A Night with Great Michigan Read Author Angeline Boulley: Attending the One Book, One Community of Monroe County’s Event

by | Apr 5, 2024 | Blog, Blog: General Humanities, Blog: Programs

Our Great Michigan Read (GMR) Spring Author Tour is starting next week, and we couldn’t be more excited! Our Director of Programs, Katie Wittenauer, and I, Jennifer Sierra, DEI Coordinator, couldn’t contain our anticipation and decided to attend the One Book, One Community of Monroe County event, which hosted GMR author Angeline Boulley on March 19. Since the purpose of this blog is to encourage you to attend one of our GMR Author Tour events, I will not give any spoilers. However, I wanted to provide a teaser and, hopefully, persuade many of you to attend. Angeline is well worth a trip to your nearest author tour location!

The event took place at La-Z-Boy Center/Meyer Theater at Monroe County Community College. The venue was filled with Monroe residents of all ages: children, teens, parents, adults in their thirties, forties, and beyond having a night out with girlfriends or partners. Most were holding their copy of Firekeeper’s Daughter, the book we were all impatiently waiting to discuss and hoped to have signed by the author after the event. We were all sharing smiles despite being out on a cold Tuesday night!

When our awaited author, Angeline Boulley, reached the stage, we were all captivated by her presence. She walked the audience through her unexpected journey writing Firekeeper’s Daughter; the story behind this book is as engrossing as the story in the book. In many ways, I was able to gaze at the characters in the book as rooted in real-life experiences while still standing on their own—separated from the author’s life. Above all, I was able to see the book as the final draft of a story that lived many lives. I felt lucky to have the opportunity to read the story iteration that Angeline knew was the one we were meant to read.

After Angeline’s talk, the audience was filled with follow-up questions. I was comforted by all the questions, which demonstrated a genuine curiosity from attendees who, like me, loved the book. By 9 p.m., more than 50 people eagerly stood in line to have their book signed. On my way back from Monroe to Detroit, I couldn’t stop my feeling of hope, hope for all the stories that haven’t been published and are yet to come. First drafts are never supposed to be the last. 

I want to give special thanks to the faculty and staff from Monroe County Community College for hosting us. I also want to echo Angeline’s request to read more Native authors so that many more can have their work published. 

You can catch Angeline Boulley at any of the GMR tour stops below or check out our event calendar for partner-hosted opportunities near you:

  • Saturday, April 13, 2024, 7:00 PM—hosted by Public Libraries of Saginaw at the Pit & Balcony Theater
  • Tuesday, April 16, 2024, 6:30 PM—hosted by the Portage District Library at the Portage Senior Center; register for this event here.
  • Monday, April 22, 2024, 6:00 PM—hosted by St. Ignace Public Library
  • Thursday, April 25, 2024, 12:00 PM (Central Time)—hosted by Ironwood Carnegie Library, Wakefield Library, and Gogebic Community College at Gogebic Community College’s Lindquist Center
  • Friday, April 26, 2024, 6:00 PM—hosted by the Portage Lake District Library, Houghton

This post was written by Jennifer Sierra

Latest Entries

Visiting “Colonial Colonnade,” an exhibit by artist Doris Bittar, at the Arab American National Museum

The Arab American National Museum opened the exhibit “Colonial Colonnade" by artist Doris Bittar on November 9. I, Jennifer Sierra, was fortunate to attend the opening reception on November 10 and witness the live music and dance performances by Clarissa Bitar and...

How to Write a Strong Grant Project Proposal 

As our Humanities Grant deadline is approaching on September 7, we wanted to compile a list of tips to help you write a compelling project description. With this aim, we asked Michigan Humanities Director of Grants, James Nelson, and the Michigan Arts and Culture...

MIHumanities Neighborhoods: Visiting The Black Bottom Street View Exhibit

The Black Bottom Street View is an exhibit by the Black Bottom Archives Project available at the Dequindre Cut Walk in Detroit from June 19 to July 31, 2023. This exhibit presents photos from the former Black Bottom neighborhood, which previously stood on the grounds...

MIHumanities Neighborhoods: Visiting our Partners in Lansing

Michigan Humanities started monthly blog posts at the end of 2020 as a way to connect with our community while our programming and events moved to a virtual format. The monthly blog was coordinated by Jennifer Sierra, Michigan Humanities’ Diversity, Equity, and...

Michigan Humanities Staff Recommendations for This Winter Season

At Michigan Humanities, we wanted to compile a list of recommendations of things to do this upcoming winter season—which is something that unites us all in Michigan! Furthermore, we made sure that some of these activities are free and accessible to all. We asked some...