The Historical Society of Greater Lansing and Everybody Reads Books is hosting a discussion and book signing with Upper Peninsula author John Smolens for his new book Wolf's Mouth at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 17 at Everybody Reads Books, 2019 Michigan Ave.
Smolens, who is the author of nine works of fiction, has written an epic historical novel revolving around the escape of a German Prisoner of War from one of Michigan's many POW camps during WWII.
The prisoner, with the help of a local woman, escapes to Detroit where many years later his past comes back with a vengeance as the former camp commandant tracks him with a sentence of death.
During World War II there were several prisoner of war camps in Michigan, including five in the Upper Peninsula and four in the Lower Peninsular, including nearby Owosso. There were multiple escapees, including one upon which Smolen has built his book.
Smolens will provide a history of the camps and the work that prisoners did there.
Smolens, who was for years a professor of English at Northern Michigan University, lives in Marquette, MI. His books include Cold, Quarantine, and The Schoolmaster's Daughter.
Smolens is Professor Emeritus and former director of the MFA program in creative writing at Northern Michigan University. During the past three decades he has taught at Michigan State University, Western Michigan University, as well as NMU, where he has been the recipient of the Distinguished Faculty Award.
In 2010 he received the Michigan Author of the Year Award from the Michigan Library Association.