*Reginald Gibbons, Director of the CWA, is featured on WBEZ radio discussing his new book Slow Trains Overhead: Chicago Poems and Stories. Click hear to hear the program.

*Make Literary Productions, Stop Smiling and the University of Chicago Press Presented: A Party Celebrating the Release of Slow Trains Overhead: Chicago Stories and Poems by Reginald Gibbons. Click here to hear audio. 

*M. NourbeSe Philip gave a reading on May 12, 2010 as a guest of the Poetry and Poetics Workshop (of the Alice Kaplan Humanities Institute at Northwestern) and of the Center for the Writing Arts.  (See

Philip read from her 2008 book Zong!, which seeks to discover an adequate way of showing the inadequacy of our ability to write anything as extreme as the history of a slave massacre at sea.  In this work, Philip pursues the disassembly and reassembly of syntactical structures and the use of words as objects. Public radio station WBEZ of Chicago recorded the reading, and it can now be heard at:



*Reginald Gibbons, Director of the Center for the Writing Arts, gives an interview on WGN-TV in Chicago about his new book Slow Trains Overhead. Click here to watch video.

*Video from our Graphic Novel Event: Partnership of the Picture and the Word
held May 5, 2010

Four graphic novelists talk about their work and graphic novels in general


Graphic. Novels. Juxtaposed those two words not only raise the occasional eyebrow but also their own set of questions. Are graphic novels simply long comic books? Is “Maus,” Art Spiegelman’s Pulitizer Prize-winning graphic novel, rightfully shelved alongside comics about Superheroes? Is the graphic novel a genre unto itself?

Four graphic novelists -- all of whom call Chicago home -- recently spoke about the place of the graphic novel in literature and, more specifically, about their own craft. Titled “Partnership of the Picture and Word” and sponsored by Northwestern’s Center for the Writing Arts and the Block Museum of Art, the event featured these artist/writers:

Jeffrey Brown, perhaps best known for his bittersweet autobiographical graphic novels. The author of “Bighead,” “Clumsy,” and “Every Girl is the End of the World for Me,” Brown received an Ignatz Award in 2003, and, in 2006, created a short animated music video for the band Death Cab for Cutie. His work has been published in McSweeney’s and in Drawn & Quarterly Showcase. He has been a guest on public radio’s “This American Life” program with Ira Glass.

Ivan Brunetti, editor of “An Anthology of Graphic Fiction, Cartoons, and True Stories” and a second volume of the same name, both published by Yale University Press. The graphic novelist is author of “Misery Loves Comedy,” “Haw” and “Ho! The Morally Questionable Cartoons of Ivan Brunetti.” Perhaps best known for his largely autobiographical series “Schizo,” Brunetti has illustrated magazine covers of The New Yorker and an album cover for American stand-up comedian Patton Oswalt.

Anders Nilsen, author and artist of “Big Questions,” “Dogs and Water” and “Monologues for the Coming Plague.” Nilsen's work has been translated into numerous languages and featured in Interview, The Chicago Reader, Mome, Utne Reader and other publications. A Los Angeles Times reviewer called “Don't Go Where I Can't Follow,” his graphic memoir, “a tribute by a good artist to the life and death of a woman he loved and to the redemptive power of art.” Nilsen has won two Ignatz Awards for his work in the graphic novel genre.

*Black Arts Movement in the Broader Legacy of the Civil Rights Movement

Sponsored by the Center for the Writing Arts, October 16, 2007