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Printers Row Book Fair

By Jess D'Amico in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 4, 2008 7:50PM

Printers Row Book FairIt's that time of year again, summer is officially starting, regardless of what the weather says. And one of our favorite early summer festivals, the Printers Row Book Fair, is this weekend! Touted as the Midwest's largest literary event, Printers Row features nearly 150 vendors from Women and Children First bookstore to Featherproof press to the Art Institute of Chicago's museum store.

Perusing the booths, finding new presses and finding antique books is our favorite part, but it's nice to take a break in the cool of Harold Washington and see author readings as well. Some are sold out, like Studs Terkel (tear), but the library will release any unclaimed tickets 15 minutes before each session if you're willing to wait around.

Our recommendations are after the jump.


1:30 Thomas Cahill, author of Mysteries of the Middle Ages, in conversation with Thomas O’Gorman. Because who doesn't want to brush up on their medieval studies before Ren Fest?

3:30 Studs Terkel (worth the wait for possible tickets) no explanation necessary.


3:30 Aleksander Hemon in conversation with Elizabeth Taylor. Hemon's Nowhere Man is a favorite of ours. His latest is The Lazarus Project, much of which takes place in and centers around Chicago, and promises to be just as engaging.

We're also excited to witness the chance to prove your word nerd chops with the American Heritage Dictionary Define-A-Thon, which looks to be like a reverse Balderdash, except you have to actually know it. Host David Kipen, the National Endowment for the Arts Literature Director, will read a definition and several possible word answers and contestants must choose the most appropriate. The contestants will be winnowed down to four, when we can only assume a fight to the death will occur. The competition starts at 3 p.m. on Saturday on the Heartland Stage. Sign up early on site.

The complete program guide is available here [PDF].

June 7 and 8. 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. Printers Row, Dearborn and Polk (surrounding). All events are free.

image via incendiarymind