Author Reading

Katherine Shonk

Happy Now?

            Chicago writer Shonk’s new novel looks at love, grief and recovery through the eyes of Claire Kessler, a modern young woman living in Evanston who endures a stream of Internet and speed-dating debacles, until she meets Jay, almost perfect and truly kind. And then on Valentine’s Day he kills himself. At times both heart breaking and darkly comic, Shonk’s deftly told tale avoids melodrama. As Rachel Roseblitt wrote in Elle magazine, “Anyone who has passed up a popcorn car-chase flick in favor of a good indie knows how powerful a simple, skillfully told, character-driven story can be. Katherine Shonk does, and Happy Now?, her first novel, is proof…” Shonk’s first book is the critically acclaimed story collection, The Red Passports.

Event date: 
Wednesday, April 21, 2010 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm
Event address: 
Women & Children First
5233 N. Clark St.
60640 Chicago
us

Sappho's Salon - Alix Dobkin

Sappho’s Salon: A Provocative Night of Lesbian Diversions

Featuring Alix Dobkin and DJ SpinNikki

$7-10 sliding scale includes food and wine

            Before she was a lesbian music legend, before she was a ground breaking lesbian activist and cultural worker, Alix Dobkin was a teenaged, guitar-totin’, card-carrying comrade in the folk music communities of Philadelphia and Greenwich Village circa the 1950s. In her new memoir, My Red Blood, the woman who pioneered lesbian music with her 1972 release, “Lavender Jane Loves Women” recounts her coming-of-age amidst the lefty politicos and beatniks in the East Coast underground. At tonight’s very special Sappho’s Salon, Dobkin will share excerpts of her life story while regaling us with song. DJ SpinNikki will play us in and out of tonight’s performance. All proceeds benefit the artists and the Women’s Voices Fund.

 

Event date: 
Saturday, April 17, 2010 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm
Event address: 
Women & Children First
5233 N. Clark St.
60640 Chicago
us

Poetry Reading

Full Moon on K Street: Poems About Washington DC
Featuring Gregg Shapiro, Toni Asante Lightfoot, Rebecca Villarreal, David Trinidad and Deborah Darr

Co-sponsored by Poets & Writers Magazine

Join us for a reading by contributors to the new anthology, Full Moon on K Street. Featuring more than 100 contemporary poems, this collection captures DC’s unique sense of place, from the monuments and parks,  to the bus stations, from go-go music to chili half-smokes, and the city’s many moods, from celebratory to angry to fiercely political; the result comprises a love letter – with all the complexity that love implies – to our nation’s capitol city.

 

Event date: 
Thursday, April 15, 2010 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Event address: 
Women & Children First
5233 N. Clark St.
60640 Chicago
us

Nancy Garfinkel - Recipe Club

Loyalty, loss, and the ties that bind – these are the ingredients of The Recipe Club, a new novel that combines the story of a friendship told via e-mails, childhood letters, third-person narration, photos, illustrations and more than 80

Event date: 
Friday, April 9, 2010 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm
Event address: 
Women & Children First
5233 N. Clark St.
60640 Chicago
us

Women and Children First: Memories and Archives

Chicago Area Women’s History Council

Women and Children First: Memories and Archives

Relive the excitement of W&CF’s 30th Anniversary Celebration last October as the Chicago Area Women’s History Council presents a premiere showing of the videotaped interviews conducted at the event. CAWHC members will discuss how you can participate in their larger project “Documenting the Women’s Movement in Chicago, 1960s – 1980s,” while Beth Myers from the Women and Leadership Archive at Loyola will share information about this important repository and the W&CF collection there. If you have memories or documents about W&CF, don’t miss this event.  If you were part of the feminist movement in Chicago, CAWHC needs your help!

Event date: 
Thursday, March 18, 2010 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm
Event address: 
Women & Children First
5233 N. Clark St.
60640 Chicago
us

Lisa Lutz

Wednesday, March 24

7:30 p.m.

Lisa Lutz

The Spellmans Strike Again

           

In the fourth and final volume of her New York Times’ bestselling and addictively entertaining comic mystery series, Lisa Lutz unravels another irresistible caper featuring the irrepressible Isabel Spellman and her off-kilter family of private investigators. In this installment, Rae, Izzy’s ingenious of a little sister, gets involved in the Innocence Project and won’t stop until the rest of the family is equally committed. We’ll be raffling off “Free Schmidt” t-shirts provided by Lutz. The third volume, Revenge of the Spellmans, is now available in paperback, and a film version of The Spellman Files is currently in development with Paramount Pictures. Please join us in what is sure to be a very special evening of laughter and intrigue.

Event date: 
Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm
Event address: 
Women & Children First
5233 N. Clark St.
60640 Chicago
us

Sappho’s Salon: A Provocative Night of Lesbian Diversions

Saturday, March 20

7:30 p.m.

Sappho’s Salon: A Provocative Night of Lesbian Diversions

Featuring Jennie Brier and Elana Dykewomon, with special guest host Chelsey Clammer and guest DJ Chandra. Co-sponsored by the Lesbian Leadership Council, Chicago Foundation for Women

$7-$10 sliding fee scale includes food and wine

            The latest monthly installment of our popular salon night for lesbians and their friends features writers Jennie Brier and Elana Dykewomon. In her book Infectuous Ideas: U.S. Political Response to the AIDS Crisis, UIC Professor Jennie Brier charts the complex social and political climate of the 1980s and ‘90s through the lens of the AIDS crisis. Elana Dykewomon, formerly editor of the journal Sinister Wisdom, is the author of the Lambda Literary Award-winning brilliant lesbian classic, Beyond the Pale. Her new novel, Risk, examines the life of Carol Schwartz, a community activist and idealist who routinely puts it all on the line; but when the stakes become too high, will she gamble more than she can afford to lose? This event is co-sponsored by the Lesbian Leadership Council of the Chicago Foundation for Women. Proceeds benefit the artists and the Women’s Voices Fund.

Event date: 
Saturday, March 20, 2010 - 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Event address: 
Women & Children First
5233 N. Clark St.
60640 Chicago
us

Cynthia Kraack

Saturday, March 13

6:00 p.m.

Cynthia Kraack

Minnesota Cold

            Writer Cynthia Kraack’s book, Minnesota Cold, has been called a lovely, haunting tale, firmly grounded in the ways of the heart. Set in 2035, this is the story of Sallie Dodge, a 70-something woman living within the sociological results of the aggressive merger of government and big business, where it’s considered frugal policy to dictate the lifespan of citizens. When Dodge chooses to defy her turn to “pass,” she embarks, instead, on the journey of a lifetime. Guests are invited to join Kraack for a reception at In Fine Spirits at 5420 N Clark directly following this reading.  

Event date: 
Saturday, March 13, 2010 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm
Event address: 
Women & Children First
5233 N. Clark St.
60640 Chicago
us

Staceyann Chin

Friday, March 12

7:30 p.m.

Staceyann Chin

The Other Side of Paradise            We are thrilled to once again be hosting the electrifying spoken word artist Staceyann Chin, this time to celebrate the paperback release of her searing and groundbreaking memoir, The Other Side of Paradise. Following a tradition of fierce Caribbean lesbian writers that includes Audre Lorde and Michelle Cliff, Chin’s narrative charts her course from the heartbreak and tragedy of her Jamaican childhood, to her thriving adult like in New York City. Dorothy Allison raves, “[Chin] shows me a culture I knew far too little about – the everyday life of young people in Jamaica and the threat of violence over anyone who might be too independent or queer or outrageous. How wonderful that this outrageous, talented, determined woman has given us her story.”

Event date: 
Friday, March 12, 2010 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
Women & Children First
5233 N. Clark St.
60640 Chicago
us

Neena B. Schwartz

Sunday, March 7

4:30 p.m.

Neena B. Schwartz

A Lab of My Own

            What was it like to be a woman scientist battling the “old boys’ network” during the 1960s and ‘70s? In her new memoir, Neena Schwartz, a prominent neuroendocrinologist based at Northwestern University, tells all. Mixing details and anecdotes from her personal life as an out lesbian, with the socio-political history of American women in science in the later 20th century, Schwartz makes a case for mentoring young women in science, and why it matters that women both do and teach scientific study.   

Event date: 
Sunday, March 7, 2010 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm
Event address: 
Women & Children First
5233 N. Clark St.
60640 Chicago
us

Nancy Stohlman

Friday, March 5

7:30 p.m.

Nancy Stohlman

Searching for Suzi

            When Suzi, a thirty-something ex-stripper now married with kids, begins to question how she arrived at this point in her life, her search for herself means accepting her sexuality in all its contradictions and claiming herself. Denver-based writer Stohlman, who is founder and co-editor of the annual flash fiction collection, Fast Forward, reveals Suzi’s story in a novel-in-flashes.

Event date: 
Friday, March 5, 2010 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm
Event address: 
Women & Children First
5233 N. Clark St.
60640 Chicago
us

Goldie Goldbloom

4:30pm
Toads' Museum of Freaks and Wonders
 

Join us for the American release of Toads' Museum of Freaks and Wonders (published in Australia as The Paperbark Shoe), the award-winning novel by our favorite Australia-Chicago transplant, Goldie Goldbloom. In Toads' Museum, Gin, an albino, marries to escape the confines of an asylum while Toad, a little man who wears corsets, marries to prove his manhood. Together they are feared and ridiculed in the remote farming community where they live, until the arrival of two Italian POWs brings music, sensuality and a love that fans the flames of small town bigotry.

Event date: 
Sunday, March 14, 2010 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm
Event address: 
Women & Children First
5233 N. Clark St.
60640 Chicago
us

Sappho’s Salon

Sappho’s Salon: A Provocative Night of Lesbian Diversions

Featuring Ifa Bumi, Barrie Cole and DJ SpinNikki

 

$7-$10 sliding admission includes food and wine

 

This month’s installment of our popular salon night for lesbians and their friends features the performance work of two outstanding queer artists. Barrie Cole, deemed “Chicago’s Champion of Lyrical Oddness” by the Chicago Reader, has had her plays, monologues, and collaborative performances staged throughout Chicago and elsewhere. Atlanta-based lesbian erotic writer, performance poet and musician Ifa Bumi is author of the collection Liquid Toffee, and the spoken word CD, Museotry. She’ll be joined by a collaborative dancer. As always, DJ SpinNikki will play us in and out of sets.

All proceeds benefit the artists and the Women’s Voices Fund.

 

Event date: 
Saturday, February 20, 2010 - 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Event address: 
Women & Children First
5233 N. Clark St.
60640 Chicago
us

Robyn Okrant

Robyn Okrant

 

Living Oprah: My One-Year Experiment to Walk the Walk of the Queen of Talk

 

On January 1, 2008, Robyn Okrant, a 35-year-old Chicagoan, embarked on a unique one-year mission: to live every aspect of her life as Oprah Winfrey directed. From creating vision boards, practicing guided meditation, and participating in the Best Life Challenge; to learning to live with cellulite, de-cluttering her home, and buying “necessities” such as leopard flats and a fire pit, Okrant followed every piece of advice offered through The Oprah Winfrey Show, O: The Oprah Magazine, and Oprah.com. Her blog tracking the project attracted more than half a million visitors; now she’s compiled the experience in this funny, captivating and provocative memoir.

 

Event date: 
Friday, February 19, 2010 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm
Event address: 
Women & Children First
5233 N. Clark St.
60640 Chicago
us

Kevin and Hanna Salwen

Kevin and Hanna Salwen

 

The Power of Half: One Family’s Decision to Stop Taking and Start Giving Back

Co-sponsored by The Hunger Project

 

The Salwens were a typical family caught up in pursuing the American Dream – providing a good life for their children, accumulating more and more stuff, doing their part, but not really feeling it, until 14-year old Hannah Salwen spotted a homeless man alongside a glistening Mercedes.  Her subsequent epiphany inspired the Salwens to sell their spacious Atlanta home and donate half of the proceeds to a worthy charity. In the process, they hoped to make the world better in some small way, never expecting how much they would gain from the experience. This event is co-sponsored by The Hunger Project, a global non-profit committed to the sustainable end to world hunger.           

Event date: 
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
Women & Children First
5233 N. Clark St.
60640 Chicago
us

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