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Join us to celebrate the release of Bruce Conforth's new book Up Jumped the Devil: The Real Life of Robert Johnson (Chicago Review Press). Bruce Conforth was a longtime professor of folklore, blues, popular culture and the history of social movements at Uof M and was recently featured in the Netflix documentary Devil at the Crossroads. He was also the founding curator of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Up Jumped the Devil will astonish blues fans who thought they knew something about Johnson—most of those things are wrong—and is a great read for anyone interested in blues, black culture and American music. Light refreshments, signing to follow.
"Finally an in-depth biography of one of the greatest blues musicians ever. The clearing up of the myths and mysteries is a relief. The work of the authors is meticulous... creating a full view of his life and times, his friends and influences... how he came to be the greatest of the Delta bluesmen. I am blown away!" --John Hammond, Jr.

We are pleased to present Patrick Lohier, whose enticing debut novel, Radiant Night, blends history, mystery and adrenaline to produce a wildly entertaining and fast-paced literary thriller. Patrick’s stories, book reviews, and essays have appeared in African American Review, Harvard Review, The Georgia Review, Callaloo, The Globe & Mail and other publications. He is an alumnus of the Caldera Artists Residency program, and is a member of the Toronto Arts Council Literary Committee. Patrick lives in Toronto with his wife and two kids. Signing to follow.

Ludwig Mason is the only Marine to have survived an explosion that reduced his military Humvee to a smoldering wreck in war-torn Fallujah. Back home on American soil, the 28-year-old Iraq War vet struggles through the traumatized, booze- and drug-addled aftermath. He fears that he’s lost his family, his friends, and his last chance at anything when something like fate intervenes in the form of a mysterious stranger named Mrs. S.
The old fortune-teller tells Ludwig about an heirloom seized from her family by Nazis decades ago―a fabled tarot deck that has 23 major arcana cards instead of the customary 22. A deck that she believes is now located somewhere in Mobile, Alabama.
Whatever it was that brought Ludwig to Mrs. S.―be it chance, or fate―now draws him into an hallucinatory odyssey fraught with arcane symbols, danger, and paranoia as he ventures to retrieve the missing tarot deck and, with any luck, a piece of his own lost soul.
"Lohier's prose is enthralling. One dark secret dissolves into another, each one more treacherous and shocking. Ludwig Mason, broken and searching, is a character you'll never forget; more than a hero or anti-hero, he is heartbreakingly human." -- Matt Marinovich

After a successful career as a historian, author, and advocate for Racial Amity, Richard W. Thomas is returning home to his poetic roots. His new book Going Home to My Soul: Collected Poems and Narratives is a retrospective of his poetry from the ‘60s, full of the fire, passion and pain of that era. He was drawn to poetry and to the great tradition of speaking hard truth to a world in peril. His work was noticed by some notable poets of that era including Margaret Danner, Amiri Baraka and Langston Hughes.
This is part of a monthly series on the 2nd Thursday of most months in partnership with Les Go Social Media Marketing and Training. The event begins with an Open Mic session when area poets can read their own work or share a favorite poem by another author in a welcoming atmosphere.
SAVE THE DATE: Thursday, July 11 at 7pm
featuring Karen Holman and Josephine Rood

Remember being cozy under a blanket or cuddled up in your favorite library corner while your teacher, librarian or parent read a book to you? We never outgrow our love of hearing a good story so join us for Grown Folks Story Time: SCHOOL'S OUT!
Patti Smith will be our esteemed host. We will also be hearing from Ken MacGregor, Callie Feyen, John Hritz, Morgan Hoeffel and Kelly Rowland. Pajamas & pillows are encouraged! Light refreshments.
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