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Local Book Notes: Diaspora Daughters And The Printers Ball

1. The Diaspora Daughters Speak.

Afro-Latino(a)s/Caribbeans are challenged to reconcile what are seen as conflicting identities. The Guild Literary Complex sheds poetic light on the topic with The Diaspora Daughters Speak, the July installment of our monthly bilingual poetry series Palabra Pura, curated by Sandra Posados and featuring poets Yolanda Nieves and Maya Emma Nnena Ruth Odim (Maya Odim).

Issues of identity are at the core of the Afro-Latino(a)/Caribbean experience in the United States. Sometimes seen by Latino(a)s as a novelty, Afro-Latino(a)s get asked, 'Where did you learn to speak Spanish?

Meanwhile, whites confuse black Latino(a)s for being African American. And if an Afro-Latino(a) is light skinned the reality of African roots is not recognized by many family members.

July's Palabra Pura encourages Latino(a)s to redress this conflict. As curator Posado notes, "We are 'Latino(a)' regardless of where we fall on the color spectrum. In their own words, these empowered, self-affirming, educated Afro-Latinas/Caribbean poets [will] share their professional and personal experiences of living with a changing, often contested identity in a racialized society."

Sandra Posadas is an educator, artist/illustrator, and actress. She holds a B.A. from Roosevelt University and an M.A. in bilingual/bicultural Education from DePaul University. Posadas has performed across the city, most notably as part of The Brown Girls' Chronicles.

Yolanda Nieves is an educator, writer, and performer. Nieves is an Assistant Professor in English at Wilbur Wright College Chicago and the creative director of The Vida Bella Ensemble. She won the American Educational Research Association's 2010 Arts-Based Dissertation of the Year Award for the performance-text, The Brown Girls' Chronicles: Puerto Rican Women & Resilience.

Maya Emma Nnena Ruth Odim (Maya Odim) is an artist, educator, and author of a collection of poems titled: Planets, Gourds and Traveling Staffs. As a facilitator and co-facilitator she has experience giving creative writing, poetry and spoken word workshops, as well as Latin Dance and Break Dance workshops, in many spaces in the city of Chicago and the state of Connecticut.

The Diaspora Daughters Speak takes place Wednesday, July 17, 2013, at 7:30 p.m. at La Bruquena restaurant, 2726 W. Division. The program will be spoken in English and Spanish. Admission is free.


2. Trip & Return.

The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, announces the ninth annual Printers Ball: Trip & Return.

Spudnik Press Cooperative, one of Chicago's premier independent printmaking houses, is taking the reins for this year's program from the Poetry Foundation, the event's founding organizer.

Printers Ball is the city's largest annual celebration of literary and printmaking culture.

The Printers Ball theme for 2013 is "Trip & Return," a playful reference to a letterpress printing term and an acknowledgment of the return to discussion of the craft.

This daytime event will host letterpress and screen-printing demonstrations, discussions by well-known print and poster makers, readings from local poets, and performances from Elastic Arts Foundation musicians throughout the many art and design spaces within the Hubbard Street Lofts. Local food trucks and beverage vendors will also be on hand.

As is the tradition, over 400 magazines, literary organizations and design studios from across the country will provide complimentary magazines and ephemera to all attendees of this free event.

"Spudnik has grown and our studio has integrated more printing processes, including letterpress and offset printing," says Angee Lennard, founder and executive director of Spudnik Press Cooperative. "With Printers Ball celebrating the materiality of the literary arts, we're an ideal organization to address how literature and printmaking intrinsically speak to and support each other."

Founded in 2004 by Poetry associate editor Fred Sasaki, the first Printers Ball was held at the now-shuttered HotHouse, later moving to various venues throughout Chicago, including the Double Door, the Zhou B Center, the Museum of Contemporary Art and Columbia College Chicago.

Along the way, it has grown from a local celebration to an event with presenters from all over the United States and drawing attendees - last year more than 4,000 - from across the city and beyond.

Printers Ball events include:

* Artist and writer Tony Fitzpatrick in conversation with Fred Sasaki

* Print-shop demonstrations with Brad Vetter and Alex Valentine

* Free jazz performances curated by Elastic Arts Foundation with Michael Zerang, Fred Longberg-Holm, Paul Giallorenzo and Aaron Zarzutzki

* Readings and broadsides curated by Woodland Pattern with poets Anne Kingsbury, Lewis Freedman and Anna Vitale

* Poetics Theater with the Danny's Reading Series

* Conversations with Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum and Detroit Wood Type Co.

* Reading and conversation with writer and visual artist Mary Burger

* Risograph demos with SPARE

* Workshops on surrealist poetry, bookmaking and bookbinding

* Summer spritzers by Hornswaggler Arts and WBC-Goose Island Root Beer and Spicy Ginger courtesy of the WIT Beverage Company

* Sweet treats by Ice3 Ice Cream and savory snacks by 5411 Empanadas

* On-the-spot tote bag screen printing by Spudnik Press Cooperative

* Read/Write Library's BiblioTreka Mobile Library

Plus books, magazines and ephemera from all over! Visit for a full schedule.

Curators include Sarah Dodson, MAKE Magazine; Nell Taylor, Read/Write Library; Luke Daly, arrow as aarow and Spudnik Press Cooperative; Adrienne Miller and Angee Lennard, Spudnik Press Cooperative; Chad Kouri, The Post Family; Elisabeth Hass, Simple Honest Work; Alison Kleiman, DePaul Art Museum; and Corrina Lesser, Chicago Humanities Festival.

Printers Ball 2013 is presented in partnership with Spudnik Press Cooperative Printshop and Annex, Platform, Johalla Projects, The Post Family, Simple Honest Work, and IAEOU. Made possible by the Poetry Foundation and Poetry magazine.

Sponsors include WIT Beverage and French Paper.

This year's annual celebration of literary culture and printmaking will be held on Saturday, July 27, at the Hubbard Street Lofts, 1821 West Hubbard Street, from noon to 6 p.m.


3. Goodbye, O'Gara.

"Chicago's oldest bookstore will close in August, and with it goes an unbroken line of a master booksellers training apprentices that stretches back more than a century," DNAinfo Chicago reports.

"Doug Wilson, the owner and apprentice-less master at O'Gara and Wilson, will close the Hyde Park bookstore that has occupied 57th Street since at least 1913 - and move to Indiana. The business - which once was called Woodworth's - actually dates to 1882, but it has had different locations in the city.

"We love Hyde Park and we're sad to be going but it's necessitated by very simple economics," Wilson said.

"Wilson said he cut every expense he could in the economic recession - including his own salary - and can now no longer afford to stay in Hyde Park. He is moving to the town where he now lives, Chesterton, Ind., where rents are cheaper and taxes are lower."

Click through to learn more about the history and color of the shop.


Comments welcome.


Posted on July 12, 2013

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