A crazy busy week this one with Story Week Festival of Writers 2011 underway here at Columbia College Chicago. Once again under the fine direction of the 3 Wise Men of Story Week – Fiction Department Faculty Member Sam Weller, Fiction Department Chair Randy Albers, and Fiction Writing Department Adjunct Faculty Member Chris De Guire, the week-long series of events featuring all things literary and fun (there’ll be drinkin’, there’ll be fightin’, there’ll be fu…n!) is at about the half-way point and already the reviews are good.
Things started out with stories of love, lust, and loss at 2nd Story at Martyrs’ and raced through readings by students and faculty from nearly dawn till way past dusk. (Good thing we all remembered to change our clocks last weekend, huh?) More than fifty writing students have shared their work with our engaged and supportive city-wide audience so far (playwrights with Lisa Schlesinger today at 11) along with award-winning authors Jennifer Egan, Audrey Niffenegger, Karen Tei Yamashita, and Gerard Woodward, one of our conversationalists taking part in “Why The Short Story?” right here on this blog.
Tonight the spectacular and always entertaining Literary Rock and Roll event at the Metro with another of our conversationalists, Gina Frangello, along with the inimitable Irvine Welsh and stories by Preston Allen as read by his editor and friend, Johnny Temple of Akashic Books.
Oh, and there is so much more, friends. Panels on publishing, the future of the book, and playwriting; there’ll even be a presentation on research in the arts by an international collaboration of students from Columbia College Chicago and Bath Spa University (that’s Friday.) Tomorrow (St Patty’s Day; I always liked that holiday!) afternoon at 4 join me in conversation with various artists on a multidisciplinary panel called “Story in the Arts” with Audrey Niffenegger; poet Tony Trigilio; filmmaker and chair of the Film and Video Department at Columbia College Chicago Bruce Sheridan; dancer and choreographer Darrell Jones; director of the Museum of Contemporary Photography Rod Slemmons; and visual artist Philip Hartigan. (There’ll be dancin’, there’ll be filmmin’, there’ll be readin’, there’ll be artin’!)
So if you haven’t yet enjoyed any part of Story Week, there’s still plenty of time and muchos events left. I’m gonna be there. You?