Zinta Aistars

Host of 'Between The Lines'/Freelancer

Zinta Aistars is our resident book expert. She started interviewing authors and artists for our Arts & More program in 2011.

Aistars is creative director, writer, and editor at Z Word, LLC. She's also the published author of three books in her native Latvian language. Aistars regularly contributes to many print and online publications in addition to freelancing for WMUK.

Zinta Aistars

Most Michigan residents do the same thing when someone asks where in the state we live: we hold up a hand and point to a spot on the "mitten." But how many of us hold up two hands, the second one sideways to show where Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is? Not many. That’s just one thing that irritates U.P. native Ron Riekki. The other is the lack of attention that Upper Peninsula writers receive – so much so that he is compiling four anthologies of U.P. writing. And Here (Michigan State University Press, 2017) is the third in the series.


Dave Martin / AP Photo

For twelve years, retired University of Michigan–Dearborn professor of sociology Lora Bex Lempert co-sponsored a National Lifers of America chapter at a women’s prison. She coordinated college-level courses for the women there, taking a special interest in women doing life sentences. That led to a 20-year research project as she interviewed and befriended 72 women and heard their stories. Lempert put that research into a new book, Women Doing Life: Gender, Punishment, and the Struggle for Identity (NYU Press, 2016).


Thisbe Nissen

Jay Baron Nicorvo admits that his debut novel, The Standard Grand (St. Martin’s Press, 2017), is not an easy read. The characters are messy and complex. But that’s the reality of an honest war story and the people who inhabit it. And people have noticed. The book has been picked for IndieBound's Indie Next List, Library Journal's Spring 2017 Debut Novels Great First Acts, and was named "New and Noteworthy" by Poets & Writers.


Jon Towne

We see the "Certified Organic" label everywhere these days. It's in little food co-ops and big supermarkets. But what does it mean? And how did it all begin? Maynard Kaufman and Julia Christianson supply some answers in the book they edited, The Organic Movement in Michigan. It's a collection of 19 essays by different Michigan authors that's published by Michigan Organic Food and Farm Alliance, or MOFFA. The essays tell the story of the organic movement from its first days and consider its future.


Courtesy Kelly Pucci

You can live a lifetime in the same place and never know its history. That wasn’t enough for Kelly Pucci. When she moved from Chicago to Saint Joseph County, Michigan. She wanted to know more about her new home. And the more she researched, the more unique and sometimes strange stories she found.


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