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Chicago Book Expo Returning To Uptown After Canceling 2012 Event

By Adeshina Emmanuel | November 12, 2013 7:41am
 Essanay Studios, where Chicago Book Expo 2013 will be held on Nov. 24.
Essanay Studios, where Chicago Book Expo 2013 will be held on Nov. 24.
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DNAinfo/Adeshina Emmanuel

UPTOWN — The Chicago Book Expo is coming to Uptown's Essanay Studios in November to celebrate Chicago's independent publishing scene.

Publishers, authors and groups representing the local writing and publishing communities will be present at the expo, which organizers said will feature more than 75 exhibitors. It also will include panel discussions, author readings, books from small presses, writing workshops and bilingual programs.

"It's exciting for Chicago's independent publishers as well as authors to have an opportunity to sell their books and meet their readers," said John K. Wilson, one of the event organizers. "And it's also exciting to have a lot of events with such a wide variety, ranging from poetry to fiction to writing workshops, to all kinds of different discussions about Chicago and the world."

The event is scheduled for 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 24 at Essanay Studios, a former workplace of film legend Charlie Chaplin on the campus of St. Augustine College, 1345 W. Argyle St.

The expo started in 2011 as a project of the Chicago Writers House. It was held inside the former Borders Building. About 1,200 people attended the event, which New City hailed as Chicago's "best new literary event."

The 2012 expo was canceled, Wilson said, for lack of an affordable venue to house it. The Chicago Writers House isn't involved in the 2013 event because founder John Rich is busy running the Guild Literary Complex, a community-based literary organization, according to Wilson, who said this year's event will be "better than ever."

He expects more than 1,000 people to show. The expo website has announced about 30 author speaking events at the expo, and said there's more to come.

One of those authors is Northwestern University professor Harvey Young, who will discuss his new book "Black Theater Is Black Life: An Oral History of Chicago Theater and Dance," and be joined in a discussion about Chicago history by Chicago Tribune theater critic Chris Jones.

Kari Lyderson will also discuss her new book about Mayor Rahm Emanuel, "Mayor 1%: Rahm Emanuel and the Rise of Chicago’s 99%," and Jessa Crispin will discuss Bookslut, a literary blog she serves as editor-in-chief of.

At 5 p.m., the Expo will officially launch the new issue of the Journal of Modern Poetry, and dozens of poets will read their work in the journal, organizers said.

Organizers said a full schedule of expo events would be released this week. For now, you can find more information about the event here.