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Wednesday, January 28

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Book Club

Bookmarks Fri Jan 23 2015


Howdy, Book Club! Ready for this weekend's ridiculous revelry?

Tonight! Shermin Nahid Kruse will be sharig stories from her new book Butterfly Stitches, inspired by the true tales of Iranian Women, at the Book Cellar, 7 pm.

Saturday! If you thought the Empty Bottle Book Club was over, you thought wrong! It was only on a quick 15-month break, and Saturday it returns for more food, drinks and discussion of Viv Albertine's memoir, Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys, 5:45 pm.

Saturday! The Book Cellar's busy weekend continues with the Fourth Annual Book of the Year Awards where The Chicago Authors Association will honor those books that took 2014 by storm. Winning authors, who will be in attendance to discuss their work, include Scott Jacobs (Famous Ski Hills in Wisconsin), Rebecca Makkai (The Hundred-Year House), Samantha Irby (Meaty), and Kristin A. Oakley (Carpe Diem, Illinois (A Leo Townsend novel)), 7 pm.

Saturday and Sunday! Crystal Palaces in Cockaigne opens at the Hairpin Arts Center, and is slated to be up all week with nightly festivities (including a Story Club appearance this Thursday night); gallery opening Saturday at 8 pm.

Miden Wood / Comments (0)

Submissions Thu Jan 15 2015

Rated S For "Submissions": Chicago Literati's TV Issue

Call it a mixture of high and low culture: online literary magazine Chicago Literati is looking for your stories about your "stories." Television is the theme for the January issue, so dust off your fan fiction or petition to get Mr. Belvedere in syndication and submit.

The lit community, including CL contributors, has responded with everything from Barney Miller portraits to posts about the comforting nostalgia afforded by sitcoms from the last millennium ('90s TGIF lineup forever). Founder and editor-in-chief Abby Sheaffer even shared an exclusive interview with Wendy Robie, who played Nadine Hurley on cult favorite Twin Peaks.

The deadline for submissions is February 5, and Chicago Literati is looking for "your best art, essays, fiction and photography depicting your love and fascination with TV." And who knows--that just might include your compilation of Arrested Development chicken dance gifs.

Danette Chavez / Comments (0)

Bookmarks Fri Jan 09 2015


Tonight! The Kates hit the Book Cellar at 8 pm for comedy especially provided by Chicago's wealth of female comics, 8 pm.

Saturday! Don't forget weekly favorites, Paper Machete at the Green Mill @ 3 pm and Blackout Diaries at at High Hat Club @ 8 pm.

Sunday! That's All She Wrote,a Lovely Live Lit show held at Great Lakes Tattoo, will present a slew of talented storytellers, free and BYOB, 8 pm.

Sunday! Serving the Sentence challenges writers to concoct a story all using the same first sentence. This month's show will begin (and begin, and begin) with the phrase, "The coffee table was $20,000, I kid you not." Come out to Towbar to see what unfolds, 7 pm.

Miden Wood / Comments (0)

Submissions Wed Jan 07 2015

Resolve to Get Published

It's a new year, and the beginning of January is the traditional time to make resolutions. If you're an aspiring writer, maybe this is the year you start to get published -- or published more often, if you already have a couple bylines under your belt.

Another Chicago Magazine is calling for submissions for its 52nd issue. Fiction, nonfiction and poetry accepted.

Chicago Literati is calling for submissions for its upcoming TV issue. They're looking for essays and fiction about TV shows, the role of television in culture, or whatever else you might think of. Pieces should be no longer than 2,000 words.

Continue reading this entry »

Andrew Huff / Comments (0)

Book Club Wed Jan 07 2015

A Big Month at 826CHI

index.jpgNon-profit tutoring and creative writing center 826CHI has officially re-located and is open for business! Better yet, to celebrate the auspicious new turf, author and 826 co-founder Dave Eggers will be stopping in for an Open House. Friday, Jan. 16, come to 826's new digs (1276 N. Milwaukee Ave.) and meet the author, enjoy a tour of the new space, refreshments and live music. On top of that, find your family's storyteller with collaborative writing exercises for all ages.

While you're at it, donate to Scrabble for Cheaters teams as they prepare for the sneaky scrabble tournament of a lifetime. As these teams go head-to-head, all raised funds will help them cheat against their opponents, and help 826 continue tutoring, publishing, and having a grand old time. Sound fun? Feel free to start a team of two today and contribute to a fantastic cause.

It's a big month at 826. Come out and be a part of it!

Miden Wood / Comments (0)

Events Tue Dec 30 2014

This Weekend Celebrate New Year's Zine

Start off 2015 with New Year's Zine, a reading of local and touring zine writers, Saturday, Jan. 3, at 7pm at Geek Bar Chicago, 1941 W. North Ave.

Zinesters like to have some fun with their readings, so this should be no exception. Local readers include an entertaining lineup featuring Liz Mason (manager at Quimby's Bookstore), Nikki Yowel (coordinator of Self Publishers of Chicago reading series), Jim Joyce (author of Let it Sink zine), Jonas (author of self published novel The Greatest Most Traveling Circus) and Alex Nall (comic contributor to Chicago Literati). Adding to the festivities will be out-of-town readers Julia Eff (whose zine titles include Every Thug Needs a Lady), Adam Gnade and Rust Belt Jesse.

The event is all ages. Donations will be taken in support of the 2015 Chicago Zine Fest. Zines will be on sale from all readers.

John Wawrzaszek / Comments (0)

Bookmarks Fri Dec 26 2014


Merry December, Everybody! While this weekend everyone is most likely sitting at home reading the novelty books received over the holidays, if you do decide to hit the town, here are a few lit events going on this weekend:

Saturday! City Lit Books hosts "Storytime with Iliya." Make your way to the Logan Square bookstore for a morning of holiday-themed stories and music, 10:30 am.

Saturday! Head over to the High Hat Club for The Blackout Diaries-- true stories of alcohol-fueled misadventures, followed by a Q&A. This one will inevitably be packed with embarrassing holiday revelry, so you won't want to miss it, 7 pm.

Sunday! Uptown Poetry Slam takes the Green Mill stage at 7 pm, with an open mic, a slam, and a featured poet. Come out to see these new and established poets in action!

Miden Wood / Comments (0)

Events Fri Dec 19 2014

Last Chance to Catch the Marrow in 2014

This Sunday, December 21st, don't let the holidays weigh you down. Celebrate with some live lit at Curbside Splendor Publishing's nonfiction lit series the Marrow. Join hosts Naomi Huffman and Leah Pickett at 7:30pm in historic Pilsen's Thalia Hall at the Punch House, 1227 W. 18th st.

This month's lineup welcomes Curbside Splendor Events & Programming Manager Catherine Eves, writer and photographer Susan Hope Lanier, stand-up comedian and writer Tyler Snodgrass, and Gapers Block own Book Club's contributor Danette Chavez.

John Wawrzaszek / Comments (0)

Books Fri Dec 12 2014

Hop into the Cab for a Ride-Along in Dmitry Samarov's Where To?

To my recollection, I never rode in Dmitry Samarov's cab. But thanks to his first book, Hack: Stories from a Chicago Cab, and his latest, Where To? A Hack Memoir, I feel like a regular who's ridden around the city with him for years.

Samarov took a job as a taxi driver after graduating from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, first in Boston and then back here in Chicago. Over the years, he sketched, painted and wrote about the places he went, the things he saw and the many, many people he met, of every stripe and level of sobriety imaginable.

Continue reading this entry »

Andrew Huff / Comments (0)

Events Wed Dec 10 2014

Jessie Ann Foley Brings a 'Carnival' to City Lit Books

On Saturday, Dec. 13, Chicago author Jessie Ann Foley stops by City Lit Books, 2523 N. Kedzie, at 5pm for a reading from her YA book, The Carnival at Bray.

Foley, an Irish-American with North-side Chicago roots, mixes her cultural and Midwest upbringing with her fondness for the early '90s as influences for her first novel. The Carnival at Bray (Elephant Rock Books), set in Chicago and Ireland, is a coming of age story of a female lead, using music and setting to develop the plot. Setting part of the story in the Windy City, Foley doesn't disappoint, citing visual landmarks as well as audio standouts (referencing bands like the Smashing Pumpkins and Liz Phair). Music is key to the book, which Foley showcases in a playlist she created for the novel available on her website.

The event is free and open to the public. Books will be available, which is perfect timing to pick one up for holiday gifts.

John Wawrzaszek / Comments (0)

Events Mon Dec 08 2014

The Golden Age Of The (Front) Page

Print journalism has been hit pretty hard by the digital upstart that is online media, but the street boxes that can be found on just about any major Chicago street prove that we're holding on to the printed page. The newspaper has a storied history in the Second City, which is why the Chicago Public Library will host Mike Conklin for "Chicago's Golden Era of Print Journalism" on Tuesday night at 6 p.m.

Conklin was a writer and editor for the Chicago Tribune for over 12 years, has authored three books, and even spent some time as a Fox 32 News commentator and correspondent. He will chronicle the history of Chicago newspapers, from their mid-18th century beginnings to their 20th century zenith. He'll also talk about print journalism's major players, from publishers like Joseph Medill and Marshall Field III to such venerable contributors as Mike Royko and Gwendolyn Brooks.

The event is free and open to the public. The talk is scheduled for 6 p.m. to 7 pm. and will be held in the Video Theater in the Lower Level of the Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State St. For more information, please call 312-747-4300.

Danette Chavez / Comments (0)

Bookmarks Fri Dec 05 2014


Kick off December with a weekend of litererriment!

Tonight! The Interview Show returns to the Hideout with a lineup that includes local author Jonathan Eig in a discussion of his new book, The Birth of the Pill, 6:30 p.m.

Tonight! Seminary Co-op Bookstore takes a recess from adult lit to present a panel of children's book illustrators, 6:30 p.m.

Saturday! The Chicago Book Expo pops up for its third year of book sales, featured speakers, and lit slams at Columbia College Chicago 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sunday! Author Hunter Sharpless performs and reads from his debut memoir at City Lit Books, 2 p.m.

Sunday! Secret Sunday Salon returns to 209 W. Lake St. for music, lit, dance and any other merriment readily at hand, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Miden Wood / Comments (0)

Events Wed Dec 03 2014

Classic Queer Lit Onscreen & Onstage: Daviel Shy Previews The Ladies Almanack

Equal parts faux-heroic narrative and lesbian gossip column, Djuna Barnes's 1928 novel Ladies Almanack is very strange, very funny, and -- to be fair -- a little hard to read. Whatever one was expecting, it is not that; it's a magpie's nest of archaic language, double entendres, and in-jokes centering on Barnes' social circle, which was dominated by outspoken lesbian salon doyenne Natalie Clifford Barney.

No straightforward film adaptation could do the book justice, so instead Chicago writer and filmmaker Daviel Shy has conceived "a kaleidoscopic tribute to women's writing ... focused on lives and voices of 1920's Paris, refracted by the words of French 1970s theorists, and disseminated through the bodies of international contemporary artists," as the film's website puts it. Ladies AlmanackThose bodies: a pantheon of literary luminaries and other artists, including poet/genius Eileen Myles as the narrator and photographer Deborah Bright as Radclyffe Hall -- convening a contemporary circle of remarkable women to tell the stories of their forebears.

The Ladies Almanack, the movie, is still a work in progress, but throughout the coming year, The Nightingale's Follow Focus program will present excerpts in four installments while giving viewers a peek behind the scenes. The first screening takes place this Sunday, Dec. 7 at 7pm, at 1084 N. Milwaukee Ave., and will include a presentation from Shy and dramatic readings from the novel. For the $15 ticket price, you'll even get a souvenir: part of a Ladies Almanack tarot deck designed by Jess LeMaster, also to be released gradually over the course of the series.

Production photo of Eileen Myles courtesy of The Ladies Almanack.

Daphne Sidor / Comments (0)

Events Wed Dec 03 2014

Chicago Book Expo to Feature Speakers, Literary Events, Book Sales

The Chicago Book Expo will be 11am-5pm Saturday at Columbia College, 1104 S. Wabash. The free event will have 75+ exhibitors selling books, including local presses, authors and literary organizations.

Seventeen sessions featuring more than 40 Chicago authors and other literary events are on the schedule. Here are some highlights:

Continue reading this entry »

Nancy Bishop / Comments (0)

Events Tue Dec 02 2014

Avoid The Holidaze With Story Club

Christmas is coming and the geese are getting fat; people are also getting into fist fights on Black Friday (or better yet, protesting corporate greed) or feigning illness to avoid their "loved" ones. Let's face it, the holiday season doesn't elicit the same kind of merriment in people across the board. So because your heart might not grow three sizes this time of year (at least, it really shouldn't), Story Club is hosting a grumpus gathering worthy of the Krampus.

This Thursday, join host Dana Norris at Holiday Club for stories of holidays gone wrong. The evening's featured performers are Jen Bosworth, James Gordon aka G.P.A, and Jared Crum. As usual, there will be three open mic spots (eight minutes a piece or 1300 words) for a brave few, so happy holidays.

Doors and open mic sign-up will open at 7:30pm, and there's a $10 suggested donation.

Danette Chavez / Comments (0)

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



Wed Jan 28 2015
Miss Spoken @ Gallery Cabaret

Wed Jan 28 2015
Language Matters @ Poetry Foundation

Fri Jan 30 2015
You're Being Ridiculous @ Davenport's Piano Bar

Fri Jan 30 2015
Funny Ha-Ha: Radio Sweethearts @ Hideout

Sat Jan 31 2015
Quimby's 2015 Zlumber Party

Sat Jan 31 2015
You're Being Ridiculous @ Davenport's Piano Bar

Sat Jan 31 2015
The Paper Machete @ Green Mill

Tue Feb 3 2015
Tuesday Funk @ Hopleaf

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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