You might not know Chris Van Allsburg’s name, but you know his words. You may even read them to your children or grandchildren on chilly, holiday nights. The Grand Rapids-born author’s books like Jumanji and The Polar Express have been shared around the world, and he’s won two prestigious Caldecott Medals. Van Allsburg is coming to Western Michigan University’s Little Theater on November 15th to present the 30th-anniversary edition of The Polar Express.

Courtesy Cal Freeman

Writer Cal Freeman is from Detroit, and his poems are about very Detroit things. Municipal debt. Foreclosures. The UAW. Freeman will be coming to Bookbug in Kalamazoo April 7th to bring that unique perspective as he reads from his first published book of poetry, called “Brother of Leaving.”  

  The idea of sex, drugs, and rock and roll is a lot more glamorous than the actual circumstances themselves. 

  Just ask Dearborn native Sean Madigan Hoen, writer of the new post-music memoir Songs Only You Know. Hoen came of age in the punk rock scene of Detroit in the 90's, where he struggled to craft his own identity as a musician while dealing with the realities of having a drug-addicted father. Hoen kept his music life secret and also struggled with his own substance addictions, eventually moving past music and into writing. Hoen is now based in Brooklyn and graduated in 2011 from the MFA program at Columbia University. 

Colleen Kinder

According to Webster's Dictionary, the definition of "empathy" is "the feeling that you understand and share another person's experiences and emotions." Author Leslie Jamison has sought to personify what it is to "feel" in her latest book "The Empathy Exams."