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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01



Feminist bookstore Women & Children First has Pride all month
From a press release

This article shared 493 times since Fri May 26, 2017
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Feminist bookstore Women & Children First offers a month of Pride activities in June including Samantha Irby, Jeremy McCarter, Pride Open Mic, You're Being Ridiculous presents LGBTQIA Storytelling Show, and support Project Fierce.

Kids Programming: For more than three decades, Story time with Miss Linda has been every Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. at Women & Children First! The tradition continues today! Doors open at 10:15 a.m. Perfect for ages 2 to 5. We ask for a $1 donation per child.

Thursday, June 1 at 7:30

Angela Jackson

A Surprised Queenhood in the New Black Sun

Reading and Book-signing


Gwendolyn Brooks is one of the American literary icons of the twentieth century. Brooks's poetry served as witness to the stark realities of urban life: the evils of lynching, the murders of Emmett Till and Malcolm X, and the revolutionary effects of the civil rights movement. She earned many accolades for her work, and in 1950, she became the first African American ever to receive a Pulitzer Prize. A Surprised Queenhood in the New Black Sun delves deep into the rich fabric of Brooks's work and world over nearly six decades. It is a commemoration of an artist who negotiated black womanhood and incomparable artistry with a changing, restless world—an artistic maverick way ahead of her time. Angela Jackson is an award-winning poet, playwright, and novelist. She is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including the National Book Award—nominated And All These Roads Be Luminous: Poems Selected and New. Her novel Where I Must Go won the American Book Award in 2009. Jackson lives in Chicago.

Friday, June 2 at 7 p.m.

Elise Paschen

The Nightlife: Poetry

Please note: This event will be held at the Swedish American Museum, 5211 N. Clark St.


Join us for a celebration of internationally acclaimed poet Elise Paschen! In addition to a reading and book-signing, this event will include refreshments and live music. In her third poetry book, The Nightlife, Paschen once again taps into dream states, creating a narrative balanced between the lived, and the imagined, life. At the heart of the book is a dream triptych that retells the same encounter from different perspectives, the drama between the narrative described and the sexual tension created there. The Nightlife demonstrates Paschen's versatility and formal mastery and lyricism. Elise Paschen is the author of Bestiary, Infidelities ( winner of the Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize ), and Houses: Coasts. As an undergraduate at Harvard, she received the Garrison Medal for poetry. She holds MPhil and DPhil degrees from Oxford University. Her poems have been published in the New Yorker and Poetry, among other magazines, and in numerous anthologies. She is the editor of Poetry Speaks to Children and co-editor of Poetry Speaks, among other anthologies. Former executive director of the Poetry Society of America, she is a co-founder of Poetry in Motion, a nationwide program that places poetry posters in subway cars and buses. Paschen teaches in the MFA Writing Program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and lives in Chicago with her family.

Tuesday, June 6 at 7 p.m.

Wendy Pearlman

We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled

Book Launch Party


In 2011 hundreds of thousands of Syrians took to the streets demanding freedom, democracy, and human rights. The government's ferocious response, and the refusal of the demonstrators to back down, sparked a brutal civil war that over the past five years has escalated into the worst humanitarian catastrophe of our times. Yet despite all the reporting, the video, and the wrenching photography, the stories of ordinary Syrians remain unheard. We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled is a breathtaking mosaic of first-hand testimonials from the frontlines that chronicle those who face darkness with hope, courage, and moral conviction. Wendy Pearlman has studied or conducted research in Morocco, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Germany, Spain, Israel, and the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. She has written two books and more than a dozen articles or book chapters about the Palestinian national movement, focusing on internal politics and the causes and consequences of political violence. She teaches at Northwestern University and lives in Chicago.

Wednesday, June 7 at 7 p.m.

Feminist Craft Circle

Yarnbombing: Part 3

This is our final session of our Yarnbombing Project! Join the Feminist Craft Circle as we use our hooks and needles to create a colorful installation for this summer's Midsommarfest—Andersonville's annual street festival! Learn the "how"s and "why"s of yarnbombing— street art made with knitting and crochet— and help us make a yarnbomb creation to be installed in and around the bookstore in June. Simple patterns will be provided, or you can let your creativity run wild! Please bring your own knitting needles or crochet hooks. Some yarn will be provided but any yarn contributions ( especially acrylic yarns ) are welcome.

Thursday, June 8 at 7 p.m.

Samantha Irby

We Are Never Meeting in Real Life: Essays

Book Launch Party

Please Note: This is a ticketed event that will be held at Wilson Abbey ( 935 W. WIlson ). TICKETS ON SALE NOW through Each ticket includes a copy of We Are Never Meeting In Real Life, which attendees will pick up at the event.

Women & Children First is proud to present Samantha Irby for the launch celebration of one of the most anticipated books of the year! For this event, Samantha will be interviewed by her ( not real ) dad, Mel. After the interview, there will be an audience Q&A followed by a book-signing. Sometimes you just have to laugh, even when life is a dumpster fire. Whether talking about how her difficult childhood has led to a problem in making adult budgets, a disastrous pilgrimage/romantic vacation to Nashville to scatter her estranged father's ashes, sharing awkward sexual encounters, or dispensing advice on how to navigate friendships with former drinking buddies who are now suburban moms, Irby is as deft at poking fun at the ghosts of her past self as she is at capturing powerful emotional truths. Samantha Irby is the author of the essay collection Meaty and the founder of the popular blog bitches gotta eat.

Friday, June 9 - Sunday, June 11

Andersonville Midsommarfest

Midsommarfest is the annual street festival along Clark Street between Foster and Catalpa for two days and three nights of music, dancing, kids' entertainment, and delicious food. Vendors from around the region sell their wares to passersby, local shops and restaurants welcome the warm season with specials and sales, and dance troupes, DJs, and cutting-edge plus longtime favorite bands keep the party going. A $10 donation is requested at the gate ( kids under 12 and seniors are free ), which supports all of the innovative programming, events, and services that keep our community vibrant. The Chicago Equality Rally will be held at Andersonville Midsommarfest on Sunday, June 11 at 11AM in solidarity with the National Equality March on Washington D.C.

Tuesday, June 13 at 7 p.m.

Sappho's Salon: Pride Open Mic

Co-curated by Liz Baudler & Eileen Tull

Sappho's Salon will once again be the official host of our annual Pride Open Mic. With three amazing featured performers and the return of our open mic, this is bound to be a wildly proud show. This open mic, we're celebrating pride in all forms, so our stage is open to everyone. That's right, everyone! We're looking at you cis-men! The list will be available at the front door starting at 7, first come, first served. Spots are 5 minutes apiece so we can accommodate everyone. Open mic participants will receive a coupon to the bookstore! Admission is pay what you can, with all proceeds going to the featured performers and the bookstore's Women's Voices Fund. BYOB and the usual Mediterranean spread will be provided.

Wednesday, June 14 at 7:30 p.m.

Ellen Meeropol in conversation with Bernardine Dohrn

Kinship of Clover

Author Conversation & Book-signing

Join us as we welcome author Ellen Meeropol back to Women & Children First! For this event Ellen will be in conversation with author and activist, Bernardine Dohrn. Jeremy has had an intimate relationship with the plant world since childhood. Now a college botany major, Jeremy is desperately looking for a way to stave off the extinction of the plants he loves. He soon becomes involved in a group of climate-justice activists. As the group readies itself to make a big Earth Day splash, Jeremy must weigh completing his mission to save the plants against protecting the people he loves. Ellen Meeropol is the author of two previous novels, House Arrest and On Hurricane Island. Bernardine Dohrn—activist, academic, and children's and women's rights advocate—is a retired associate clinical professor at Northwestern University School of Law, where she was the director of the Children and Family Justice Center for 23 years. Dohrn was national leader of SDS and the Weather Underground. Dohrn is an author and co-editor of several books, including Race Course: Against White Supremacy; A Century of Juvenile Justice; and Resisting Zero Tolerance: A Handbook for Parents, Teachers and Students. Dohrn has been a visiting professor at Leiden University faculty of law in the Netherlands for more than ten years and is a lecturer at the University of Chicago.

Thursday, June 15 at 7:30 p.m.

Marla Neufeld and Jeffrey Kasky

Assisted Reproductive Technology Issues and Pathways to Success

Presentation and Q&A

Interested in learning more about surrogacy, egg/sperm/embryo donation, IVF, or other forms of assisted reproductive technology ( ART )? Join co-authors and lawyers, Marla Neufeld and Jeffrey Kasky, as they speak about their book Assisted Reproductive Technology Issues and Pathways to Success. They will be joined by Meg Ledebuhr, attorney for Chicago egg and surrogacy donation agency, ConceiveAbilities, which agency contributed to the book. They'll discuss available ART options; the process for choosing the appropriate team to assist with your ART journey, such as medical providers, psychological implications, and legal representative; and other unique issues that may arise pre- and post-birth when using ART.

Friday, June 16 at 7:30 p.m.

Sharon Solwitz in conversation with

S. L. Wisenberg

Once, in Lourdes

Book Launch Party


Celebrate the launch of a new novel by Sharon Solwitz with a conversation between Sharon and local author S. L. Wisenberg. In the turbulent summer of 1968, four high school friends make a pact that will change their lives forever. For the next two weeks, they will live for each other and for each day. Then, at the end of the two weeks, they will sacrifice themselves on the altar of their friendship. In the two-week span in which the novel takes place, during the summer before their senior year of high school, the lives of Kay, CJ, Saint, and Vera will change beyond their expectations.Once, in Lourdes is a gripping, haunting novel about the power of teenage bonds. Sharon Solwitz is the author of a novel Bloody Mary and a collection of short stories, Blood and Milk, which won the Carl Sandburg Literary Award from the Friends of the Chicago Public Library and the prize for adult fiction from the Society of Midland Authors and was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award. Several of her stories have been featured in Pushcart Prize anthologies and Best American Short Stories. Other honors for her individual stories, which have appeared in such magazines as TriQuarterly, Mademoiselle, and Ploughshares, include the Katherine Anne Porter Prize, the Nelson Algren Literary Award, and grants and fellowships from the Illinois Arts Council. Solwitz teaches fiction writing at Purdue University and lives in Chicago with her husband, the poet Barry Silesky. S. L. Wisenberg is the author of Holocaust Girls, Adventures of Cancer Bitch, and The Sweetheart Is In, a collection of short stories that was named a book of the year by the Chicago Tribune.

Saturday, June 17 at 7 p.m.

You're Being Ridiculous: Our Annual LGBTQIA Pride Storytelling Show

Hosted by Jeremy Owens

You're Being Ridiculous, the wildly popular and expertly curated storytelling show founded by Jeremy Owens, will once again hold it's PRIDE show at Women & Children First! These funny, true stories will represent a diverse range of folks, who stand proudly on different points on the LGBTQIA spectrum. Featured performers include: Brooke Allen, Anna Besmann, Bea Cordelia, Ricardo Gamboa & Sean Parris, Ryan Hamlin, Elliot Hobaugh, Jeremy Owens, C Russell Price, and Rolo Rodriguez. This event is BYOB with a $10 suggested cash donation. Proceeds will benefit the performers and the Women's Voices Fund. More details at . Doors open at 7 p.m. Show starts at 7:30 p.m.

Monday, June 19 7 p.m.

Roxane Gay


This event is hosted by the Chicago Humanities Festival and will be held at Francis W. Parker School

Diane and David B. Heller Auditorium

2233 N. Clark St. Women & Children First is the official bookseller for this event. Tickets available through Chicago Humanities Festival

Roxane Gay has been writing with wit and grace about food and body, using her own emotional and psychological struggles as a means of exploring our shared anxieties over pleasure, consumption, appearance, and health. Gay comes to CHF to discuss Hunger, a brutally honest memoir of food, weight, self-image, and learning how to feed your hunger while taking care of yourself. Roxane Gay is an outspoken voice on gender, racial issues, and pop culture. A national contributor to the New York Times, her writing has appeared in Best American Mystery Stories 2014, Best Sex Writing 2012, American Short Fiction, the New York Times Book Review, Bookforum, Time, the Los Angeles Times, the Nation, the Rumpus, Salon, and many others. She is the co-editor of PANK. She is also the author of the books Difficult Women, Bad Feminist, and An Untamed State.

Wednesday, June 21 at 7 p.m.

Activism Series: Project Fierce

For each meeting of our Activism Series, we showcase specific local social justice organizations. Representatives from the organizations give a presentation detailing their mission, followed by a Q&A and an action plan of how attendees can get involved. For our June event, we'll be featuring Project Fierce. Project Fierce Chicago is a grassroots collective of radical social workers, youth advocates and other community members who are working together to establish community-driven, identity-affirming housing in Chicago. Project Fierce's mission is to reduce LGBTQ youth homelessness in Chicago by providing transitional housing and support services to LGBTQ-identified young adults.

Thursday, June 22 at 7:30 p.m.

Amelia Gray ( Isadora )

Catherine Lacey ( Answers )

Reading & Book-signing

Co-sponsored by 826Chi

Join us as we welcome award-winning authors Amelia Gray and Catherine Lacey. In her breakout novel, Amelia Gray seeks to obliterate the mannered portrait of a dancer and to introduce the reader to Isadora Duncan, a woman who lived and loved without limits, even in the darkest days of her life. Amelia Gray is the author of several books: AM/PM, Museum of the Weird, THREATS, and Gutshot. Her fiction and essays have appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Tin House, and VICE. She has been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and is the winner of the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award. She lives in Los Angeles. In Catherine Lacey's second novel, Answers, we are introduced to Mary, a young and broke New Yorker struggling with chronic pain and finding relief from a New Agey treatment that is prohibitively expensive. Needing cash fast, Mary applies for the "Girlfriend Experiment," the brainchild of an eccentric actor, Kurt Sky. Mary is hired and quickly pulled into Kurt's ego-driven and messy attempt at human connection. Catherine Lacey is the author of Nobody Is Ever Missing, winner of a 2016 Whiting Award and a finalist for the New York Public Library's Young Lions Fiction Award. Her essays and fiction have been published widely and translated into many languages. Born in Mississippi, she is now based in Chicago. This event is co-sponsored by 826 Chi, a non-profit writing and tutoring center. Representatives in 826 will be present at the event to discuss their organization and ways you can help.

Friday, June 23 at 7:30 p.m.

Jeremy McCarter

Young Radicals

Reading & Book-signing


From the co-author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Hamilton: The Revolution, comes Young Radicals—the story of five activists, intellectuals, and troublemakers who agitated for freedom and equality. Based on six years of extensive archival research, Jeremy McCarter's dramatic narrative brings to life the exploits of Randolph Bourne, the bold social critic; Max Eastman, the charismatic poet-propagandist of Greenwich Village; Walter Lippmann, a boy wonder of socialism who forged a new path to seize new opportunities; Alice Paul, a suffragist leader who risked everything to win women the right to vote; and John Reed, the swashbuckling journalist who was an eyewitness to—and a key player in—the Russian Revolution.

Each of these figures sensed a moment of unprecedented promise for American life and struggled to bring it about, only to see a cataclysmic war and reactionary fervor sweep it away. A century later, we are still fighting for the ideals these five championed. The story of their struggles brings new light and fresh inspiration to our own. Jeremy McCarter is the co-author Hamilton: The Revolution. He has written about culture and politics for New York, Newsweek, the New York Times, and Buzzfeed. He spent five years on the artistic staff of the Public Theater in New York. He studied history at Harvard and lives in Chicago.

Wednesday, June 28 at 7:30 p.m.

Susan Bordo in conversation with

Kim Brooks

The Destruction of Hillary Clinton

Reading, Conversation, and Book-signing

In this masterful narrative of the 2016 campaign year and the events that led up to it, Susan Bordo unpacks the conservatives' assault on Clinton's reputation, the way the Left provoked suspicion and indifference among the youth vote, the inescapable presence of James Comey, questions about Russian influence, and the media's malpractice in covering the candidate. Urgent, insightful, and engrossing, The Destruction of Hillary Clinton is an essential guide to understanding the most controversial presidential election in American history. Susan Bordo is a media critic, cultural historian, and feminist scholar. Her books include Unbearable Weight, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and most recently, The Creation of Anne Boleyn. She is professor of Gender and Women's Studies at the University of Kentucky. For this event, Susan will be in conversation with Kim Brooks. Kim Brooks is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where she was a teaching-writing fellow. Her fiction has appeared in Glimmer Train, One Story, the Missouri Review, and other journals, and her essays have appeared in Salon, Buzzfeed and New York magazine. Her memoir Small Animals will be published in 2017. She and lives in Chicago with her family.

Thursday, June 29 at 7:30 p.m.

Kevin Coval and friends TBD

The People's History of Chicago

Poetry Reading


Writing in the tradition of Howard Zinn, Kevin Coval's A People's History of Chicago celebrates the history of this great American city from the perspective of those on the margins, whose stories often go untold. These seventy-seven poems ( for the city's seventy-seven neighborhoods ) honor the everyday lives and enduring resistance of the city's workers, poor people, and people of color, whose cultural and political revolutions continue to shape the social landscape. Kevin Coval is the poet/author/editor of seven books including The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop and the play This Is Modern Art, co-written with Idris Goodwin. Founder of Louder Than A Bomb: The Chicago Youth Poetry Festival and the artistic director of Young Chicago Authors, Coval teaches hip-hop aesthetics at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

Wednesday, July 5 at 7 p.m.

Terry Tempest Williams

The Hour of Land - paperback tour

Reading, Q&A, and Book-signing

Join us as we celebrate the paperback tour of Terry Tempest Williams' The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of the National Parks. Published for the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, Williams' examination of twelve parks is a guide to the history and landscape of these sacred places, but also a personal journey. She offers a much-needed meditation on the purpose and relevance of national parks in the 21st century. Terry Tempest Williams is the award-winning author of fifteen books, including Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place, Finding Beauty in a Broken World, and When Women Were Birds. She lives in Castle Valley, Utah, with her husband, Brooke Williams.

Thursday, July 6 at 7:30 p.m.

Laurie Kahn

Baffled By Love: Stories of the Lasting Impact of Childhood Trauma Inflicted by Loved Ones

Book Launch Party


For three decades, Laurie Kahn has treated clients who were abused as children. Their abusers were often people who inhabited their daily lives. Kahn, too, had to learn to navigate a wilderness in order to find the good kind of love after a rocky childhood. In Baffled by Love, she includes strands from her own story, along with those of her clients, creating a narrative full of resonance, meaning, and shared humanity. Using her passion for storytelling to share her understanding of child abuse as a traumatic experience of love, and how its damage can be repaired. Laurie Kahn, MA, LCPC, MFA, is a pioneer in the field of trauma treatment. For more than 30 years, Laurie has specialized in the treatment of survivors of childhood abuse. In 1980, she founded Womencare Counseling and Training Center. Laurie's personal essays have been published in anthologies, and her articles and book reviews in professional journals. In 2010, Laurie completed an MFA in Creative Nonfiction at Goucher College.

Save the Date

Tuesday, July 11 at 7:30 p.m.

Sappho's Salon

Thursday, July 13 at 7:30

Quraysh Ali Lansana, Sandra Jackson-Opoku, Keith S. Wilson, and Tara Betts

Revise the Psalm

Reading and Book-signing

Friday, July 14 at 7:30 p.m.

Erika L. Sanchez

Lessons on Expulsion: Poems

Book Launch Party

Wednesday, July 19 at 7 p.m.

Activism: Women Employed

Friday, July 21 at 7:30 p.m.

Tim Taranto

Ars Botanica

Reading, Q&A, and Book-signing

Tuesday, July 25 at 7 p.m.

Feminist Craft Circle

Saturday, July 29 - Sunday, July 30

Annual Used Book Sale benefiting the Women's Voices Fund

Tuesday, August 1 at 7 p.m.

Megan Stielstra

The Wrong Way to Save Your Life: Essays

Book Launch Party

Please note: this ticketed event will be held at Uptown Underground. Tickets on sale through Uptown Underground on June 1st.

Wednesday, August 2 at 7:30 p.m.

Augustus Rose

The Readymade Thief

Book Launch Party

Thursday, August 3 at 7:30 p.m.

Jac Jemc

The Grip of It

Book Launch Party

Book Groups

Women Aging with Wisdom & Grace Discussion & Potluck

Sunday, June 4

11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Suggested Reading: second half of Becoming Wise by Krista Tippett

Family of Women Book Group

Sunday, June 4 at 2 p.m.

Claire of the Sea Light

by Edwidge Danticat

Classics of Women's Literature

Book Group

Tuesday, June 6 at 7:15 p.m.


by Banana Yoshimoto

Kids First Book Group

Sunday, June 11 at 4 p.m.

The Tiger Rising

by Kate Dicamillo

Teens First Book Group

Sunday, June 11 at 5 p.m.

The Hobbit

by J.R.R. Tolkien

Feminist Book Group

Sunday, June 11 at 6:30 p.m.

Book Selection Potluck

Queer Readers Book Group

Sunday, June 18 at 2 p.m.

Dirty River by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

Social Justice Book Group

Sunday, June 18 at 4 p.m.

We We Feminists Once by Andi Zeisler

Women's Book Group

Tuesday, June 20 at 7:30 p.m.

The South Side by Natalie Moore

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