In Scott Jacobs’ new book Never Leave Your Block (Dead Tree Press), Bucktown is the setting for 33 stories about life in Chicago’s fabled blue collar neighborhood. Jacobs recounts his first years living in Bucktown in 1974 as well as more modern adventures in a fast-gentrifying community. He spends a season with the players in the Holstein Park adult basketball league, goes gambling with the Bucktown Seniors at an Indiana casino, visits Bucktown’s barbershops and Laundromats and delves into the mystery of how Chicago collects its garbage, plows its streets and chooses its St. Patrick’s Day Queen. On this special evening, he will read excerpts from Never Leave Your Block and talk about whether Bucktown’s best days are over.
“A born storyteller . . . What sets this book apart is Jacobs’s sharp and compulsively readable observations of family, friends, neighbors, and even places like Whole Foods . . . How going to the grocery store can captivate a reader for more than a few pages is a testament to Jacobs ability to write what he knows and write it well.” – Chicago Pipeline
“An intriguing study of modern Chicago, very much recommended reading.” – Midwest Book Review
“I’ve covered Chicago for almost 50 years, and every time I want to know what people are really thinking and doing in the neighborhoods, I turn to Scott.” – Bill Kurtis
Scott Jacobs is a Chicago writer and filmmaker whose work has appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, Slate and The Week Behind. Under the pen name Stump Connolly, he has produced three books about the presidential campaigns of 1996, 2004 and 2008. His DVD collections Road to The Presidency: Inside The Clinton Campaign (1992) and True Life Video Stories (2000) are also available at Quimby’s. For more info visit www.deadtreepress.com.
Thursday, November 15, 7pm – Free Event
As part of a global event series, Granta is coming to Chicago to launch The Best of Young Brazilian Novelists. Visiting Brazilian authors Cristhiano Aguiar, Miguel del Castillo and current Chicago-local Chico Mattoso will join Granta editor John Freeman to read from and explore their first works translated into English. From the story of a family marked by guerilla resistance to the military dictatorship in Uruguay to the memory of lost love to a man whose ennui drives him to check out of his life by checking into a hotel, these are the bold, cosmopolitan new voices of Brazil. Granta 121: The Best of Young Brazilian Novelists is the English-language edition of the best-selling collection from Granta em portugues, Granta’s Brazilian partner.
‘Here are Jorge Amado’s vibrant offspring; proof that one of the great pleasures of reading is finding the unexpected, the voices we didn’t even know we needed,’ says Freeman.
Chico Mattoso is currently studying screenwriting at Northwestern, is the author of two novels and has worked as a magazine editor and journalist. Writer and essayist Cristhiano Aguiar is a visiting researcher at UC Berkeley and was the editor of two experimental Brazilian literary magazines. Once an architecture student and editor of Noz architecture magazine, Miguel del Castillo is a prize-winning author who also works as an editor at Cosac Naify publishing house.
Tuesday, November 13th, 7pm – Free Event
For more info: granta.com
Queer literary showcase All The Writers I Know will be hosting a night of spoken word performances titled “Things Already Said” about influences in queer art and life on November 17th. Co-produced by Patrick Gill and Mar Curran, ATWIK strives to showcase local queer spoken word talent in an all-ages setting.
“Our goal is to bring queer artists together in a space that is safe for them to share their work and also affirming of their queerness,” Gill (pictured) said. Curran added, “We hope that exploring who has influenced their poetry, spoken word, storytelling, or fiction will be a way for our performers to celebrate who they’ve become. We want the audience to see it as both an homage to those before us and a love letter to who they have developed into.”
Hosting the event is Curran, known for performing his poetry at local showcases such as Word Is Out and Homolatte, in addition to writing for In Our Words blog. Featured performers include H. Melt, Ali Scott, and Jayson Brooks; three other performers will be announced before the showcase.
For more info: visit ATWIK’s Facebook page
Saturday, Nov. 17, 7pm – Free Event
Michael T. Fournier’s novel Hidden Wheel (Three Rooms Press) uses the author’s twenty years in and around the Boston punk scene as a springboard for an unflinching look at the difficulties of navigating art, commerce and criticism in the Digital Age. In the fictional town of Freedom Springs, bands and artists alike flock to Hidden Wheel, a DIY art/music space owned by a Chicago transplant intent on profiting from the scene. Rhonda Barrett, a onetime chess prodigy turned dominatrix, rails against the coming Singularity –and the commodification of the town’s nascent scene– with her 60-words-a-day diary paintings.
He reads with Maine fiction author Katie Lattari, whose Zembla Vist’s American Vaudville embraces postmodern tradition with a fresh, engaging voice.
“Fournier realizes that scenes are forged by the energy of people involved and remembered by the tomes they leave behind, and nails both perspectives. It’s managed to make me excited about albums both real and fake, which is no small achievement.” Sebastien Stirling, Newartillery.com
Michael T. Fournier is the author of “Double Nickels On The Dime,” the 45th installment of Continuum Press’s “33 1/3” series. His writing has appeared in the Oxford American, Boston Phoenix and Pitchfork. Fournier has read with Richard Hell, Maria Raha, Sam McPheeters and Mike Watt.
He plays drums for punk band Dead Trend, who started as a fictional band in the pages of his novel.
For more info: michaeltfournier.tumblr.com
Saturday, 10th November 7pm – Free Event