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Local Book Notes: JFK Won't Go Away!

1. Agate Eats.

The personalities behind three popular Chicago restaurants are coming together for a panel discussion on entrepreneurship, culinary innovation, and what it takes to be a successful start-up.

Join Doug Sohn of Hot Doug's, Paula Haney of The Hoosier Mama Pie Company, and Kat Barry of the Chicago Diner as they sit down for a conversation with WBEZ's Peter Sagal at the Harold Washington Library on January 15 at 6 pm.

In a city of standout restaurants, Hot Doug's, Hoosier Mama, and the Chicago Diner have all earned devoted followings. Fans come from near and far seeking the unique blend of high-class craft with traditional American foods, be it gourmet sausages, artisanal pies, or meat-free diner fare. From finding the perfect market niche to day-to-day business practices, the resourceful entrepreneurs behind these eateries have innovated ways to keep growing their enthusiastic fan bases, locally and beyond.

The evening will include entertaining stories from the restaurants' histories, a Q&A with the audience, as well as a book signing for each of their newly published books. This is a unique event bringing together leaders from three of Chicago's favorite restaurants to discuss their stories and success.

Free, with books available for purchase.

2. JFK Won't Go Away!

Best-selling author James Swanson will speak about his new book, End of Days: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy, in this Society of Midland Authors event at the Harold Washington Library.

Swanson, a Chicago native, is also the author of Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer and Bloody Crimes: The Chase for Jefferson Davis and the Death Pageant for Lincoln's Corpse (both HarperCollins), and the young adult books Chasing Lincoln's Killer and The President Has Been Shot! The Assassination of John F. Kennedy (both Scholastic).

In End of Days (HarperCollins), Swanson reveals Lee Harvey Oswald's history of violence and follows John and Jacqueline Kennedy's swing through Texas and their fateful Dallas motorcade ride. Swanson also re-creates the last hours of the doomed assassin and the days of national mourning for the president that followed.

Starts at 6 p.m. Free.

3. A Painter Among Poets.

"The Poetry Foundation presents the exhibition Jane Freilicher: Painter Among Poets and features a portfolio of the artist's work in the January 2014 issue of Poetry magazine.

Jane Freilicher was a prominent figure in the New York School poetry scene of the 1950s and '60s. Jane Freilicher: Painter Among Poets explores Freilicher's pivotal role among the poets of the New York School, particularly John Ashbery, Kenneth Koch, Frank O'Hara and James Schuyler. The exhibition comprises paintings, including landscapes, cityscapes, interiors and still lifes, as well as works on paper and a selection of original letters, book covers and photographs.

Freilicher, who painted in the era of abstract expressionism, pursued a painterly realism distinct among her contemporaries. "My poet friends didn't influence me directly with their work," she once said. "There's a sympathetic vibration, a natural syntax - a lack of pomposity or heavy symbolism - and something to do with intimism, an intimate kind of expression."

The New York School poets - Ashbery, Koch, O'Hara and Schuyler - were influenced by Jane Freilicher in their poems and in their daily lives due to her artistic camaraderie and legendary wit. Kenneth Koch remarked that James Schuyler "passed one test for being a poet of the New York School by almost instantly going crazy for Jane Freilicher and all her works."

Through Feb. 21, weekdays, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Free.


Comments welcome.


Posted on January 8, 2014

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