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March Events at
Women & Children First

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Wednesday, February 27th - Michael Hainey and Barbara Hainey

7:30pm

After Visiting Friends: A Son's Story

 

At the age of thirty-six, newspaperman Bob Hainey was found dead, alone near his car, on Chicago's North Side. As an adult, his son Michael (who was just 6 years old when his father died) goes in search of the truth about his father's life and death, because the stories he'd been told about his father had never quite added up. In his quest, Hainey beautifully conjures a Chicago of a bygone era--when the city had five thriving papers, each with its own designated bar where the staffers drank and told stories. Yet at its heart, After Visiting Friends is a moving account of one man's attempt to uncover his family's long-buried secrets. Combining his journalist's investigative skills and his poet's ear for language, Michael Hainey vividly renders his search, both factually and existentially, for the truth about his father. Join us for a special conversation as Michael's mother, Barbara, will be joining him on our stage to share her unique perspective on the story. Michael Hainey is the deputy editor of GQ and has been with the magazine for 10 years. His poetry has appeared in Tin House, among other places. Hainey attended Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and currently lives in New York City.

 

 

Sunday, March 3rd - Amanda Freymann and Joan Sommers

   

 4:30 p.m.

Chuck Close Face Book

 

For ages 8 and up. This fascinating, interactive biography presents the story of painter Chuck Close, one of the most-recognized American artists of our time, known for his large-scale portraits of friends, fellow artists, and himself. The book's question-and-answer format uses questions that real kids have asked about Close's life, work, methods, and philosophy. (For instance, he believes that "inspiration is for amateurs. Artists just show up and get to work. Every idea occurs while you are working.") Close, who is wheelchair-bound and paints with a brush strapped to his arm, discusses the nephritis that rendered him bedridden at the age of eleven, the severe dyslexia and face blindness he has also struggled with since childhood, and the collapsed spinal artery that left him paralyzed from the waist down at the age of forty-eight. The book also includes an engaging mix-and-match section, which allows the reader to create new faces using interesting combinations of Close's techniques and images. 

 

 

Wednesday, March 6th - Thea Goodman

7:30 p.m.

The Sunshine When She's Gone

 

When Veronica Reed wakes up one frigid January morning, two things are "off." First of all, she has had a good night's sleep, which hasn't happened in months. And second, both her husband and her baby are gone. Grateful for the much-needed rest, at first Veronica doesn't worry about their disappearance. Little does she know, her spouse and daughter have left for some R&R in the Caribbean. Told through alternating points of view, The Sunshine When She's Gone is a fresh, funny, and wisely observed debut novel about a couple pushed to the edge and a desperate father's attempt to give them both space to breathe. Thea Goodman has received the Columbia Fiction Award, a Pushcart Prize Special Mention, and fellowships at Yaddo and Ragdale; her short stories have appeared in several journals, notably New England Review, Other Voices, and Columbia. She has taught writing at the School of The Art Institute of Chicago and lives in Chicago with her husband and children.

 

 

Thursday, March 7th - Taryn Hipp, JC, Kerri Radley, and Sarah Rose

7:30 p.m. 

The Thank-You-for-Being-a-Friend Zine Tour

 

Taryn writes the perzine Ladyteeth, a collection of stories about her experiences being depressed, getting divorced, getting sober, and falling in love. Tributaries is JC's perzine about growing up with rheumatoid arthritis. It focuses on how having a physical disability, and the surgeries and daily pains that accompany it, affects job choices, romantic relationships, and tricycle purchases. Kerri writes a perzine that examines her experience as a deaf person. It's a sassy, informative, and comical exploration of deaf identity, disability politics, everyday annoyances, and the blessing of silence. Sarah's zine, Tazewell's Favorite Eccentric, deals with surviving sexual abuse, poverty, and addiction, as well as more uplifting topics like falling in love and making balloon animals for a living. 

 

 

Friday, March 8th - Francesca T. Royster

7:30 p.m.

Sounding Like a No-No: Queer Sounds and Eccentric Acts in the Post-Soul Era

 

Sounding Like a No-No traces a rebellious spirit in post-civil rights black music by focusing on a range of offbeat, eccentric, queer, or slippery performances by leading musicians--such as Michael Jackson, Grace Jones, Stevie Wonder, Eartha Kitt, and Meshell Ndegeocello--who demonstrate how embodied sound and performance became a means for creativity, transgression, and social critique. In addition, these artists sought to engender new sexualities and desires and escape the sometimes-constrictive codes of respectability and uplift from within the black community. Francesca T. Royster is Professor of English at DePaul University, where she teaches a variety of courses, including performance studies, critical race theory, and gender and queer theory.

 

 

Tuesday, March 12th - Lesléa Newman

7:00 p.m.

October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard

 

For ages 13 and up. On the night of October 6, 1998, a gay twenty-one-year-old college student named Matthew Shepard was lured from a Wyoming bar by two young men, savagely beaten, tied to a remote fence, and left to die. Lesléa Newman was deeply affected by Matthew Shepard's murder and wrote October Mourning to try to understand the impact this hate crime has had on the world and on herself. By telling Matthew Shepard's story in the voices of the silent witnesses (the fence he was tied to, the stars that watched over him, the deer who kept him company, etc.), she creates a compelling narrative that enables young readers to experience the intense emotions of that day, which resonated around the world. With this work, she inspires all of us to work to make the world a safer place and to replace hate with compassion, understanding, and love in remembrance of Matthew Shepard. A 2013 Stonewall Honor Book, October Mourning is a book both for young adults and for caring people of all ages. Lesléa Newman is the author of more than sixty books for children and adults, including the groundbreaking children's classic Heather Has Two Mommies.

 

 

Wednesday, March 13th - Terry Tempest Williams

7:30 p.m.

When Women Were Birds

 

When Terry Tempest Williams's mother told her, "I am leaving you all my journals, but you must promise me you won't look at them until after I'm gone," she was shocked to learn that her mother had kept journals. But not as much of a shock as what she found when the time came to open them, because they were all blank. When Women Were Birds is a lyrical and caring meditation on the mystery of her mother's action, ultimately turning around the question, "What does it mean to have a voice?" Terry Tempest Williams is the author of fourteen books, including Refuge, Leap, The Open Space of Democracy, and, most recently, Finding Beauty in a Broken World. The recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship and a Lannan Literary Fellowship in creative nonfiction, she divides her time between Castle Valley, Utah, and Moose, Wyoming.

 

"The writing of Terry Tempest Williams is brilliant, meditative, and full of surprises, wisdom, and wonder. She's one of those writers who changes peoples' lives by encouraging attention and a slow, patient awakening." --Anne Lamott, author of Operating Instructions and Help, Thanks, Wow

 

 

Friday, March 15th - Edward Kelsey Moore

7:30 p.m.

The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat

 

Told with wit, style, and compassion, this is the story of three friends weathering the ups and downs of life in a small Midwestern town. When Odette, Clarice, and Barbara Jean meet as teenagers in the mid-sixties, the Civil Rights movement is just getting started. Their regular gathering place is Earl's All-You-Can-Eat diner, the first black-owned business in downtown Plainview, Indiana. Dubbed the Supremes by their friends, the inseparable trio is watched over by big-hearted Earl during their complicated high school days, and then every Sunday after church as they marry and have children and grandchildren. Sitting at the same table for almost forty years, these best friends grow up, gossip, and face the world together with pointed humor, some sorrow, and much joy. Edward Kelsey Moore's short fiction has appeared in Indiana Review, African American Review, and Inkwell, among other journals. His short story "Grandma and the Elusive Fifth Crucifix" was selected as an audience favorite on National Public Radio's Stories on Stage series. Edward, who is also a cellist, is originally from Indianapolis but now lives in Chicago.

 

"The deep friendship of three girls who hang out at a small-town diner, who laugh, cry, and grow up together, is a surefire crowd pleaser of a story, and this book delivers. The supremely gifted, supremely entertaining, and supremely big-hearted Edward Kelsey Moore has conjured up the story of an entire community and, at its sparkling center, a trio of memorable heroines." --Julia Glass

 

 

Saturday, March 16th - Sappho's Salon

      

7:30 p.m.

Sappho's Salon: A Provocative Night of Lesbian Diversions

Featuring Barrie Cole, Sapna Kumar, and Laura Stempel

$7 to $10 donation includes food and wine

 

For tonight's installment of our popular monthly salon night for lesbians and their friends, we welcome three Sapphic storytellers. Barrie Cole's play, Clumsy Sublime, recently had a staged reading at the Rhinoceros Fringe Festival. She's currently completing a short story collection called Fascinating Mistakes and regularly writes Love Letters to No One in Particular on her blog. Sapna Kumar performed in the 2012 Women in Comedy Festival and has been a featured comic on LOGO TV's One Night Stand Up. She was a regional finalist on NBC's Last Comic Standing, season 4. Laura Stempel has been a writer, artist, teacher, critic, journalist, independent scholar, consultant, university administrator, and sales associate. She has written and taught about women writers, TV and other media, style, and feminist and queer theory and has published and presented personal narratives since the 1980s. Rounding out the night, Sappho's house DJ SpinNikki will play an eclectic collection of indie, electronic, soul, dance, and world beats. Proceeds benefit the artists and the Women's Voices Fund. 

 

 

Wednesday, March 20th - Aleksandar Hemon

7:00 p.m.

Tribune Tower, 435 N. Michigan Ave.

The Book of My Lives

 

Aleksandar Hemon, Chicago resident and author of National Book Award finalist The Lazarus Project, will discuss his newest work, The Book of My Lives. The Bosnian-American Hemon has written four acclaimed books and is a regular contributor to The New Yorker. He was a MacArthur "genius" fellow in 2004. Tickets are $15.00. For tickets go to:

http://www.eventbrite.com/event/4993170708#. Hemon will meet Printers Row members at a special reception at 6:30 p.m.

 

 

Sunday, March 24th - Pigeon Palooza Party

4:30 p.m.

Hosted by Miss Linda and Miss Mack

 

Suggested ages 3 to 8. Join our celebration of the 10th anniversary of Mo Willems' pigeon character. Miss Linda and Miss Mack will give voice to Mo's characters in a spirited performance. Also games, activities, and snacks. 

 

 

Thursday, March 28th - The Cure for the Common Book Club

7:30 p.m.

Linda Bubon and Lynn Mooney

 

Join Linda and Lynn (who, combined, have more than 30 years' experience leading book groups) for an evening of wine and cheese and a discussion of what's working, and what isn't, in your book groups. We'll compare strategies for selecting books, keeping discussions on track, and more. We'll also preview the best new books for book groups from publishers' spring/summer 2013 lists (and will be giving away advance copies of some of them!). Come prepared to share your experiences of great books and not-so-great ones. Email Lynn at wcflynn@gmail.com if there are any particular issues you're hoping we'll cover that night, and we will do our best to come prepared! 

 

 

Save These Dates!

Wednesday, April 3
Women & Children First will be selling books for the Urvashi Vaid event at the Center on Halsted. She will be reading from her book Virtual Equality and Creating Change.

 

Thursday, April 11

Lucy Knisley will be reading from her new book, Relish

 

Wednesday, April 17

World Book Night book givers party

 

Thursday, April 18

Meg Wolitzer will be reading from her new novel, The Interestings

 

Tuesday, April 23

World Book Night

 

Friday, May 10

Eve Ensler will be reading from her new memoir, In the Body of the World.

 

Tuesday, May 14

Audrey Niffenegger will be discussing her new book, Raven Girl.

 

 

Upcoming Book Group Meetings

Sunday, March 3 at 2:00 p.m.

Family of Women Book Group - Dreams of Joy by Lisa See

 

Tuesday, March 5 at 7:15 p.m.

Classics Book Group - Cloud 9 by Caryl Churchill

 

Sunday, March 10 at 5:00 p.m.

Kids First Book Group - Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner

 

Sunday, March 10 at 6:30 p.m.

Feminist Book Group - Fearless Girls, Wise Women  by Kathleen Ragan

 

Tuesday, March 19 at 7:00 p.m.

Women's Book Group - Selection meeting, plus discussion of Portraits of a Few People I've Made Cry by Christine Sneed, who will be joining us.