Chicago’s Guild Literary Complex hosted the first reading for Notes From the Mainframe, a two-part literary arts series at FreeGeek Chicago (@freegeekchicago, 3411 W. Diversey Ave.) in late January. Writers, poets and industry professionals read their works and discussed the intersection between art and science with an eye fixed firmly on the digital age.
More than 30 attendees listened and participated in the event sponsored by FreeGeek Chicago and Gapers Block (@gapersblock). Chicago local Donna Pecor set a poetic-technologic mood for the night by reading a selection of her works involving people and computers. The night also featured readers including Stephanie Plenner, founder of Chicago Literary Map (@literarymap); Andrew Huff, co-founder and editor of Gapers Block; and Catherine Halley, who read from her forthcoming book about relationships and intimacy in the age of Facebook.
The computer-filled space of FreeGeek Chicago, which LoganSquarist profiled earlier this year, set the stage for a night filled with stories and poetry. The presentations ranged from soft humor to chewy food-for-thought, but always managed to find their way back to computers and the internet.
Part two of the series will be scheduled for a date in late March 2014, and it will curated by Dr. Stephanie Levi, founder of Science is Sexy.
A Literary Program: Guild Literary Complex
Guild Literary Complex is a community-based literary organization that is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. The group presents and supports diverse, divergent and emerging voices through innovative programs, including performances and readings.
The Guild folks say they believe that vibrant literature contributes to society and community, and that people should have access to quality literary experiences that engage them with dynamic juxtapositions of voices and ideas. Programs include Palabra Pura (bilingual poetry); the Poetry Performance Incubator (collaborative theatre and poetry); and open-submission writing contests such as the Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mic Award and Prose Awards for short fiction and non-fiction.
Since its formation, Guild Literary Complex has established itself, in the words of the Illinois Arts Council, as “Chicago’s premier literary center.” The organization has been twice selected as a model literary center by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Photo: Elizabeth Beiler