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Local Book Notes: The Most Famous Book Set In Illinois

Getting Gwendolyn
"The University of Illinois Rare Book and Manuscript Library has acquired the archives of the poet Gwendolyn Brooks," the New York Times reports.

"Brooks was born in Kansas, but her family moved to Chicago when she was an infant, and she became closely associated with that city. She was the poet laureate of Illinois for 32 years, until her death in 2000. Among many other honors, she won the 1950 Pulitzer Prize for her collection Annie Allen.

"Valerie Hotchkiss, the director of the Rare Book and Manuscript Library, said the institution also holds the archives of Carl Sandburg, another writer famously from Chicago, and the state's poet laureate before Brooks."

Sweet Home Chicago Review Press
Catching up: Turning 40.

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From the Chicago Review Press's Own History:

"Chicago Review Press is an independent book publisher founded in 1973 by Curt and Linda Matthews.

"As a graduate student at the University of Chicago and poetry editor for Chicago Review magazine, Curt had come across some wonderful works that were too long for the journal to publish, so he decided to publish them himself out of his own basement.

"Curt and his wife Linda, both English instructors at Northwestern University at the time, asked and received permission from the University of Chicago to call their fledgling publishing company Chicago Review Press.

"The name was both recognizable - it had cachet - and it located the press in Chicago, which seemed useful as many of the company's early publications were Chicago-centric, including the guidebooks Sweet Home Chicago and Antique Collecting in the Midwest, and a very early and very beautiful graphic novel by Bill Bergeron called Prairie State Blues."

Click through for the rest of the story.

The Most Famous Book Set In Illinois
No surprise.

CPL Patronage
"The Chicago Public Library and its 80 branch locations have received a $300,000 grant from the Illinois State Library to create a Patron Driven Acquisition (PDA) pilot program. Ingram will the distributor for the program, and according to a press release, patron requests will translate directly into orders for the library," Claire Kelley of Melville House notes.

Click through to learn more.

Meet The Middlesteins
"Buffalo Grove High School alum Jami Attenberg's most recent novel can be picked up at local libraries and Chicago's Spertus Institute is promoting her work for its One Book One Community initiative," the Buffalo Grove Countryside reports.

"The Buffalo Grove native, now a professional writer living in Brooklyn, N.Y., crafted The Middlesteins, a novel about a dysfunctional family in suburban Chicago.

"The tale of an overeating wife and mother, and how her family responds to her, will be the focus of several programs hosted by the Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership in the coming weeks."

Click through to learn more.

Eat, Pray, Hate
Aimee Levitt's essay for the Reader about Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert, who will be in Chicago on October 30 to discuss her new book, led us to Gilbert's 1997 GQ article about working at the Coyote Ugly Saloon on the Lower East Side. Yup, that Coyote Ugly. Who knew? The vast majority of the literary world, surely, but not us.

Does Poetry Matter?
The Guild Literary Complex wants to know:

"Can a poem save you? From what? If you're falling off a cliff, do you want a rope or a poem? If you had to make a choice between a poem and bread, which would you choose? And who gets to be called a poet anyway?

"These are some of the questions behind the latest work to emerge out of the Poetry Performance Incubator - a project of the Guild literary Complex that asks writers to work together, under the guidance of a theater director, to create an original work for the stage.

"An experiment in collaborative writing and theater production, Like Bread asks its cast of nine poets to make poetry matter.

"Please join the Guild Literary Complex, in partnership with Free Street Theater, for a work-in-progress showing of Like Bread. Performances take place on November 1 at 7 p.m. and November 2 at 2 p.m. at Free Street Theater located at 1419 W Blackhawk St., 3rd floor. Admission is pay what you will can: $1, $5, $10, or $20."

Nazi Nation
"Chicago author Arnie Bernstein will discuss his new book, Swastika Nation: Fritz Kuhn and the Rise and Fall of the German American Bund, in a Society of Midland Authors event on Tuesday, November 12, at the Cliff Dwellers Club," the Society has announced.

"Bernstein will speak at 7 p.m. A social hour, with complimentary snacks and a cash bar, begins at 6 p.m. Admission is free, and no reservations are required. The public is invited.

"Published this fall by St. Martin's Press, Swastika Nation details the rise and fall of a pro-Nazi movement that swept the United States in the 1930s. The New York Times calls it an 'engrossing retelling.' Publishers Weekly calls it 'fast-paced . . . a fresh account of a well-documented era.' And the Tribune's Rick Kogan says it's 'impeccably researched and forcefully written.'

"Bernstein, who went to high school in Skokie during the time of the controversial plans for a Nazi march, is also the author of Bath Massacre: America's First School Bombing (University of Michigan Press) and Hollywood on Lake Michigan: 100+ Years of Chicago and the Movies (recently published by Chicago Review Press in a new edition with co-author Michael Corcoran)."


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Comments welcome.



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Posted on October 21, 2013


MUSIC - Britney's IUD.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - Locked Out And Loaded.

BOOKS - Foxconned.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Don't Let Your Pet OD.


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