Schedule

This is last year’s schedule; stay tuned for the 2017 schedule!

All events are free and in Evanston unless otherwise noted.

Jump to May 4 | May 5 | May 6 | May 7 | May 8 | May 9 | May 10 | May 11 | May 12 | May 13 | May 14

Wednesday, May 4

10:30am-11am | Drop-in Preschool Storytime for Ages 3 to 6
Stories and songs for children ages 3 to 6.
Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington Ave.

10:30am-11am | Book Babies Story Time
Stories and songs especially for newborns to 2 years.
Evanston Public Library, Chicago Ave./Main St. branch, 900 Chicago Ave.

6pm | Blair Kamin
As a Nieman Fellow at Harvard in 2012-13, Pulitzer Prize-winning Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin was intrigued by the 25 gates that frame Harvard Yard—and by the way gates around the world and throughout history have been both instruments of control and symbols of the identities and visions of their builders. Join Kamin at Bookends & Beginnings for a very visual exploration of gates from Harvard, Chicago and elsewhere, including Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate, the gates of Buckingham Palace, the University of Chicago’s Cobb Gate, and the Prairie Style gate at Ravinia Park. Kamin’s new book, Gates of Harvard Yard, explores the lore and legacy of Harvard’s gates, as well as the way gates mark key transitions–between ignorance and wisdom, freedom and captivity, life and death. His previous books include Why Architecture Matters: Lessons from Chicago and Terror and Wonder: Architecture in a Tumultuous Age.
Bookends & Beginnings, 1712 Sherman Ave., Alley #1


Thursday, May 5

6pm | The Chicago Canon: Our City’s Greatest Books From Then Until Now
Ed Roberson, Christine Sneed, Nambi E. Kelley, Toni Nealie, and Michael Raleigh join moderator Donald G. Evans, executive director of the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, in a discussion about Chicago’s best books.
Bookends & Beginnings, 1712 Sherman Ave., Alley #1

7pm |  Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Discussion Group: The Name of the Wind
Evanston Public Library, Third Floor Seminar Room, 1703 Orrington Ave.


Friday, May 6

10:30am-11:30am | WTTW Kids Readers Are Leaders
WTTW Kids is excited to present a local, fun-filled WTTW Kids Readers Are Leaders performance featuring Miss Lori’s CAMPUS. This event is free and sure to delight children 3-8 years old and inspire the whole family to sing along and participate in storytelling adventures. The performance includes original songs, engaging activities, story readings and family-friendly giveaways! It is a perfect way to have fun and support early literacy development!
Aldi, 2211 Oakton St.

10:30am-11am | Drop In Storytime
Stories and songs especially for 2 years and up.
Evanston Public Library, Chicago Ave./Main St. branch, 900 Chicago Ave.

10:30am-11am | Time for Twos
Storytime featuring songs, picture books, puppets, and rhymes for 24 to 36 months old with parent, grandparent or caregiver.
Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington Ave.

10:30am-2:30pm | The Pulitzer Prizes and Public Service
Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism honors the centennial of the Pulitzer Prizes with a symposium featuring Medill graduates who have been involved with Pulitzer-winning reporting, including Sally Kestin and James Risen. More information about the event can be found here.
McCormick Foundation Center, 1870 Campus Dr.

11:15am-11:45am | Bilingual Story Time
Stories and songs in Spanish and English for 2 and up.
Evanston Public Library, Chicago Ave./Main St. branch, 900 Chicago Ave.

4:30pm-6:30pm | Big Read Student Art Gallery Event
Middle school students from District 65 will be displaying their art pieces inspired by the Big Read companion book, Yes! We Are Latinos by Alma Flor Ada, and sharing their writing and thoughts focused on their family roots, history and journeys. All ages.
Main Library, The Loft (Third Floor), 1703 Orrington Ave.

6pm | Writing About Chicago With Aleksandar Hemon and Audrey Niffenegger
If you’ve read fiction by Hemon or Niffenegger, you’ve doubtless recognized some familiar landscapes, landmarks, and locations. How important is it for a fiction writer to embed stories in factual places? Is creating a sense of place similar to creating a character, i.e., does place have to be “created” or just described? Hemon and Niffenegger will discuss these and other elements of “place,” as well as read from their works.
Bookends & Beginnings, 1712 Sherman Ave., Alley #1


Saturday, May 7

9am-6pm | Free Comic Book Day
All Evanston Public Library Locations in partnership with Comix Revolution are celebrating awesome graphic novels and comics by giving away free comic books all day at all three of our locations! There will tons to choose from like superhero comics, the classic Archie or a short story from the new series Junior Braves of Apocalypse! Stop at the Children’s Desk, the Loft, North Branch, or the Chicago Ave./Main Street Branch to get your free comic! All ages. Comix Revolution, 606 Davis St., will also have free comics.

10:30am-11am | Saturday Storytime
Stories for children 2 through 6.
Bookends & Beginnings, 1712 Sherman Ave., Alley #1

11am-11:45am | North Branch Saturday Storytime
Stories and songs especially for children ages 3-5.
Evanston Public Library, North Branch, 2026 Central St.

11am | Honor Thy Mother: A Celebration of Women (fundraiser for Literature for All of Us)
Join award-winning Evanson-based literacy nonprofit Literature for All of Us at the Bryn Mawr Country Club in Lincolnwood for their 16th annual event celebrating the women in our lives, with keynote speaker Gail Tsukiyama, the award-winning author of The Samurai’s Garden and A Hundred Flowers. Tickets $125 at literatureforallofus.org.
Bryn Mawr Country Club, 6600 N Crawford Ave, Lincolnwood

2pm | Literary Salon: The Art of Enthusiasm
Online gurus and children’s book evangelists Travis Jonker, Colby Sharp, and John Schumacher discuss promoting your favorite literature for kids, making the most of online resources, and spreading the culture of book love and enthusiasm amongst readers of every age.
Evanston Public Library, Community Room, 1703 Orrington Ave.

3pm | Writing American Race History Today
Historians Sylvester Johnson and Steve Lubet discuss writing about America’s racial past in light of today’s controversies.
Bookends & Beginnings, 1712 Sherman Ave., Alley #1

3pm-3:45pm | Bilingual Family Story Time & Craft
Bilingual English and Spanish story time, songs and crafts.
Evanston Public Library, Chicago Ave./Main St. branch, 900 Chicago Ave.

4pm | The Personal and the Political in Graphic Books
The craft and stories behind writing comics memoir and comics journalism are discussed by some of the leading practitioners, Anne Elizabeth Moore, Ozge Samanci, Keiler Roberts, and Brian Cremins (moderator).
Evanston Public Library, Community Room, 1703 Orrington Ave.

5pm | Writing From Life With Parneshia Jones, Megan Stielstra, and Ross Ritchell
The lines between “fact” and “fiction” are often blurred in literature, and the places where the two intersect can be both goldmine and minefield for writers. How do individual writers use life experiences in their work? Are some subject off-limits for publication? This event features a poet (Jones), a novelist (Ritchell), and an essayist (Stielstra) discussing these questions and reading from their works.
Bookends & Beginnings, 1712 Sherman Ave., Alley #1

6:30-8pm | RHINO 2016 Reading
Readings from RHINO 2016 poets Pam Miller, J. Max Barry, Jim Warner, and Ann Hudson, as well as RHINO editors Ralph Hamilton, Kenyatta Rogers, Jacob Saenz, and Angela Narciso Torres.
Sidetracked Studio, 707 Chicago Ave.

8-10pm | Evanston Literary Festival Opening Reception
Meet local readers and writers while viewing the current Sidetracked Studio exhibition, “Continental Divide.”
Sidetracked Studio, 707 Chicago Ave.


Sunday, May 8

1–5pm | Mamapalooza: A Mother’s Day Mini-Marathon Reading
We think Mom deserves flowers on Mother’s Day. But we also think she deserves to be recognized as someone who can’t be reduced to a sentimental greeting card message. So we’re hosting 10 of the most eloquent, articulate chroniclers of mothers and motherhood around for a reading extravaganza centered on motherhood as it really is: its joys and headaches, its laughter and tears, its unexpected rewards and disappointments, and of course, its infuriating tendency to lead to screaming by both the mother and the mothered.

The readings are free and open to the public. Books by all the authors will be available for purchase and autographing. Every mother who comes will, in fact, receive the flower she so richly deserves, courtesy of Bookends & Beginnings.

1–2pm Pamela Ferdinand (Three Wishes) and Gili Sherman (Music From Our Windows)

2–3pm Freda Love Smith (Red Velvet Underground), Barbara Mahany (Slowing Time: Seeing the Sacred Outside Your Kitchen Door), and Toni Nealie (The Miles Between Me)

3–4pm | Nina Barrett (Her Own Accord: American Women on Identity, Culture, and Community), Michele Weldon (Escape Points: A Memoir), and Ellen Blum Barish (Views From the Home Office Window: On Motherhood, Family, and Life)

4–5pm | Julia Sweeney (If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Your Mother) and Julia Claiborne Johnson (Be Frank With Me: A Novel)

After the readings, join us for a private reception with all ten authors. Light refreshments served; every Mom gets a fresh flower! Tickets are $15 and can be purchased here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2538520
Bookends & Beginnings, 1712 Sherman Ave., Alley #1

3pm | #LOVESTORIES
Inspired by BLACK LIVES MATTER by Gloria Bond-Clunie, Marsha Estell and Tania Richard, #LOVESTORIES is a play in three parts exploring the breadth of love in a world of deadly conflict. Each playwright takes her turn sharing her gift of writing to tell a story of LOVE. This is a world premiere play commissioned by Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre, and is presented as part of Piven Theatre Workshop’s Quality of Mercy Project. Join us for a special sneak peek!
Evanston Public Library, Community Room, 1703 Orrington Ave.

5:30pm | Do Not Submit Evanston
Do Not Submit Evanston is a storytelling open mic on the second Sunday of every month at The Celtic Knot. The event encourages the people of our community to come together to connect through the sharing of personal stories in a safe, supportive environment free from pressure, judgment, or a cover charge.  No experience is necessary to participate, and all are welcome to speak or to simply listen. Sign up at 5:30pm–the stories start at 6!
The Celtic Knot, 626 Church St.

8pm-10pm | Storytelling in the Snug with Jim May
Jim May, world-renowned storyteller and co-founder of the Illinois Storytelling Festival and author of his newest book Trail Guide for a Crooked Heart: Stories and Reflections for Life’s Journey,  appears. No cover!  We will pass the hat for Jim at the end of the night, and he will be signing his book. Reservations for dinner and storytelling or for storytelling alone are strongly recommended.
The Celtic Knot, 626 Church St.


Monday, May 9

10:15am | Book Babies
Read, sing, and play together during this storytime for children ages 0-2.
Evanston Public Library, North Branch, 2026 Central St.

10:30am-11am | Story Time & Craft for 2 years and up
Stories, songs and a craft especially for 2 years old and up!
Evanston Public Library, Chicago Ave./Main St. branch, 900 Chicago Ave.

6pm | The Future of Publishing
Publishers Brian Hieggelke (Newcity), Doug Seibold (Agate Publishing), Davis Schneiderman (Lake Forest College Press/&Now Books) and Cynthia Sherry (Chicago Review Press) discuss the state of book publishing and what the future holds.
Bookends & Beginnings, 1712 Sherman Ave., Alley #1

7pm | Amina Gautier
Award-winning writer Amina Gautier will read selections from her latest collection of short stories, The Loss of All Lost Things.
Evanston Public Library, Community Room, 1703 Orrington Ave.


Tuesday, May 10

1pm | Journal Writing Exercise and Discussion
Maggie Olson of Wellness Adventuring, LLC, will speak about the value of having a daily journal writing practice. She will give participants a writing exercise to try, and then a group discussion will follow.
Cultivate Urban Rainforest and Gallery, 704 Main St.

3:15-4pm | Shoes of Your Choice
This storytelling event will recreate Alison Knowles classic Fluxus work Shoes of Your Choice (1963). Participants and audience members will be invited to tell the distinctive tales of the miles their footwear has walked. Knowles participated in the New York avant-garde festivals organized by Charlotte Moorman, whose life and work is featured in exhibitions at the Block Museum of Art and Northwestern University Library. This program is cosponsored by the Evanston Public Library, the Block Museum of Art, and the Northwestern University Library. (The program repeats May 11 at 7pm at the Evanston Public Library.)
Northwestern University Library, main lobby, 1970 Campus Dr.

5:30pm-7pm | Sharman Apt Russell Reading
The science/nature writer (and novelist) discusses her work at the Northwestern Writers’ Festival.
Hinman Auditorium at the Hotel Orrington, 1710 Orrington Ave.

6pm-8pm | Creating a Book: Evanston: 150 Years 150 Places
Hear Design Evanston members and authors Stuart Cohen, Kris Hartzell, Heidrun Hoppe, Laura Saviano, and Jack Weiss explain why they worked pro bono for nearly two years to curate, photograph, research, write, and design a book that documents Evanston’s important architectural history. This event is co-sponsored by the Evanston History Center.
Evanston History Center, 225 Greenwood St.

6pm | The League of Graphic Novel Readers: Arab of the Future
Comix Revolution, 606 Davis St.

7pm | Zoe Zolbrod
Evanston writer Zoe Zolbrod discusses her new memoir, The Telling.
Evanston Public Library, Community Room, 1703 Orrington Ave.


Wednesday, May 11

10:30am-11am | Drop-in Preschool Storytime for Ages 3 to 6
Stories and songs for children ages 3 to 6.
Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington Ave.

10:30am-11am | Book Babies Story Time
Stories and songs especially for newborns to 2 years.
Evanston Public Library, Chicago Ave./Main St. branch, 900 Chicago Ave.

3:30pm | Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance with Angela Duckworth
Organized by the Family Action Network.
Northside College Preparatory School, 5501 N. Kedzie Ave., Chicago

5:30-7pm | Outside the Lines Book Group: The Miseducation of Cameron Post
Outside The Lines Book Club is a new teen reading series that happens monthly at the Evanston Public Library Teen Loft. One Wednesday a month, teens grades 6-12 are invited to discuss a YA fiction title. This is a safe space for teens of all identities. Come hang out, meet new friends, eat snacks and chat about what really matters to today’s teens!
Evanston Public Library, The Loft (3rd floor), 1703 Orrington Ave.

5:30pm-7pm | Laura Kasischke Reading
The award-winning poet and novelist reads from her work as part of the Northwestern Spring Writers’ Festival.
Hinman Auditorium at the Hotel Orrington, 1710 Orrington Ave.

7pm | Latin@Literature Discussion Group: The Story of My Teeth
Evanston Public Library, Seminar Room (Third Floor), 1703 Orrington Ave.

7pm | Shoes of Your Choice
This storytelling event will recreate Alison Knowles classic Fluxus work Shoes of Your Choice (1963). Participants and audience members will be invited to tell the distinctive tales of the miles their footwear has walked. Knowles participated in the New York avant-garde festivals organized by Charlotte Moorman, whose life and work is featured in exhibitions at the Block Museum of Art and Northwestern University Library. This program is cosponsored by the Evanston Public Library, the Block Museum of Art, and the Northwestern University Library.
Evanston Public Library, Community Room, 1703 Orrington Ave.

7pm | Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance with Angela Duckworth
Organized by the Family Action Network.
New Trier High School, Gaffney Auditorium, 385 Winnetka Ave., Winnetka


Thursday, May 12

9:30am-10:10am | The Young and the Restless (Ages 0-2)
Bring your infant, 1 or 2 year old to this fun sing-along storytime.
Evanston Public Library, Community Room, 1703 Orrington Ave.

3:30pm-5pm | Northwestern Writers’ Festival Conversation with Authors
This discussion with Sharman Apt Russell, Laura Kasischke, and Alexander Chee is part of the Northwestern Spring Writers’ Festival.
Hinman Auditorium at the Hotel Orrington, 1710 Orrington Ave.

4:30pm | Annual Law in Motion Keynote Address
Historian Elizabeth Fenn, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan Peoples, appears in this event organized by One Book One Northwestern. Preceded by a reception at 4pm.
Northwestern Room, Norris Student Center, 1999 Campus Dr.

5:30pm-7pm | Alexander Chee Reading
Acclaimed novelist Alexander Chee reads from his latest book, The Queen of the Night, as part of the Northwestern Spring Writers’ Festival.
Hinman Auditorium at the Hotel Orrington, 1710 Orrington Ave.

7pm | Richard Nickel Dangerous Years
We are finally catching up to Richard Nickel. He took risks, spoke his mind, and championed an oversize cause. His rebellion against the shortsighted disregard of an American genius, the architect Louis Sullivan, appeals to a new generation interested in conservation—whether of old buildings or natural resources. In this special presentation, author and CityFiles Press co-publisher Richard Cahan discusses his latest book, Richard Nickel Dangerous Years, and shows an array of Nickel’s photographs from the book.
Perspective Gallery, 1310 Chicago Ave.


Friday, May 13

10:30am-11am | Drop In Storytime
Stories and songs especially for 2 years and up.
Evanston Public Library, Chicago Ave./Main St. branch, 900 Chicago Ave.

11:15-11:45am | Bilingual Storytime
Come for stories and songs in Spanish and English.
Chicago Ave./Main St. Library branch, 900 Chicago Ave.

4-5pm | Purple Crayon Players Storytime
Bring the family to this terrific Friday afternoon storytime and craft by Northwestern’s own Purple Crayon Players.
Evanston Public Library, Children’s Room (1st Floor), 1703 Orrington Ave.

4pm | Writing the Next Chapter
Three local authors who have launched second careers as novelists discuss how they made the leap and landed on their feet. Patricia Skalka, Lynn Sloan, and Joyce Burns Zeiss — a mystery writer, a writer of literary fiction, and a young adult novelist — will share their stories of success and struggle, and offer insights into the changing world of traditional publication.
Creative Coworking, 922 Davis St.

5:30pm-8pm | Evanston Literary Festival Closing Reception
Meet and mingle with fellow writers and readers at this reception, which is sponsored by Northwestern University School of Professional Studies and the Chicago Writers Association. Light refreshments will be provided.
Creative Coworking, 922 Davis St.

6pm | An Evening of Storytelling and Sharing: Exploring Racism
Potluck dinner – bring a dish to share – starts at 6pm, and the program starts at 7pm.  Non-alcoholic drinks will be provided.
Unitarian Church of Evanston, 1330 Ridge Ave.


Saturday, May 14

10:30am-11am | Saturday Storytime
Stories for children 2 through 6.
Bookends & Beginnings, 1712 Sherman Ave., Alley #1

1pm-4pm | The Great Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Swap
Give a book, take a book! Bring your unwanted new or gently-used science fiction and fantasy books to trade with other S/F fans, and get exclusive access to used books from the Evanston Public Library collection! For each book you bring in, you will receive one ticket to trade for another book.
Evanston Public Library, 3rd floor Seminar Room, 1703 Orrington Ave.

2pm | The Art of Alfonso “Piloto” Nieves Ruiz
Evanston sculptor Alfonso Ruiz discusses and displays his socially activist art. Copies of his exhibit catalog from the National Museum of Mexican Art in Pilsen will be available for purchase.
Evanston Public Library, Community Room, 1703 Orrington Ave.

4pm | Police Violence in the United States
Contributors to the new Truthout essay collection, Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect?: Police Violence and Resistance in the United States—including Alison Flowers, Kelly Hayes, Sarah Macaraeg, Page May, Maya Schenwar, and Monica Trinidad—hold a panel discussion.
Evanston Public Library, Community Room, 1703 Orrington Ave.

5:30pm | 5 poets, 20 poems
Evanston poets Dina Elenbogen, Chris Green, Christina Pugh, John McCarthy,
and Rachel Jamison Webster will read new work.
Unicorn Cafe, 1723 Sherman Ave.

Here is last year’s festival: Downloadable PDF of 2015 Evanston Literary Festival brochure