Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-06-08



Ani DiFranco talks new memoir at Women & Children First event
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times

This article shared 1727 times since Tue May 21, 2019
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Women & Children First hosted a reading and conversation with singer-songwriter and social justice activist Ani DiFranco focused on her new memoir, No Walls and the Recurring Dream, May 10 at Wilson Abbey.

Music critic and author of Night Moves and The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic Jessica Hopper served as the event's moderator. Hopper was previously MTV News music and executive editor and Pitchfork and Rookie editor among other professional endeavors.

"We are one of the last remaining feminist bookstores in North American," said Women & Children First Co-owner Sarah Hollenbeck.

Hollenbeck explained that an audio recording will be available on the bookstore website for those who could not attend this sold-out event. She spoke about what DiFranco has meant to her as well as her achievements over her 30 year career including selling 5.5 million albums through her own Righteous Babe label and the release of her 20th album.

Comedian, author and bitches gotta eat blogger Samantha Irby came to the stage as a surprise guest to speak about why DiFranco's work inspired her and how she encountered her music for the first time as a young person.

"The queer in her saw the queer in me," said Irby.

DiFranco received a standing ovation and rapturous applause as she took the stage.

Due to the state of reproductive rights/freedom being under attack across the country, DiFranco chose to read from the reproductive system section of her book that includes her first relationship when she was a teenager and he was an adult, her visit to the Buffalo, New York Planned Parenthood to be put on the pill so she would not get pregnant, going off the pill because her health was being compromised and the pregnancy at age 18 that resulted from that decision and getting an abortion and the relief she felt afterward because she could keep working as an artist.

Hopper opened the conversation by talking about how DiFranco's work is steeped in truth-telling and asked how that helped her write the book.

DiFranco said on the first day she went into the studio to record the audio book panic set in because it finally became real to her. She explained that when she was writing the book she would, like she has done with her songs, "pretend no one was listening long enough to say the real shit" about her life.

The conversation delved into DiFranco's writing process with Hopper asking whether she had a rubric for what would be included in the book, how she handled revising and if she was surprised with the person she saw on the page.

DiFranco spoke about the outline/proposal she wrote for the publisher which she cannot remember any details.

"When I sat down to write I was just winging it like I always do, spleen forward process with as little thinking as possible," said DiFranco.

She said the process was "completely intuitive and a random feeling."

During the revising stage, DiFranco explained that the thing she was the most surprised with was the level of survival that has been threaded through her life because she always thought of her journey as an invincible girl who traverses the world.

"In looking at my story, it was all about self-defense," said DiFranco.

In terms of how DiFranco wrote the book, she said it was "totally haphazard" and mostly done at her kitchen table over a two year period.

"It was the most comfortable place for me and where I could stay in touch with my kids, stir the thing, answer the email and steal little moments to write the book," said DiFranco.

Revisiting parts of her earlier life led to "moments of great trepidation" because the remembering process is hard for her.

DiFranco also talked about how having her kids has changed the way she navigates through life because being a parent is a big responsibility; however, she said living in fear is still intolerable for her because it makes her angry. She said she strikes a balance between these two ways of being these days.

Hopper asked if any other people's memoirs were helpful.

DiFranco singled out Miles Davis' which she called intense and Dr. Willie Parker's Life's Work: A Moral Argument for Choice which "shed the final vestiges of someone else's voice and allowed me to write my book in my own voice."

During the Q&A session, DiFranco was asked about the Prison Music Project she has been working on with collaborator Zoe Boekbinder.

DiFranco explained that the songs, poems and raps were written by men in prison ( many of them serving life sentences ) and most are sung by women. She said it will be released sometime later this year.

Hollenbeck told Windy City Times that they have many signed copies of DiFranco's book available for purchase.

This article shared 1727 times since Tue May 21, 2019
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

GLAAD publishes back-to-school guide 2022-08-17
- LGBTQ+ media-advocacy organization GLAAD is publishing a new back-to-school guide on how to respond to book bans and school censorship, titled "Back To School [Redacted]." The organization also announced that it has joined two national efforts ...

Gay News

StoryStudio Chicago's LGBTQ+ nonfiction writing class starting Aug. 17 2022-08-11
- StoryStudio Chicago is offering a unique writing class titled "June Is Not Enough: An LGBTQ+ Nonfiction Writing Class." The idea behind the class is to promote and foster the work of LGBTQ+ people. Writers who register ...

Gay News

Journalist Chuck Colbert passes away at 67 2022-08-08
- Journalist Charles "Chuck" R. Colbert—who had written for several LGBTQ+ publications, including Windy City Times—passed away June 30. He was 67. He was a freelance journalist based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, according to his biography on ...

Gay News

BOOKS Inside Sinkhole, a darkly comic coming-of-age fiction 2022-08-06
- Davida G. Breier's debut book, Sinkhole, takes readers on a trip to rural Florida in the 1980s. Amidst golf courses, mobile homes and alligators, some things on the agenda: friendship, identity, sexuality, grief and murder. Breier ...

Gay News

Utah school district removes LGBTQ+ books from libraries 2022-08-02
- A Utah school district removed 52 books from its library shelves due to parent complaints mainly concerning LGBTQ+-focused material, LGBTQ Nation noted. A spokesperson for Alpine School District tells The Salt Lake Tribune that the district ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Miami textbooks, Lia Thomas, Florida churches, Key West figure dies 2022-07-24
- Miami-Dade County students could go months without sex-education books after school board members, by a five-to-four vote, rejected two proposed textbooks over concerns they violate the state's Parental Rights in Education bill, known by opponents as ...

Gay News

Local non-binary poet wins Stories Matter Scholarship 2022-07-21
- The Stories Matter Foundation and StoryStudio Chicago have awarded the annual $1,500 Dana Wood Chaney Writers Fund tuition grant to local non-binary poet A. Ng Pavel. The scholarship is awarded each year to a writer working ...

Gay News

John Pennycuff's memorial library at Unity Park is graffitied 2022-07-10
- The John Pennycuff Little Library, at Chicago's Unity Park, was recently sprayed with graffiti. Robert Castillo, Pennycuff's surviving husband, stated on Facebook that some tried to cover the original tagging with their own rainbow-hued graffiti. ...

Gay News

How Coming Out in the 1970s Helped Me Make Brave, Life-changing Decisions 2022-06-25
By Edith Forbes, author of Tracking A Shadow: My Lived Experiment With MS - As a child growing up in Wyoming in the 1960's, I did not know any actual person who was gay. I knew exactly one fact about gay people, a fact universally accepted but never talked about: Gay people were strange. Even ...

Gay News

Five Worth Finding: WNDR Museum, Prince, queer books, flowers 2022-06-16
- — WNDR Museum's Pride event "Crafting with Queens": The West Loop museum is usually entertainment and, um, wondrous enough on its own—but during Pride Month, WNDR is queering things up with "Crafting with Queens" on Tuesday, ...

Gay News

Northwestern University Libraries and Center for Applied Transgender Studies launch trans studies journal 2022-06-16
- Northwestern University Libraries (NUL) and the Center for Applied Transgender Studies (CATS) are now publishing the Bulletin of Applied Transgender Studies. The Bulletin of Applied Transgender Studies (BATS)—the first journal ...

Gay News

Catholic publisher cancels Chicago theologian's 'Queer God de Amor' book 2022-06-13
- On June 9, New Ways Ministry received the following statement by Miguel Diaz, a former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See and the John Courtney Murray, S.J., University Chair in Public Service at Loyola University Chicago. ...

Gay News

34th annual Lambda Literary award winners announced 2022-06-13
-- From a press release - New York, NY, June 11, 2022 — Lambda Literary, the nation's premier LGBTQ literary organization, announced the winners of the 34th Annual Lambda Literary Awards (a.k.a. the "Lammys") at a live virtual award ceremony hosted by ...

Gay News

TRAVEL Descanso is Palm Springs newest gay resort 2022-06-08
- Descanso is the first resort for gay men to open in Palm Springs in more than 10 years, and "The response has been beyond expectations," said general manager Kent Taylor. Weekends are already booked through June, ...

Gay News

BOOKS Artist Sam Kirk talks 'The Meaning of Pride' 2022-06-08
- In the children's book The Meaning of Pride, Rosiee Thor pens an ode to LGBTQ+ culture and identity by celebrating the beauty, significance and many dimensions of the concept of Pride—and showing that the word can ...


Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.