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Women's History Month coming to Women and Children First Books
From a press release
2017-02-28

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Women's History Month at Women and Children First Books will feature Donna Seaman, Roxane Gay, Here We Art: Feminism for the Real World, and "An Illicit History of Women and Bartending."

Tuesday, February 28 at 7:30 p.m.

The Conversation: Civil Disobedience

A READ LOCAL EVENT

We are thrilled to announce the second installment in our new literary series The Conversation. Chris Abani, Tom Geoghegan, Kelly Hayes, Rebecca Glenberg of the ACLU, and Aleksandar Hemon will discuss Civil Disobedience and Confrontation. We hope to have as intelligent, galvanizing, and educational a conversation as last time, and as great an afterparty,

Wednesday, March 1 at 7 p.m.

Donna Seaman

Identity Unknown: Rediscovering Seven American Women Artists

Book Celebration with Live Music and Refreshments

Please Note: This event will be held at the Swedish American Museum,

5211 N. Clark St.

A READ LOCAL EVENT

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. Donna Seaman brings to dazzling life seven forgotten women 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 women's 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.

Thursday, March 2 at 7:30 p.m.

Vita E. Cleveland and Kayla Weeden

Poetry Reading

A READ LOCAL EVENT

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 BTNGC 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 and percussionist. Kayla Weeden ( 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 along with being 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.

New sessions of Tai Chi and Qigong Classes starting!

Tai Chi - Fridays, 8:45 to 9:45 a.m., beginning March 3rd.

Qigong - Sundays, 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., beginning March 26th.

( Learn the Eight Pieces of Brocade form in 8 weeks! )

Open to beginners and up. Just $88 for an 8-week session. Contact teacher Francesca Segal at 312-823-9045, or Lynn at Women & Children First ( wcflynn@gmail.com ), for more information or to sign up.

Friday, March 3 at 7:30 p.m.

Poetry Reading: Ari Banias with Lara Mimosa Montes, Erika Sanchez, and T Clutch Fleischmann

A READ LOCAL EVENT

In collaboration with Columbia College Chicago's Creative Writing Department, we're proud to host an evening of poetry. Ari Banias is the author of the book Anybody, and the chapbook What's Personal Is Being Here With All of You. His poems have appeared in A Public Space, Boston Review, Poetry, and the anthology Troubling the Line: Trans & Genderqueer Poetry & Poetics. The recipient of fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and Stanford University, he lives in Berkeley and works at Small Press Distribution. Lara Mimosa Montes is a writer based in New York and Minneapolis. Her work has appeared in Fence, BOMB, the Third Rail, and elsewhere. She is a recently defended PhD candidate in English at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. She also teaches poetry at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and is the author of The Somnambulist. She was born in the Bronx. Erika L. Sanchez is a poet, essayist, and fiction writer. Her young adult novel is forthcoming in fall 2017. Her nonfiction has appeared in Al Jazeera, the Guardian, Rolling Stone, Cosmopolitan, NBC News, and many others. She has received a CantoMundo Fellowship, a "Discovery"/Boston Review Prize, and a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. T Clutch Fleischmann is the author of Syzygy, Beauty and the curator of Body Forms. A nonfiction editor at DIAGRAM and contributing editor at EssayDaily, their work has appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Fourth Genre, the Brooklyn Rail, the Kenyon Review Online, and elsewhere. They live in Chicago and teach at Columbia College Chicago and the low-residency Stonecoast MFA in Maine. This event is free and open to everyone.

Monday, March 6 at 7 p.m.

Kate Hennessy

Dorothy Day: The World Will Be Saved by Beauty: An Intimate Portrait of

My Grandmother

Reading, Q&A, and Signing

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 details Day's life before and after her conversion—from having an abortion and a child out of wedlock to becoming both a servant and a rigorous challenger of the Church. While tenderly rendered, Hennessy's account shows her as driven to do good but dogmatic, loving but judgmental. Kate Hennessy is a writer whose recent work includes a collaboration with the photographer Vivian Cherry on 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.

Wednesday, March 7 at 7 p.m.

Feminist Craft Circle benefitting Care for Real

At our February meeting, we continued our commitment to "craftivism" to benefit 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. In February, we met to knit and crochet scarves, hats, and other warm items to donate to Care for Real. For our March meeting, we plan to finish up and collect the scarves, hats, etc., that we began making in February. This event is BYOB and BYO crafting materials.

Wednesday, March 8 at 7 p.m.

Activism Series: Personal PAC

Representatives from Personal PAC will be discussing the status of reproductive rights in Illinois and the way forward. They'll be addressing their efforts to pass HB 40, which would remove the current anti-choice language in the Illinois Criminal Code that states that "life" begins at conception the day Roe v. Wade is overturned, outlawing abortion, the IUD, the pill, and most other commonly used birth control methods. This event will feature Terry Cosgrove and Andi Friedman. Terry Cosgrove is the president and CEO of Personal PAC. He, along with the board of directors, has been instrumental in developing Personal PAC's sophisticated strategy for electing pro-choice candidates. Over the past twenty-seven years, Terry has also managed many political campaigns and assisted NARAL, Planned Parenthood, NOW, National Pro-Choice Resource Center, Voters for Choice, Women's Campaign Fund, and the Emergency Abortion Loan Fund. He served as a commissioner to the Illinois Human Rights Commission and is an inductee in the Chicago LGBTQ Hall of Fame. Andi Friedman is founder and president of AF Advocacy, a consulting firm that helps progressive organizations effectively advocate for policy change. She is a lawyer and advocate with extensive ties in the women's rights and progressive communities. Andi previously served as director of reproductive health and senior policy advisor for reproductive health at the National Partnership for Women & Families. She has also worked internationally as a human rights lawyer as vice president and co-founder of the Global Justice Center, leading trainings around the globe on women's rights and international law.

Thursday, March 9 at 7:30 p.m.

Kelly Jensen and Mikki Kendal

Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World

Reading, Conversation, and Signing

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.

Wednesday, March 15 at 7 p.m.

Roxane Gay in conversation with Britt Julious Difficult Women

Conversation and Book-signing

Please Note: This event will be held at Senn High School Auditorium ( 5900 N. Glenwood ). Tickets available 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 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 Angeles. 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. ) 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 School Auditorium.

Thursday, March 16 at 7:30 p.m.

Martha Kelly in conversation with Melanie Benjamin, Lilac Girls - paperback tour Swans of Fifth Avenue

Reading, Conversation, and Signing

Inspired by the life of a real World War II heroine, the debut novel Lilac Girls reveals the power of unsung women. New York socialite Caroline Ferriday has her hands full with her post at the French consulate, but then HItler sets his sights on France. An ocean away from Caroline, Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish teenager, senses her carefree youth disappearing as she is drawn deeper into her role as courier for the underground resistance movement. In a tense atmosphere of watchful eyes and suspecting neighbors, one false move can have dire consequences. For the ambitious young German doctor, Herta Oberheuser gets a medical position with the government and finds herself trapped in a male-dominated realm of Nazi secrets and power. The lives of these three women are set on a collision course when the unthinkable happens and Kasia is sent to Ravensbruck, the Nazi concentration camp for women. Martha Hall Kelly is a native New Englander now living in Atlanta, Georgia, where she's writing the prequel to Lilac Girls. This is her first novel. For this event Martha will be in conversation with Melanie Benjamin. Melanie is the New York Times-bestselling author of The Swans of Fifth Avenue, The Aviator's Wife, The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb, and Alice I Have Been. Benjamin lives in Chicago, where she is at work on her next historical novel.

Friday, March 17 at 7:30 p.m.

Nickole Brown with Simone Muench & Mark Turcotte Fanny Says

Poetry Reading

An unabashed love song to her late grandmother, Nickole Brown's collection brings her brassy, bawdy, tough grandmother to life. With hair teased to Jesus, mile-long false eyelashes, and a white Cadillac Eldorado with atomic-red leather seats, Fanny is not your typical granny. A cross-genre collection that reads like a novel, this book is both a collection of oral history and a lyrical and moving biography that wrestles with the complexities of the South, including poverty, racism, and domestic violence. Nickole Brown grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, and Deerfield Beach, Florida. Her first collection, Sister, published in 2007. She received her MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts, studied literature at Oxford University, and was the editorial assistant for the late Hunter S. Thompson. She is the editor for the Marie Alexander Series in Prose Poetry at White Pine Press and is also an assistant professor at the University of Arkansas in Little Rock, where she lives with her wife, poet Jessica Jacobs. For this event, Nickole will be joined by local poets Simone Muench and Mark Turcotte.

Wednesday, March 22 at 7:30 p.m.

Women Behind Bars: An Illicit History of Women and Bartending

A presentation by Jeanette Hurt, author of Drink Like a Woman

Reading, Q&A, and Signing, with complimentary drinks and cheese!

Award-winning author Jeanette Hurt will discuss the sordid—and oft unknown—history of women and bartending, from how an American woman likely invented the cocktail during the American Revolution to today's craft cocktail scene. In Drink Like a Woman, Hurt shakes up barroom expectations, stirs up some new ideas, and pours a lively collection of feminist cocktails that are, like women, diverse and strong. Sharing basic techniques, cocktail classics, hangover cures, drinking games, and more, this spirited guide takes the misogyny out of mixology. With feisty illustrations and original recipes, Drink Like a Woman is sure to subvert the patriarchy, one drink at a time. Jeanette Hurt is the award-winning writer and author of eight culinary and drink books, including The Cheeses of California: A Culinary Travel Guide, which received the 2010 Mark Twain Award for Best Travel Book, and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Wine and Food Pairing. As full-time journalist, Jeanette has written about spirits, wine, and food for The Four Seasons Magazine, Wine Enthusiast, Esquire.com, and dozens of other publications. In a previous life, Jeanette was a police reporter for the City News Bureau in Chicago and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. When she's not writing, traveling, cooking, or mixing drinks, she can usually be found walking along Milwaukee's lakefront with her husband, their son, and their dog. For this event, the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board will be donating women-crafted cheeses that will pair well with the free cocktail samples provided by William Grant & Co.

Friday, March 24 at 7:30 p.m.

The Conversation: Being American

Boris Fishman, Cristina Henriquez, Erika L. Sanchez, and Riva Lehrer

Our new literary series, The Conversation, launched in January. Each month, we gather 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 include the audience. This month's theme is "Being American" and will feature novelists Boris Fishman and Cristina Henriquez; poet Erika L. Sanchez; and artist, writer, and activist Riva Lehrer. Each Conversation will end 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 ). And even better: after the event, the conversation will always continue at a nearby bar, gallery, or restaurant, where we can eat, drink, argue, and organize. These events are free and open to all, but donations for a local nonprofit will be collected at the afterparty. Stay tuned for details about the afterparty location.

Tuesday, March 28 at 7 p.m.

Elena Passarello

Animals Strike Curious Poses

Reading, Q&A, and Signing

Beginning with an essay about Yuka, a 39,000-year-old mummified woolly mammoth recently found in the Siberian permafrost, each of the 16 essays in Animals Strike Curious Poses investigates a different famous animal named and immortalized by humans. Modeled loosely after a medieval bestiary, these witty, playful, whip-smart essays traverse history, myth, science, and more, bringing each beast vibrantly to life and challenging the uniqueness of humans and the cavalier exploitation of animals. Elena Passarello is an actor, a writer, and recipient of a 2015 Whiting Fellowship in nonfiction. Her first collection, Let Me Clear My Throat, won the gold medal for nonfiction at the 2013 Independent Publisher Awards. She lives in Corvallis, Oregon.

Wednesday, March 29 at 7:30 p.m.

Jessica Teich

The Future Tense of Joy

Reading, Q&A, and Signing

"No one was less likely to take her own life." That's what her Oxford thesis advisor wrote. So begins Jessica Teich's quest to unravel the mysterious suicide of someone she never met. Jessica Teich was bright and accomplished, with a loving family, but was still haunted by a violent childhood. One day, Jessica discovers the obituary of a young woman, whose life is a ghostly echo of her own. Can Jessica discover what drove this brilliant young woman to kill herself? And will discovering the truth save Jessica from the fissures tearing apart her own life? A deeply intimate psychological memoir, The Future Tense of Joy is the luminous and suspenseful account of one woman's efforts to free herself, and her family, from the demons of the past. The book has been hailed by Meryl Streep as beautiful and compassionately imagined. Steve Martin called it "a daring and intimate journey into the soul of motherhood." Jessica Teich graduated summa cum laude from Yale and received an MPhil degree from Oxford, where she was a Rhodes scholar. Her previous book, Trees Make the Best Mobiles: Simple Ways To Raise Your Child in a Complex World, was featured in Vanity Fair, the Chicago Tribune, and on the Today show. For almost a decade, Teich has worked as a literary manager, commissioning and developing plays, and subsequently received a grant to write and direct a movie for the Directing Workshop for Women at the American Film Institute. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two daughters, and dog.

Thursday, March 30 at 7:30 p.m.

Meredith Maran in conversation with Gina Frangello

The New Old Me: My Late-Life Reinvention

Conversation and Signing

Like a lot of women her age, Meredith Maran has a hard time believing she's a woman of her age. For readers of Anne Lamott, Abigail Thomas, and Ayelet Waldman, comes a lusty, kickass post-divorce memoir, one woman's story of starting over at 60 in Hollywood. After the death of her best friend, the loss of her life's savings, and the collapse of her once-happy marriage, Meredith Maran leaves her San Francisco freelance writer's life for a 9-to-5 job in Los Angeles. Determined to rebuild not only her savings but herself, The New Old Me follows Maran as she learns to celebrate becoming an elder along with the difficulties of loss and change. Meredith Maran is the author of fourteen nonfiction books and the acclaimed 2012 novel, A Theory Of Small Earthquakes. Meredith is a book critic, essayist, and feature writer for People, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, the Chicago Tribune, and lots of other publications. A member of the National Book Critics Circle, Meredith lives in Silverlake, Los Angeles, and on Twitter at @meredithmaran. Gina Frangello is a cofounder of Other Voices Books and the editor of the fiction section at the Nervous Breakdown. She is also the author of one previous novel and a collection of short stories. She lives in Chicago.

Save the Dates:

Wednesday, April 5 at 7:30 p.m.

Listen We Need to Talk

Reading, Conversation, and Signing

Friday, April 7 at 7:30 p.m.

Lauren Sook Duncombe

Pirate Women: The Princesses, Prostitutes, and Privateers Who Ruled the Seven Seas

Monday, April 10 at 7 p.m.

Anne Lamott

Hallelujah Anyway

Reading, Q&A, and Signing

This event will be held at The People's Church.

This is a ticketed, off-site event. Tickets available now through

annelamottchicago.bpt.me

Wednesday, April 12 at 7 p.m.

Activism Series presents:

Love & Protect and Assata's Daughters

Thursday, April 13 at 7:30 p.m.

Greer McCallister ( Girl in Disguise ) & Renee Rosen ( Windy City Blues )

Author Conversation and Signing

Tuesday, April 18 at 7 p.m.

Sara Paretsky in conversation with Women & Children First Co-founder

Ann Christophersen

Fallout Book Launch Party

Please note: This event will be held at the Swedish American Museum ( 5211 N. Clark St. )

Wednesday, April 19 at 7:30 p.m.

Renee Engel

Beauty Sick

Reading, Q&A, and Signing

Thursday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m.

Nadine Kenney Johnstone

Of This Much I'm Sure: A Memoir

Book Launch Party

A READ LOCAL Event

Friday, April 21 at 7:30

When the Chant Comes

Kay Ulanday Bennett

Poetry Reading

Tuesday, April 25 at 7 p.m.

Feminist Craft Circle

This event is BYOB & BYO Crafting Materials - All levels of crafters welcome!

Wednesday, April 26 at 7 p.m.

Jen Sincero

You're a Badass at Making Money

Reading, Q&A, and Signing

Thursday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m.

Stephanie Danler

Sweetbitter - the paperback tour

Reading, Conversation, and Signing

Saturday, April 29 - ALL DAY

Indie Bookstore Day

Readings, Free Food, Giveaways, and special merch! More details coming soon.

Wednesday, May 3 at 7:30 p.m.

Kristen Radtke in conversation with

Lucy Knisley

Imagine Wanting Only This

Thursday, May 4 at 7:30 p.m.

Dr. Willie Parker

Life's Work: A Moral Argument for Choice

Reading and Signing

Friday, May 5 at 7:30 p.m.

Julie Scelfo

The Women Who Made New York

Presentation and Signing

Wednesday, May 10 at 7 p.m.

Susan Faludi

In the Darkroom - paperback tour

Reading, Q&A, and signing

Thursday, May 11 at 7:30 p.m.

Kate Moore

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women

Reading and Conversation

Friday, May 12 at 7:30 p.m.

Morgan Parker

There Are More Beautiful Things

Than Beyonce

Poetry Reading

Book Groups

Family of Women Book Group

Sunday, March 5 at 2 p.m.

The Last Daughter by Elena Ferrante

Classics of Women's Literature

Book Group

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

A Manual for Cleaning Women

by Lucia Berlin

Kids First Book Group

Sunday, March 12 at 4 p.m.

Comet in Moominland by Tove Jansson

Teens First Book Group

Sunday, March 12 at 5 p.m.

There Will Be Lies by Nick Lake

Feminist Book Group

Sunday, March 12 at 6:30 p.m.

Mom & Ma & Mom by Maya Angelou

Queer Readers Book Group

Sunday, March 19 at 2 p.m.

A Life in Trans Activism by A. Revathal

Women Aging with Wisdom & Grace 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

Social Justice Book Group

Sunday, March 19 at 4 p.m.

We Are Americans: Undocumented Students Pursuing the American Dream by William Perez

Women's Book Group

Tuesday, March 21 at 7 p.m.

Shrill by Lindy West


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