Dear Friends of Women & Children First,
Winter is a wonderful opportunity to curl up with a book and make good on your literary resolutions. Some of us staffers have vowed to make 2016 the year we read more books by queer authors, authors of color, or local authors. What's your reading resolution?
This month's events are geared toward building community. By attending our upcoming poetry event, LGBTQ Valentine's Day party, or Emerging Author Showcase, you'll not only get to listen to some great readings, you'll also discover a welcoming group of people who are, like you, passionate about books and feminism.
If you're a lover of historical fiction, be sure to read all the way to the end of the newsletter for a very important announcement about New York Times- bestselling author Tracy Chevalier!
, February 5
- Fatimah Asghar, Loma, Richie Hofmann, and Erika Sanchez
An Evening of Poetry
We are proud to be a stop on Loma (aka Christopher Soto)'s national tour to raise awareness about the staggeringly high rate of homelessness among queer youth.
is a queer Latinx punk poet and prison abolitionist. They were named one of Ten Up and Coming Latinx Poets You Need to Know by
and one of Seven Trans and Gender Non-Conforming Artists Doing the Work by the
Originally from the Los Angeles area, they now live in Brooklyn. For this event, Loma will be reading from their chapbook
Sad Girl Poems
and, drawing on personal experience, discussing the realities facing the homeless LGBTQ population. They will be joined by three local poets.
is a nationally touring poet, photographer, and performer and the author of the chapbook
. While on a Fulbright, she created Bosnia and Herzegovina's first Spoken Word Poetry group. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in the PEN Poetry Series,
Poetry, the Paris-American
is the author of
, winner of the Beatrice Hawley Award. He is the recipient of a 2012 Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship, and his poems have appeared in the
New Yorker, Ploughshares,
Erika L. Sánchez
is a poet, essayist, and fiction writer. Her nonfiction has appeared in
Guardian, Rolling Stone,
and many other publications. She also has a young adult novel forthcoming in fall 2017.
Tuesday, February 9 - Sappho's Salon
A monthly performance salon, featuring expressions of queerness, gender, and feminism
Co-curated by Liz Baudler &
Doors Open at 7
Show starts at 7:30 p.m.
Sappho's Salon Open Mic Edition encourages you to grab a spot at the door and perform what's in your heart. Need extra incentive? Every open mic-er receives a coupon to the bookstore. In addition to the open mic participants, this month's featured performers include: The Flaming Wheaties, a musical duo featuring Eileen Censotti and Jennifer Byrne, and comedian Sonia Denis. Denis is a Chicago-based comedian by way of Washington, DC. Sonia has performed at the All Jane No Dick Comedy Festival, the Crom Comedy Festival, the Chicago Women's Funny Festival, and Snubfest. Sonia's writing has been featured on McSweeney's Internet Tendency and Brightest Young Things. Admission to Sappho's Open Mic is pay what you can (cash only) at the door. Proceeds benefit the featured performers and the Women's Voices Fund. Check out the Sappho's Salon's Facebook page for more information. Please direct questions to email@example.com.
Thursday, February 11 -
LGBTQ Valentine's Day Party with B. Proud & Scott Duff
Join us for a Valentine's Day Party, featuring a discussion between WCPT's
host Scott Duff and
B. Proud, the creator of
First Comes Love
, a book of photographs and love stories that celebrate the LGBTQ community.
is an award-winning Philadelphia-based photographer, and her book is just one element of the First Comes Love Project (
), a traveling exhibition of photographs, love stories, and video interviews documenting LGBTQ couples who have been together for 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50+ years.
is a comedian and activist who hosts Chicago's only broadcast LGBT lifestyle show,
on WCPT. Scott is a graduate of Northwestern University and a founding member of About Face Theatre, Chicago's award-winning queer theatre company. Scott has performed with the Goodman, Steppenwolf, Lookingglass, and Chicago Shakespeare theaters. To get in the true Valentine's Day spirit, we'll have a photo booth courtesy of
Beth Priddy Photography
, along with treats from the Swedish Bakery, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages.
Friday, February 12
The Loss of All Lost Things
is a short story collection that illuminates the beauty that can be found in inconsolable loss. Leading us through terrible realities, Gautier ultimately leaves us with the promise of hope and redemption. When this collection won the 2014 Elixir Press Fiction Award, contest judge Phong Nguyen had this to say: "Gautier's stories have you by the throat, and they surprise you with their mercy." Amina Gautier is the author of two other collections:
Now We Will Be Happy
. Gautier has been the recipient of grants and fellowships from Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, Hurston/Wright Foundation, and the Ragdale Foundation, among others. Gautier was born and raised in New York; was educated at Stanford University and the University of Pennsylvania; and has taught creative writing and African American literature at Marquette University, St. Joseph's University, Washington University in St. Louis, and DePaul University. She currently teaches in the MFA program at the University of Miami and divides her time between Chicago and Miami.
Wednesday, February 17 -
This workshop costs $10;
RSVP required to
Meditation is a universal practice that can offer countless benefits. There are a vast array of practices and types, including techniques designed to promote mindfulness, concentration and creativity, relieve stress, and encourage overall well-being. Guided by facilitator Mara Zimmerman, learn various ways to meditate and where meditation can fit into your life and why this ancient practice is relevant today. Meditation looks different wherever you go, but it can help you wherever you are. Building upon a degree in psychology and counseling, Mara Zimmerman continued her education with certifications in homeopathy, yoga, meditation, intuitive guidance, and the healing arts. With a focus on a healthy lifestyle and a realistic approach to healing and wellness, Mara teaches to all stages, ages, and abilities. This workshop is $10 cash or check made payable to Mara Zimmerman.
Thursday, February 18 - Indie City Writers
READ LOCAL Event
Come join us for an evening of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry readings by Samantha Clark, Melanie Holmes, Marissa McCants, Daniel DeLeon, Kayla Gordon, Jennifer Bisbing, and K. B. Jensen, all members of Indie City Writers. Local author M. L. Kennedy will serve as the event's emcee. Everyone is welcome to listen to and meet these emerging authors, purchase signed books, enjoy refreshments, and learn more about Indie City Writers, a local group that coordinates regular writerly events including readings, author talks, critiques, prompted writing sessions, and workshops largely on the South Side of Chicago. For more information, email
Saturday, February 20 -
Make Your Own Picture Book with artist Jill Kuanfung
Calling all young artists! Join Chicago artist and former Women & Children First staffer Jill Kuanfung for a picture book illustration workshop. Designed for kids between the ages of 6 and 12, Jill will discuss story arcs and different forms of art media. Attendees will practice fabricating their own small booklets and drawing original illustrations. Art supplies and writing utensils will be provided, but feel free to bring your own, too. No registration required.
ay, February 24 -
Reading and Signing
Tracing the gay movement's path since the 1950s, from the closet to the corridors of power,
shifts the story from the coastal gay meccas to the often overlooked events of the nation's midwestern metropolis.
draws on a decade of research, including diverse oral histories and previously unexamined archival documents and is richly illustrated with images spanning more than half a century. Timothy Stewart-Winter received his Ph.D. in U.S. history at the University of Chicago, where he began the research for
. He is currently an assistant professor of history and acting director of the women's and gender studies program at Rutgers University-Newark and co-directs the Queer Newark Oral History Project.
ay, February 25 -
Adult Coloring Book Night
7 to 9 p.m.
Coloring Open House
The coloring craze is showing no signs of decline! Customers from age eighteen to eighty have been swarming our coloring book display, swearing that this activity is the most soothing way to relax after a long day--especially if your days are spent staring at a computer or iPhone screen. For this event, we'll provide refreshments (alcoholic and non) and a small selection of colored pencils. Attendees are, of course, welcome to bring their own coloring books and preferred coloring utensils. If you're new to coloring or have just completed the last square inch of your current design, not to worry! Our complete selection of coloring books will be on SALE from 7 to 9 p.m. exclusively for this event. Everyone from beginners to experts are welcome!
Thursday, March 3 - Libby Hellman & Lori Rader-Day
Author Conversation and Signing
Join Lori and Libby for a conversation about mysteries, the craft of writing, and why they're thrilled when people tell them they couldn't get any sleep after reading their books. Thirty-five years ago,
Libby Fischer Hellmann
left a career in broadcast news in Washington, DC, and moved to Chicago, where she began to write gritty crime fiction, and output that now includes twelve novels and twenty short stories. Her newest novel,
continues the Ellie Foreman series. She is also the author of the Georgia Davis PI series and three stand-alone historical thrillers. In 2005, Libby was the national president of Sisters In Crime, an organization dedicated to the advancement of female crime fiction authors.
, author of
The Black Hour
Little Pretty Things
, is a two-time Mary Higgins Clark Award nominee and the recipient of the 2014 Anthony Award for Best First Novel. Lori's short fiction has appeared in
Ellery Queen Mystery
Time Out Chicago
, and other publications. She lives in Chicago, where she teaches mystery writing at StoryStudio Chicago and serves as the president of the Midwest chapter of the Mystery Writers of America. Her third novel,
An Elegant Hand
, will be released in spring 2017.
Save the Dates
Sunday, March 6 at 3 p.m.
Kids' Activity for ages 3 and up
Wednesday, March 9 at 7:30 p.m.
Reading and Signing
Thursday, March 10 at 7:30 p.m.
Reading and Signing
Friday, March 11 at 7:30 p.m.
Paperback Release Party
Sunday, March 13 at 4 p.m.
Reading and Signing
Wednesday, March 16 at 7:30 p.m.
A Conversation with Anne Elizabeth Moore, Caitlin Rosberg, and Katie Schenkel
Friday, March 18 at 7:30 p.m.
Liar: A Memoir
A conversation with Suzanne Scanlon, author of
Her 37th Year: An Index
Tuesday, March 22 at 7:30 p.m.; doors open at 7 p.m.
This ticketed event will be held at the Swedish American Museum, 5211 N. Clark St.
Family of Women Book Group
Thursday, February 4* at 7:15 p.m.
* Note date change
The Axe: The Master of Hestviken
, vol. 1, by Sigrid Undset
Sunday, February 7 at 2 p.m.
The Secret History of Wonder Woman
by Jill Lepore
Sunday, February 14 at 5 p.m.
Sure Signs of Crazy
by Karen Harrington
Sunday, February 14 at 6:30 p.m.
Vol. 1 by Deconnick Kelly and Valentine Sue De Landro
Tuesday, February 16 at 7:30 p.m.
The New Jim Crow
by Michelle Alexander
Sunday, February 21 at 2 p.m.
The Feminist Porn Book
by Tristan Taormino et al.
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