Tuesday, September 16

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Book Club

Events Fri Sep 12 2014

Unabridged Bookstore Throws a Free Party for Paying Guests

The Paying Guests.jpgSet in 1920's London, The Paying Guests examines the social shift that followed the First World War: the extraordinary moment of transformation for women's role in society. Sarah Waters' much-anticipated novel has been hailed as absorbing, compelling, and eloquent; and now copies are coming to you!

Unabridged Books has just heard word that they will be receiving limited signed copies of The Paying Guests and the only proper vessel for their vast enthusiasm is, of course, a party! Featuring complimentary brew from neighboring DryHop Brewers, snacks, jams, and what promise to be "adorable lit-themed photo ops," this Monday's festivities are not to be missed. In addition to Waters' autographed arrivals, Unabridged will be celebrating Margaret Atwood's new collection, Stone Mattress, and Ian McEwan's new novel, The Children Act. In honor of all three authors, for Monday night only 100% of their works in the store will be available at a 20% discount.

Once you've sunk your teeth into old favorites and new releases, get a sneak peek at what Unabridged has in store for their stock; you might just win advanced copies of upcoming releases.

The festivities are this Monday at 10:30 pm. Come on out for your chance at winning a signed copy, and for the plethora of party perks!

Miden Wood / Comments (0)

Bookmarks Fri Sep 12 2014


Today! Joan Adler stops by The Standard Club to read from her latest book For the Sake of the Children: The Letters Between Otto Frank and Nathan Straus Jr., 12 pm.

Today! Stop by the Union League Club where Tavis Smiley will discuss his book Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Final Year, 12 pm.

Tonight! Artists Greg and Fake Petre celebrate the release of their new comic American Nature at Challengers Comics, 6 - 10 pm.

Saturday! Everybody's Coffee hosts a panel for children's book writers and illustrators, all day.

Saturday! Erika T. Wurth releases her new book, Crazy Horse's Girlfriend, with a launch party at City Lit Books, 5 pm.

Sunday! It's a birthday party for beloved author Roald Dahl! Bring your BFF to celebrate the BFG, and whatever you do don't eat the blueberries, at Women & Children First, 3:30 pm.

Miden Wood / Comments (0)

Events Wed Sep 10 2014

Book Release This Saturday for Erika Wurth's Crazy Horse's Girlfriend

Erika Wurth celebrates the release of her newest book, Crazy Horse's Girlfriend (Curbside Splendor Publishing), Saturday, Sept. 13 at City Lit Books, 2523 N. Kedzie, at 5pm.

Wurth, an Apache/Chickasaw/Cherokee raised outside of Denver, is a teacher of creative writing at Western Illinois University. Her debut poetry collection, Indian Trains, (West End Press) is about small town Indians, mixed-bloods of multiple tribes. In Crazy Horse's Girlfriend Wurth returns to explore the modern preconceptions of what it means to be Native American.

For the release she will be joined by fellow readers Lindsay Hunter (Ugly Girls out on Farrar, Straus and Giroux is due out on Nov. 4), Samantha Irby (Meaty, also on Curbside), and Jac Jemc (A Different Bed Every Time, out on Dzanc Books in October). The event is free. Books will be available for purchase.

John Wawrzaszek / Comments (0)

Events Wed Sep 10 2014

Chicago Zine Fest Wants to Play Croquet with You

CZF Movie Night.jpg

In today's fast-paced, hyper-tech, power-driven society, it's difficult to stay in touch with the truth; difficult to be yourself, to produce authentic work, to embrace individualism. This is why in such tumultuous times it is important to revisit those pieces of art that hold a mirror up to society and ask, "What is your damage, Heather?"

Chicago Zine Fest, one of the largest conferences of self-published talent in the country, celebrates artists and authors with powerful voices and unique perspective -- Veronicas in a world of Heathers. While CZF 2015 is still many moons away, the preparations have already begun, and the festival needs your help. Join the Hideout (1354 W. Wabansia Ave.) in a fundraising screening of the darkest of comedies on Sept. 24, featuring candy from Dandy Sweets! Doors open at 5:30pm, $7 suggested donation.

Miden Wood / Comments (0)

Bookmarks Fri Sep 05 2014


Tonight! Author Rachel Wilson celebrates the release of her debut YA novel, Don't Touch at The Book Cellar with a reading and signing at 7 pm.

Tonight! Women & Children first hosts author Rachel DeWoskin in a reading of her new novel, Blind, 7:30 pm.

Saturday! Try your hand at spoken word with performer Gregory Geffrard by signing up for a workshop at Stage773, 4 pm.

Saturday! Enjoy a live taping of the podcast Booked! at Logan Square's City Lit Books. This round of readings will feature Richard Thomas, Jac Jemc, Ben Tanzer, and Brandon Tietz.

Saturday! It's the opening night of the new season of Chicago's Beast Women, an all-female performance variety revue at The Den Theatre, 10:30 pm.

Sunday! Chicago Opera Theater examines the Bard with a seminar on MacBath at the Gene Siskel Film Center. The discussion will explore MacBeth interpretations of film and stage, including the upcoming operatic performance, 12 pm.

Sunday! Don't miss the monthly live lit potluck Here, Chicago. Bring a dish for all to dine on and your entry is free! 7:30 pm.

Sunday! Check out the September installment of Truth or Lie, featuring Alicia Swiz and Sarah Terez Rosenblum, at Firecat Projects, 7:30 pm.

Miden Wood / Comments (0)

Feature Fri Aug 29 2014

Lillie West, Brain Frame Intern, Remembers

brain frame eulogy.jpeg
West drew this eulogy to Brain Frame exclusively for Gaper's Block.

Lillie West has a pleasant British accent. She's wearing a blue dress with white flowers on it. When she sees me walk up to the Hot Wok sushi joint near her school, SAIC downtown, she points at me and does not stop until I'm near enough to hug her. She's on the phone.

"You," I say.

"You," she replies with her pleasant British accent, and hangs up. She's excited about classes, where she's just come from. She considers dropping an intro class but fears she's doing it for the wrong reasons. "Four day weekend, right" She shrugs. We make our way inside.

Continue reading this entry »

Alex Thompson / Comments (0)

Readings Fri Aug 29 2014

Live Lit Lights Up Tuesday

tuesday funk 09/14We're going right back to work the day after Labor Day. On Tuesday, Sept. 2, two live literary events feature Gapers Block writers and editors, and they're both free.

At 7:30pm, the eclectic monthly reading series Tuesday Funk returns to the upstairs lounge at Hopleaf, 5148 N. Clark St. This month's guests include Scott Smith, Ryan DiGiorgi, Holly McDowell -- as well as GB's music editor Anne Holub and contributor Jasmine Davila. GB's editor and publisher Andrew Huff (that is, me) and Eden Robins and co-host the festivities.

Doors open at 7pm (and no earlier -- really), and it's probably a good idea to get there early if you want to sit. The reading starts promptly at 7:30pm. There's no cover, but you must be 21 to attend. RSVP on Facebook.

At 9pm, Two Cookie Minimum is back at the Hungry Brain, 2319 W. Belmont Ave., The theme this month is "Hidden Treasures" and the lineup includes writer Scott Miles, poet Anthony Madrid, comics artist Zelda Galeswsky, writer at Forgotten Chicago Dan "Pogo" Pogorzelski and Gapers Block Book Club editor Miden Wood. Book Club staffer John "Johnny Misfit" Wawrzaszek hosts and provides delicious cookies for the audience. It's also free, and also 21-and-over.

Andrew Huff / Comments (0)

Bookmarks Fri Aug 29 2014


Tonight! Union Street Gallery brings you a plethora of poetry at open mic Union Street Beat, 6:30 pm.

Tonight! Contributors to semi-annual literary magazine After Hours celebrate its 29th edition with a reading at the Book Cellar, 7 pm.

Tonight! Women & Children First hosts D. Bryant Simmons as she discusses her new book, How to Knock a Bravebird from Her Perch, 7:30 pm.

Saturday! Feast on franks with your favorite inter-dimensional travelers at Chowdown at Sundown(ers), Challengers Comics' cook out with special guests, and creators of the Sundowners comic series, Sean Dove, Tim Seeley, and Jim Terry, 4 - 8 pm.

Saturday! Make your way to Quimby's to enjoy Lane Milburn's new graphic novel, Twelve Gems, described by Robot 6 as "'80s-indie black-and-white space-opera," 7 pm.

Miden Wood / Comments (0)

Events Wed Aug 27 2014

Indie Publication Stare Celebrated with Exhibit and New Issue

Stare was an independent publication released from 1976 to 1991 by artist, print maker, and teacher Kevin Riordan. The publication collected irreverent, arresting graphic art and writing with equal attention to how it was printed and bound. To celebrate Stare's legacy, Riordan approached Spudnik Press to host the exhibit Recombinant Stare. The show includes issues of the magazine as well as books, posters, press sheets, and photographs. It brings together recent and selected works by some of Stare's contributors, including Wayne Bertola, Mike Brehm, Elroy Christy, Peter Hannan, Jean Riordan and the late Fritz Wolfmeyer. The exhibit will also be the impetus for a new publication, the first in over two decades, curated by Riordan.

In order to fully understand the scope of Stare, I emailed its creator for an interview. Riordan discusses his printing process and the subsequent release parties thrown over the years. He talks of lofts spaces, early punk bands, and DIY printing. In doing so, he also provides a glimpse into the history of Chicago's independent print community. This is a tremendous story of a passionate artist and how he made his publication come to life.

Continue reading this entry »

John Wawrzaszek / Comments (0)

Bookmarks Fri Aug 22 2014


Tonight! Union Street Gallery hosts open mic "Union Street Beats," for any and all poets looking for an audience, 6:30 pm.

Tonight! Tallgrass Writers Guild presents original work around the theme "Dressing Up," at the Book Cellar, 7 pm.

Tonight! New-York-based sketch troupe and YouTube masters The Harvard Sailing Team makes an appearance at Beat Kitchen, 7:30 pm.

Saturday! Scrape together some scratch paper at Columbia's Papermaker's Garden with The Chicago 77. Organizers suggest bringing an article of clothing to be made into paper pulp, 10 am - 3 pm.

Saturday! Check out lady-driven live-lit series "The Kates," at the Book Cellar, 7 pm.

Miden Wood / Comments (0)

Author Thu Aug 21 2014

What Feminism Is Doing Wrong

cover_bad_feminist.jpgGlancing at Roxane Gay's latest title, Bad Feminist, I cannot help but imagine someone with a rolled up newspaper, whapping well-meaners on the nose: "Bad feminist! Baaad feminist. Look what you did!"

Now take that picture and imagine that, instead of a newspaper, Gay is wielding a rolled up zeitgeist: all the news, TV, film, music, and literature that have managed to slip through the cracks. (To pull an example from the book, Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" became a song. A popular song. Let's all take a moment to wonder how that happened.)

Wrapped in hilarious prose, Bad Feminist is a lab experiment in media dissection. Throughout the anthology, Gay employs dry wit to pick apart thirty-plus essays worth of cultural phenomena; and when not making case studies of Girls or The Help, she analyzes feminism as a whole and its exclusionary tendencies. What does it mean, she asks, to be a woman of color and a feminist? What does it mean to be queer and be feminist?

This Wednesday, August 27th, Roxane will be reading and discussing Bad Feminist at Women & Children First (5233 N. Clark St.) at 7:30 pm. Stop by to chip away at those pieces of culture that subtly undermine feminism -- and maybe to love-bash The Bachelor.

Miden Wood / Comments (0)

Bookmarks Fri Aug 15 2014


Tonight! Jeff Zwirek will discuss the second edition of his graphic novel Burning Building Complex at Quimby's, 7 pm.

Tonight! The Human Thread holds its last OpenMind OpenMic at the Bridgeport Art Center, 1200 W. 35th St, 8 pm.

Saturday and Sunday! Figment Chicago, a festival encouraging and celebrating participatory art of all kinds, comes to Jefferson Memorial Park, 10 am - 6 pm both days.

Saturday! Local memoirist Mary Byrne Eigel hosts writing workshop, "Mining Your Soul Story," at Equilibrium Energy & Education Center, 9 am.

Saturday! The Dollhouse Reading Series, a BYOB Poetrypalooza, returns for another monthly installment, 7:30 pm.

Sunday! Curbside Splendor's Naomi Huffman and Leah Pickett host the August installment of THE MARROW at Punch House, 1227 W. 18th St, 7:30 pm.

Miden Wood / Comments (0)

Profiles Wed Aug 13 2014

Uncanny Magazine Wants You To Rethink The Familiar

Image courtesy of Uncanny Magazine and Katy Shuttleworth

"Is that a space?" you might ask, staring at the logo (created by Katy Shuttleworth) for Uncanny Magazine, the latest endeavor by geek culture mainstays Lynne Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas. And indeed it is--the drawing symbolizes the close relationship between the science fiction and fantasy (SF/F) genres, a relationship that the Thomases will highlight in their new magazine, along with original artwork and literature. But it also represents the proximity of fandom and art, of passions and professionalism.

Uncanny will feature stories, prose, poetry and cover art in, and inspired by, the realms of science fiction and fantasy. The online magazine will be available as an eBook (.mobi, .pdf, . epub) on a bimonthly basis (first Tuesday of the month) at all major eBook stores. Each issue will be made up of original short stories, reprinted stories, poetry, interviews, and nonfiction essays. Because it will be a professional magazine, non-fiction and art work will be solicited, and paid by direct commission. The editors will publish work that reflects their commitment to diversity and representation, and will even have an open call for submissions (for fiction and poetry).

Continue reading this entry »

Danette Chavez / Comments (0)

Events Mon Aug 11 2014

"Second to None" Broadcasts and Archives the Voice of Queer Chicago

second to none color cover.jpgThroughout a number of works, local writer and artist H. Melt has made a project of documenting the intersections of Chicago's history with the lives of its often overlooked transgender and queer communities. Just last year they (Melt's preferred personal pronoun) published SIRvival in the Second City, a collection of poems that emerged from within and around queer institutions such as Dyke March and Big Chicks. This month, Melt opens up the floor with the release of compilation zine Second to None: Queer and Trans Chicago Voices. It debuts with a reading and celebration this Wednesday, August 13, at Women and Children First (5233 N. Clark), at 7:30pm.

Melt seems to have curated Second to None from a place of both love and frustration. They note in the preface that "While Chicago is home to many organizations that provide social, medical, and legal services for queer and trans people, there is not enough support for writers and artists, which often forces them to move elsewhere. Our thriving, underground culture is often overlooked outside of the city." And yet, in the experience of assembling this collection, "a critical queer, nonfiction literary voice has emerged that is strongly rooted in Chicago. Several themes connect these pieces, including the need to talk more openly about race, class, and privilege, the power of community support, and of course, the experience of living in Chicago itself."

Continue reading this entry »

Daphne Sidor / Comments (0)

Events Mon Aug 11 2014

Get on This, Daryl Brown (son of James Brown) at City Lit Books

On the heels of the new James Brown biopic, Daryl Brown, the son of James Brown, comes to Chicago to promote his new book, My Father, the Godfather, Thursday, Aug. 14 at 6:30pm, at City Lit Books, 2523 N. Kedzie.

As the child who got to know James Brown the most, Daryl released his memoir (co-written by Michael Chabries) which takes an in depth look at the life of his father and their relationship. Waldorf Press released the book just before the James Brown biopic hit theaters this August. The book addresses issues not touched upon in the movie, such as drug usage, adultery, and religion. "How can Universal Studios distribute a movie about my dad without even talking to those that were closest to my dad, including me?" said Daryl Brown in press for the book. As son of the famous Godfather of Soul, Daryl toured with his father for eight years and traveled the world with him. The books includes intimate details and stories from his perspective.

The event is free and open to the public. Books will be available at the event.

John Wawrzaszek / Comments (0)

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



Tue Sep 16 2014
Story Club South Side @ Co-Prosperity Sphere

Tue Sep 16 2014
Pundamonium Pun Slam @ Door No. 3

Tue Sep 16 2014
Write Club @ Hideout

Thu Sep 18 2014
Green City Market Cookbook Release @ Jayson Home

Fri Sep 19 2014
Funny Ha-Ha @ Hideout

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,
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