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Tuesday, April 7

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Book Club

Essay Tue Jul 21 2015

Honoring Open Mic Poetry

We call it "live lit" these days, but the practice of performing written material for an audience goes back decades in Chicago. From storytelling sessions to coffeehouse readings to the genesis of the poetry slam, it's a tradition that only continues to grow.

One of the few awards to formally honor that tradition, Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mic Award, presented by the Guild Literary Complex, holds its 22nd annual award ceremony this Wednesday, July 22 at 7pm at the University of Chicago's Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th St.

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Andrew Huff

Education Wed May 27 2015

Chicago Schools Make Moves to Include Women, Minorities on Required Reading Lists

The MashBy Samantha English & Barbara Cruz

When you think of the books that are read and taught in high schools across the country, what are the first titles that come to mind? The Great Gatsby, Lord of the Flies, The Catcher in the Rye and Of Mice and Men probably flood your memory. The authors of these books — F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Golding, J.D. Salinger and John Steinbeck, respectively — have something in common: They're all white men.

The truth is, many assigned reading lists are short on female and minority authors. But some schools are making strides to change that. Because the literary canon taught in today's schools is often the groundwork for post-secondary education, critics believe a predominately white male perspective could have negative effects on students.

Some argue that teaching the canon to students who no longer find relevance in the issues presented will fail to stimulate teens and ultimately turn them away from reading.

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Book Club

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."*

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About GB Book Club

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

Editor: Andrew Huff, ah@gapersblock.com
Book Club staff inbox: bookclub@gapersblock.com

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