Monthly Archive for September, 2011

Logan Square Literary Review Reads: Halloween Edition

Oct ’11
7:00 pm

Kick-off your Halloween weekend with the Logan Square Literary Review Reads: Halloween Edition! Grab your pumpkin beers and trick-or-treat bags and prepare yourself for the spooky, scary and creepy as read by: Lara Levitan, Michael McCauley, Alicia Hilton and others!

The Logan Square Literary Review is a not-for-profit quarterly journal based in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago, IL. This publication aims to facilitate expression and add to the thriving community of arts and ideas in Logan Square. The Logan Square Literary Review is dependent upon submissions from the public. This event is to celebrate issue VIII Fall 2011.

Long live 60647!

Kevin Coval Performs Poetry From L-Vis Lives!: Racemusic Poems

Oct ’11
7:00 pm

Spoken-word poet Kevin Coval, co-founder and Artistic Director of Louder Than a Bomb: The Chicago Youth Poetry Festival, will perform at Quimby’s in support of his third collection of poetry L-vis Lives! Racemusic Poems (Haymarket Books, September).

Coval, who has been hailed as “a new glowing voice in the world of literature” by Studs Terkel, explores the dynamic intersection of race and culture in America today with “L-vis,” an imagined persona and pastiche of artists who have used and misused Black music. In Coval’s poetic novella, L-vis’s story is equal parts autobiography and forgotten and re-imagined history. We see shades of Elvis Presley, the Beastie Boys, and Eminem, and meet some of history’s more obscure “whiteboy” heroes and antiheroes. A free audio preview of L-vis Lives!, with poems read by Coval and beats by Coolout Chris, can be heard here:
“This book is bold, brave and morally messy – twelve rounds of knock-down, drag-out shadowboxing against a shapeshifter. The dark humor, intellectual fervor, and emotional rigor Coval brings to bear animates these pieces, turns caricatures to characters…”
—Adam Mansbach, author, Go the F**k to Sleep

For performance, interview, and review requests, contact: Jon Kurinsky, Haymarket Books,

Wed, Oct 12th, 7pm

from hero to most
i am a hero
to most. the great hope
of something other.
a complex back-story.
something other than
the business of my father.
bland’s antonym.
jim crow’s black sheep.
the forgotten son
left to rise in the darkness
among the dis
carded in the wild
of working class, single
mother hoods.

Joe Janes and Friends Read from 50 Plays 10/1

Oct ’11
7:00 pm

50 Plays by Joe Janes is the follow-up to the remarkable and insane 365 Sketches of 2010.  

Joe Janes spent months working with fifty local directors and their chosen casts to write a ten-minute(ish) play for each one.

A “Best of” presentation of pieces at Donny’s Skybox at Second City in August was hailed by the Chicago Reader as “”silly, bizarre, violent, and provocative” “…the pieces showcase Janes’s willingness to take risks of all kinds.”

Joe Janes is a teacher, writer, actor, improviser and director in Chicago. He is the Improv Program Director in Columbia College’s Theater Department. At Second City, he teaches all levels of the writing program. He has worked for Second City for over a dozen years and in that time has performed in the national touring company, produced and directed at Second City – Detroit, directed for the touring company and Second City – Las Vegas.  He spent time as the artistic director of ComedySportz-Chicago where he developed their training center curriculum and created BattleProv. As a comedy writer, he wrote for and provided voices for Jellyvision’s You Don’t Know Jack series of CD-ROM trivia games, freelanced for SNL’s Weekend Update and won an Emmy for his work on Cincinnati’s Club 19. He is a founding member of The WNEP Theater Foundation for which he has written and performed for 20 years in such shows as The (Edward) Hopper Project, Metaluna and the Amazing Science of the Mind Revue, The Armageddon Radio Hour and Soiree Dada. He is also the artistic director of Robot vs. Dinosaur and a former company member of the hit show Improvised Shakespeare. Joe began his career as a stand-up comedian where he toured the country for five years opening for such acts as The Monkees, Bill Hicks, Rita Rudner, and Paula Poundstone. You can follow his exploits on his blog and Twitter and become a fan of 365 Sketches on Facebook.

Joe Janes can be contacted at


Sat, Oct 1st, 7pm  

Todd Dills and Friends Celebrate All Hands On: THE2NDHAND After 10 on 10/3

Oct ’11
7:00 pm

THE2NDHAND’s founding editor, Todd Dills, joins contributors to launch the mag’s 10th-anniversary anthology: All Hands On: THE2NDHAND After 10

THE2NDHAND began its life as an 11-by-17-inch block of black text on white paper peppered variously with photo-illustrations, comics, line drawings and distributed in storefronts first in Chicago, then in an ever-growing list of cities around the U.S. New writing, simply, has been its focus since editor and publisher Todd Dills (author of the novel Sons of the Rapture) founded it in 2000—a small format its physicality, but a loud mouth and a big heart its most important parts.

“And without Quimby’s, where we began hosting readings shortly after we launched,” says Dills, “we would never have built the community of writers and readers we now enjoy.”

After a successful Kickstarter campaign raised funds to print the book, All Hands On: THE2NDHAND after 10 arrived in August to lay down the best of the mag’s 10+ years of publishing writing by the budding insurgents of the American lit landscape—and others, no doubt. True to form, the book begins with a section of new, as-yet unpublished work, and follows with sections devoted to some of its best repeat writers, including those on the program for this event.

Joining Nashville, Tenn.-based Dills at this event them are Time Out Chicago books editor and Featherproof Books publisher Jonathan Messinger (Hiding Out) and longtime THE2NDHAND contributors and Chicago residents Kate Duva and Jill Summers. For more about the book, as well as the writers, visit

Alison Bechdel comes to Quimby’s 10/8

Oct ’11
7:00 pm

Alison Bechdel is guest editing THE BEST AMERICAN COMICS 2011.

“An insightful compilation.”—USA Today

It is widely acknowledge that comics is, by and large, a printed medium, and in the foreword of THE BEST AMERICAN COMICS 2011, series editors Jessica Abel and Matt Madden trace the evolutionary print trends of this art form – from Sunday pages and daily strips to fanzines and minicomics to a mail art movement and self-publishing faction.  However, they also recognize that comics have invaded the digital medium, and many of the aforementioned DIY-ers have created a webcomics scene that parallels, yet doesn’t necessarily intersect with, the print world.  In part as a reflection of this new trend, this year’s volume of THE BEST AMERICAN COMICS features a first for this series: Kate Beaton’s clever, buzz-worthy, and hilarious Hark! A Vagrant, the first included comic by an artist who emerged entirely from the webcomics scene.

Star guest editor Alison Bechdel, author of the seminal chronicle of lesbian lives and loves, Dykes To Watch Out For, and the highly-acclaimed graphic memoir Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, continues this reflection on comics trends in her introduction.  Though she originally became a cartoonist because of its alternative, underground nature far from mainstream literary and art criticism, she acknowledges – and appreciates – the incredible growth spurt and popularity boost comics have undergone in the past decade.

Submission after submission, Bechdel writes, shows how cleverly, confidently, and infectiously young comics are playing with the balance of art and language.  Selections like Brendan Leach’s Pterodactyl Hunters about fictionalized 1904 New York, Chris Ware’s Jordan Lint to 65 about the complete, fictionally-realized life of Jordan Lint, and Joe Sacco’s historiography, Footnotes in Gaza don’t fit neatly into a single category.  And yet, many of these pieces address a metacomic theme, commenting on their own art form in some way – David Lasky’s cheeky send-up of recent trends in the ‘graphic novel’ phenomenon and Joey Allison Sayers’ Pet Cat, which investigates the negative qualities defining the more commercial reaches of the comicsphere.

And although Bechdel questions why there’s still such a gender disparity in the field, she also lauds the fact that female cartoonists are beginning to experience a form of freedom that she hopes will extend to the art form as a whole.  “Freedom from having to explain or defend ourselves.  Freedom from being confined to one section of the bookstore.  Even freedom—one day, maybe—from books like this one.”  And it is this liberation, this ability to “look just a little beyond the horizon” that truly defines each of the pieces in THE BEST AMERICAN COMICS™ 2011 which begins, appropriately, with Gabrielle Bell’s heartfelt Manifestation.

Allison Bechdel began drawing the comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For in 1983.  Dykes was syndicated in fifty alternative newspapers, translated into multiple languages, and collected into a book series with over a quarter of a million copies in print. Bechdel is also the author of the best-selling graphic memoir Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, which was named a Best Book of the Year by Time, Entertainment Weekly, the New York Times, People, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, the Village Voice, and the San Francisco Chronicle, among others.  Her new graphic memoir, Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama, will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in April 2012.