Free Chicago Book Expo on Nov 21

Chicago-area friends, this Saturday is a great time to buy local and read local at the Chicago Book Expo, which offers FREE ADMISSION.    The event, devoted solely to Chicago-area writers and publishers, will be held this Saturday, November 21, 11am-5pm at Columbia College, 1104 S. Wabash Ave. in Chicago. This free celebration of 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.   The programs will feature 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 preservationistfree chicago book expo 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 also is helping to sponsor the Expo and its poetry exhibitors and programs.


MOST readers who enjoy Steve’s Corner may be most interested in the panel on historical mysteries, while I’ll be trying to sneak away to the one about the cutting edge of horror.


For more information about this free event, go to

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