Ad: [ ? ]

Saturday, April 25

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

Book Club

Events Tue Apr 21 2015

Big Venerable's Big Day, Matt Rowan Book Release at City Lit

Tomorrow, Wednesday April 22, join local writer Matt Rowan for the release of his newest novel, Big Venerable at City Lit Books, 2523 N. Kedzie Blvd. at 6:30pm.

The novel comes out from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography, a local press that makes limited run hand-bound books. Big Venerable is a collected work of short fiction that weaves through the lives of different characters from a fast food worker to a TV show contestant. The stories lean toward the dark and warped with a touch of humor.

Other readers supporting Rowan include local writers Ben Tanzer, Joseph G. Peterson, and Halle Butler.

Books will be on sale at the event. You can even ask for a signature if you stick around and chat with the author. The event is free and open to the public.

John Wawrzaszek / Comments (1)

Events Tue Apr 14 2015

This Weekend, Reading Series Red Rover Celebrates 10 Years!

The reading series Red Rover, founded in 2005, celebrates its 10 year anniversary with a reading on Saturday, April 18 at Outer Space Studio, 1474 N. Milwaukee Ave.

This is the series' 84th installment, curated by Laura Goldstein and Jennifer Karmin. Each event has been designed as a reading experiment. For this occasion, readers were asked to defend any issue or topic with their own writing. Exploring this idea will be local writers Cean Gamalinda, Marcy Rae Henry, Nathan Hoks, Daniela Olszewska and Anne K. Yoder.

There is a $4 suggested donation at the door. The doors open at 7pm and lock at 7:30pm. Make sure to get there on the dot!

John Wawrzaszek / Comments (0)

Poetry Mon Apr 06 2015

Poets for Chuy: Creative Work + Creative Action

By Jacob Saenz, Jennifer Karmin, Matthias Regan, Toby Altman, Cean Gamalinda, Barbara Barg & Toni Asante Lightfoot

On March 13, 2015, Poets for Chuy brought together writers from across Chicago's neighborhoods and aesthetics to support Jesús 'Chuy' Garcia's progressive campaign for mayor of Chicago. Chuy himself even stopped by, speaking at length about his love for James Brown, the political audacity that has driven his career, and the poems his mother wrote when he was a child. Co-organized by the curators of the Red Rover Series and the Absinthe & Zygote Series, the event took place at the art activist space Center Portion in the Logan Square neighborhood. The featured poets were: Barbara Barg, Sheila Donohue, Laura Goldstein, Jennifer Karmin, Toni Asante Lightfoot, Matthias Regan, Jacob Saenz, Erika L. Sánchez and Keli Stewart. Focusing on the connections between poetry, activism and civic engagement, Toby Altman was the evening's emcee.

poets for chuy

In the sincere hope that poetry can transform our common worlds, we present here a portfolio of responses to the Poets for Chuy reading — by performers, curators, and event volunteers.

Continue reading this entry »

Book Club / Comments (0)

Events Wed Mar 25 2015

A Night of Cartoonists Not to Be Missed, Tomorrow at Quimby's

Brace yourself as Quimby's Bookstore, 1854 W. North Ave., hosts a Night of Cartoonists, tomorrow, Thursday, March 26 at 7pm. The night is stacked with so much talent, their windows might burst.* Reading and discussing work will be three cartoonists: Nicole J. Georges, Keiler Roberts and Gina Wynbrandt.


(Self illustrations of each artist: Georges, Wynbrandt, and Roberts).

Nicole J. Georges, on tour from Portland, will be reading from her book, Calling Dr. Laura and discuss the process of making it. She'll also discuss her senior citizen zine project, Tell It Like It Tiz.

Keiler Roberts, local artist and teacher, is the author of Ignatz award nominated comic Powdered Milk. She'll hopefully regale the audience with hilarious tales that include her family, her daughter Xia, and her dog Crooky.

Gina Wynbrandt, local comics artist, will share some of the funniest comics being created today. Her love of pop culture will undoubtedly come up in the form of Justin Beiber, the internet, teen magazines (think '90s rags like Tiger Beat), or all three at once.

Get to Quimby's early to get a seat. Comics and zines by this fab lady dais will be available for sale.

*The windows won't actually burst. We hope.

John Wawrzaszek / Comments (0)

Events Wed Mar 18 2015

Writers Reading about Songs: Quimby's Night at Livewire Lounge

3-Songs, 3 Writers About Songs
This Sunday, March 22, Wicker Park/Bucktown's Quimby's Bookstore takes over Livewire Lounge, 3394 N. Milwaukee Ave., to create an event mashup of words and music that's been unseen before in Chicago.

The show, 3 Songs, 3 Writers Reading About Those Songs, was curated by the fine staff at Quimby's after being approached by the bar to partner on an event.

Mike "McBeardo" McPadden, author of Heavy Metal Movies: Guitar Barbarians, Mutant Bimbos, and Cult Zombies Amok in the 666 Most Ear- and Eye-Ripping Big Scream Films Ever! (Bazillion Points, 2014), will be reading about the Generation X song Kiss Me Deadly. Writer Celia Forrest will be reading about the DBs song Black and White. And for the third reader, there will be a mystery guest reading about the Blondie song X Offender.

All songs then will be performed live by the punk a capella outfit the Blue Ribbon Glee Club. The event begins at 7pm and is 21+.

John Wawrzaszek / Comments (0)

Events Tue Mar 17 2015

Oyez Review Issue 42 Release Reading this Friday

On Friday, March 20th, Oyez Review, the literary magazine of the Creative Writing Program at Roosevelt University, will release their newest issue with a reading at Quimby's Bookstore, 1854 W. North Ave, 7pm.

Among the readers for the night will be poet Donna Vorreyer who will read a selection that is featured in this issue. Vorreyer is the author of A House of Many Windows (Sundress Publications, 2013) as well as six chapbooks. Her most recent work Encantado (forthcoming from Redbird Chapbook this April) is a collaboration with artist Matt Kish (who's illustrated work can be found in Desert Places released on Chicago press Curbside Splendor).

The event is free and open to the public. The new issue of Oyez will be on sale and back issues are stocked at Quimby's.

John Wawrzaszek / Comments (0)

Events Mon Mar 16 2015

Story Week 2015 is NOW

Columbia College Chicago's annual literary celebration Story Week is back. Events run throughout the end of the week at various venues across the city, culminating on Saturday March 21.

This year's special guests will be leading panels on publishing, hosting live readings and embodying the festival's theme, The Power of Words. Story Week celebrates some notable Chicagoans including Samantha Irby, Audrey Niffenegger, Jessie Ann Foley and Kevin Coval. The festival also welcomes writers and poets of national acclaim such as T. Geronimo Johnson, Garnett Kilberg Cohen, and Edwidge Danticat.

Throughout the week look for event sessions titled Publishing Bootcamp. In these events, guest moderators aim to share their expertise on topics such as finding agents, working with editors, and promoting your work.

All programming is detailed on their web schedule. Events are free and open to the public.

John Wawrzaszek / Comments (0)

Author Fri Mar 06 2015

Chicago Artist Justin Castaneda On Fan Fests And The Funny Pages

Image courtesy of Justin Castaneda

Get ready to fan the flames of your fandom this weekend at Wizard World Fan Fest Chicago 2015. It's the first fan convention of its kind in Chicago, and is a "Fang (or Thank) You" to devoted Wizard World fans and con attendees. It's loaded with enough celebs and artists to ensure that everyone will geek out on the convention floor. Fan Fest Chicago runs March 7-8 at Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 N. River Rd. in Rosemont. Here's the event and panel schedule for the weekend.

Aside from stars like "The Walking Dead's" Norman Reedus and "Orange Is The New Black's" Taryn Manning, Fan Fest Chicago will feature local artists like Justin Castaneda. Castaneda, who is a writer/illustrator from the south side of Chicago, is the creator of the When I Was Little picture book series and HEART. He is currently the illustrator for Wonder Care Presents: The Kinder Guardians with writer Victor Dandridge and Vantage InHouse Productions. He is also a featured artist in comic properties such as Aw Yeah Comics, Omega Comics Presents, and Scratch 9.

I asked Castaneda about his work and upcoming convention trips. Read on to learn more about this homegrown talent.

Continue reading this entry »

Danette Chavez / Comments (0)

Bookmarks Fri Mar 06 2015


Saturday! Swan Day Chicago celebrates female artists of all forms-- writers included. From 10 am to 3 pm, check out performances and keynote speakers at 618 S. Michigan Ave.

Saturday! Chicago Author's Club returns to Open Books to host writers Brian Russell and Hannah Gamble in a discussion of the art and process of poetry, 3 pm.

Saturday! Sector 2337 hosts Danny's Reading Series, featuring poetry by Olivia Cronk and Aaron Kunin, 7 pm.

Sunday! Serving the Sentence returns to Towbar to pay respects to the sentence of the month, "The last time this happened I swore, 'Never again;' but here we are." 7 pm.

Miden Wood / Comments (0)

Events Mon Mar 02 2015

March Madness Continues at Story Club North Side this Thursday

Thursday, March 5, Story Club North Side presents March Madness at Holiday Club, 4000 N. Sheridan Rd.

Story Club mixes featured readers with an open mic. Sign-ups begin at 7:30pm and the event kicks off at 8pm. Following the open mic will be actor Maggie Andersen, writer Bokeen and artist Riva Lehrer. The audience will vote for their favorite story of the night. The winner will be included in the forthcoming Story Club Magazine.

The event is hosted by the energetic duo of Dana Norris and Erin Kahoa. The event is 21+ and there is a $10 suggested cover.

John Wawrzaszek / Comments (0)

Events Thu Feb 26 2015

Opaque Reading Series at Uncharted Books Tomorrow

Opaque Reading Series hosts their third reading tomorrow, Feb. 27, at 7pm at Uncharted Books, 2620 N. Milwaukee Ave.

This reading series aims to showcase literary performances of the "in-between." The theme for the night is growth. Covering that will be readers Daniela Olszewska, Mary Mueller, Emma Alamo, Adam Bangser and Madison Zielinski.

There will be a full color zine available at the event for the suggested price of $5. For those interested in reading at future Opaque events, contact them at

John Wawrzaszek / Comments (0)

Events Wed Feb 25 2015

Begin the Madness of March with Tuesday Funk

Time marches on, and so does Tuesday Funk. Join us in the upstairs lounge at Hopleaf, 5148 N. Clark St., on Tuesday, March 3. The readers will be Keidra Chaney, music writer and cofounder of The Learned Fangirl; Mare Swallow, executive director of the Chicago Writers Conference; poet Danielle Susi; storyteller Genevieve Waller; and writer Tom Underberg.

Doors open at 7pm sharp -- no earlier, alas, but get there as close to 7 as possible to grab a table, as the room fills up quickly. The show begins at 7:30pm, with one intermission. Eden Robins and Andrew Huff (me) co-host. Admission is free, but you must be 21 or older. RSVP, if you like, on Facebook.

Andrew Huff / Comments (0)

Essay Tue Feb 17 2015

On Happiness (or, To Have and Have Not)

By John Rich

Editor's note: The following essay was read at Tuesday Funk, a montly reading series sponsored by Gapers Block, on Jan. 6, 2015.

I don't know what one means by happy
I'm happy spasmodically
If I eat a chocolate turtle, I'm happy
When the box is empty, I'm unhappy
Happiness is
Happiness is a word for amateurs.

— "Happiness Is," Violent Femmes

On August 12, 2014, the American actress Lauren Bacall died of natural causes. She was a month shy of 90 years.

"Here is a test to find out whether your mission in life is complete," Bacall once said. "If you're alive, it isn't."*

Continue reading this entry »

Book Club / Comments (0)

Bookmarks Fri Feb 13 2015


Tonight! Comic construction guru Scott McCloud, author of such formative instructional works as Understanding Comics, Reinventing Comics, and Making Comics, will be at the Art Institute this evening for the winter lineup of the Chicago Humanities Festival. There he will discuss his recent work with Chicks Dig Comics author Lynne Thomas, 6 pm.

Tonight! You may have seen Issa Rae's web series, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl; but you may not have heard that she's released a book of the same name, including the same hilarity. Tonight the author and comedian will read excerpts from and discuss her book at the Swedish American Museum, 7:30 pm.

All day Today! The Poetry Foundation hosts lyrical high schoolers in the Chicago Regionals of Poetry Out Loud, a national poetry recitation competition. Support these students as they vie for a spot in Washington, D.C., where they'll represent Illinois in the national Poetry Out Loud finals.

Saturday! Get romantic with the Poetry Foundation as Suzanne Petri guides listeners through a series of poem recitations. The poems, though varied in tone and launguage, all center around the obvious V-Day topic: Love. Free, 5 pm.

Happy Valentine's, Book Clubbers, and Good Luck with your Friday-the-13th's!

Miden Wood / Comments (0)

Author Fri Feb 06 2015

Zine Fest Returns!

Screen shot 2015-02-06 at 2.06.12 PM.pngZine Fest has announced today that they will be returning in 2015 with a few tweaks, more space, and many more artists and authors. This year's festival for self-publishers will take place on Friday, May 8 and Saturday, May 9 in Plumbers Union Hall just off the Ashland/Lake Pink and Green Line stop. The hall, a new choice for the Fest, will be able to hold over 200 exhibitors, meaning this year's will be the biggest Zine Fest to date.

Years past the Fest has topped off its wealth of exhibitors with readings, panels and classes, and this year is no different. Though specifics are forthcoming, expect plenty of workshops on the DIY of self-publishing, and panels featuring the industry's greats.

Want to exhibit? Submissions for Zine Fest 2015 open on February 22 at noon sharp (central time). Either way, make your way to 1340 W Washington Blvd. on May 8 and 9 for the best self-publishing the scene has to offer!

Miden Wood / Comments (0)

Gapers Block presents Tuesday Funk, Chicago's ecclectic monthly reading series.



Sat Apr 25 2015
Graze Magazine Issue 7 Release Party

Mon Apr 27 2015
Version Festival 15

Tue Apr 28 2015
The Moth StorySLAM @ Martyrs'

Tue Apr 28 2015
Version Festival 15

Wed Apr 29 2015
Miss Spoken @ Gallery Cabaret

About GB Book Club

Book Club is the literary section of Gapers Block, covering Chicago's authors, poets and literary events. More...

Editor: Miden Wood,
Book Club staff inbox:



 Subscribe in a reader.

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15


Sign up for our free email newsletter I Star Chi and get a weekly round-up of the best of Gapers Block, plus our picks for must-do events each weekend!


Preferred format    Preferred format