Friday, June 6, 2008
All Hail to Those Who Book, and Book Well
Cheers to certain Columbia College folks -- and friends of Building the Green Machine -- named in this week's edition of New City, which again reprised its "Lit 50" list of "Who Really Books in Chicago".
The annual guide is a great way to get the pulse of what's happening on the literary scene in the city without frisking a librarian or downing the marketing Kool-Aid.
In other words, your brain won't go hungry -- or thirsty; such a consumer, your brain -- with these authors.
Topping the list this year is veteran journalist and national treasure Studs Terkel. Wanna know how long Studs has been working the beat? The quote New City chooses to lead off his entry says it well: "As the Titanic went down, I came up," referring to his birth on May 16, 1912. His memoir of his 90-some years, Touch and Go came out last fall.
I always miss some of the folks my grad school alma mater is affiliated with, because baby, we rock the lit house, so an incomplete HUZZAH to:
#8 Joe Meno -- whom I haven't had yet for a workshop, but I'll see about changing that
#42 Sam Weller -- whom you may recognize from his gracious endorsement of BTGM, right after DCI executive director Dan Acheson on the back cover. I thoroughly enjoyed working with Sam in our Creative Nonfiction class in Spring 2007. Valuable insight and a lot of fun. If you haven't read his authorized bio of Ray Bradbury, DO SO! And look for more from in the very near future.
#50 Stephanie Kuehnert -- A Columbia alum, her debut novel "I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone" hits stores this summer. I had the pleasure of serving on a panel for young authors with Stephanie in May, and folks, if you can make it to any of her events, do. She's down-to-earth, funny, and pleasant, which shouldn't fool you into thinking she has anything less than the writerly chops of a panther. Great to see her make the list at a hot 50 -- and shooting up the charts.
For more from New City, visit their site. And for all the "booking" you can shake a trade hardcover edition at, visit the Printers Row Book Fair this weekend in the South Loop downtown. Look for Building the Green Machine at the Columbia College tent, at Dearborn & Harrison. I'll be reading at 12:10 p.m. Sunday, June 8. For more info visit BTGM on the web.
See you there!