August Events
at Women & Children First
Friday, August 1st - Peggy Shinner, Christine Sneed, Simone Muench & Sarah Hollenbeck
7 p.m.
Written in Chicago: Northwestern Summer Writers' Conference
BYOB event

This literary evening of Chicago writers is hosted by Northwestern University's MA/MFA in Creative Writing, in celebration of the program's Summer Writers' Conference. The event will feature readings by faculty members Peggy Shinner (You Feel So Mortal
) and Christine Sneed (Little Known Facts) as well as alumna Simone Muench (Orange Crush) and our own Sarah Hollenbeck! 

Wednesday, August 6th - American Fertility Association: Gay Women's Gathering
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
American Fertility Association
Gay Women's Gathering

Hosted by the American Fertility Association (AFA), this free seminar explores the do's and dont's of choosing a sperm donor, getting pregnant through insemination or in vitro fertilization, unraveling the legal complexities of these decisions, and maintaining the overall health of you and your partner. The AFA is national not-for-profit committed to providing outreach programs that encompass reproductive and sexual health, infertility treatment, and family building options, including adoption and third-party solutions. Speakers include: Laurence A. Jacobs of Fertility Centers of Illinois and Scott Brown of California Cryobank. Refreshments will be served. 

Sunday, August 10th - Michael Goldstein
4:30 p.m.
Return of the Light

This progressive fable set in 2023 centers around the beginning of the second, nonviolent American revolution-the seeds of which were planted in present day. In the novel, like-minded people within "the 99%" have come together to form a cohesive organization aimed at promoting a vision of peace, justice, and sustainability. The book, while fiction, aims to offer a roadmap for how to achieve genuine change. Historian and cultural critic Michael Parenti described Return of the Light as "hopeful and useful for those interested in building a real democracy." As a political writer for the Huffington Post, among other publications, Goldstein focuses on how to move beyond the teeter-totter of the two-party system. He lives in northern California, where he also works as a mediator and as an attorney specializing in death penalty and other court-appointed appeals. 

Wednesday, August 13th - Second to None Zine
7:30 p.m.
Second to None Zine: Queer & Trans Chicago Voices

Second to None is a collection of nonfiction writing, including essays, interviews, and speeches that archive the lives of queer and trans artists, writers, and activists living in Chicago. This evening, several contributors to the zine will read their work, including: Kiam Marcelo Junio, NIC Kay, Jen Richards, Amina Ross, and Jakob VanLammeren. 

Wednesday, August 20th - Kate Fagan
7:30 p.m.

On the nationally ranked University of Colorado basketball team, Kate Fagan knew she was different from her teammates, most of whom were part of Colorado's Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Kate held their hands as they prayed for others "living a sinful lifestyle," but each time the issue of homosexuality arose, she felt as if a neon sign appeared above her head. In this coming-of-age memoir, Fagan details how she tried to fit into this hilariously incongruous world and how she slowly found the courage to break away and live authentically. Kate Fagan is a columnist and feature writer for ESPN: The Magazine and also an in-studio contributor for the Word, a digital video segment that examines hot topics in sports. Previously, Fagan spent three seasons covering the 76ers for the Philadelphia Inquirer. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.


Friday, August 22nd - Lisa Marie Brodsky, Rita Mae Reese & Nathan Hoks  
7:30 p.m.
An Evening of Poetry

Lisa Marie Brodsky's poetry, fiction, and nonfiction have been published nationally and internationally. She is the Wisconsin director for the Alzheimer's Poetry Project and writes about the illness in her poetry chapbook, We Nod Our Dark Heads. Tonight, she will be reading from her first full-length collection, Motherlung
, which chronicles the piercingly interdependent relationship between her deceased mother and herself. Currently, Lisa works as a job coach for adults with disabilities and lives in small-town Wisconsin with her husband and three stepchildren. Rita Mae Reese is the author of the Alphabet Conspiracy and has received numerous awards, including a "Discovery"/The Nation award and a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award. Nathan Hoks is the author of Reveilles, which won Salt Publishing's Crashaw Prize in 2010. His poems and translations have appeared in Crazyhorse, Lit, Circumference, and Verse. He is an editor and letterpress printer for Convulsive Editions and lives with his wife and son in Chicago.

Wednesday, August 27th - Roxane Gay
7:30 p.m.

Roxane Gay is one of the most-watched young cultural observers of her generation. In this hysterical and sharp essay collection, she uses Sweet Valley High, The Help, and Girls, among other cultural touchstones to take readers through her journey as a woman of color while also commenting on the state of feminism today. The portrait that emerges is not only one of Gay herself, but also the media we consume. It is also a surprisingly inspirational call-to-arms of all the ways we still need to do better. Roxane Gay is the author of An Untamed State and Ayiti. She is a columnist for Salon, the co-editor of PANK, the essays editor for the Rumpus, and her work has also appeared in Glamour, Best American Short Stories, and the New York Times Book Review.

Friday, August 29th - D. Bryant Simmons
7:30 p.m.
In the wake of her father's sudden death, Pecan marries the up-and-coming boxing sensation Ricky Morrow. She begins to doubt that decision when she finds herself on the receiving end of Ricky's violent temper. Scared for her life, she hunkers down in this marriage of convenience as the babies and fists keep coming. This dynamic award-winning novel explores the choices that contemporary women must face and the consequences of domestic abuse. D. Bryant Simmons was born and raised in Chicago. She has earned a B.A. in sociology and M.Ed. in elementary education. She is a mother, publisher, and advocate for women's rights. Refreshments will be served.  

Save the Dates!

Friday September 5 at 7:30 p.m.
Rachel Dewoskin

Sunday September 21 at 4:30 p.m.
Jesmyn Ward
, paperback release

Thursday October 2 at 7:30 p.m.
Eula Biss
Book Groups
We are about to begin a Trans*-Focused Book Group. Email if you'd like to receive email updates.

Tuesday, August 5 at 7:15 p.m.
The Living Is Easy by Dorothy West

Sunday, August 3 at 2:00 p.m.
The Astronaut Wives Club: A True Story by Lily Koppel

Sunday, August 10 at 5:00 p.m.
Frogged by Vivian Vande Velde **This will also serve as our selection meeting**

Sunday, August 10 at 6:30 p.m.
Killing the Black Body by Dorothy Roberts

Tuesday, August 19 at 7:30 p.m.
The Girls of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan

Women & Children First | |
Hours: M-T 11-7, W-TH-F 11-9, Sat 10-7, Sun 11-6
5233 N. Clark St
Chicago, IL 60640

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Women & Children First | Hours: M-T 11-7, W-TH-F 11-9, Sat 10-7, Sun 11-6 | 5233 N. Clark St | Chicago | IL | 60640