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Wednesday, August 20

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Book Club

Bookmarks Fri Aug 15 2014

Bookmarks

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

uncanny_website_banner.jpg
Image courtesy of Uncanny Magazine and Katy Shuttleworth

"Is that a unicorn...in 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)

Bookmarks Fri Aug 08 2014

Bookmarks

Tonight! Quimby's hosts Vice Versa's Breakup Party: an evening of lady-powered zine readings and lectures, featuring Julia Arredondo, Melissa Smith, and Vanessa Viruet, 7 pm.

Tonight! Are you a girl with a passion for literature and birthday suits? Naked Girls Reading is having an open call for performers at Everleigh Social Club, 7 pm.

Tonight! Meme seen round the world, Grumpy Cat, will be begrudgingly presenting The Grumpy Guide to Life at a Skokie Barnes & Noble (55 Old Orchard Center), 7 pm.

Saturday! Brain Frame Comix Reading hosts the very last installment of some truly Punk Rock Shit. You won't want to miss the grand finale at Thalia Hall, 6 pm.

Saturday! Rebecca Makkai reads from her new novel, The Hundred-Year House at the Book Cellar, 7 pm.

Sunday! Catch author Michael Goldstein at Women & Children First, where he'll be discussing his book Return of the Light.

Sunday! Leslie Perrine comes to CHI PRC for another installemtn of Zines 101: Jam Comic FunFest! $3, 1 pm.

Miden Wood / Comments (0)

Book Club Wed Aug 06 2014

A Match Made In Heaven, A Town Doomed to Hell

PleasureTown Founders 1.jpg
Image courtesy of PleasureTown

One man's trash is another man's treasure; one town's failed utopian experiment is a Chicago storyteller's ideal setting for a storytelling experiment. Such is the case for PleasureTown, created by live lit stalwarts Keith Ecker and Erin Kahoa. Originally a live stage production, PleasureTown has evolved into a bi-weekly podcast (in the vein of the radio serials of old), as well as a "national platform" for local writers and performers.

PleasureTown was inspired in part by the Homestead Acts of the late 19th-early 20th centuries, wherein the U.S. government offered as many as 160 acres of land to families of settlers who were willing to "go west." It's set in PleasureTown, Oklahoma, a fictional town whose rise and fall is documented by the vignettes created, and voiced, by members of Chicago's live lit and storytelling communities, such as Ian Belknap, Don Hall, and Willy Nast. But the show isn't resting on the laurels of its established performers: there's an interactive element on the website, and even a call for submissions.

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Danette Chavez / Comments (0)

Author Wed Aug 06 2014

Some of the Most Punk Rock Shit I've Ever Seen In My Life

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Lyra Hill, creator of the anarchic and elaborate live comics series Brain Frame, has dark hair and round eyes. She often looks tired as she is, often, tired these days.

She speaks with her hands clasped, and looks at those who speak to her with expectation and attention. Standing atop the stage at the historic, newly restored Thalia Hall she is unmistakably a person in charge.

The interior is massive and neo-gothic. The theater chairs that make up its balcony once belonged to a middle school auditorium. The folding chairs above, rumor has it, were at one point courtside seats for the Lakers. Its stage recalls the Phantom of the Opera and Amadeus - in fact, the entire structure has the feel of Prague's neo-everything city center. No mistake, as it was modeled in 1892 after the Prague Opera House, a romantic, expensive-looking venue in the midst of a burgeoning, colorful neighborhood - in this case, Pilsen. Lawn chairs, plastic cones and colorful rope often impede parking on side streets.

Soon the theater will fill with people of all ilk and experience. Fans of Brain Frame are diverse: in the hour Lyra and company scout the space, most mention is made of whose parents are coming (5 of 8 performers present). However, Brain Frame's 3rd Anniversary/Grand Finale show (Brain Frame 19) will likely draw a crowd larger than the average middle school recital. This "homage to ancestral experimentation" is a sort of rite in Chicago. Commonly acknowledged as a "live comix reading", BF nevertheless doesn't shy from ambiguity.

At lunch months earlier, I offer Gertrude Stein as a comparison.
"It's like a salon," I propose. She shrugs.
"Yeah."

Continue reading this entry »

Alex Thompson / Comments (0)

Events Wed Aug 06 2014

Baltimore Breakin' Up Is Hard to Do

For all the lonely hearts who've experienced summer romance go south for the winter, don't fret. This Friday, Aug. 8, Quimby's Bookstore at 1854 W. North hosts a Break Up Party with Vice Versa Press author Julia Arredondo and her new zine Baltimore Breakups: A Pop-Up Memoir.

breakups4.jpgBaltimore resident Arredondo is no stranger to writing about dating, as her past works include zines: Guide to Dating Gangsters Vol. 1 and Guide to Being Alone. Her casual tone delivers the straight dish on heartbreak. This memoir zine, constructed as a pop-up book, resonates a little deeper with imagery jumping out as you flip through the pages.

Also reading will be local fashion icon Vanessa Viruet and relationship eulogist Melissa Smith.

Zines will be available for sale. The event is free and all ages. The tears begins to fall at 7pm. Its BYOT (Bring your own tissue).

John Wawrzaszek / Comments (0)

Events Tue Aug 05 2014

How to Trick a Writer

"A writer," Thomas Mann once noted, "is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people." For me, at least, the blank page is a tundra, inhospitable and endless, and one inches toward it only while calculating escape routes -- I can go back to this minimized Chrome window at any time; if I get stuck I can stop at 9 o'clock.

page.jpgTo help generate the courage needed to charge across it, local author Jac Jemc (My Only Wife) has devised a workshop called Fooling Ourselves (Into Writing), which she'll offer this Saturday, August 9, at the Chicago Publishers Resource Center (858 N. Ashland) at 1 p.m. Over the course of three hours, she'll delve into tactics such as creating "language banks" and accessing "gluts of memory" to get unstuck. The workshop fee is $25, although another generous source of writerly bravery -- Jemc's own rejections blog -- is free.

Daphne Sidor / Comments (0)

Events Mon Aug 04 2014

Two Cookie Minimum Kicks Off its 4th Year Tomorrow

Reading series Two Cookie Minimum kicks off its 4th year tomorrow, Tuesday August 5th, 9pm at Hungry Brain 2319 W. Belmont.

For the last four years, this series has provided a stage for emerging talent, notably those who self-publish books, zines and indie comics. This month's lineup features the talents of writer Franki Jo Beckwith, sketch comedy performer Tom Simmons, indie comic artist Ian McDuffie, writer John Wilmes, and zinester Josh Piotrowski (aka GAS MASK HORSE).

Keeping with the series' name, there will be free cookies. Get there by 9 so you can snag a seat and a plate (and bring some friends to share with). There is no cover.

John Wawrzaszek / Comments (0)

Bookmarks Fri Aug 01 2014

Bookmarks

Another weekly installment of what the weekend has in store for lit lovers:

Tonight! Author Tom Lukas will be at the Book Cellar reading from his debut novel, Special Operations, 7 pm.

Saturday! Beloved weekly live lit show Paper Machete introduces some new players this Saturday with the first show of their Fresh Meat series. Head over to the Green Mill to check out the new blood's debuts. (Don't worry, although he's a regular Chad the Bird will still be making an appearance.) 3 pm.

Saturday! Live lit show You're Being Ridiculous returns to Mary's Attic (above Hamburger Mary's) for their August show. This month, expect a fantastic line-up of readers who promise to be absurd, over-the-top, and absolutely positively ridiculous, $15, 7:30 pm.

Sunday! The Book Cellar brings us more authorial goodness with readings from The Hundred-Year House, a new novel by Rebecca Makkai, 7 pm.

Sunday! Test your judgment of fact or fiction with the Truth or Lie reading series. This weekend's show, to be held at Firecat Projects, features six readers presenting either a true story or total hooey. Is it true? That's up to you, 7:30 pm.

Sunday! Formerly known as Here's the Story, live lit show and potluck dinner Here, Chicago will return to Stage 773 for an evening of tales and tapas. Check out their website to learn more about the readers in store, and try your hand at cooking up a dish for the potluck! $8 or free with a potluck dish, 7:30 pm.

Miden Wood / Comments (0)

Author Tue Jul 29 2014

Lawrence Santoro, Chicago Writer Known for His Gifted Storytelling & Resonant Voice, Dies at 71

Lawrence SantoroBy Sally Duros

Lawrence P. Santoro, the amicable and talented creative man-about-town who worked in Chicago theater as a director, actor and dramaturge until finding his distinct voice as a writer of dark fiction died on Friday, July 25 in his Chicago apartment. He was 71.

He died from cancer of the duodenum, a rare and aggressive form of cancer.

"Larry was patient and a great teacher, and he made lifelong friendships with our motley crowd (of amateurs)," said Ted Allen, host of the TV series "Chopped," who was directed by Santoro as a key cast member of the Chicago Gridiron Show, an annual benefit for the scholarship fund of the Society of Professional Journalists. "I'll always miss him and think of him fondly, and will always remember the Gridiron show as one of the most fun times of my life, largely because of him."

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Book Club / Comments (0)

Bookmarks Fri Jul 25 2014

Bookmarks

All Weekend! Check out the Newberry Library's 30th Annual Book Fair. All 120,000+ titles will be available for $2.00 or less, with a half-off day on Sunday.

Tonight! Author Catherine Fitzpatrick presents her novel Going on Nine at the Book Cellar, 7 pm.

Tonight! Itching for graphic novel goodness? Get Over It! with artist and author Corinne Mucha's reading at Quimby's, 7 pm.

Saturday! Newberry brings you the Bughouse Square Debates. Held in Washington Square Park, the freedom-of-speech-fest promises debates, speeches, and heartily encourages heckling, 12 - 4 pm.

Saturday! Ever dream of cycling across the country? It may do you good to hear the tale from the horse's mouth: Brian Benson presents his book Going Somewhere: A Bicycle Journey Across America at City Lit Books, 5 pm.

Saturday and Sunday! Catch bookstore Women & Children First's Used Book Sale at Andersonville Sdiewalk Sale.

Sunday! The Museum of Contemporary Art hosts Word Weekend, a celebration of all things wordy including a book fair, live readings, hip-hop performances, a play premiere, and graffiti workshops, 12 - 5 pm.

Sunday! Head to the Podlasie Club, 2918 N. Central Park, for therelease of Images of America Avondale and Chicago's Polish Village, 6 pm.

Miden Wood / Comments (0)

Books Thu Jul 24 2014

Find Book Bargains at the Andersonville Summer Sidewalk Sale

Aville_WineWalk_Small_Banner_FA.jpgBargain Hunters, point your vessels north: this weekend the stores of Andersonville take to the streets to offer discounts on all their wares!

We at Book Club are suckers for books (duh), which is why one participating business catches our eye. Feminist bookstore Women & Children First will be holding their used book sale this Saturday, July 26 from 10:00am - 6:00pm and Sunday, July 27 from 11:00am - 5:00pm.

The sale -- which will feature fiction, nonfiction, children's books, LGBTQ titles, CDs, DVDs, and collectibles -- benefits the Women's Voices Fund, a nonprofit arm of WFC dedicated to fostering discussion of feminist issues and culture, and to nurturing children's delight in books. Support women's issues, children's literacy, and your hungry bookshelves by coming out this weekend and seeing what Women & Children First has to offer!

Miden Wood / Comments (0)

Events Thu Jul 24 2014

August is Nigh; Time to Funk Up Your Tuesday

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"Wait, it's already almost August?" you holler at your computer screen, already pre-mourning the impending end of summer. Almost-August means almost-fall means soon the outdoors will again be closed off by a wall of dreaded, frostbiting, withering cold! There was so much you wanted to do! So much you wanted to see! Winter is coming.

Alright, alright, take a breath. The onset of August also means one whole month of summer remains, so it's time to hit the town and soak in all the city has to offer! Our suggestion? Ring in your month with the 72nd installment of eclectic live lit series Tuesday Funk. Swing by Hopleaf at 7:30pm on Aug. 5 to see featured readers Hannah Gamble, David Daskal, Christine Simokaitis, Britt Julious and Leah Thomas, all co-hosted by Eden Robins and Gapers Block editor Andrew Huff. RSVP on Facebook here, and we'll see you in August!

Miden Wood / Comments (0)

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

 

Events

Thu Aug 21 2014
Startup Mixology Book Release

Tue Aug 26 2014
The Moth StorySLAM @ Martyrs'



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, miden@gapersblock.com
Book Club staff inbox: bookclub@gapersblock.com

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