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Wednesday, January 25, 2017
February Events at Women & Children First Book store! (Chicago,IL)
Discussion & Potluck Sunday, March 19 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Suggested Reading:
Can't We Talk About
Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast
Dear Friends of Women & Children First,
Some may consider January a month for hibernation, but not this
feminist bookstore! We kicked off 2017 with one packed event after
another--both in the store (our Activism series!) and out in the world
(the Women's March)!
If you were there with us at the Women's
March on Chicago, you may have spotted our co-owner Lynn and co-founder
Ann on stage announcing the elected officials to 250,000 marchers! We
were so proud to be involved in one of the largest demonstrations in our
nation's history. Let's keep up the momentum in the store and on the
Local author Kim Brooks' article "A Portrait of the Artist as a
Young Mom: Is Domestic Life the Enemy of Creative Work?" was shared and
re-shared all over social media when it was first published in New York Magazine
in the fall of 2016. Building upon this interest, Kim has invited
several writer friends whose work has addressed issues of motherhood in
both fiction and nonfiction to discuss
the tension between caretaking and creativity. This event will feature Kim Brooks, Kiki Petrosino, Kaethe Schwehn, Cristina Henriquez, Frances DePontes Peebles, Zoe Zolbrod, and Rebecca Makkai.
Here's a chance to use your favorite hat, scarf, mitten, and glove patterns!
After a phenomenal response to the launch of our Feminist Craft Circle in January, we are returning for another month of "craftivism" and camaraderie benefitting Care
for Real, a local organization that distributes 100,000 lbs. of food
and 11,000 articles of clothing to its clients every month. A
significant percentage of Care for Real's clients are immigrants and
refugees, who often arrive in Chicago unprepared for our long, and
sometimes brutal, winters.
This event is BYOB and BYO crafting materials for making winter gear for this wonderful organization!
We plan to
meet again in March, when we can finish up and collect the scarves,
hats, etc., that we begin making tonight. Also, we will be collecting
food donations. See Care for Real's food donation guidelines HERE.
The Odes for You tour is a two-woman poetry performance featuring celebrated, internationally touring poets Shira Erlichman and Angel Nafis. Through
interwoven poems, monologues, songs, and jokes, these poets engage each
other and the audience in the vibrant and unstoppable song of
Angel Nafis is an Ann Arbor, Michigan, native and Cave Canem graduate fellow. Her work has appeared in the Rattling Wall, the BreakBeat Poets Anthology, the Rumpus, Poetry Magazine, and more. She is also the author of BlackGirl Mansion.
She has represented NYC at both the National Poetry Slam and the Women
of the World Poetry Slam. She is an Urban Word NYC Mentor and the
founder, curator, and host of the Greenlight Poetry Salon. She earned
her BA at Hunter College and is an MFA candidate in poetry at Warren Wilson College. She currently lives in Brooklyn.
Shira Erlichman is a poet, musician, and visual artist. A three-time Pushcart Prize nominee, her work can be found in BUST, Bitch, and the Baffler,
among others. She was awarded a residency by the Millay Colony and the
James Merrill Fellowship by the Vermont Studio Center. As a musician
she's performed her experimental pop-soul across the United States,
sharing stages with TuNe-YaRdS, CocoRosie, Mirah, and Andrea Gibson. She
earned her BA at Hampshire College. Her new full-length album Subtle Creature is available on iTunes and Spotify. Israeli-born and raised in Massachusetts, she now lives in Brooklyn.
Coco Sho-Nell, Muffy Fishbasket, Ashley Morgan, and a very special guest return for
the wildly popular Story Time with Drag Queens! For this edition, the Queens will be reading new and classic story books about love, including Corduroy by Don Freeman. This event is perfect for children ages 3 and up
For the second event in our new Activism series, join us as we welcome Chicago Women's Health Center (CWHC) to discuss what feminist health care and health education look like! A health collective founded
in 1975 and based in Uptown, CWHC works to facilitate the empowerment
of women and trans people by providing access to health care and health
education in a respectful environment, where people pay what they can
afford. With a non-judgmental, body-positive, sex-positive, and
queer-inclusive framework, CWHC creates an environment in which
individuals of diverse backgrounds and experiences are able to access
quality, affordable health care services and education. CWHC
emphasizes collaboration and health literacy across its services, which
include gynecology, primary care, trans health services, counseling,
alternative insemination, health education, acupuncture, and massage and
body work. Providers affirm that clients know their bodies best; each
appointment, class, and conversation is seen as an opportunity for
individuals to learn more about their bodies and to explore which health
care options are best for them.
Women & Children First's Activism
series showcases a different local social justice organization each
month. The organization will give a presentation detailing its mission,
followed by a Q&A, and an action plan of how attendees can get
involved to support the featured organization.
celebrate the launch of the debut story collection by local author Juan
Martinez! These are the best Americans, the worst Americans. In these
stories (these cities, these people) there are labyrinths, rivers,
wildernesses. Voices sound slightly different
than expected. There's humor, but it's going to hurt. These refreshing
and invigorating stories of displacement, exile, and identity, and of
men who find themselves confused by the presence or the absence of
extraordinary women, remind the reader how big the world is.
Juan Martinez's stories have been published in McSweeney's, Glimmer Train, and TriQuarterly and broadcasted on Selected Shorts. He lives in Chicago with his family and is an assistant professor of English at Northwestern University.
We will provide kid-friendly coloring sheets and other art supplies, along with cookies and hot cocoa. Our
theme this month is French Impressionism and features the artwork of Karlene Bland. Come and color with us and
learn about the Impressionists! Great for ages
2 and up. Moms are encouraged to stay and join in the class. Suggested
donation: $10 per family (one parent and up to 2 kids) to cover art
supplies and treats.
Art Therapy Workshop: Exploring Relationships Through Image Making
This workshop offers an opportunity to look at relationships in a new way. Images, like dreams, can bring new insights. Join Barbara Fish, author of Art-Based Supervision, introduces the way therapists use imagery to deepen their understanding of their relationships with their clients.
will then be able to make images that visually explore a relationship
of their choice. Those who haven't made art since they were children, as
well as more skilled artists, can explore ideas and be surprised by
their own creative
There is no right or wrong way to make art. As in art therapy, artwork
will not be interpreted, as each person is the authority of his or her
own image. Drawing materials will be provided.
is an artist, art therapist, educator, and supervisor. She is on the
faculty of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is a past
president of the Illinois Art Therapy Association.
The cost of this workshop is $10, payable by cash or check.
A mesmerizing debut novel set in Syria on the cusp of unrest, A Word for Love is the story of a young American woman transformed by language, risk, war, and a startling new understanding of love. It is said there are ninety-nine Arabic words for love. Bea, an American exchange student, travels to Syria
to study them but instead becomes entwined in her host family's lives,
and in particular the romance between a housemaid and policeman of
different cultural and political backgrounds. As the country speeds
toward unrest, Bea wonders how many secrets she can keep, and how long
she can fight for a romance that does not belong to her.
has lived and worked across the Middle East and North Africa. She was a
Fulbright Fellow in Syria, where she studied religion and language with
a women's mosque movement and lived with the family of a leading
intellectual. Robbins holds a BA from Swarthmore College and an MFA from
Washington University in St. Louis and in 2016 she received a second
Fulbright, to study in Jordan. She lives in Chicago and Brownsville,
For this event, Emily will be in conversation with Rebecca Makkai. Makkai is the author of two novels, The Hundred-Year House and The Borrower, and the story collection Music for Wartime. Her work has appeared in Harper's, McSweeney's, Iowa Review, Best American Nonrequired Reading, and numerous volumes of Best American Short Stories, among others and has aired on This American Life. She lives outside Chicago with her husband and two daughters.
Each month, we bring together a group of writers, artists, and politicians together to talk about an
issue of political, social, or cultural importance. These
are not readings, but passionate conversations that will include the
audience. This month The Conversation's theme is Civil Disobedience. This edition will feature representatives from the ACLU, the labor movement, and the action-oriented group Lifted Voices.
Each Conversation ends with a takeaway (kind of like optional homework--an article to read,
an organization to engage with, a movie to watch, a protest to attend).
Even better: after the event, the conversation continues at a nearby
bar, gallery, or restaurant, where we eat, drink, argue, and organize.
These events a
re free and open to all, but
donations for a local nonprofit will be collected at the afterparty.
The location of our February afterparty will be announced shortly! Stay
connected to our Facebook page for details.
Please Note: This event will be held at the Swedish American Museum, 5211 N. Clark St.
Join us for a reading, Q&A, and signing for Donna Seaman's new book, Identity Unknown.
This event will include live music and refreshments. Who hasn't
wondered where--aside from Georgia O'Keeffe and Frida Kahlo--all the
women artists are? In many art books, they've summarily dismissed in the
captions of group photographs with the phrase "identity unknown," while
each male is named. Donna
Seaman brings to dazzling life seven of these forgotten artists, all
among the best of their day: Gertrude Abercrombie, Joan Brown, Ree
Morton, Lois Mailou Jones, Lenore Tawney, Christina Ramberg, and Louise
Nevelson. In brilliant, compassionate prose, Seaman reveals what drove
them, how they worked, and how they were perceived by others in a world
where women were assumed to be the subjects--not the makers--of art. Featuring stunning examples of the artists' work, Identity Unknown speaks to all women about their neglected place in history and the challenges they face to be taken seriously.
Donna Seaman has degrees in the fine arts and English. An editor at Booklist, she also reviews books for the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, among others. She has published in TriQuarterly and Creative Nonfiction. Seaman created, hosted, and produced Open Books, a radio program about outstanding books and writers and the art of reading. She lives in Chicago.
Vita E. Cleveland and Kayla Weeden will share poems consecutively,
creating a single timeline of their two very separate lives. The poems
cover childhood and high school years, working toward the present where
their paths have, finally, converged.
Vita E. Cleveland
(she/they), a Black trans poet and percussionist from Cleveland, Ohio,
writes and performs poetry with an emphasis on activism as "disruptive
narrative." She is currently based in Chicago and works with the
Chicago BTGNC Collective and Black Lives Matter Chicago. She is one half
of the administrative team for awQward, the first talent agency to
exclusively uplift the work of trans and queer artists of color. She has
recently joined the Chicago Latinx punk band, Cabrona, as the drummer
(she/her) is a passionate, goofy, and lovable queer poet in her junior
year at DePaul University. Her love of poetry was kickstarted in 8th
grade when her English teacher assigned a poetry project to her class.
Since then, she has become the president of DePaul's Presenters of
Enlightenment Through Spoken-Word Club and the president of Spectrum
DePaul, which is dedicated to providing queer students at DePaul a safe
and fun place to make friends that grow into family.
In this biography, the life and work of Dorothy Day--the
iconic, celebrated, and controversial Catholic--is told with
illuminating detail by her granddaughter, Kate Hennessy. Day was a
prominent writer, social activist, and co-founder of a movement
dedicated to serving the poor. Her life has been revealed through her
own writings as well as the work of historians, theologians, and
academics. What has been missing until now is a more personal account.
This book challenges ideas of plaster saints, detailing Day's life
before her conversion--having an abortion and a child out of
wedlock--and after her conversion, when she was both a servant and a
rigorous challenger of the Church. While
tenderly rendered, Hennessy's account will show her as driven to do good
but dogmatic, loving but judgmental, in particular toward her only
daughter, Tamar. An undisputed radical heroine, called a saint for the
Occupy era by the New Yorker, Day's story unfolds against a backdrop of New York City from the 1910s to the 1980s.
Kate Hennessy is a writer whose recent work includes a collaboration with the photographer Vivian Cherry called Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker: The Miracle of Our Continuance and pieces included in Best American Travel Writing. After calling both Vermont and New York City home, Kate now lives in the west of Ireland with her husband.
Come meet the editor of this exciting new anthology. In Here We Are,
forty-four writers, dancers, actors, and artists contribute essays,
lists, poems, comics, and illustrations about everything from body
positivity to romance, gender identity, intersectionality, and the
greatest girl friendships in fiction. Together, they share diverse
perspectives on and insights into what feminism means
and what it looks like now.
Kelly Jensen is a former librarian-turned-editor for Book Riot and Stacked. She's the author of It Happens: A Guide to Contemporary Realistic Fiction for the YA Reader. She loves black licorice and debating genre.
Mikki Kendall is a writer, diversity consultant, and
"occasional feminist" who talks a lot about
intersectionality, policing, gender, sexual assault, and other current events. Her nonfiction can be found at the Guardian, the Washington Post, Ebony, xoJane, Bustle, Islamic Monthly, and a host of other sites. Her media appearances include BBC, NPR, Al Jazeera, WBEZ, and Showtime.
Please Note: This event will be held at Senn High School Auditorium (5900 N. Glenwood).
Tickets are available HERE through Brown Paper Tickets.
Award-winning author Roxane Gay will discuss her new story collection, Difficult Women,
with local writer Britt Julious. The conversation will be followed by
an audience Q&A and a book-signing. Powerhouse talent Roxane Gay
burst onto the scene with An Untamed State and the New York Times best-selling essay collection Bad Feminist. In Difficult Women,
Gay offers stories of rare force and beauty, of hardscrabble lives,
passionate loves, and quirky and vexed human connection. Gay delivers a
wry, beautiful, haunting vision of modern America.
Roxane Gay is the author of the novel An Untamed State, which was a finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Fiction; the essay collection Bad Feminist; and Ayiti, a multi-genre collection. She is at work on a memoir, Hunger, and a comic book in Marvel's Black Panther
series. She is a recipient of the PEN Center USA Freedom to Write
Award, among other honors. She splits her time between Indiana and Los
Britt Julious is a journalist, essayist and storyteller. She is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune and weekend editor at THUMP. She frequently contributes to Esquire, Vice, and Pitchfork, among others. She also hosts the Back Talk, a storytelling podcast featuring young women of color. She lives in Chicago.
PLEASE NOTE: Both ticket options include a copy of Difficult Women.
Attendees can pick up their copy of the book until Tuesday, March 14,
2017 at Women & Children First (5233 N. Clark St.). But due to high
demand for this book, please call the store at 773-769-9299 to make sure
we have copies on hand. If you cannot pick up your book in advance, you
can do so on the night of the event at the door of the venue, Senn High