Chicago WRITERS RESIST on January 15

Comrades,

We are proud to be one of this event’s co-sponsors:

writers-resist

On January 15th, 2017, joining over 50 cities worldwide, Chicago “Writers Resist” Threats to Free Expression and Democracy with eight City of Neighborhoods events.

Over 75 Chicago authors will join writers across the United States and worldwide, coming together for Chicago #WRITERS RESIST, a “re-inauguration” of compassion, equality, free speech, and the fundamental ideals of democracy.

When asked why he is working to organize Chicago #WRITERS RESIST, Chicago poet and event director Ruben Quesada said: “Our local communities are where we will see people suffer under the environment of bigotry that has taken hold of the country and also where we can contribute most to helping people. #WRITERS RESIST is a call for resistance to everyone and anyone who will listen. These events are meant to inform and empower individuals in their respective communities, to let them know what is happening locally and on the state-level and a space to connect with others around you who will stand by you and for you.”

The Loop reading starts out the day from noon to 3:00PM at Open Books, in the West Loop, 651 W. Lake St. The still-growing list of authors reading for the central event in the Loop includes: Audrey Niffenegger, Audrey Petty, Barrie Jean Borich, Brian Kornell, Daniel Borzutsky, Janet Burroway, Juan Martinez, Kelli Ellis, Mark Turcotte, Peggy Shinner, Quraysh Ali Lansana, Rachel Galvin, Rebecca Hazelton, Roger Reeves, Ruben Quesada, T. Clutch Fleischmann, Toni Nealie and Tyehimba Jess. This event will also feature speakers from the ACLU, Planned Parenthood and other local agencies.

Check this link for updates and more information.

In solidarity,

Editors

Editor News: Launch Party for New Meridian Arts in NYC

PTR founder and editor Snežana Žabić will be reading from her poetry collection The Breath Capital on Friday, November 4 at KGB: New Meridian Arts Party. New Meridian Arts is a non-profit organization dedicated to the artistic exchange between cultures through a wide variety of activities, from book publishing and magazine production, to visual and performing arts.

The Breath Capital records points of bodily contact in urban environments where eye contact is tacitly forbidden, but where we breathe each other’s molecules in and out. The collection is haunted by 20th-century Europe, but it exists in the Unites States in the 21st century, amid the current drama of late-capitalist class struggle tied to the past and present racial and gender politics.

Former Contributor News: Book Launch for Bill Ayers’s Demand the Impossible!

 

 

Experimental Station will host the book launch of Bill Ayers’s Demand the Impossible!: A Radical Manifesto on September 30, 2016. Event details are below the book description.

From the publisher website:

In an era defined by mass incarceration, endless war, economic crisis, catastrophic environmental destruction, and a political system offering more of the same, radical social transformation has never been more urgent. Demand the Impossible urges us to imagine a world beyond what this rotten system would have us believe is possible.

In critiquing the world around us, insurgent educator and activist Bill Ayers uncovers cracks in the system, raising our sights for radical change, and envisioning strategies for building a movement to create a more humane, balanced, and peaceful world.

Bill Ayers is a social justice activist, teacher, Distinguished Professor of Education (retired) at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and author of two memoirs, Fugitive Days and Public Enemy.

Location:
Experimental Station
6100 S Blackstone Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60637

Time:
6-7:30 PM CST

An Editor’s Notes on Privilege, Crimes, and Courage

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Yesterday another editor and I were driving back to Chicago from a heartening weekend in the Twin Cities. We are two women holding varying degrees of privilege, depending on the situation. We checked into an airbnb, met hosts who were happy to see us. We went to a neighborhood with the trappings of community very familiar to us—socially-conscious hummus, free range chocolate, happy hour craft beards, sincere, genderqueer customer service. A volunteer-run bookstore opened its doors and let us read words and sing songs. We wandered the city, propped up by the so-called sharing economy, and it’s not an overstatement to say we were thoroughly welcomed everywhere we went. We didn’t talk about it, but I’m sure she’d agree that we both took for granted that we wouldn’t be seen as suspicious by anyone wearing a badge and carrying a gun. I drive a car whose parts and paper are up-to-date. We both work a variety of gigs that we call “hustles,” and though we’re busy, most tasks can be done from the comfort of our laptops.

We’ve each of us been seen as “brave” by people in our lives. The overuse of this word would be laughable if it wasn’t offensive. She’s been a refugee, I grew up working class. We’ve moved through and across borders called states on our own at different points, and have not always been welcome in all places.  But we moved because we could, because we were looking for the world, for possibilities. Yes, there was some courage required, as well as naivete, hope, and luck. And of course, there was privilege.

If privilege and courage were congruous, I might believe in that world I was searching for more than I do today.

What I believe in now is that I’ll likely never be punished for my crimes.  I have shoplifted and driven around with expired license plates. I have been pulled over for speeding. It never occurred to me that I’d be tased or shot or arrested.

There’s courage in living another day when your fines are accruing on a car in the impound lot, when the collection notices pile up in your mailbox, when you’re waiting to get on the visitation list at the prison so you can see your brother’s face, when you’re wondering when your case worker is going to get you into the supportive housing you applied for months ago, when your unemployment check is going to run out any day, when you’re worried about affiliations assumed when you wear certain colors. A few of these have been my hardships; most haven’t.

Alton Sterling sold CDs in a parking lot. Philando Castile had a broken tail light.  I know few details about the series of life situations that led them to experience their last moments on earth as crimes punishable by murder. I do know, because I have been made to know, which means I have made the choice as a white person to pay attention, that to be born black in this country’s racial caste system of white supremacy is to be made to fight and fear for your life.

A person with a badge and gun has the privilege of knowing they can expect compliance from people who do not possess these objects.  Compliance by murder is cowardice.  Privilege—its excesses, its scarcity—begets different standards and requirements for bravery. I welcome the day when those tasked to serve and protect summon the courage to do exactly that. Until then, I dwell in possibility.