Common Language Bookstore
317 Braun Court
Ann Arbor, MI  48104
(734) 663-0036



Ron Suresha
author of Hibernation and Other Poems by Bear Bards
Friday, July 25th
7:00 p.m

Followed by a Bear Night at the \aut\ BAR 

We're delighted to bring back prodigal poet and our friend, Ron Suresha, to Ann Arbor for a reading at Common Language. Ron is a Bear community pioneer, a well-respected name in GLBTQ literature, and an enthusiastic, fun reader. We invite everyone to join us for this free event to welcome him back to Ann Arbor.

Author Ron J. Suresha will return to his college-town poetry roots this month when he comes to Ann Arbor to read from his latest book, Hibernation and Other Poems by Bear Bards, at Common Language Bookstore, 317 Braun Court, on Friday, July 25, 2014, at 7:00 pm.

Suresha attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor , where he lived from 1976 to 1981, at Alice Lloyd Hall Pilot Program and the LSA Residential College Creative Writing program, and received an Avery Hopwood Undergraduate Award for his poetry.

In 1978-9 Suresha co-founded and co-edited a free alternative monthly newspaper, The Ann Arbor Alchemist, and also briefly edited a free "New Age" monthly magazine, Ann Arbor Pathways. During his Ann Arbor years, he was also very active in several housing and food cooperatives.

Suresha is a three-time finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for his anthologies on bisexuality. A 2010 collection of traditional Turkish folk tales, The Uncommon Sense of the Immortal Mullah Nasruddin, won two national awards, The Anne Izard Storytellers' Choice Award and a Storytelling World Honor Award.

In 2004, Suresha married Rocco Russo, a family doctor living in Connecticut, and the two presently reside in New Milford.

In 2007, Suresha co-founded Bear Bones Books, an imprint of indie GLBTQ publisher Lethe Press based in Maple Shade, N.J. The imprint publishes not only Suresha's work but also of other authors in the gay/bi men's "Bear" community.

Suresha, who has read twice before in years past at Common Ground, will read from and sign copies of his most recent publication, Hibernation and Other Poems by Bear Bards, the 20th title from Bear Bones Books. Hibernation is an anthology of bear-themed poetry featuring 100 poems by 40 contributors including award-winning authors Felice Picano, Jeff Mann, Alfred Corn, and Jack Fritscher.

Common Language Bookseller Lois Huff wrote this great piece about books and bookstores. We celebrate the great bookstores on Fourth Avenue by publishing it here.

The Bookstores on 4th Ave

In the beginning, and especially today, people have asked the all-important questions . . .

What Is a Book?

  • It is an Object, beloved to many, which comprises a series of printed pages enclosed between covers.  A spine helps hold the book upright on a shelf.  The book is pleasing to the eye and substantial in the hand.  It exists through the combined efforts of author, editor, publisher, manufacturer, distributor, and bookseller.  A book can also be produced in electronic format, but we wonít talk about that here.
  • It is History.  Bound books have been an integral part of Western culture since at least the fifth century AD.  Fortunate is he who owns a first-edition copy of Action Comics #1.
  • It is Information, Instruction, Entertainment, Art.  Books contain the finest fruits of the human mind, the wisdom of the ages, and detailed procedures for doing or making just about anything.
  • It is Decor.  A stack of books resting happily on a bookshelf or an oversize book on a coffee table speaks ďvolumesĒ about a personís interests, education, and priorities in life.
  • It is Nostalgia.  All of us keep a favorite book somewhere that was given to us as a child, belonged to a beloved grandparent, or was signed by Freddie Mercury.
  • It is Green.  A book is not only entirely recyclable, it is reuseable.  When itís time to part with a book, it can be given as a gift, loaned to a neighbor, donated to a library, sold to a used book store, or handed down to a future generation.  If properly cared for, it will last a very long time.  A book is portable, does not require batteries, and emits no electromagnetic radiation.
  • It is Currency.  It can be bartered for food, clothing, and the other essentials of life, or better yet, it can be swapped for more books.

What Is a Bookstore?

  • It can be a megalithic, impersonal, slick, profit-driven e-commerce enterprise which makes no distinction between a book and a chrome-plated shower head, but we wonít talk about that here.
  • It is more often a real brick-and-mortar building which contains thousands of books, all for sale, and a staff of real people to help and advise you.  It can be a corporately-owned bookstore, which exists mainly for the benefit of the shareholder, or a privately-owned, independent bookstore which participates in the energy and vitality of a neighborhood in a city or town.
  • The neighborhood bookstore is commonly staffed by the owner and a handful of assistants, all of whom are passionate about the books they sell.  They are knowledgeable about the community, happy to see you come through the door, often know you by name, and always welcome the chance to serve.
  • Ann Arborís 4th Ave boasts FIVE neighborhood bookstores, all distinctive in the types of books they sell, all intertwined in the dynamic collage of life in Ann Arbor.


Please join us in celebrating 4th Aveís long tradition of
friendly, independent neighborhood bookstores!






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