Pride month brings events at Women & Children First Books, 5233 N. Clark St. Chicago, Chicago's only feminist bookstore:
Friday, June 1 at 7:30 p.m.
Katie Watson in conversation with Amy Whitaker, MD
Scarlet A: The Ethics, Laws, and Politics of Ordinary Abortion
Join a unique conversation between Katie Watson, a Northwestern professor and lawyer, and Amy Whitaker, vice president and medical director of Planned Parenthood of Illinois. Whitaker and Watson will discuss how culture, ethics, medicine, and politics do and don't play out in local practice through the services Planned Parenthood provides in Illinois every day. Public discussion tends to focus on extraordinary cases, which is polarizing and focuses everyone's attention on the situations that are the least likely to occur. Scarlet A focuses, instead, on the cases that happen the most, "ordinary" abortions, which gives a more accurate impression of what the majority of American abortion practice really looks like. It also explores how our silence around private experience has distorted public opinion, and how including both ordinary abortion and abortion ethics could make our public exchanges more fruitful. Scarlet A combines storytelling and statistics to bring the story of ordinary abortion out of the shadows, painting a rich, rarely seen picture of how patients and doctors currently think and act, and ultimately inviting readers to tell their own stories and draw their own conclusions. Katie Watson is an award-winning professor who has taught bioethics, medical humanities, and constitutional law for fifteen years at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. She has been elected a board member of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities, chair of the Ethics Committee and board member of the National Abortion Federation, and bioethics advisor to and member of the National Medical Council of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. In 2017, she began practicing law again, and she now splits her time between Northwestern and the ACLU of Illinois, where she is senior counsel for the Women's and Reproductive Rights Project.
Saturday, June 2 at 7 p.m., Tommy Pico and Erika Wurth
Reading, Conversation, and Book-signing
Please join us in celebrating the publication of Tommy Pico's latest poetry book Junk. For this reading and conversation, Pico will be joined by Erika T. Wurth. Tommy "Teebs" Pico is author of the books IRL and Nature Poem. He was a Queer / Art / Mentorship inaugural Fellow, Lambda Literary Fellow in poetry, and NYSCA/NYFA Fellow in Poetry from the New York Foundation for the Arts, and he's the winner of a Whiting Award and the Brooklyn Public Library's Literature Prize. Originally from the Viejas Indian Reservation of the Kumeyaay Nation, he now lives in Brooklyn where he co-curates the reading series Poets with Attitude ( PWA ) with Morgan Parker. He also co-hosts the podcast Food 4 Thot and is a contributing editor at Literary Hub. Erika T. Wurth's publications include a novel, Crazy Horse's Girlfriend; two collections of poetry; and a collection of short stories, Buckskin Cocaine. A new novel, You Who Enter Here, is forthcoming from SUNY. She teaches creative writing at Western Illinois University and has been a guest writer at the Institute of American Indian Arts. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Boulevard, Drunken Boat, and the Kenyon Review, among others. She is Apache-Chickasaw-Cherokee and was raised outside of Denver. This event is co-sponsored with the American Indian Center.
Wednesday, June 6 at 7:30 p.m.
Maxine Chernoff with special guest Jan-Henry Gray
Maxine Chernoff was born and raised in Chicago, where she taught in the City Colleges, at Columbia, the American Indian Center, and UIC. Her work includes sixteen books of poems, most recently Camera, and six works of fiction, all of which are set in Chicago. Her book of Stories Signs of Devotion was a 1991 New York Times Notable Book. Three-time finalist for the Northern California Book Award, winner of the Carl Sandburg Literary Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Prize in Poetry, and a PEN Translation Prize for her co-translation of The Selected Poems of Friedrich Hoelderlin, she was a visiting writer at the American Academy in Rome in 2016. She lives in the Bay Area, where she was chair of the SFSU Creative Writing Program for 20 years and currently serves as Professor. Jan-Henry Gray was born in Quezon City, Philippines and moved to California with his family when he was six years old. He grew up in Southern California and lived in San Francisco, where he cooked in restaurants for more than twelve years. He received his BA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University and his MFA in Poetry from Columbia College Chicago. He has received fellowships and awards from the Juniper Writing Summer Institute, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, and the Academy of American Poets and was a recipient of the Undocupoets Fellowship. His work has been published in Nepantla: An Anthology for Queer Poets of Color, the Rumpus, Tupelo Quarterly, Puerto del Sol, and other journals. He lives with his husband in Chicago, where he co-hosts events featuring writers, performers, artists, and musicians. His first book, Documents, won the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize and is forthcoming through BOA Editions in the spring of 2019.
Friday, June 8 through 10
Midsommarfest! Neighborhood Festival
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 longtime favorite bands keep the party going. A $10 donation is requested at the gate ( kids under 12 and seniors are free ) that supports so many of the innovative programming, events, and services that keep our community vibrant.
Monday, June 11 - ALL DAY
Begin accepting donations for the Annual Used Book Sale!
This year, we'll be accepting donations for our annual Used Book Sale during store hours on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, today through Wednesday, July 25. Women & Children First's Used Book Sale benefits The Women's Voices Fund, the non-profit arm of the store that supports all of our programming and events. This year the Used Book Sale ( part of Andersonville's Sidewalk Sale weekend ) will be Saturday, July 28th and Sunday, July 29th. We will NOT accept textbooks, reference books, mass market paperbacks, foreign language books, or CDs/DVDs. Any books that do not meet our criteria will be returned to you at the time of donation. Interested in volunteering at the sale? Please email Sarah at email@example.com . Volunteers will work 3- to 4-hour shifts and, in exchange, receive credits to redeem for free books! Please note that volunteers must be able to lift 30 lb. boxes. Also, this is often one of the hottest weekends of the year, so volunteers should be prepared for the heat. We will provide water and sunscreen.
Monday, June 11 at 7 p.m.
Pride Open Mic hosted by Sappho's Salon
Come one, come all, and celebrate Pride Month at Sappho's Salon! The open mic is back for folks of all gender identities, plus some outstanding featured performers. Enjoy food, art, and community while celebrating gender, sexuality, and feminism. Open Mic sign up beings at 7 p.m. The show starts at 7:30. Pay what you can at the door.
Tuesday, June 12 at 6 p.m.
Peter Coviello in conversation with Kim O'Neill
Long Players: A Love Story in Eighteen Songs
Reading and Conversation
Join us for a joint author reading and conversation featuring Peter Coviello, author of Long Players: A Love Story in Eighteen Songs and Kim O'Neil, author of Fever Dogs. Have you ever fallen in loveexalting, wracking, hilarious lovewith a song? Long Players is a book about that kind of besottedness and, also, about the other, more entangling sorts of love that songs can propel us into. We follow Peter Coviello through his happy marriage, blindsiding divorce, and fumbling post marital forays into sex and romance. But most importantly, we travel with him as he calibrates, mix by mix and song by song, his place in the lives of two little girls, his now ex-stepdaughters. Peter Coviello's work has appeared in various journals and books, including the Believer, Frieze, and the Los Angeles Review of Books. In 2017-18, he was a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. He lives in Chicago. Kim O'Neil's debut collection Fever Dogs is a fictional biography of three generations of women in Boston. It begins at the turn of the twenty-first century with Jean, a young woman at an impasse. Romantically adrift, in a dying profession, she decides that to make herself a future, she must first make herself a past. Jean constructs a life her mother, Jane, might have lived. But like Jean's story, Jane's cannot be told apart from that of her own mother. What follows is a set of stories spanning nearly a century and asking questions that Jean wishes she had asked her mother and to which she has, at best, disjointed answers. Kim O'Neil graduated from the MFA program at the University of California, Irvine. Her work has been published in Electric Literature, Juked, Packingtown Review, and Faultline. She is a senior lecturer in the Department of English at the University of Illinois at Chicago and assistant director of the Writing Center.
Wednesday, June 13 at 7 p.m.
Yrsa Daley Ward
The Terrible: A Storyteller's Memoir
Reading, Q&A, and Book-signing
Please note: this ticketed event will be held at the Swedish American Museum. Tickets on sale NOW! Each ticket includes a copy of the book.
The Terrible is a lyrical memoirpart prose, part verseabout coming of age, uncovering the cruelty and beauty of the wider world, and redemption through self-discovery and the bonds of family. The Terrible is the story of Yrsa Daley-Ward. It's about her childhood in the northwest of England, about growing up and discovering the power and fear of sexuality, and about pitch-gray days of pills and powder and connection. Told with raw intensity and shocking honesty, The Terrible is a memoir of going under, losing yourself, and finding your voice. Yrsa Daley-Ward is the author of the bestselling poetry collection, bone. Born to a Jamaican mother and a Nigerian father, Yrsa was raised by her devout Seventh Day Adventist grandparents in the small town of Chorley. She splits her time between London and New York.
Friday, June 15 at 7 p.m.
All That I Can Fix
Book Launch Party
In Makersville, Indiana, people know all about Ronneyhe's from that mixed-race family with the dad who tried to kill himself, the pill-popping mom, and the genius kid sister. But events in the wider world are determined to make things even worse for Ronny: one night the local eccentric at the edge of town decides to open up all the cages and free all the exotic animals he ownslions, cheetahs, tigersand then shoot himself dead. Overnight, news crews and those on both sides of the gun debate descend on Makersville, bringing around-the-clock news coverage, rallies, and anti-rallies with them. With his parents checked out, Ronney is left to tend to his sister's mounting fears of roaming lions and stop his best friend from going on a suburban safari. Can Ronney figure out a way to hold it together as all his worlds fall apart? Crystal Chan was inspired to write All That I Can Fix while watching the exotic zoo outbreak in Zanesville, Ohio in 2011. When Crystal isn't writing, her passion is giving diversity talks to adults and kids, telling stories on Wisconsin Public Radio, and hosting conversations on social media. Her debut novel, Bird, was published in nine countries. She is the parent of a teenage turtle ( not a ninja ).
Saturday, June 16 - Doors open at
7 p.m. Show starts at 7:30 p.m.
You're Being Ridiculous
LGBTQIA Pride Storytelling Show
curated & hosted by Jeremy Owens
You're Being Ridiculous, the wildly popular and expertly curated storytelling show founded by Jeremy Owens, will once again hold its 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 Carly Ballerini, Ada Cheng, Erin Diamond, Nestor Gomez, Jeremy Owens, and Charles Russell Price. This event is BYOB with a $10 suggested cash donation. Proceeds will benefit the performers and the Women's Voices Fund. More details at yourebeingridiculous.com . Doors open at 7 p.m. Show starts at 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, June 20 at 7:30 p.m.
Book Launch Party
Once there was a mermaid named Amelia who could never be content in the sea. She longed to know the world and all its wonders, and so she came to live on land. Once there was a man named P. T. Barnum, who longed to make his fortune by selling the wondrous and miraculous, and there is nothing more miraculous than a real mermaid. Amelia agrees to play the mermaid for Barnum and walk among men in their world, believing she can leave anytime she likes. But Barnum has never given up a money-making scheme in his life, and he's determined to hold on to his mermaid. Christina Henry is the Chicago-based author of Lost Boy, Alice, Red Queen, and the national bestselling Black Wings series featuring Agent of Death Madeline Black and her popcorn-loving gargoyle, Beezle.
Friday, June 22 at 7:30 p.m.
Sam Herschel Wein
Please join us for a poetry reading celebrating Sam Herschel Wein's chapbook Fruit Mansion. Wein will be reading with friends and fellow poets Chen Chen, Kate Hao, and Levi Todd.
Sam Herschel Wein lives in Chicago and specializes in aimless frolicking. He is a poetry editor for the Blueshift Journal and is co-founder of a new journal, Underblong, with his friend and esteemed poet, Chen Chen. Fruit Mansion was the winner of the 2016 Turnbuckle Chapbook prize. Other recent work by Wein has appeared in Vinyl Poetry, Pretty Owl Poetry, and Connotation Press, among others. Chen Chen is the author of When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities, which won the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize, the GLCA New Writers Award, and the Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry. The collection was also longlisted for the National Book Award and named a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry. His work appears in many publications, including Poetry, Tin House, The Best American Poetry, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading. He is currently the Jacob Ziskind Poet-in-Residence at Brandeis University. Kate Hao is a recent graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, a slam poet, a Leo, a child of immigrants, and a Jane the Virgin obsessive. She grew up in Northern Virginia. Levi Todd is a queer poet and witness to the Chicago Renaissance. He is the founder of Reacting Out Loud, an independent organization devoted to uplifting poetry and affirming community in Muncie, Indiana. He also serves as assistant poetry editor for Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and his work is published or forthcoming in Glass: A Journal of Poetry, thread, the Broken Plate, and various anthologies. He'd love to talk to you about our lord and savior Carly Rae Jepsen.
Tuesday, June 26 at 7 p.m.
The Great Believers
Book Launch Party
It's 1985 and the career of Yale Tishman, the development director for an art gallery in Chicago, is just beginning to really take off. But the carnage of the AIDS epidemic grows around him, and one by one his friends are dying. Soon the only person he has left is Fiona, his friend Nico's little sister. Thirty years later, Fiona is in Paris tracking down her estranged daughter who disappeared into a cult. While staying with an old friend, a famous photographer who documented the Chicago crisis, she finds herself finally grappling with the devastating ways AIDS affected her life and her relationship with her daughter. Rebecca Makkai is the author of The Borrower, The Hundred-Year House, which won the Novel of the Year Award from the Chicago Writers Association, and Music for Wartime. Her work has appeared in The Best American Short Stories, Harper's, and Tin House, among others. She lives outside Chicago with her husband and two daughters. For this event, Rebecca will be in conversation with Owen Keehnen. Owen Keehnen is co-founder and senior biographer of The Legacy Projecta program focused on pride, acceptance, and bringing proper recognition to LGBT people throughout history. He has served on the board of Chicago's Gerber/Hart Library. In 2011 he was inducted into the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame. His articles have appeared in The Harvard Gay & Lesbian Review and the New York Native, among others. He was a contributor to the book Gay Press, Gay Power and the WTTW documentary Out and Proud in Chicago.
Friday, June 29 at 7:30 p.m.
Sophie Lucido Johnson
Book Launch Party
In her sharp and witty illustrated memoir, Many Love, writer and artist Sophie Lucido Johnson probes what polyamory is, what it's not, where it comes from, and the misunderstandings that plague the community. From charts defining key relationship terms to how it feels when your boyfriend falls in love with someone else for the first time ( hint: nauseating, terrifying, and exhilarating ), Johnson seamlessly fuses a sociological look at modern love with her deeply personal experiences. ( Growing up, all she wanted was a boyfriend who was "marriage material." It wasn't until college that she realized the love she was looking for might look a little different than her parents' forty-year marriage. ) Many Love is a perceptive, wide-ranging, and refreshingly honest book that will empower readers to build better relationships and to cherish all of the love in their lives. Sophie Lucido Johnson is a writer, illustrator, comedian, and the editor-in-chief of Neutrons Protons, an online literary magazine. She has been published in the New Yorker, Guernica, McSweeney's, and Jezebel, among others. She has just completed an MFA in Writing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Many Love is her first book.
Friday, July 6 at 7 p.m.
Kelly Sundberg in conversation with Zoe Zolbrod
Goodbye, Sweet Girl
Kelly Sundberg's husband, Caleb, was a funny, warm, supportive man and a wonderful father to their little boy, Reed. He was also vengeful and violent. But Sundberg did not know that when she fell in love, and for years she told herself he would get better. It took a decade for her to ultimately accept that the partnership she desired could not work with such a broken man. In her remarkable book, she offers an intimate record of the joys and terrors that accompanied her long, difficult awakening, and presents a haunting, heartbreaking glimpse into why women remain too long in dangerous relationships. Mesmerizing and poetic, Goodbye, Sweet Girl is a harrowing, cautionary, and ultimately redemptive tale that brilliantly illuminates one woman's transformation as she gradually rejects the painful reality of her violent life at the hands of the man who is supposed to cherish her, begins to accept responsibility for herself, and learns to believe that she deserves better. Kelly Sundberg's essays have appeared in Guernica, Gulf Coast, the Rumpus, and other publications. Her essay "It Will Look Like a Sunset" was selected for inclusion in Best American Essays 2015, and other essays have been listed as notables in the same series. She has a PhD in Creative Nonfiction from Ohio University, and she has been the recipient of fellowships or grants from Vermont Studio Center, A Room of Her Own Foundation, Dickinson House, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Zoe Zolbrod is the author of the memoir The Telling, which won a silver IPPY Award and was a Chicago Review of Books award finalist, and the novel Currency, which was a Friends of American Writers prize finalist. Her essays have appeared in Salon, the Guardian, Lit Hub, the Manifest Station, the Nervous Breakdown, the Chicago Reader, and the Rumpus, where she served as the Sunday co-editor. She lives in Evanston with her husband and two children.
Save the Date:
Wednesday, July 11 at 7 p.m.
Chad Sell & Katie Schenkel
YA Author Presentation
Thursday, July 19 at 7 p.m.
Ottessa Moshfegh in conversation
with Jac Jemc
My Year of Rest and Relaxation
Reading, Conversation, and Book-signing
Friday, July 20 at 7 p.m.
Wendy L. Rouse
Her Own Hero: The Origins of the Women's Self-Defense Movement
Reading, Q&A, and Book-signing
Annual Used Book Sale benefiting the Women's Voices Fund
Saturday, July 28 and
Sunday, July 29
Wednesday, August 1 at 7 p.m.
Porochista Khakpour in conversation with Megan Stielstra
Sick: A Memoir
Reading, Conversation, and Book-signing
Thursday, August 2 at 7 p.m.
Elaine Soloway's 80th Birthday Party & Book Launch for She's Not the Type
Family of Women Book Group
Sunday, June 3 at 2 p.m.
Inferior by Angela Saini
Feminist Book Group
Sunday, June 10 at 4 p.m.
edited by Joanne Barker
Social Justice Book Group
Sunday, June 17 at 4 p.m.
Inside This Place Not of It
edited by Ayelet Waldman and Robin Levi
Teens First Book Group
Sunday, June 10 at 5 p.m.
Book Selection: TBD
Classics of Women's Literature
Monday, June 18 at 7:15 p.m.
Under a Glass Bell
by Anais Nin
Women's Book Group
Tuesday, June 19 at 7:30 p.m.
by Negar Djavadi
Women Aging with Wisdom & Grace Discussion & Potluck
Sunday, July 8
11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Suggested Reading: They May Not Mean To, But They Do by Cathleen Schine