Chicago Tribune Printers Row Lit Fest: An Overview

In my previous post, I mentioned a literacy program and easy service opportunity at the Chicago Tribune Printers Row Lit Fest this weekend. Yet, I thought it might be prudent to back up a moment and give an overview of the festival itself.

Originally founded in 1985 by the Near South Planning Board to breathe new life in to the Printers Row neighborhood, Printers Row Lit Fest was purchased by the Tribune in 2002, in support of literacy and literary endeavors, and it is now considered the largest free outdoor literary event in the Midwest. Printers Row Lit Fest spans this Saturday and Sunday and will feature more than 200 local, regional and national booksellers and other book-ish vendors offering new, used and rare books and book accessories, as well as authors reading and discussing their work, seven stages of entertainment and more than 100 complementary literary programs. 

For the complete schedule of events, click here and for a partial list of participating authors, click here. While the fest itself is free, there are a few events (such as just about everything at the Chicago Public Library) which require a ticketed reservation. Easily enough, as you can easily reserve tickets here for the ticketed library events. Although some events have already sold out, there are usually some no-shows, so last minute seating is sometimes a possibility is you're patient, halfway charming and a little lucky. There is also the Kid's Corner so the fest is also very family friendly.

It is outdoors, so the fest really has a great laid-back vibe to it, like many of Chicago's great festivals, and its easy enough to find post-fest events going late into the night around town and right there in Printers Row. Printers Row is an area of town I tend to rather like, just generally, so I'd also suggest the great bars and cafes in the area, too. And, very importantly, while all the action is indeed outside, do take a moment to browse the bookshops in the area, too.

While yours truly generally arrives early, peruses the goods, then camps out at a sidewalk cafe with a pile of new reads and a beverage, this year, I'm doing things a bit differently. Not only will I be speaking this year (I will look forward to seeing all of your smiling faces when I speak
on the Page to Pixel panel on Sunday with Christopher Booker, Owen
Youngman and David Kipen, moderatored by Chicago
Tribune Magazine Editor and Books Editor,
Elizabeth Taylor), but I will also be bringing behind-the-scenes coverage right here on Chicago Subtext.

You know where to find me all weekend, so, do come say hello, since I know you're making plans right now to attend, if you have not done so already. (I think it's a safe bet to assume I'll have my camera at the ready for a few more editions of the So Far Review, while there, too, if that sweetens the deal.)

For more information, including directions and public transportation options, hit the Printers Row Lit Fest FAQ page


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  • Amy, we're so excited to see you at Printers Row. Hopefully you'll stop by the ChicagoNow table?

  • Better yet, I'll be right there at the Chicago Now table with you!

  • It totally dawned on me that this is THIS weekend. Really looking forward to it. When I lived down that way it was one of the highlights of the summer.

  • Oh we shall party it up then--especially b/c it's my birthday weekend. I think there should be cake. I'll see what I can do.

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