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0000017c-60f7-de77-ad7e-f3f73a140000WMUK's weekly show on the literary community in Southwest Michigan. Between The Lines previously aired on Fridays during Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

Between the Lines: Made in Michigan

Alex Raths
iStock Photo

The "Made in Michigan Writers Series" celebrates its tenth anniversary this year. It's published by Wayne State University in Detroit and has proven to be remarkably successful, showcasing the diverse work of Michigan writers. To celebrate, the Wayne State University Press has collected 22 short stories by some of Michigan’s best writers for the new anthology, Bob Seger’s House and Other Stories.

M. L. Liebler, the co-editor of the book with Michael Delp, got the difficult task of choosing the stories to be included in the anthology. He reminisces about how the "Made in Michigan Writers Series" came to be.

A conversation with M.L. Liebler

“Annie Martin, who is the acquisition editor of the Made in Michigan Writers Series, had this vision ten years ago to do a literary series,” Liebler says. “That’s pretty unusual for a university press. They’re not known for poetry and fiction as much as for academic books. She tapped me from the Detroit area and Michael Delp up at Interlochen. By putting us two together, she figured she could build a good series of eclectic writers.”

Credit Wayne State University Press

Since it began in 2006, the series has produced 45 books of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry, with 200 writers, editors, and other contributors.

Detroit native Michael Zadoorian is one of those contributors. His collection of short stories, Lost Tiki Palaces of Detroit, was published by the series in 2009.

“I was reading the foreword to the anthology about just how diverse the Michigan landscape is - its communities and types of people,” says Zadoorian. “It’s hard to pin down the idea of what makes a Michigan writer. I’m going to be different from, say, Bonnie Jo Campbell from Kalamazoo, or any other of the series writers, because we all have a different Michigan experience.”

What does connect all of the writers included in the series and the new anthology is the quality of writing — and the eclectic voices each brings to the page.

Liebler says the "Made in Michigan" series now produces two to four books each year. But he says there are plans to increase that to six to ten. Upcoming titles include poetry and short story collections.

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Zinta Aistars is our resident book expert. She started interviewing authors and artists for our Arts & More program in 2011.
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