Pages Bookshop Presents: ELEMENTAL, A Panel of Creative Nonfiction

Pages Bookshop is excited to host a special reading and discussion with contributors from the new book Elemental: A Collection of Creative Nonfiction.

Come meet Michigan authors: Alison Swan, Ari Mokdad, Keith Taylor, and Anne-Marie Oomen.

This event is free and open to the public. Elemental will be available for purchase before and after the event. 

About Elemental:

Elemental: A Collection of Michigan Creative Nonfiction comes to us from twenty-three of Michigan's most well-known essayists. The essays approach Michigan at the atomic level. This is a place where weather patterns and ecology matter. Farmers, miners, shippers, and loggers have built (or lost) their livelihood on Michigan's nature-what could and could not be made out of our elements. From freshwater lakes that have shaped the ground beneath our feet to the industrial ebb and flow of iron ore and wind power-ours is a state of survival and transformation. In the first section of the book, "Earth," Jerry Dennis remembers working construction in northern Michigan. "Water" includes a piece from Jessica Mesman, who writes of the appearance of snow in different iterations throughout her life. The section "Wind" houses essays about the ungraspable nature of death from Toi Dericotte and Keith Taylor. "Fire" includes a piece by Mardi Jo Link, who recollects the unfortunate series of circumstances surrounding one of her family members.

Elemental's strength lies in its ability to learn from the past in the hope of defining a wiser future. A lot of literature can make this claim, but not all of it comes together so organically. Fans of nonfiction that reads as beautifully as fiction will love this collection.

ARI L. MOKDAD is an award-winning published poet and performance artist. Ari’s work has appeared at Wayne State University’s Open Field Poetry Series and the Jazz Caf. at the Music Hall in Detroit. Most of Ari’s work deals with multiculturalism,  nature, body, ethnicity, and place. Currently, Ari is a doctoral student at Wayne State University, where she studies performance art, creative writing, and embodiment rhetoric. She divides her time between Traverse City and her hometown, Detroit.

ANNE-MARIE OOMEN most recently coauthored The Lake Michigan Mermaid with Linda Nemec Foster. She has written Love, Sex, and 4-H (Next Generation Indie Award for Memoir), Pulling Down the Barn, House of Fields (both Michigan Notable Books), An American Map: Essays, and a collection of poetry, Uncoded Woman (Milkweed Editions). She edited Looking Over My Shoulder: Reflections on the Twentieth Century (MCH). She has written seven plays, including the award-winning Secrets of Luuce Talk Tavern. She is an instructor at Solstice MFA at Pine Manor College (MA) and Interlochen College of Creative Arts. Visit her at

KEITH TAYLOR has published many books over the years—poetry, prose, and translations. His most recent is a collection of poetry, The Bird-while, published by Wayne State University Press in 2017. He recently retired from the writing program at the University of Michigan.

Event date: 
Thursday, August 22, 2019 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm
Event address: 
19560 Grand River Ave.
Detroit, MI 48223
Elemental: A Collection of Michigan Creative Nonfiction (Made in Michigan Writers) Cover Image
By Anne-Marie Oomen (Editor), Teresa J. Scollon (Contribution by), Alison Swan (Contribution by)
ISBN: 9780814345672
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Wayne State University Press - November 5th, 2018