Monday, February 11, 2008

Pilcrow Lit Fest: Believe it.


Inaugural Pilcrow Lit Fest To Highlight Very Best Small, Independent Publishers

CHICAGO, February 11— Pilcrow Lit Fest, a new literary festival named after a semi-obscure editing term, today announced its forming line-up for its debut May 22-25, 2008, in Lakeview. Designed to honor the vibrant, vital independent streak in American culture, Pilcrow Lit Fest will feature authors from small presses via literary readings, informative panels and social events.

Pilcrow Lit Fest opens on Thursday, May 22, with a launch event at The Fixx, continuing with a party at Baby Atlas on Friday night, and followed by a full day of panels, workshops and readings at various Lakeview venues. Confirmed participants so far include Jami Attenberg, who went from distributing her short stories as DIY ‘zines on the subway to mainstream success with her debut novel, The Kept Man (Riverhead Books, January 2008), cultural critics Peter Bebergal and Scott Korb (co-authors of The Faith Between Us), novelist Timothy Schaffert (Devils in the Sugar Shop, Unbridled Books), Eric Obenauf and Eliza Jane Wood, co-founders of Midwest-based Two Dollar Radio, publishers of edgy, breakout fiction including Hollywood screenwriter Rudolph Wurlitzer’s new novel, The Drop Edge of Yonder (April 1), praised by rock icon Patti Smith as “a book you watch as you read, cast the film as you reread, and create a sequel as you sleep,” plus local playwrights, poets, writers, editors and literary impresarios.

On Saturday, May 24, the evening will be dedicated to a fundraiser for the New Orleans Public Libraries, which are still recovering from Hurricane Katrina today. The event is centered on Rebuilt Books, commissioned following a national call for authors and publishers to destroy and recreate their own book as art to be auctioned as part of the evening’s fundraising efforts. NOPL director Ronald Biava will be on hand to personally accept the proceeds.

Sunday promises a joint event created in collaboration with Sunday Salon Chicago and more. Local independent, The Book Cellar, will be the official bookseller throughout the festival.

“Chicago's book lovers almost have it all,” notes Pilcrow Lit Fest founder and creative director Amy Guth, herself a debut novelist published by an independent press (Three Fallen Women, So New Media). “The city has great independent bookstores, literature and poetry reading series and the Printer's Row Book Fair, but until now we did not have a literary festival to call our own. After speaking at lit festivals in New Orleans, Omaha and Atlanta that all were so focused on community-building, I really felt like their philosophies would translate well in Chicago."

For the latest updates on events, participants and more, please visit