Author Reading

Cornelia Maude Spelman & Kathleen Hill

Cornelia Maude Spelman

Missing: A Memoir

Kathleen Hill

Who Occupies This House

Hailed by Alex Kotlowitz as “memoir writing at its absolute finest,” Spelman’s memoir of her mother’s life was inspired by a conversation with a college friend of both of her parents, celebrated New Yorker editor, William Maxwell. With the pacing of a mystery novel, Spelman uses letters, family interviews, medical bills, and telegrams to reconstruct a life and unravel the mysteries of her family. Kathleen Hill’s novel, Who Occupies This House, is a lyrically fictionalized recreation of a family’s history. Of the book, writer Joan Silber raves, “This is a novel of great beauty. Step by step it works its way deep into the interior lives of vanished family, sifting through evidence to solve mysteries, rejudge sorrows, and think, over and over, about forgiveness.”

Event date: 
Sunday, January 16, 2011 - 4:30pm
Event address: 
5233 N. Clark St.
60640-2122 Chicago
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Sappho’s Salon

Sappho’s Salon: A Provocative Night of Lesbian Diversions

Featuring Carolyn Gage and Sister Tara presenting The Lesbian Tent Revival

$7-10 sliding door charge includes food and wine

            In January, our monthly salon night for lesbians and their friends features award-winning playwright, performer and activist “Sister” Carolyn Gage. Joined by her musical sidekick, “Sister” Tara, Gage will reprise her wildly popular Lesbian Tent Revival: a rousing hour of foot-stomping, hand-clapping, irreverent songs and sermons that will leave you crackling with radical ideas, righteous indignation, and a lesbianic lust for life! Proceeds benefit the artists and the Women’s Voices Fund.

Event date: 
Saturday, January 15, 2011 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
5233 N. Clark St.
60640-2122 Chicago
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Rhonda Schiff

Every Imaginable Shade of Gray

            Every Imaginable Shade of Gray tells the story of a family irreparably damaged by the death of a young boy. The tragic accident that takes his life triggers years of bitter recrimination between his parents, reverberating for decades through their lives and those of their two daughters. Told through the voice of the youngest daughter, Schiff’s novel chronicles a family’s undoing and its far-reaching consequences.

Event date: 
Sunday, January 9, 2011 - 4:30pm
Event address: 
5233 N. Clark St.
60640-2122 Chicago
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Diane Torr

Sex, Drag & Male Roles: Investigating Gender as Performance

            Performance artist Diane Torr has been experimenting with the performance of gender for thirty years – exploring everything from feminist go-go dancing to masculine power play. A pioneer of “drag king” performance, Torr has been celebrated internationally for her gender transformation workshops. Her new book blends her own memoir and commentary with critical reflection contributed by renowned performance critic Stephen Bottoms.

Event date: 
Thursday, January 6, 2011 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
5233 N. Clark St.
60640-2122 Chicago
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Sappho’s Solstice Salon

Sappho’s Solstice Salon benefiting Broadway Youth Center$7-$10 includes food and wine            For the third year running, Sappho’s Salon, our popular salon night for lesbians and their friends, is helping make your yuletide gay with our annual Solstice Salon. DJ SpinNikki will get you moving your feet with a choice selection of pop, dance, soul, indie rock, and holiday favorites. She’ll be joined by some very provocative surprise guests, and we’ll be serving mulled wine and other festive treats to keep you feeling cozy. 100% of Sappho’s proceeds tonight will benefit Broadway Youth Center, an organization providing advocacy and support for LGBTQ teens, including services for homeless queer youth. In addition to raising funds, we will be collecting needed supplies for B.Y.C., including tooth brushes and toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner, feminine hygiene products, new socks, underwear (all sizes), thermal underwear, hats, scarves, gloves, and CTA fare cards.

Event date: 
Saturday, December 18, 2010 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
5233 N. Clark St.
60640-2122 Chicago
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Jennifer Natalya Fink

The Mikvah Queen         In the anti-everything hippie culture of the early 1980s, what rituals can a girl borrow, steal, or invent to make sense of puberty? Jane Schwartz, a lonely, Talmud-quoting, disco-worshipping eleven-year-old builds a mikvah (Jewish ritual bath) in the porta-sauna of her middle-aged neighbor in hopes of saving her from the ravages of cancer. Will Jane also save her fierce, fragile self? Winner of the Dana Award for the Novel, The Mikvah Queen is a remarkable exploration of postmodern Jewish identity, cancer, the confusion and promise of ‘70s alternative culture, and the power of ritual.

Event date: 
Friday, December 10, 2010 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
5233 N. Clark St.
60640-2122 Chicago
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Robert C. Koehler

Courage Grows Strong at the Wound            In Koehler’s hilarious and addictive collection of writings, the Chicago Tribune columnist ponders single parenting, the wonder of life, war and peace, grief, and more. Ultimately a quest for both inner and outer peace, Courage Grows Strong at the Wound weaves a dream for our fragile future. In her forward to the book, Marianne Williams says, “Koehler’s points are made with a combination of journalistic acumen and spiritual precision. He takes you by the brain and will not let you go to sleep, will not let you shut down, will not let you look away — and yet, in the same essay — will not let you lose hope, and will not let you stop believing in the spirit of goodness that lies within us.”

Event date: 
Friday, December 3, 2010 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
5233 N. Clark St.
60640-2122 Chicago
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Libby Fischer Hellman

Set the Night on FireSomeone is trying to kill Lila Hilliard. During the Christmas holidays she returns from running errands to find her family home in flames, her father and brother trapped inside. Later, she is attacked by a mysterious man on a motorcycle, and the threats don't end there. As Lila desperately tries to piece together who is after her and why, she uncovers information about her parents’ involvement in the anti-Vietnam War movement. Part thriller, part historical novel, and part love story, Set the Night on Fire paints an unforgettable portrait of Chicago during a turbulent time: the riots at the Democratic Convention.

Event date: 
Thursday, December 2, 2010 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
5233 N. Clark St.
60640-2122 Chicago
us

Sappho’s Salon

Sappho’s Salon: A Provocative Night of Lesbian Diversions

Featuring Gabrielle Everall and Ripley Caine, special guest DJ SpinNikki

$7-10 sliding door price includes food and wine

In the latest monthly installment of our lively and popular salon night for lesbians and their friends, we present rockin’ indie musician and Cake Chicago founder Ripley Caine and, traveling all the way for Perth, Australia, performance poet Gabrielle Everall. Caine, spiritual sister to PJ Harvey, has been performing around Chicago and internationally since 1989. Gabrielle Everall’s poetry and video work has been highly anthologized, and she has performed her work at leading festivals throughout Australia and in Canada. As always, house DJ SpinNikki will play us in and out of sets. Proceeds benefit the artists and the Women’s Voices Fund.

Event date: 
Saturday, November 20, 2010 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
5233 N. Clark St.
60640-2122 Chicago
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Norma Price

Crossing with the Virgin: Stories from the Migrant Trail

Over the past ten years, more than 4,000 people have died while crossing the Arizona dessert to find jobs, join families, or start new lives. Other migrants tell of the corpses they pass – bodies that are never recovered or counted. Crossing with the Virgin collects stories heard from migrants about these treacherous treks, firsthand accounts told to volunteers for The Samaritans, a humanitarian group that provides migrants with medical aid, water, and food. While other books have dealt with border crossing, this is the first to share immigrants’ own stories of hardship and suffering.

Event date: 
Thursday, November 18, 2010 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
5233 N. Clark St.
60640-2122 Chicago
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Christine Sneed

Portraits of a Few of the People I’ve Made Cry: Stories

Winner of the Grace Paley Prize in Short Fiction, Sneed’s debut story collection has been praised by authors such as Allan Gurganus and Steve Almond, who raved, "I can’t recall a time I tore through a story collection with such unbridled gratitude. Christine Sneed is fearless." An Evanston resident, Sneed’s writing has been published in the Best American Short Stories series, New England Review, and Glimmer Train, and she has stories forthcoming in Ploughshares and The Southern Review. Sneed holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Indiana University and teaches writing and literature at DePaul University and for the University of New Orleans low-residency MFA program. Refreshments will be served.

Event date: 
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
5233 N. Clark St.
60640-2122 Chicago
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Trish Bendix, Michelle Renae, and Rachel Smith

Dear John, I Love Jane: Women Write About Leaving Men for Women

Local contributors read from this arousing, inspiring and bold new collection of essays exploring the journey from heterosexual relationships to finding oneself through love for other women. Bendix is blog editor of MTV & Logo’s AfterEllen.com, and she has written for Bitch, Time Out Chicago, OUT, Gay.com and The Village Voice. Michelle Renae is a writer and spoken word artist whose work focuses on feminism and spirituality as explored through her own life and sexuality. Rachel Smith is the mother of two children and an Administrative Assistant at a large teaching hospital in Chicago.

Event date: 
Friday, November 12, 2010 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
5233 N. Clark St.
60640-2122 Chicago
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Will Fellows

Gay Bar: The Fabulous, True Story of a Daring Woman and Her Boys in the 1950s

Gray-haired grandmother Helen P. Branson was about the last person you’d expect to run a gay bar in 1950s Hollywood, yet for the better part of a decade she cheerfully served up beer and sympathy to the men she affectionately referred to as her boys. Sixty years later, when writer and anthologist Will Fellows (Farm Boys) discovered a copy of her long out-of-print memoir, he knew Helen’s was a story worth telling. Combining her original text with his own biographical sleuthing, cultural criticism and historical research, Fellows brings those pre-Stonewall days roaring back to life.

Event date: 
Thursday, November 11, 2010 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
5233 N. Clark St.
60640-2122 Chicago
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Maud Lavin

Push Comes to Shove: New Images of Aggressive Women

Event date: 
Wednesday, November 10, 2010 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
5233 N. Clark St.
60640-2122 Chicago
us

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