Because it’s going to come up in the word count a fair few times in this post.
The Chicago Book Expo was held on a snowy Saturday last week. While many Chicagoans were checking out the Christmas tree lighting party or staying bundled up inside, I was at Columbia College with other lovers of words. This was my view from the Chicago Publishers Resource Center table:
Not too shabby.
In case you’re not familiar with CHIPRC, they’re a local non-profit that focuses on making the arts accessible to the greater Chicago community. Spoiler Alert: I’m their Literary Coordinator, and I was there hosting a sample workshop of our Wasted Pages Writing Workshop series. The CHIPRC is Wasted Pages’ home, and both became very dear to me last winter–my first in Chicago. I spoke about it a bit when I was interviewed about it for Gaper’s Block.
Watching people shuffle in from the slush in their winter coats, I thought of myself going into the CHIPRC about this time last year, red-faced from the cold and anxious as hell. But I had no reason to be. The writers I met in the Wasted Pages poetry workshop I joined were welcoming humans, committed to helping each other develop work and to becoming better writers every week. At the end of our workshop, we made a zine together of our work with the materials offered at the CHIPRC, and one of us went on to start his own creative writing broadsheet, Wax Paper, in which two of my poems (“Ceasefire” and “The Farmer and the Fox“) are about to be published.
The CHIPRC is an amazing resource, which has almost unbelievably never held a fundraise in the two years since it’s been open. Until now. We have just over two weeks to reach our goal, and one of the thank you gifts is a very special Wasted Pages workshop. We also have a new installment of the series starting up on December 2nd.
If you’re not in Chicago and can’t join, consider donating.
If you are, please join–we’d love to have you!
If you’re not interested in either of those things, that’s kind of a bummer, but I hope you’re well and warm regardless.