Printers Row Lit Fest Review

The 2011 Printers Row Lit Fest came and went as quickly as a summertime thunderstorm. The reference to a summertime thunderstorm is not just poetic imagery. The festival, as usual, was temporarily dampened by showers on Saturday. Yes, nothing kills a book festival like water. But literature and nerdism persevered, and all of us bibliophiles still had a great time.

The Chicago Story Collective (the performance essayist group I co-founded) had a  great set on the Mash Stage as part of Lit After Dark.
We did a revue called “True Grit,” where we told totally true tales of the seamier side of the city. And because we love an excuse to dress up in costume, we all donned 1920s wear. We had a decent number of spectators show up, and everyone seemed to enjoy the show. Plus, we showcased the new song I wrote. I never thought writing essays would turn me into a rock star (note: I’m not a rock star).

Despite suffering from a minor cold, I patronized the festival on Sunday as well. Performing on Saturday didn’t give me a chance to really check out the booths and talk with my fellow writers, publishers and literati. While exploring the festival, I got to say hello to a lot of my favorite local talents, including the Jon at Knee-Jerk Magazine, Zach at Featherproof Books and Brandon from the Book Cellar. I also bought a really amazing print from a fashion magazine from the 1920s. It was a surprise for my boyfriend, Mario, whose going to school for fashion. It definitely scored me huge boyfriend points.

I also embarked on my first “live tweeting” experiment. For those that don’t know, live tweeting is when you update via Twitter what you are seeing/doing. It requires that you are constantly removed from the action before you, and in this sense, as I said to a friend, it is the exact opposite of meditation. Still, it’s a fun thing to do if you’re somewhere by yourself. I wouldn’t do it if I was with friends. That’d just be rude and antisocial.

By the way, I’ve finally become a fairly active Tweeter. As you can see to the right, I have a Twitter feed on this blog. If you wish to follow me and read my random musings, click the “Follow” button to the right.


3 responses to “Printers Row Lit Fest Review

  1. Keith, I had a wonderful time at Lit Fest too! Though running true to form, I brought the rain with me and so for the fourth year in a row, I’ve only experienced Printers Row from the inside of a tent…or through the windshield of my car as I’m driving home in the rain after packing up in a hurry. I actually had plans to wander around after I was done selling books at the CWA tent and see what was going on at the stages, but that’s when the storm came through. Maybe next year! Even just seeing it from the author side of the table, I love the energy, and the noise, and the stories of folks who stop by to chat and talk about what they like to read. Though now that the publishing fulcrum seems to be swaying toward e-books, I suddenly can’t shout the words “and my books are available on KINDLE!” from enough rooftops.

  2. Keith, Sorry I missed your performance. Sounds like fun. And Mary, where do you bring the rain from? Sometimes, I could use some and I might give you a holler. Sorry it shorted the event for everyone. I didn’t see a drop in Evanston, but was inside most of the time totally absorbed in the presentations. How did the book sales go at the CWA table? Who else was there? Many? I look forward to meeting you all one of these days, though with the gas prices, it might be a little while.

  3. I saw several of your Chicago Story Collective members in the afternoon on Friday. They were hard to miss dressed in their wonderful costumes. I’m sorry I missed the show! I’m the president of a new professional writers’ organization in Rockford, IL called In Print and was wondering if you would be interested in being a keynote speaker at one of our meetings. Let me know, Kristin

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