DOWNTOWN — The Chicago Humanities Festival is in full swing, with some of the biggest writers, artists and academics in the world coming to Chicago. But it's not too late to jump in.
Tickets are still available for a slew of the festival's events in the coming weeks.
Here is our procrastinator's guide to the fest:
1. Patti Smith: Patti Smith is a punk rock icon, a living legend and possibly the coolest person alive. Also, there is still limited availability to her Chicago Humanities Festival appearance. Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Symphony Center's Armour Stage, 220 S. Michigan Ave.
2. Chicks Dig Time Lords: If you're a "Doctor Who" fan, join your fellow geeks and author Lynne Thomas to discuss all things Doctor Who. Thomas is the author of "Chicks Dig Time Lords: A Celebration of Doctor Who by the Women Who Love It." Tickets here. Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago Ballroom, 112 S. Michigan Ave.
3. Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking: There's the "foodie" who hits up new restaurants based on hype, and then there are true believers who think that food is what brings people together, educates people about different regions and allows us to explore parts of our cultural history. Food writer Anya von Bremzen will share her story of "eating and cooking her way through Soviet history" at this festival event. Sunday at 12 p.m. at Northwestern University School of Law's Thorne Auditorium, 375 E. Chicago Ave.
4. René Marie: I Wanna Be Evil: Jazz vocalist René Marie has wooed audiences with her original songs for years, but she recently decided to honor legendary jazz vocalist Eartha Kitt with "I Wanna Be Evil (With Love to Eartha Kitt)." For the Chicago Humanities Festival, she'll perform "clever interpretations of Kitt’s diverse repertoire." Tuesday at Francis W. Parker School's Diane and David B Heller Auditorium, 2233 N. Clark St.
5. Words with Friends: Stephin Merritt: If you've had your heart broken in the last couple decades, you've probably had a Magnetic Fields album on rotation. The band's singer/songwriter Stephin Merritt has a way with words, and not just sad ones. For his Humanities Fest appearance, Merritt will discuss his new book, "Two-Letter Words." The book is a collection of poems "for each of the 101 two-character phrases permissible in Scrabble." He'll be joined by the always hilarious Peter Sagal of NPR's "Wait Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me!" and there will possibly be a massive Scrabble game. Nov. 7 at 6 p.m. at Francis W. Parker School's Diane and David B Heller Auditorium, 2233 N. Clark St.
6. Anne Rice: Vampire Chronicler: Forget "Twilight" and "True Blood" — Anne Rice is the queen of the vampires. For the festival, she'll talk about her new novel, "Prince Lestat: The Vampire Chronicles" and will be joined by her longtime editor Victoria Wilson. Nov. 8 at 4 p.m. at UIC Forum's Main Hall, 725 W. Roosevelt Road
7. Man on Wire: Philippe Petit: Though we rejected watching "Man On Wire" at first due to our fear of heights, we ended up being completely enamored with French high-wire artist Philippe Petit. He'll be in Chicago just a week after daredevil Nik Wallenda walks a tightrope between Marina City and the Leo Burnett building Downtown. Petit, who has been arrested over 500 times (hilariously, for juggling), will share his "outlaw" perspective and discuss his new book, "Creativity: The Perfect Crime." Nov. 8 at 2 p.m. at the UIC Forum's Main Hall, 725 W. Roosevelt Rd.
8. Marcus Samuelsson: Off Duty: Food Network star Marcus Samuelsson may be best known for "Chopped," but his foodie cred goes deep. The chef, restaurateur, TV personality and author will discuss the many hats he wears — and what he cooks at home — during his festival appearance. Nov. 8 at 6 p.m. at the UIC Forum's Main Hall, 725 W. Roosevelt Road
9. The Sounds of Freedom: If Nina Simone's "Mississippi Goddam" gives you the chills, you should check out this festival event featuring musician and UIC African American studies prof Johari Jabir. Jabir will discuss gospel's role in the civil rights movement, and take the audience on a "sonic tour from Rev. James Cleveland’s pioneering sound to Nina Simone’s protest songs." Saturday, Nov. 8 at 4:30 p.m. at the UIC Forum's Main Hall, 725 W. Roosevelt Road
10. Elizabeth Diller: Beyond the Blueprints: If you've explored New York City’s High Line, Boston’s Institute for Contemporary Art or The Broad Museum in Los Angeles, you've experienced the work of renowned architect Elizabeth Diller. Fans of amazing buildings will dig the "wide-ranging conversation on the role of architecture in contemporary life" with Diller and Dianne Harr, a University of Illinois architectural historian. Nov. 9 at 10 a.m. Northwestern University School of Law's Thorne Auditorium, 375 E. Chicago Ave.
For the full Chicago Humanities Festival lineup, tickets and more, click here.
For more neighborhood news, listen to DNAinfo Radio here: