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Local Book Notes: Voices Of Protest, Drawbridges

Over the transom.

1. Voices of Protest.

"In September 2014, the Guild Literary Complex sent five Chicago writers to the 2014 Kapittel International Festival of Literature and Freedom of Speech in Stavanger, Norway," the GLC says in a press release.

"The trip was part of 'Voices of Protest,' a continuing Guild series that highlights the plight of persecuted authors and foregrounds the importance of protecting free speech globally.

"Now, for the first time since their return, the authors will give a special reading of creative work inspired by the trip and lead a community dialogue on free speech issues.

"The program, called Voices of Protest: Home Edition, will take place on Thursday, March 12, 7:30 p.m., and will be co-presented with 826CHI at 1276 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago. The program is open to the public and free of charge. (Donations will be accepted.)"



Voices of Protest, October 2013.

Embracing Forbidden Voices: Exiled Authors In Chicago.



"Participating authors include: Adam Gottlieb, L'Oreal Patrice Jackson, Sahar Mustafah, Erika L. Sanchez, and M. Quinn Stifler.

"Each emerging writer was chosen to participate in Voices of Protest due to their professional practices integrating art and activism, which includes work on gender, race, women's rights, peace initiatives, and other issues.

"As part of this program, artists and audience will also discuss the potential of Chicago becoming an official 'city of refuge' in the ICORN association. By providing a persecuted writer with a safe place to stay and economic security for a standard term of two years, Chicago would make an important, practical contribution to the promotion of freedom of expression.

"Adam Gottlieb is a poet/teaching-artist from Chicago. He got into spoken word at age 14 via the Young Chicago Authors teen poetry slam festival Louder Than a Bomb, and was featured in the documentary film by the same name. He recently graduated from Hampshire College, where he studied poetry and critical pedagogy.

"L'Oreal Patrice Jackson is an artist rooted in theatre, music, movement and writing. As an arts educator she teaches theatre performance, improvisation, storytelling, and multi-disciplinary art. She has worked with Steppenwolf, Writers Theatre, and Columbia College Chicago, among others. Before recently relocating to California, she served as a youth leader for Soka Gakkai International (SGI), a lay Buddhist organization dedicated to peace culture and education, and she was the Education Associate at About Face Theatre, a production company with a focus on lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, and ally arts.

"Sahar Mustafah writes about 'the others' - Arabs in the United States and abroad - who are often deemed strange and disparate from the larger racial community. Her work has appeared in anthologies and journals including Great Lakes Review, Word Riot, Flyleaf, Hair Trigger, and Chicago Literati, and she's performed with 2nd Story Chicago.

"Erika L. Sanchez is a Fulbright Scholar, CantoMundo Fellow, and winner of the 'Discovery'/Boston Review Prize. Her poetry has appeared in Pleiades, Witness, Anti-, Hunger Mountain, Crab Orchard Review, Hayden's Ferry Review, Copper Nickel, Boston Review, 'Latino USA' on NPR, and is forthcoming in diode and Please Excuse This Poem: 100 New Poems for the Next Generation (Penguin 2015).

"M. Quinn Stifler received a B.A. in Creative Writing and Women's & Gender Studies at DePaul University. Stifler has worked with Threshold, DePaul's student-run literature and arts journal, and is a co-founder and editor of No Assholes Literary Magazine."


2. Chicago River Bridges.

"Patrick T. McBriarty will talk about his book Chicago River Bridges in a Society of Midland Authors program Tuesday, March 10, at the Cliff Dwellers Club, 200 S. Michigan Ave., 22nd floor," the society says in a press release.

"He will speak at 7 p.m. A social hour, with complimentary snacks and a cash bar, begins at 6 p.m. The program is free and open to the public. No advance registration is required.

"McBriarty's book, published by the University of Illinois Press, reveals the history and development of Chicago's iconic bridges, from the first wood footbridge built by a tavern owner in 1832 to the fantastic marvels of steel, concrete and machinery of today."

From the University of Illinois Press:

"The first comprehensive guidebook of these remarkable features of Chicago's urban landscape, Chicago River Bridges chronicles more than 175 bridges spanning 55 locations along the Main Channel, South Branch, and North Branch of the Chicago River.

"With new full-color photography of the existing bridges by Kevin Keeley and Laura Banick and more than one hundred black and white images of bridges past, the book unearths the rich history of Chicago's downtown bridges from the Michigan Avenue Bridge to the often forgotten bridges that once connected thoroughfares such as Rush, Erie, Taylor, and Polk Streets.

"Throughout, McBriarty delivers new research into the bridges' architectural designs, engineering innovations, and their impact on Chicagoans' daily lives. Describing the structure and mechanics of various kinds of moveable bridges (including vertical-lift, Scherer rolling lift, and Strauss heel trunnion mechanisms) in a manner that is accessible and still satisfying to the bridge aficionado, he explains how the dominance of the 'Chicago-style' bascule drawbridge influenced the style and mechanics of bridges worldwide. Interspersed throughout are the human dramas that played out on and around the bridges, such as the floods of 1849 and 1992, the cattle crossing collapse of the Rush Street Bridge, or Vincent 'The Schemer' Drucci's Michigan Avenue Bridge jump

"A confluence of Chicago history, urban design, and engineering lore, Chicago River Bridges illustrates Chicago's significant contribution to drawbridge innovation and the city's emergence as the drawbridge capital of the world. It is perfect for any reader interested in learning more about the history and function of Chicago's many and varied bridges. The introduction won The Henry N. Barkhausen Award for original research in the field of Great Lakes maritime history sponsored by the Association for Great Lakes Maritime History."

Back to Midland Authors:

"McBriarty has also written the children's books Drawbridges Open and Close (published last year) and Airplanes Take off and Land (which will be published in April).

"McBriarty and Chicago filmmaker Stephen Hatch co-produced the documentary Chicago Drawbridges, which has been broadcast on public television in Chicago and Milwaukee. McBriarty's website is and the website for his film is"



3. Did someone say Obama?

On Heidi Kitrosser's Reclaiming Accountability (University of Chicago Press, 2015):

"It cannot be the case, for example, that unauthorized disclosures of classification information are categorically prohibited by law and also that the President has discretion to classify information as he sees fit. If that were so, she explains, then the President would have unbounded authority to criminalize disclosure of information at will, and the classification system would have swallowed the First Amendment."

And yet . . .


Comments welcome.


Posted on March 3, 2015

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

BOOKS - Foxconned.


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