Evanston Literary Festival

From April 29 to May 11, 2017, the third annual Evanston Literary Festival will celebrate the city's vibrant literary community and history. The festival will feature dozens of events around Evanston featuring fiction, poetry, non-fiction, children's literature, writing workshops, and much more. The Evanston Literary Festival begins on April 29, Independent Bookstore Day, and continues through the Northwestern Spring Writers' Festival being held May 9-11 with Aleksandar Hemon, Cathy Park Hong, and John Keene.

The Evanston Literary Festival includes dozens of events at venues around Evanston with prominent authors (many of whom live or work in Evanston), including graphic novelist Emil Ferris (April 30), Donna Seaman on women artists (April 30), Alex Kotlowitz and Jennifer Lackey on storytelling in prison (May 2), Scott Turow discussing Amazon (May 3), a discussion and reading in honor of Gwendolyn Brooks with Parneshia Jones, Nikky Finney, Vievee Francis, Angela Jackson, Patricia Smith, and Toi Derricotte (May 4), Dan Sinker (May 5), Syrian fiction writer Osama Alomar (May 6), novelist Renee Rosen (May 7), Christine Sneed and Juan Martinez (May 8), Southern novelist Kristy Woodson Harvey (May 9), writer and Poldark actor Robin Ellis (May 10), poet Kevin Coval (May 11), and historian Mary Barr (May 11).


A special stage reading of Sandra Seaton's "The Chicago Trilogy," three one-act plays based on the work of Evanston author Cyrus Colter, will take place, directed by Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre's artistic director Tim Rhoze and cosponsored by the Guild Literary Complex, the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, and Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre.

This year's Festival includes several cookbook authors, including the book launch of Street Food (April 29), Jewish food expert Joan Nathan (May 1), and Beth Dooley's In Winter's Kitchen (May 7, a $55 meal and book event at Found).

The Festival will also feature several evening live lit events on Saturday and Sunday, including Church & Oak storytelling (April 29), a special edition of Sunday Salon (April 30) with Quraysh Ali Lansana, Toni Nealie, Alex Shakar, and Suzanne Clores, and a Poets Resist event (May 7) with a wide range of speakers. Two free writing workshops will take place at the Frances Willard House.

The festival—a joint production of Chicago Book Expo, Bookends & Beginnings bookstore, Northwestern University's Creative Writing Program, Northwestern University Press, and the Evanston Public Library—was founded by co-organizers Lynn Haller and John K. Wilson as a way of celebrating Evanston's local authors, independent bookstores, and literary culture. Other prominent Evanston institutions contributing to the festival's offerings include Comix Revolution, the Fleetwood-Jourdain Theater, the Frances Willard House, SPACE, and the Block Museum of Art.

For the full schedule with many more literary events, including times, venues, and descriptions, go to www.evanstonlit.org. Most events are free and open to the public.

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