Painting of Bozo's Circus
Painting of Bozo's Circus
Don laughing


Tuesday, November 13, 2018
12:30 p.m. 
3rd Coast Cafe
1260 N. Dearborn St.
Chicago, IL 60610

This Podcast Will Change Your Life

This Podcast Will Change Your Life is a rollicking, smart, deep ride through our literary and cultural communities, and I'm honored to be a guest. Ben Tanzer is the brain and personality behind this project. We met a few years back through Curbside Splendor's Victor David Giron at the Beauty Bar, and recently reconnected through the Northwestern University Summer Writers' Conference. Ben is an accomplished writer and performer with a sincere interest in the creative life around him, and I like that he's created a format in which authors can expand upon their books rather than recite the Cliff Notes. We'll not only talk about my short story collection, but a lot of the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame initiatives coming together this fall. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2018
9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
Newberry Library, 60 W. Walton St., Chicago, IL 60610

Chicago’s Gold Coast: A Walking Tour

Elizabeth Fox is corraling her Oak Park-River Forest High School creative writing and journalism students for a stroll through the literary sites around the Gold Coast. From what Liz tells me, this is a great group of young adults, and I'll try to point out the historic sites that have synergy with what they're studying in class.  For the foreseable future, Chicago Literary Hall of Fame will mostly be doing group tours like this—Nonna Working does a great downtown tour and Salli Berg Seeley a fantastic Wicker Park tour. Just conact me if you want to book a group. 

Thursday, November 15, 2018
Radio Misfits Podcast Network

Minutia Men

Rick Kaempfer and Dave Stern are two of the most entertaining guys around, and publishers of a lot of quality books, as well. Rick comes from a radio background, and he teamed with Dave all the way back in their University of Illinois days. Minutia Men is built around their warehouse of useless information, so on the occasion of the Eckhartz Press's release of An Off-White Christmas I think it's approriate I share some of the useless information I picked up in writing the book. 

Thursday, November 15
5-8 p.m. 
Elgin Public House
219 E. Chicago St.
Elgin, IL

Holiday Stories at the Elgin Public House

The Elgin Pub is a really nice place for food and drink, and maybe short stories, as well. We'll commandeer a back room, where I'll read a few snippets from An Off-White Christmas, but mostly hang out, chat, and sign books. 

Friday, November 16, 2018
6-9 p.m.
Cliff Dwellers
200 S. Michigan Ave., Penthouse, Chicago, IL 60604

2018 Chicago Literary Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame will induct Henry Blake FullerMarita Bonner, and Robert Sengstacke Abbott as its newest class on Nov. 16. Though Cliff Dwellers is a private club, the event is open to the public. Reservations are required. Cost of dinner is $30; to reseve a seat for the program only costs $10. There is a cash bar beginning at 4:30 p.m.; dinner is served at 6:15 p.m.; the ceremony starts promptly at 7:15 p.m. Reservations can also be made by phone at 312-922-8080.

I'll emcee a lineup that includes Ethan Michaeli, author of the critically acclaimed book The DefenderMyiti Sengstacke-Rice, great grand-niece of Abbott; Richard Guzman, author of Black Writing from Chicago; and Bill Getzoff, prominent Cliff Dwellers member.

Sunday, November 18, 2018
7-8 p.m.
The Reveler
3403 N. Damen Ave.
Chicago, IL

Sunday Salon

Sunday Salon is an ongoing reader series that always features a lineup of very good writers. Their November lineup includes Rebecca Makkai, whose novel The Great Believers was recently shortlisted for the National Book Award in fiction. Also reading will be Will Boast, Jeremy Wilson, and Dina Elenbogen. I've been asked to represent the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame; basically, I'll give a brief overview of who we are and what we do. 

Thursday, November 29, 2018
3-5 p.m.
Cliff Dwellers
200 S. Michigan Ave., Penthouse
Chicago, IL

An Afternoon Holiday Tea at the Cliff

Hannah will be a featured guest at this afternoon tea, which is not only a well-known English tradition but part of the Cliff Dwellers history. There will be small cakes, assorted sweets, savory finger sandwiches and fine tea, as well as lively conversation on the books and plays that resonated with us in 2018. Hannah, who of course illustrated An Off-White Christmas, will tell us of the challenges and inspirations for her work. Also, Richard Reeder (moderator of The Cliff Dwellers Book Club) will introduce his recently released 1001 Train Rides in Chicago

Public is welcome to register. Cost: $25 per person

Reservations to Vivian  or call 312-922-8080.

Friday, November 30
7-10 p.m.
Lockport, IL 

Private Book Party: Lockport

My sister Kathy is opening her house as an unofficial launch to the holiday season. She vows to have Christmas decorations up, tree and all, in time for the party. 

Saturday, December 1
2 p.m. 
Oak Park Public Library (Main Branch)
834 Lake Street
Oak Park, IL 60302

Off-White Saturday at the Oak Park Library

I'll be doing a reading and Hannah a presenation of her artwork for our own version of Black Friday. Only it's a Saturday. And there really aren't any deals. But we've been talking about making some wrapping paper out of Hannah's glorious illustrations, so maybe you can get your holiday gifts and get them wrapped, too. 

Sunday, December 2
Doors open at 3:00, performance at 4
Hamburger Mary's
155 S Oak Park Avenue
Oak Park, IL 60302

Oak Park Festival Theatre Concert Reading

The iconic Oak Park Festival Theater will present a concert reading of my short stories “Bah!” and “Go To the Snow.”  I'm super excited to hear these fantastic actors do this reading. Books will be available for sale, and both Hannah and I will be available to sign.  

Thursday, December 6, 2018
7 p.m. 
Volumes Book Cafe
1474 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622

Our Screwed Up Families: Getting Together for the Holidays

There are so many good Christmas books out there (well, there are a lot of bad ones, too, but those won't be the focus). David Sedaris' Holidays on Ice. George Saunders' “Chicago Christmas 1984.” Truman Capote's A Christmas Memory. And so on. 

This event is still in the works, but essentially I'll gather together a few of our local luminaries to read their own holiday tales and also choose a selection from the greater world of holiday literature. 

Thursday, December 13, 2018
7-10 p.m.
Downers Grove
Private Residence

Private House Party: Downers Grove

My old friend Sasha Pravdic offered to host a private book party at her beautiful Downers Grove home. We're still working out details, but I'll try to invite friends and family conveniently located to DG. 

Sunday, December 16, 2018
6-8:30 p.m.

Great Chicago Books Club: Nate Marshall’s Wild Hundreds

Our last 2018 installment of our fundraising author event features a recent poetry collection that is already a Chicago classic. Nate Marshall will be the honred guest as we discuss Wild Hundreds, a book that explores the rapper and breakbeat artist's far South Side terrain between 100th and 130th Streets. The event will be held in a private home; we'll provide the location if you inquire or register. The first half of the evening is a cocktail party; in the second half, I'll lead a discussion of Nate's career and book. Registration fee is $40. The money raised supports the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame's other programming, including free events like exhibits, lifetime achievement ceremonies, and youth workshops. 

7-10 p.m. 
Oak Park, IL

Private Book Party: Oak Park

Marium Baker offered her support for the new short story collection, for which I'm extremely grateful. This will give me us a chance to invite some Oak Park friends and neighbors who might not have a chance to make it to other events. Marium is a fantastic host; this will be a fun night. 

Hannah Jennings Design