Well, this weekend is the big weekend. The birds are singing, the trees are budding and on Saturday and Sunday book lovers will converge upon Harrison and Dearborn Streets in Chicago to cure their book hangovers with a little hair of the dog.
The 30th annual Printers Row Literary Fest will be held June 7 and 8 around Dearborn and Harrison Streets in Chicago,
It's a great way to see not only big name authors but also a lot of local talent. Chicago, along with its many other talents, has a long history with the the printed word. It may be apocrophyl but it's claimed that after the great Chicago fire of 1871, the Queen of England donated 8,000 books because, "Surely the library of your poor city must have been destroyed." (or something to that affect). Only, at the time Chicago didn't have a grand library nor was it known for a storied literary tradition. It was a workhorse of a cowtown soon to bloom into so much more once it embraced the cultural potential that it had been ignoring for so long.
In fact, it was the fire that helped with that process. Chicago has since made up for its previous lack of culture. Eventually it became home to a world class art museum, and live theater to rival Broadway. It would transform musical styles like jazz and blues while creating new ones like gospel, and would be home to the dynamic Chicago Symphony Orchestra. It produced legends of comedy and movies, has had a number of great newspapers and boasts a beautiful library in the
Harold Washington Library (It was in the Winter Garden of the Harold Washington Library where
Narain Khan and Cassie Lambert meet in To Touch the Sun).
It has been home to great writers such as Richard Wright, Carl Sandburg, Nelson Algren, Gwendolyn Brooks, Mike Royko, Studs Terkel and Sara Partesky to name but a few.
And me! Well...one day my genius will be recognized. In the meantime I pay my dues.
And for the first time since Chicago's Most Wanted was published in 2005, I will be participating in Printers Row as part of the Chicago Writers Association Tent (Tent F), selling and signing copies of all three of my books from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday, June 8. It's a great opportunity that I might not have been able to take advantage of if I didn't belong to the CWA, a wonderful organization for area writers.
So if you are in the area stop by and say "hi".