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Local Book Notes: Chicago Book Expo, The Uptown Factor & Not Saying Thank You

1. The Chicago Book Expo Is Happening On Sunday In Uptown.

"The Chicago Book Expo is a pop-up bookstore and literary fair open to the public being held on Sunday in the Uptown neighborhood from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. at St. Augustine College, 1345 W. Argyle. An aftershow will follow at 5 p.m. at Fat Cat, 4840 N. Broadway.

"The event features an expo with Chicago's best independent publishers and authors selling books, plus free author readings, panel discussions, writing workshops, and bilingual/Spanish programs. Nonprofits and associations serving the writing and publishing communities will be represented. All events are free and open to the public."

Here's the schedule.


"Stemming from a project by the Chicago Writers House, the expo was started in 2011, with the first event being accompanied by more than 40 different publishers who were complemented by several workshops and other activities," Parker Asmann writes for the DePaulia.

"Although the expo that has emerged this year is no longer associated with the Chicago Writers House, the vision that was created by these individuals has remained at the forefront of the new volunteers' mission."


"Several members of the Society of Midland Authors will be selling and signing their books at the Chicago Book Expo," the Society has announced.

Here's that schedule:

11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.: Christine Sneed

11 a.m. - 1 p.m.: David J. Walker, Allen Salter and Mahmoud Saeed

1 p.m. - 3 p.m.: Jim Bowman, Gunter Nitsch, Mike Raleigh and Rosina Neginsky

3 p.m. - 5 p.m.: Sel Yackley, Bill Yarrow, Craig Sautter and George Levy


2. The Uptown Factor.

"In the mid-70s, the Uptown neighborhood was filled with poor whites, blacks, Hispanics and Asians. It was infected with gang activity, mental illness and a unique architectural style. One man decided to document it all with his camera, and is now sharing the images in his new book, Uptown: Portrait of a Chicago Neighborhood in the Mid 1970s."


3. On Doris Lessing And Not Saying Thank You.

"Lessing's major political concern was the same as the one that is at the heart of feminism, and of all civil-rights movements: access.

"In her Nobel acceptance speech, called 'On Not Winning the Nobel Prize,"'Lessing described visiting two schools. The first was in what by then had become the independent Republic of Zimbabwe: 'There is no atlas or globe in the school, no textbooks, no exercise books, or Biros. In the library there are no books of the kind the pupils would like to read, but only tomes from American universities, hard even to lift, rejects from white libraries, or novels with titles like Weekend in Paris and Felicity Finds Love.'

"The second was an upper-crust London boys' school. She told the students there about the students in Zimbabwe who begged visitors to bring them books. The London boys looked at her blankly, polite but bored. 'I'm sure that some of them will one day win prizes,' she said. Look at Orhan Pamuk, she told her audience, look at V. S. Naipaul and J. M. Coetzee. All three, in their Nobel acceptance speeches, spoke of an early life spent with books. How can we better distribute knowledge?"


4. How Long Will I Cry?

"[It's] the first publication of a newly formed nonprofit organization called Big Shoulders Books, which is affiliated with Chicago's DePaul University," Robert Koehler writes. "It's available free of charge, because . . . how could a cry in the wilderness be otherwise?

"It's a cry in the wilderness punctuated by gunfire . . .

"[The book is] the dream and collaboration of lots of people who live in and love Chicago, cultural mecca and, in recent years, 'murder capital' of America. This book begins telling the city's untold story, which is the untold story of so much of the country. It lets loose the voices of children, teenagers, adults who have been wounded by the violence that is the shadow side of American and human culture: the voices of those who have lost their children and their friends to it; the voices of those who have grown up with it; the voices of those who have participated in it and been dragged into it.

"There are 35 interviews in all. Together they convey the complex dynamic of poverty, despair and hope beyond hope. We need to listen. We need to find a collective resolve to end the violence."


5. Latina/o.

"On Thursday, December 5, the Poetry Foundation presents a reading by CantoMundo Fellows Eduardo C. Corral, Carmen Giménez-Smith and Sheryl Luna and CantoMundo co-founder Deborah Paredez," the foundation has announced.

"Inspired by Cave Canem and Kundiman, literary organizations that cultivate the growth of African American and Asian American poets, respectively, CantoMundo is a national collective for Latina/o poets."


"Eduardo C. Corral won the 2011 Yale Younger Poets Prize for Slow Lighting, making him the first Latino recipient of the award. He is also the recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award, a Ruth Lilly Fellowship, and an NEA Fellowship.

"Carmen Giménez-Smith is the author of four poetry collections - Milk and Filth, Goodbye, Flicker, The City She Was, and Odalisque in Pieces. She is currently blogging at Harriet, the blog of the Poetry Foundation.

"Sheryl Luna received the Andres Montoya Prize for her first collection, Pity the Drowned Horses. Poets & Writers Magazine named Luna as one of the "18 Debut Poets who Made their Mark in 2005."

"Deborah Paredez is the author of This Side of Skin, and the critical study, Selenidad: Selena, Latinos, and the Performance of Memory. She is the co-founder of CantoMundo and an associate professor of English at the University of Texas, Austin where she teaches in the New Writers School MFA program.

"This reading is also made possible by Letras Latinas and the Guild Literary Complex."


Comments welcome.


Posted on November 22, 2013

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