Friday, August 07, 2009
Chicago Printers Ball 2009 Wrap-up
Finally getting out news about the 2009 Printers Ball in Chicago a week late, but wanted to include a fun photograph of Audrey Niffenegger, author of "The Time Traveler's Wife." She appears in resplendent red hat, next to yours truly. In addition to being a bestselling author with a feature film based on her book, she is also a professor in the Interdisciplinary Book Arts MFA Program at the Columbia College Chicago Center for Book and Paper Arts, where the Printers Ball was held this year.
The Printers Ball is an annual event sponsored by the Poetry Foundation and Poetry Magazine. Poetry readings on two floors, ubiquitous small press periodical giveaways, free food and drinks, interviews, performances, and general literary mayhem takes place midsummer in Chicago. You don't need to get dressed up to attend, but its fun when you do. I wore a tiered chiffon periwinkle tank top and eggplant linen full-length skirt above bronze metallic gladiator sandals. Beaded earrings in multi shades of purple and lilac accessorized the outfit. I didn't bring an evening bag. Like Niffenegger, I toted my trusty workhorse shoulder bag which I stuffed with temporary tatoos, buttons with sayings and other silly stuff from the fair.
Many will remember the 2007 Printers Ball held at a vast venue on 35th Street. It was busted just before midnight for entertainment license issues. Did dozens of police officers with their arms crossed need to show up to usher out a bunch of poets weighted down, with neither drugs nor firearms, but stacks of poetry books? At first the Poetry Foundation didn't want to talk about it, but now even the president of the foundation brings it up at conferences such as the AWP as the org's right of passage into Chi-town street smarts.
Anyway, I read two poems at the chicagopoetry.com feature event at the beginning of the evening on the 8th floor. One was an "uncensored" poem on avocados. Now how wild could that be. And another about the upcoming 25th wedding anniversary of the hubbie and me entitled "$1,000 Wedding, Dress Included." You know they say the marriages that last the longest often have the cheapest weddings. I'm as surprised as anyone.
A big find on the giveaway tables, among other wondrous items, was an issue of "Alimentum" magazine, which is a literary magazine devoted to the topic of food. Fun, witty, hip pieces within. And appetizing at the same time.◦