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Wicker Park Lit Fest

Wicker Park Lit Fest

September Literacy Month

with Wicker Park Lit Fest

wicker park lit fest.png

This weekend is the Wicker Park Lit Fest - an annual literary festival held in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago. This is my first opportunity to attend the fest, and I couldn't be more excited. This year there are 9 organizations participating in various events associated with the fest, including: Volumes Bookcafe, Quimby's Bookstore, 826CHI, Challengers Comics and Conversations, Young Chicago Authors, CHIPRC, Guild Literary Complex, Bookclub Chicago, and Storystudio Chicago. I contacted Rebecca from Volumes Bookcafe, who is organizating the event and she said this about the fest:

Wicker Park Lit Fest began in 2015 with the realization that Wicker Park and West Town offer an incredibly robust and unique literary community here in Chicago. From bookstores to libraries and a variety of lit centered organizations - we felt we should highlight this to the Chicago community at large. We started very small the first year, but both last year and this year we boast an incredible lineup of literary events for the neighborhood to enjoy. From a punk rock a cappella performance, a drunken author game show, book launches, readings, new work by Gwendolyn Brooks, panels and so much more. Make sure to keep an eye on your toes (hint hint) when it rains this autumn as well, because we have a fun surprise of poetry popping up all over the neighborhood. 
— Rebecca, Volumes Bookcafe
 Credit: Volumes Bookcafe

Credit: Volumes Bookcafe

Some of the events occurring today and tomorrow are listed below. I hope to see you all there!

Saturday:

826Chi Literacy Panel - September 16, 3 pm, Wicker Park Secret Agency Supply Co - A panel discussion on the intersection of education and social justice! They'll be discussing the best practices for teaching literacy--reading, critical, and cultural--in the classroom. 

E'mon Lauren: Commando Book Release Party - September 16, 5-8 pm, Young Chicago Authors, 1180 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, Illinois, IL 60642 - Come out and support the release of E'mon Lauren's book, hitting shelves soon. Featuring Performances by Patricia Frazier, Huey Gang, & E'mon Lauren.

Rust Belt Chicago: An Anthology Reading - September 16, 7:30-9:30 pm, Volumes Bookcafe, 1474 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, Illinois, IL 60622 - A night celebrating these amazing writers and artists - all a part of this incredible anthology from Belt Publishing. We will hear from contributors: Zoe Zolbrod, Andrew Cantrell, Wyl Villacres, Kari Lydersen. About the Anthology:
Chicago is built on a foundation of meat and railroads and steel, but its identity long ago stretched past manufacturing. A city of opportunity from the get-go, it continues to lure new residents from around the world, and from across a region rocked by recession and deindustrialization. But the problems that plague the Belt don’t disappear once you get past Gary. In fact, they’re often amplified. Chicago’s glittering downtown towers stand in sharp contrast to the struggling south and west sides. A city defined by movement that’s the anchor of the Midwest, bound to its neighbors by a shared ecosystem and economy, Chicago’s complicated – both of the Belt and beyond it. Which makes it a perfect subject for a book.

 Photo from last year's Wicker Park Lit Fest, c/o Wicker Park Lit Fest Facebook Page

Photo from last year's Wicker Park Lit Fest, c/o Wicker Park Lit Fest Facebook Page

Sunday:

Community Book Swap - September 17, 9 am-1 pm, Wicker Park - Chicago Park District, 1425 N. Damen Avenue, Chicago, Illinois, IL 60622 - Your friendly Wicker Park Lit partners are back Sunday the 17th of September at the Farmers' Market. Same as always - Bring a book - Take a book (or 2). We are situated at the south end of the Market (closer to the fountain.)

Life Of by Alison Thumel Chapbook Release Party - September 17, 2:30-5 pm, CHI PRC, 858 N Ashland Ave, Chicago, Illinois, IL 60620 - Stop by CHI PRC on Sunday September 17 to celebrate the release of LIFE OF (Salt Hill Journal, 2017) by local poet Alison Thumel, winner of Salt Hill's 2016 Dead Lake Chapbook Contest. The book release party will feature several local writers and poets, including Annabel Lang, Liz O'Connell-Thompson, Laura Knickelbine and Beyza Ozer. LIFE OF is a work of erasure poetry, and guests will have the opportunity to create an erasure poem of their own (supplies will be provided). Copies of the book will be on sale and there will be a book signing to follow. Light refreshments provided. BYOB. 

Falling for Gwendolyn Brooks - September 17, 4:30-6:30 pm, Volumes Bookcafe, 1474 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, Illinois, IL 60622 - The celebration of the Gwendolyn Brooks centennial continues with a special look at the fall section of SEASONS: A Gwendolyn Brooks Experience. SEASONS is a unique look at the life and work of Ms. Brooks in this new book filled with thematic collections of her poetry and prose; photos; memories from family, friends, peers and mentees and gripping illustrations from the award-winning artist, Jan Spivey Gilchrist. Hosted by Nora Brooks Blakely and Cynthia Walls. 4:30pm - 5:00pm THE MINGLE! Learn more about your fellow guests, Gwendolyn Brooks and maybe even yourself! 5:00pm - 6:00pm THE PROGRAM. Readings and unexpected activities. 6:00pm - 6:30pm THE FAREWELL. Book signing and conversation with Nora Brooks Blakely and Cynthia Walls. 

Community in Place - Audrey Petty & Vida Cross - September 17, 6:30-8 pm, Volumes Bookcafe, 1474 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, Illinois, IL 60622 - A reading/conversation about Community of Place with the amazing Audrey Petty and Vida Cross. Vida Cross is a blues poet. Her work references her ancestry as a third generation Chicagoan, a Bronzeville resident, the artwork of Archibald J. Motley Jr., and the poetic research of Langston Hughes. She received an MFA in Writing and an MFA in Filmmaking from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, an MA in English from Iowa State University and a BA in English-writing and History from Knox College. She is a Cave Canem Fellow. Her work has appeared in The Creativity and Constraint Anthology for Wising Up Press, A Civil Rights Retrospective with the Black Earth Institute, Tabula Poeticawith Chapman University, Transitions Magazine at the Hutchinson Institute, the Cave Canem Anthology XII: Poems 2008-2009, The Literary Review with Fairleigh Dickinson University, Reed Magazine at Reed College, and The Journal of Film and Video from The University of Illinois at Chicago. 

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This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive compensation if you make a purchase using this link. Thank you for supporting this blog and the books I recommend! I may have received a book for free in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
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