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An Interview with Publisher and Poet Al DeGenova

Monday, August 17, 2020

By Donald G. Evans

Al DeGenova writes poetry in a shed he built himself (“every nail and screw”), out back of his second home in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, where he has long been associated with the Clearing Folk School. Al fell in love with Door County even earlier than that first workshop with Norbert Blei nearly a quarter century ago—he and his family…

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The Chicago You Know, The Chicago You Don’t Know

Monday, June 29, 2020

By Donald G. Evans

The Summer 2020 Chicago Fit/Lit Challenge

July 13–Aug. 17, 2020

Middle Schoolers and High Schoolers (maybe adults, too—if you are interested, contact me)

Through Zoom and Discord. Site visits are self-guided. (Make it a family outing).

$75; Register Now!; scholarships available, just ask.

Whenever I find myself in a strange place, or even a…

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Black Lives, Redlines and Shared Tales

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

By Randall Albers

Recent events have rendered our nation’s history of racism highly visible—once again. Of course, for those families losing loved ones in Chicago and elsewhere, and for those who daily walk the streets fearing violence, the pain of racism is and always has been a persistent and highly charged reality. Our nation’s pandemic of racism is deeply entrenched and has been for centuries. The…

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You Should Really Buy Joe Meno’s New Book

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

By Donald G. Evans

Joe Meno quietly, relentless produces literature of dazzling variety and ferocity. Big, important novels. Serial comic strips. Anthologies. Pop culture explorations. Experimental stories. Plays. Even a musical. He often—I’m not kidding, often—gets compared to the likes of William Faulkner and Cormac McCarthy, sometimes he even winds up in the same breath as Toni Morrison. Joe Meno started publishing at a high…

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Inside For Indies

Thursday, May 28, 2020

By Donald G. Evans

When you hear the phrase, “How the sausage is made,” it’s usually in the vicinity of another phrase: “You don’t want to know.” The insinuation is that it’s messy, unsanitary, and the organs that get ground together would appall us.

With books, it’s the opposite: we do, exactly, want to know. Jim Garner is spearheading Inside For Indies, a video…

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Friday, May 1, 2020

By Donald G. Evans

Literary prizes mean something only when they come from a place of absolute integrity. The Pulitzer Prize started to mean something 70 years ago today when Gwendolyn Brooks became the first Black author to capture the prize. This was 1950 and the collection was Annie Allen. It catapulted Brooks into the upper stratospheres of important poets and helped…

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Our Independent Bookstores Are in Trouble

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

By Donald G. Evans

It’s HARD to make a living selling books. The behemoth companies like Amazon do what they do based on volume, millions and millions and millions of little profits that add up to a lot. It’s a nameless, faceless, bottom-line approach that results, for us, in cheaper books but almost nothing else.

Luckily, Chicago doesn’t need Amazon. We have The Book…

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Tribute to Herman “Hache” (H.G.) Carrillo

Friday, April 24, 2020

by Anne Calcagno

Herman “Hache” (H.G.) Carrillo lived and worked throughout the eighties and nineties in Chicago. His multiply-awarded, thematically ambitious and linguistically inventive novel Loosing My Espanish, published in 2004 (Pantheon Books), is pinioned in a Chicago Cuban-American community. His years of AIDS activism in our city (a disease to which he lost his beloved partner that was also a subject of…

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Frank London Brown, Jeannette Howard Foster, Gene Wolfe, and Carlos Cortez To Be Inducted into CLHOF

Thursday, April 16, 2020

by Donald G. Evans

The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame’s 2019 class is now official, and Gene Wolfe, Frank London Brown, Carlos Cortez, and Jeannette Howard Foster have been selected to join the ranks of our city’s finest writers. This will be the 10th CLHOF class. The induction ceremony is set to take place at City Lit Theater on Thursday,…

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Supporting Independent Bookstores in Chicago

Thursday, April 2, 2020

By Allison Manley

The Chicago literary community thrives on its independent bookstores. At independent bookstores, you can attend readings and events featuring Chicago authors as well as authors from around the world. You can meet other book lovers and make lifelong friends. You can discover your new favorite books.

If you’re like us and you want to support these institutions despite our homebound…

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