Author Visit: The Poisoned City by Anna Clark

We are proud of our friend and fellow-Detroiter, Anna Clark's newest book The Poisoned City: Flint's Water and the American Urban Tragedy and can't wait to have her in our store! Please join us for what will no doubt be an incredible and important discussion surrounding her latest book and the Flint Water Crisis. This event will also feature a performance by Flint poet and author, Jonah Mixon-Webster.

When the people of Flint, Michigan, turned on their faucets in April 2014, the water pouring out was poisoned with lead and other toxins. Through a series of disastrous decisions, the state government had switched the city’s water to a source that corroded Flint’s aging lead pipes. Complaints about the foul-smelling water were dismissed: the residents of Flint―a largely poor African American city of about 100,000 people―were not seen as credible, even in matters of their own lives.

It took 18 months of citizen activism, in partnership with a band of dogged outsiders, to force the state to admit that the water was poisonous. But this was only after 12 people died and Flint’s children suffered irreparable harm. The long battle for accountability and a humane response to this manmade disaster has only just begun.

In the first full account of this American tragedy, The Poisoned City recounts the gripping story of Flint’s poisoned water through the people who caused it, suffered from it, and exposed it. It is a chronicle of one town, but could also be about any American city, all made precarious by the neglect of infrastructure and the erosion of democratic decision making. Places like Flint are set up to fail―and for the people who live and work in them, the consequences can be fatal.

ANNA CLARK is an author and journalist living in Detroit. Her writing has appeared in Elle MagazineThe New York TimesPoliticoNext City, and other publications. She was a correspondent for the Columbia Journalism Review as part of its United States Project, for nearly five years.


Anna was part of the 2017 class Knight-Wallace journalism fellows at the University of Michigan. She edited A Detroit Anthology, a 2015 Michigan Notable Book, and she is the author of Michigan Literary Luminaries: From Elmore Leonard to Robert Hayden. She was a founding board member and applications director for Write A House through the time that it rehabilitated three vacant homes in Detroit and gave them away to writers, for free. She was also a writer-in-residence in Detroit high schools through InsideOut Literary Arts for four years, and the founder of Literary Detroit. She has been a longtime co-leader of an improv theater workshop at a men’s prison in Macomb County, Michigan.

Event date: 
Thursday, July 12, 2018 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm
Event address: 
19560 Grand River Ave.
Detroit, MI 48223
The Poisoned City: Flint's Water and the American Urban Tragedy Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250125149
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Metropolitan Books - July 10th, 2018