Join us for a panel presentation featuring accomplished authors from the state of Michigan! Ann Margaret Johns is the author of the non-fiction book, Clarkston's Curse: One Child's Quest to Explain the Series of Tragedies in Her Hometown; cultural anthropologist Veronica Kirin is the author of Stories of Elders: What the Greatest Generation Knows About Technology that You Don't; Richard Gilmore Loftus is the author of Dress Whites, a lyrical collection of poetry; and Susan Sage is the author of the psychological literary novel A Mentor and Her Muse.
About Clarkston’s Curse by Ann Margaret Johns
Based on actual events, Clarkston's Curse is the compelling true story of a child growing up in a small town plagued by tragedy.
Fleeing the violence and uncertainty of Detroit and big city living, Ann Margaret's family moved to Clarkston, Michigan, population 1,024. But this sleepy town has a dark side. Between 1969 and 1982, more than forty unexplained accidents and incomprehensible murders struck residents of this rural community.
A true story of mystery, murder, family, and friendship, Clarkston's Curse is a first-hand account of what it was like to grow up in the 1960s and 70s in a small town where tragedy struck with unsettling frequency. More than forty families are forever changed, and thirty people - young and old - didn't survive to tell their tale. Ann did.
Ann Margaret Johns is a fourth generation Irish Immigrant. Ann’s great grandparents came from County Cork Ireland to escape poverty with the promise of work digging the Erie Canal. Though a CPA by trade, Ann is an avid reader and writer. And who, in spite of the tragedies she read about and witnessed, still lives in Clarkston. You will often find her, and other characters from Clarkston’s Curse sharing a glass of wine in one of the town’s quaint restaurants.
About Stories of Elders: What the Greatest Generation Knows About Technology that You Don't by Veronica Kirin
America’s Greatest Generation (born before 1945) witnessed incredible changes in technology and social progress. From simple improvements in entertainment to life-changing medical advances, technology changed the way they live, work, and identify. Sadly, with each passing year, fewer members of the Greatest Generation remain alive to share their wisdom as the last Americans to grow up before the digital revolution.
In 2015, Millennial author and cultural anthropologist Veronica Kirin drove 11,000 miles across more than 40 states to interview the last living members of the Greatest Generation. Stories of Elders is the result of her years of work to capture and share their perspective for generations to come.
Anthropologist turned serial entrepreneur Veronica Kirin has a passion for telling stories and connecting with the past. Her desire to study social changes through people drove her to write about technology and its impact on culture through the eyes of the Greatest Generation.
Kirin was named by Forbes as a notable graduate of Grand Valley State University, a 40 Under 40 Business Leader, has been recognized as the founder of a Top Women Owned Business, and is the first business in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to be certified by the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce. She offers entrepreneurial coaching to LGBTQ business owners who wish to scale their businesses so they work less, grow faster, and earn more.
About Dress Whites by Richard Gilmore Loftus
A lyrical collection of poems, in which author Richard Gilmore Loftus connects the ordinary with the infinite and celebrates love, nature, music, language, and the overwhelming beauty of simply being alive. Loftus tackles ambitious topics such as the circularity of birth and death, the pursuit of love, and the beauty and power of nature. Yet he has a light, vibrant voice that makes his poetry flow easily. The poems of Dress Whites address the enduring yearnings that consume and bind us as humans.
Richard Gilmore Loftus had a nomadic upbringing, spending time in the Midwest, Greenwich Village, Dublin, and Mallorca; in later years, finding his way to South Africa and Rwanda. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Madison with degrees in English literature and history. Dress Whites is his first full-length collection. Currently, Loftus lives and writes in Michigan, where he also enjoys playing piano and violin, walking with his dog, and building wooden boats.
About A Mentor and Her Muse by Susan Sage
Under the guise of mentor and muse, a frustrated writer and her ambitious teenage protégé take an illicit summer road trip fraught with racial and sexual tension. This is a compelling psychological novel about social norms, artistic ambition, and obsession. Maggie Barnett works in the media center of a school in Flint, Michigan where she meets Taezha Riverton, an aspiring teenage writer. After discovering that Maggie is also a writer, Taezha turns to her as both mentor and friend. Alone and childless, it's not enough for Maggie to take Tae to restaurants and poetry slams. Although Tae’s mother has nothing against Maggie, she is less than thrilled when Maggie proposes to take her daughter on a summer road trip. Permission is never explicitly granted, but shortly after school is out for the summer, Maggie and Tae head for the Southeast.
SUSAN SAGE was a recipient of Wayne State University’s Tompkins Award in Creative Writing. An educator for over twenty years, Susan has worked as an adult education teacher, an educational coordinator, and an academic interventionist at both the elementary and secondary levels. Born in Detroit, Susan lives in Flushing, Michigan, with her husband, Tom, and two cats. They have a daughter, Sarah, who is also an author.