Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Thursday, June 20

Gapers Block

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

Book Club

Bookmarks Fri Jun 27 2014


Saturday! Grow your brain all day long with the first installation of Learn-a-Palooza in Wicker Park! Make a Zine, Keep some Bees, Produce a Play, or try your fist at Self Defense! The day, which lasts from 11:30 am to 4:00 pm, holds those workshops and more. Check out for more classes.

Saturday! Richard N. Cote will Skype in to discuss his career and book In Search of Gentle Death: The Fight for Your Right to Die With Dignity at the Edgewater Branch Library, 2 pm.

Saturday! Printers Ball returns for its tenth anniversary of readings, workshops and featured artists, all under the theme of "Chatter." Be sure to RSVP to attend, 4 pm - 8 pm.

Saturday! Kam Oi Lee reads from her work of speculative fiction at Bucket o' Blood Books and Records, 5 pm.

Sunday! Author Jonathan Lethem discusses his book Dissident Gardens with Printers Row editor Jennifer Day at Logan Square Auditorium, 3 pm.

Sunday! Make your way to Block Rock Pub for Salon Chicago, a live lit series featuring readings from Arnie Bernstein, Tessa Mellas, Kate Milliken, and Ben Tanzer, 7 pm.

Miden Wood

Printers Ball Wed Jun 25 2014

Creatives Convene at Printers Ball this Saturday!


Grab your tuxes, grab your gowns, the Printers Ball is coming to town! The printmaking and poetry celebration's big tenth anniversary is upon us this Saturday; the schedule is jam-packed, and it isn't difficult to see why. With contributors and curators from the likes of Spudnik Press Cooperative , MAKE Magazine, Black Lodge Press, The Post Family, and the Chicago Humanities Festival involved, it seems that every creative in Chicago has a tie to the event.

As any attendee of Zine Fest or Chicago Alternative Comics Expo will tell you, the culmination of so much talent in one place can inspire a glee akin to ADHD, making this year's Printers Ball theme of "Chatter" an appropriate choice. The festivities promise to be abuzz with staccato pop-up performances, featured artists, book swaps, and hands-on workshops. To name just a few, reading series' Brain Frame*, Danny's, Dollhouse, The Swell, Salonathon, Guild Literary Complex, Next Objectivists, Artificial Ear, Young Chicago Authors, and Urban Sandbox all promise to make appearances.

Between shorter performances, drop into a workshop with featured Brooklyn-based performer and artist Tim Fite, where you will dream up the next big smartphone innovation, create an App Development Template on the Vandercook Press, and then use pencils, crayons, markers, and rubber stamps, to bring the inevitable entrepreneurial goldmines to life!

Continue reading this entry »

Miden Wood

Printers Ball Fri Jul 26 2013

Printers Ball Preview: BiblioTreka Mobile Library

biblioTreka3.jpgIt might look like an ice cream cart, but instead of soft-serve, BiblioTreka offers scoops of Chicago-related print media. Adopted by Read/Write Library after Gabriel Levinson's Book Bike project came to a halt, the pop-up library's goal is to showcase the city's cultural history. At Printers Ball, the BiblioTreka will present materials such as community newspapers, artist books, intriguing self-published books of cocktail recipes from the '30s, and much more.

"[We hope to] get the publications and the history out there directly in the form of the words and images of the people who created it," said Nell Taylor, founder of Read/Write Library. "The experience of interacting with the BiblioTreka and encountering media in an unusual, hands-on form is also important to making it feel more accessible to the public. Giving people something fun and approachable is a great way to get them interested in the kinds of materials we have-- things that they may never notice or value otherwise."

In addition to Printers Ball, you can catch BiblioTreka this Sunday at The Parlor, and most Sundays and Thursdays at Comfort Station Logan Square.

Photo by Amanda Meeks

Ines Bellina

Printers Ball Fri Jul 26 2013

Printers Ball Preview: Poetics Theater with Danny's Reading Series

Joel Craig, a founder of the Chicago literary stalwart Danny's Reading Series, has created a poetry reading for Printers Ball centered around experimental writing and poetics and the independent local presses who make such work their focus. From 2 to 3pm, audiences will hear from Devin King, editor of Green Lantern Press and author of CLOPS; Holms Troelstrup, from Bloomington, Indiana's co-im-press and author of Within Mutiny; and Jeanette Gomes, editor at Love Symbol Press and author of Small Breaks of Light.

After their individual readings, the poets will join forces in a "collaborative performance" of "Mostly About the Sentence" from Hannah Weiner's Open House, which features an array of mostly-unpublished work from Weiner, including (according to the publisher's website): "performance texts, early New York School influenced lyric poems, odes and remembrances to/of Mac Low and Ted Berrigan, and later 'clair-style' works." "Clair-style", put simply, is a term Weiner applied to poetics written using clairvoyance. In other words, it's rock and roll time.

Emilie Syberg

Printers Ball Fri Jul 26 2013

Printers Ball Preview: Hornswaggler Arts

Plenty of bartenders on the craft cocktail circuit might consider what they do an art. But for drink-slingers Joseph Rynkiewicz and Graham Hogan, what goes in the glass isn't their only artistic concern. As they'll likely share if you strike up a chat at their bar station during Printers Ball, all the tips they collect go directly to fund the lending art library that is Hornswaggler Arts.

It works like this: at arts events around town, the Hornswaggler crew designs and serves a one-of-a-kind menu of craft cocktails--at Printer's Ball, the theme is "summer spritzers." Then, they sink the proceeds into their unusual collection: a gallery of more than 50 pieces, including the creepy-cute organic wooden squiggles of Sighn, and the bright, intricately geometric prints from Delicious Design League, to name a few. If you like a piece in the collection, you can take it home--but not for good. Instead, you pay a small fee to cover things like transportation and installation, hang it on your wall for three months or longer, and then return it to the collection. The program, as they say on their Facebook page, is "designed to directly stimulate and activate the art community." Their refreshing drinks and conversation should help stimulate and activate anyone who stops by Printers Ball as well.

Daphne Sidor

Printers Ball Wed Jul 24 2013

Printers Ball Preview: Print Shop Demos with Brad Vetter and Alex Valentine

Sometimes it's not what you write but how it looks on paper. Paper arts are an undervalued form in our era of HTML and CSS coding, so come out to Printers Ball this Saturday for some free print shop demos with Brad Vetter and Alex Valentine.

"Alex and I will be doing rotating demos. I will be there in the afternoon (2-5:30pm) cranking out some letterpress prints. I will be using both alternative and traditional letterpress techniques to create a multiple color letterpress print. Using the 1950's era Vandercook #4 letterpress, I want to showcase that such an archaic process can still be innovative and progressive in modern times," said Vetter, who creates letterpress posters at the renown Nashville print shop, Hatch Show Print.

Co-host Valentine, a local print designer who consistently shows work around town, will be demonstrating offset printing, a type of printing done with custom made rubber stamps. Catch these two and maybe make some new art for your walls.

John Accrocco / Comments (2)

Printers Ball Wed Jul 24 2013

Printers Ball Preview: Tony Fitzpatrick

Algren Song Bird_300.jpgChicago artist Tony Fitzpatrick is a man of many talents. If you've laid eyes on one of his stunning, layered collages, you know the feeling of falling down a beautiful rabbit hole, but poetry, playwriting, and acting are all in his wheelhouse.

At this Saturday's Printers Ball, from 5pm to 6pm, Fitzpatrick will be in conversation with Fred Sasaki, associate editor of Poetry magazine, on the subject of art and friendship. (The February 2009 issue of Poetry showcased Fitzpatrick's work in response to Hurricane Katrina; check it out for some soul-stirring, eye-popping works of art.) Per a recent chat with Fitzpatrick, topics could range from the concept of collaboration--"communal energy"-- to what we can learn from our friendships artistically, to the idea that engaging in "good will" can enhance our creative lives. Artists of all stripes can identify with these themes, so the exchange is sure to provide food for thought (and friendship). As a special bonus, Fitzpatrick will be showing some new work as a part of the presentation.

Emilie Syberg

Printers Ball Mon Jul 22 2013

Printers Ball Preview: Elastic Arts

In the potluck of fun and creativity that is this year's Printers Ball, Elastic Arts is bringing the music. We're talking free jazz performances by Michael Zerang, Fred Longberg-Holm, and Paul Giallorenzo & Aaron Zarzutzki. It's what you would expect from an arts foundation that champions "innovative, non-conventional artists and art forms." If a taste of Elastic's sweet jazzy goods leaves you wanting more, you may want to visit their intimate space in Logan Square for one of the many different types of events and programs they host, including music, theater, film/video, art exhibitions, readings, and multi-disciplinary performances. Upcoming shows include a rare Chicago appearance by Bay Area saxophonist Larry Ochs and an improvised musical performance by legendary East Coast guitarist Joe Morris. This summer, in addition to performances every Wednesday at the Logan Square Night Market, Elastic is also joining forces with the Chicago Park District and Kuumba Renaissance of Madison, Wis. to bring us its "Nights Out in the Park" Culture Coach series, a traveling pop-up stage that provides music and hands-on art experiences (more than 750 activities) to ten parks on the south and west sides of Chicago.

Alba Machado

Printers Ball Fri Jul 19 2013

Printer's Ball 2013 Preview Begins Next Week!

PrintersBallImage.gifSpudnik Press Cooperative hosts the 9th annual Printer's Ball on Saturday, July 27 from 12pm-6pm, taking the reins from the Poetry Foundation, the event's founding organizer. This year's celebration of literary culture and printmaking, entitled "Trip & Return", will occupy seven gallery and studio spaces at the Hubbard Street Lofts, 1821 W. Hubbard Street.

In anticipation of this juicy affair-- which features readings and performances, live printmaking demos and workshops, exhibitions and food and drink tastings-- Book Club will be featuring "Printer's Ball Previews" beginning next week. These brief sketches will offer background on the artists and writers exhibiting at the Ball, and fill you in on what they plan to share.

Get excited! (And stay tuned!)

Lara Levitan

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



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,
Book Club staff inbox:



 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15