voices can be heard within the usual springtime chorus of robins, pheasants and snowmelt, carried in by a rising tide of literary events and venues. On Tuesday, March 11, Motor City Stories, a Detroit storytelling competition in the vein of the popular MOTH Story Slam, held its inaugural event at the Majestic Café on Woodward. The first theme for this free event was, fittingly, “Spring in the D!” and nine storytellers were chosen at random from audience members who put forth their names. Future Motor City Stories will take place at the Majestic on the second Tuesday of every month.

On Saturday, March 15, salt & cedar, a letterpress studio in the Eastern Market, hosted one of its regular poetry and blues events through their in-house publisher, Ugly Duckling Presse. The event featured poetry by Megan Ewing, James Hart III, Tony Iantosca, Jeffrey Joe Nelson and Daniel Owen, as well as blues performed by Todd Albright and a DJ set by Richie Wohlfeil of Lo & Behold Records & Books. Events and workshops are going on regularly at salt & cedar. Also on Saturday, March 15, was the release party for Issue #4 of infinite mile, Detroit’s newest homegrown venue for art criticism and cultural analysis. The party took place at the Cass Café, where attendees had a chance to mix with the issue’s contributors and discuss the articles.

Get into the swing of literary life in Detroit! In addition to coming events this week at salt & cedar, Signal Return is hosting Transmission 2 (of 6) in their Motor Signal series on Tuesday, March 18th at 7 p.m. The event is free and will feature Airea D. Mathews and Raymond McDaniel. On Wednesday, March 19th at 7 p.m., the beloved Woodward Line Poetry Series has its regular monthly reading at the Scarab Club; this month’s featured reader is Andrei Codrescu.

Upcoming this week at the Woodward Line Poetry Series.

Upcoming this week at the Woodward Line Poetry Series.

Majestic Café: 4140 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700; Salt & Cedar: 2448 Riopelle St., Detroit; 207-671-3462; Cass Café: 4620 Cass Ave., Detroit; 313-831-1400; Signal Return: 1345 Division St., Detroit; 313-567-8970; Scarab Club: 217 Farnsworth St., Detroit; 313-831-1250;