Buy local and read local! The fourth annual Chicago Book Expo on November 21 is a free celebration of Chicago’s literary community.
The Chicago Book Expo, the leading literary event devoted solely to Chicago-area writers and publishers, will be held on Saturday, November 21, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. at Columbia College, 1104 S. Wabash Ave. in Chicago. This annual event that highlights Chicago’s literary community features 19 programs and workshops with local authors, plus almost 100 exhibitors selling books from local presses, writers, and literary organizations.
The Expo floor will feature Pixiehammer Press, which writes personalized love and hate letters, and the Chicago literacy organization Open Books, who will be selling used books and running a book drive, with attendees encouraged to bring in used books to donate, especially children’s books.
This year, the Book Expo will include 19 programs, featuring award-winning novelists Joe Meno and Rebecca Makkai talking about music and fiction, and a conversation between Chicago food icons Doug Sohn (Hot Doug’s: The Book) and Ina Pinkney (Taste Memories: Recipes for Life and Breakfast).
History will be a major component of the Book Expo, with Richard Cahan discussing his latest book, Richard Nickel Dangerous Years, on the Chicago architectural preservationist Richard Nickel. Nike Whitcomb, executive director of the soon-to-open American Writers Museum, and Chicago History Museum’s John Russick, curator of its Chicago Authored exhibit, will discuss the challenges of curating and presenting exhibitions focusing on writers. The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame will explore 100 years of Chicago literary history, with well-known Chicago writers reading short passages from books written by past Hall of Fame inductees. And historical mystery writers D. M. Pirrone, Susanna Calkins, Charles Finch, and Michael Raleigh will discuss their work.
The Poetry Foundation is helping to sponsor the Chicago Book Expo and its poetry exhibitors and programs, including a 40th anniversary celebration and poetry reading from RHINO Poetry; a reading with poets Angela Jackson and Parneshia Jones; a poetry workshop; the launch of the latest issue of Fifth Wednesday magazine with a poetry reading; and a discussion about literary magazines with the editors of The Little Magazine in Contemporary America and Don Share, the editor of Poetry.
Chicago Book Expo is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organized by a group of volunteers whose mission is to celebrate Chicago’s vital independent publishing scene. They are grateful to Columbia College’s Department of Creative Writing for sponsoring the 2015 Chicago Book Expo. The Expo originated in 2011 as a project of the now-disbanded Chicago Writers House. Forty publishers participated, and a wide array of workshops and other events accompanied the Expo. In 2013, the Expo was condensed into one day, and featured more than 90 vendors and 24 programs. In 2014, the Expo moved from St. Augustine College in Uptown to Columbia College Chicago, where we’ll hold it once again in 2015. They hope you can join the event—as an attendee, vendor, or sponsor.
The Department of Creative Writing offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in all three genres, as well as three minor programs. Their programs are led by nationally and internationally known faculty members who teach, live and write in one of the most celebrated literary and artistic cities in the world.