Publish or Perish? Literary Variety Show Spooks and Inspires

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shadowpuppet1Start your Halloween celebration off with The All Hallows’ Eve Eve Variety Show at the California Clipper­, an intimate bar with its own resident ghost. All proceeds from the show benefit one of Chicago’s newest literary institutions, the Chicago Publisher’s Resource Center (ChiPRC). ChiPRC founder John Wawrzaszek opened the center earlier this year as a way to support all things publishing-related.

Over email, John says that his goal for the center is “to cover all areas of publishing since that definition has been growing.” He went on to describe ChiPRC, located at 858 North Ashland, as “an accessible and affordable space that allows the community to complete publishing-based projects. It offers resources that are physical such as equipment needed to self-publish work or educational such as workshops that focus on craft and process.”

For a small fee, the center provides members and non-members with the opportunities to use materials from computers and desktop printers to button-makers, comb-binding machines, electric typewriters and a risograph printer. ChiPRC also offers a wide range of workshops and events, including flash-fiction classes, a weekly writing critique circle and scary stories readings for kids.

Evident from the eclectic lineup of performers at The All Hallow’s Eve Eve Variety Show, it’s clear that ChiPRC’s definition of publishing doesn’t limit itself solely to print. Performers at the variety show include artist/author Audrey Niffenegger (“Raven Girl,” “Her Fearful Symmetry”), filmmaker Chris Hefner (“The Pink Hotel”), author Fred Sasaki (Poetry magazine), playwright Chris Bower, accordionist Rob Cruz, writer Margaret Patton Chapman (fiction editor, decomP magazine), artist April Sheridan (Center for Book and Paper Arts) and performers Jennifer Friedrich and Damien Hinojosa (Incurable Theater).

In addition to live literary readings and performances, the show will feature shadow puppetry, music and other multimedia spectacles. Guests will also have the chance to win a giant worried pumpkin by artist Jason Waclawik.

“Opening the center has been an educational process for me, which was the main idea I wanted for others—to have a space that offered the opportunity for continued learning,” Wawrzaszek says. All proceeds from The All Hallow’s Eve Eve Variety Show will further help the center succeed in its mission and provide additional publishing services to its members and the local literary community. (Erin Nederbo)

At the  California Clipper, 1002 North California,   October 30, 8:30pm, $7 donation. More information is available at

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