posted by caroline picardcarol_06182008

TONIGHT! Carol Anshaw to read at The Parlor Tuesday, May 5th, 2009 at 7pm

Carol Anshaw is the author of the novels Aquamarine, Seven Moves, and Lucky in the Corner. Her books have won the Carl Sandburg Award, the Ferro-Grumley Award, and the Society of Midland Authors Award. Her stories have appeared in Story magazine, Tin House, The Best American Stories and, most recently, in Do Me: Tales of Sex and Love from Tin House. Anshaw is a past fellow of the NEA. For her book criticism she was awarded the NBCC Citation for Excellence in Reviewing. She is a professor in the MFA in Writing program at the School of the Art Institute. She has just finished a new novel, Carry the One.

Following her 30 minute reading, Carol will take questions from the audience.

As always, the event will be recorded and published on-line for your repeated listening pleasure on iTunes and at

All readings take place at The Green Lantern 1511 N. Milwaukee Ave, 2nd Floor(

For more information, please visit or contact

Going Out With A Bang.

April 23, 2009

posted by Caroline Picard : Another Run-Down of What’s Coming UP

*fyi: Our monthly reading series & podcast, The Parlor, will continue throughout the summer and fall and thereafter.

I present you with a circus, including 2 fairs, Carol Anshaw to read at The Parlor, the last opening at the current space, an opening at the Hyde Park Art Center (where upon you may see a preview copy of the North Georgia Gazette), a screening, a call for submissions, and the final closing party–that is, the “It’s Your Turn” Party, (whereupon submissions will be read and toasts will be made)


April 25 & 26 , 2009
1pm to 8pm

Benton House Gymnasium
3052 S Gratten Avenue
Bridgeport (off Bosley Park)
(a few doors north of the Benton House)

The NFO XPO (pronounced “info expo”) brings art groups and community orgs together to exchange information and ideas as well as provide a public platform for each group to present themselves. It’s a trade show for experimental art, emerging spaces, and radical exchange. It’s our version of what an art fair should be. It is a fantastic opportunity to view emerging art, to network and make shit happen.

( Link to Last years XPO :

Participants include:
Albert Stabler and Paul Nudd ($heart), Green Lantern, Institute of Socioæsthetic Research ( Daniel Mellis), Alan Moore, Spoke, Antenna, The Space LIC, Reuben Kincaid, Art Shanty Projects, Hui-min Tsen, Marc Arcuri and Ellicott, Joe Baldwin, Laura Miller, Casey Smallwood, Marc Moscato, Hale Ekinci, Michael Coolidge, Andi Sutton and Anne Elizabeth Moore, Amanda Lichtenstein, Evan Plummer and Maritza Mosquera (Letter Writing Revivalists), Grant Newman, Sarah Kenny, Ashly Metcalf, Ray Emerick Studios, Trendbeheer, ChicagoArts, Threewalls, Hungry Brain, Aaron Delehanty, Birdhouse Museum, Jeriah Robert Hildwine, Doug Smithenry, James Jankowiak, Nicholas Schutzenhofer, Stephanie Burke and others.

The Free University happens simultaneously to the NFO XPO downstairs in the classroom facility of the Gymnasium.

2) “It’s Your Turn” zine to be released in conjunction with the closing of Green Lantern Gallery on June 16th.

Dear members of the art community of Chicago,

We’re making a zine entitled “It’s Your Turn” to commemorate the closing of the Green Lantern Gallery, and the launch of many other new and awesome spaces in Chicago.  We’d like to include some thoughts from people in the art communities in Chicago–memories of past experiences at the Green Lantern Gallery and other art spaces in Chicago, or responses to the prompts below:

Describe Chicago’s art community in six words or less…

What is the sound (or smell, or touch, etc.) of the Chicago art community? …

What is your ideal art space / exhibition venue?

Where is the art world?

How do you feel about approaching spaces to show your work, host your band’s show and whatnot?

How do Chicago’s art communities compare each other…and to those of other cities?

To be included in the zine, (and proposed as toasts on the day/evening of the party!) we need to recieve them by 5/10, seriously.  Responses should be sent to Ms. Rachel Shine–

If you have any other ideas for inclusion in the zine, email Young Joon at

We’ll be sharing a booth with our buddies from Featherproof, hawking books and telling stories, so if you want to stop by, you can find us at  booth #
7-7136 on the 7th floor of the Merchandise Mart, May 1-4th. There is an opening “preview” reception on Thursday the 1st.

4) Carol Anshaw will read at The Parlor Tuesday, May 5th, 2009 at 7pm

Carol Anshaw is the author of the novels Aquamarine, Seven Moves, and Lucky in the Corner. Her books have won the Carl Sandburg Award, the Ferro-Grumley Award, and the Society of Midland Authors Award. Her stories have appeared in Story magazine, Tin House, The Best American Stories and, most recently, in Do Me: Tales of Sex and Love from Tin House. Anshaw is a past fellow of the NEA. For her book criticism she was awarded the NBCC Citation for Excellence in Reviewing. She is a professor in the MFA in Writing program at the School of the Art Institute. She has just finished a new novel, Carry the One.


Following her 30 minute reading, Carol will take questions from the audience.


As always, the event will be recorded and published on-line for your repeated listening pleasure on iTunes and at


All readings take place at The Green Lantern 1511 N. Milwaukee Ave, 2nd Floor


For more information, please visit or contact


5) IN LIEU OF GIFTS: opens May 9th from 7-10pm; a solo show by Jenny Walters

Chicago, IL. (April 20, 2009) — From May 9 to June 6, 2009, The Green Lantern Gallery presents In Lieu of Gifts, featuring new works by Los Angeles-based, artist Jenny Walters.  For this solo presentation, Walters debuts photographs and video exploring the narrative impact of transformative life events, specifically the durability and mutability of personal identity and their aftermath.

A pervasive sense of feminine desire, vulnerability and desperation links a number of these pieces, but they are also marked by an attraction to universally theatrical gestures and scenarios that signal the complexities of relationships with oneself, others and the future.  The installation explores the issues of aging, mortality and performance while presenting visual information that allows the viewer to recognize and share the inherent intimacy in failure.  Constructing a sort of psychological anthropology via performance and the photo/video document, Walters recognizes that it is in our failures that we begin to see each other and ourselves and draw closer together. This point of power exchange, in all its manifestations and nuances, drives primal human connections. It is in the crumbling of personal mythologies that a deeper intimacy with her subjects and their possessions occurs.

Evoking a consciousness of nostalgia and absence, Walters’ work probes the idea that identity often exists in a fluid state.  It is in this investigation into stages of uncertainty–the doubling, dividing and interchanging of the self—that she so adeptly creates a visual experience of the uncanny or a sense of helplessness evoked by the anxiety of unknown emotions.

Walters’ portraits are characterized by an intimacy and quiet involvement with the subjects and places she selects. While there is an innate awareness of the historical, aesthetic paradigms of portraiture native to her work, she subverts many of the expectations of the form by inserting intentional transgressions in her process.  In her new work, she has chosen to construct and show images that capture the truth of unique moments as opposed to presenting a homogenous study over time.

Walters earned her MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2004 with a focus in video and photography.  She has exhibited her work in solo exhibitions, including Galeria Andre Kermer, Leipzig, Germany and has also been featured in group exhibitions at such venues as Vox Populi, Philadelphia; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; EAST International (a juried exhibition curated by Neo Rauch and Gerde Lybke) at Norwich Gallery, Norwich, England and Jen Bekman Gallery, New York.  She currently lives and works in Los Angeles.

In conjunction with this exhibition Walters is also releasing a limited edition portfolio of photographs.

Exhibition Reception: Sunday, May 10, 3 – 5pm The Hyde Park Art Center will feature Artists Run Chicago, an exhibition showcasing the energy and audacity of some of the most noteworthy artist-run spaces that have influenced the Chicago contemporary art scene over the past decade on view from May 10 – July 5, 2009 in Gallery 1.  Chicago has long been known for cultivating a strong entrepreneurial/Do-It-Yourself spirit in business and the arts.  The participating artist-run venues have transformed storefronts, sheds, apartments, lofts, industrial spaces, garages and roving spaces into contemporary art galleries testing the notion of exhibition while complicating the definition of art.  Coinciding with the Hyde Park Art Center’s 70th anniversary, Artists Run Chicago reconnects the Art Center to its beginnings as an artist-run space by bringing much deserved attention to those outstanding spaces that continue to reinvent the mold unique to Chicago.

7) NAROC!3 Sunday, May 10th : A SCREENING! details TBA; doors open  at 7 and will include performance, screenings and a DJ Dance party to follow.

(also coming up but still to be announced: The Parlor’s 2nd Annual Emerging Writer’s Festival takes place on the 27th of May
+ the Milwaukee Avenue Bike Tour (also the 27th of May) + Joe Meno reads at the Parlor first Tuesday in June + Printer’s Row)

and finally
(drum roll)

7) IT’S YOUR TURN party
On the 13th of June, we will officially close our doors at this location. It has been an incredible experience running this space, and it would not be possible except for the support of the community; whether you came to visit, or volunteered, or hung your work here, collaborated, schemed, purchased, donated–whatever, this space, in some sense, belongs to everyone and for that reason, it’s worth having an awesome party about it. While the details are still being worked out, mark your calendars. We’re going to try and kick it off in the afternoon with some sort of BBQ, whereupon we will begin to make toasts, reading from the zine that Rachel Shine and Young Joon Kwok are so awesomely putting together. Of course, improvised on the spot toasts will be encouraged, and if you would like to create some sort of performance comemorating or reflecting on the Green Lantern, or similar spaces, let me know ( and I’ll try to fit you into the schedule. Basically this is an opportunity for everyone to think about and celebrate what these organizations mean. In addition, there will be some readings from the Gazette, and (knock on wood, if all goes well) from Terri Griffith’s forthcoming (debut!) novel, and (again, knock wood) live music. There will be no cover; refreshments are available by donation and everything will shut down at 2 a.m.
At which point I’ll be taking a big long nap.

Again, the goal is to re-open in the fall of 2010, so keep your fingers crossed! (and thank you again and again)

posted by Caroline Picard; the original site for this post can be seen here. I thought I’d post this today, since a) Carol is going to be reading for The Parlor this spring and b) it’s always great to read about       how authors do what they’re doing. Mystery’s unveiled sort of thing.

Carol Anshaw

Questions and Answers
An Interview with
Carol Anshaw
by Greg Shapiro
Windy City Times

Carol Anshaw’s new novel, Lucky in the Corner (Houghton Mifflin, New York, NY, 2002, $23), opens with a bang. Literally. A jealous and jilted lover crashes her car into the parked car of her girlfriend’s new lover. The crash wakes Nora, the new lover and main character of the novel, and draws the reader into her world. Lucky in the Corner is Anshaw’s third novel, and her most domestic (and I mean that in a good way!). Anshaw introduces us to the new American family, and the members (including Nora’s daughter Fern, Nora’s lover Jeanne, and Nora’s brother Harold) are the kind of people you wouldn’t mind running into at a family reunion.

Gregg Shapiro
: In addition to being a respected novelist, you are also renowned for your work as a journalist. You wrote movie reviews for the Chicago Sun-Times, and book reviews for the Village Voice’s literary supplement, the VLS.

Carol Anshaw: Well, I did movie reviews for the Sun-Times for years. Also reviews of plays, circuses, country music concerts, restaurant brunches. I had a professional relationship with eggs benedict. This was when I was in my 20s and didn’t mind all the running around…like seeing a movie, then rushing down to the paper to review it until 2 in the morning. The work I did later for VLS was sometimes book reviews, but mostly literary essays. VLS had a great editor then, who taught me tons about essay writing. I loved doing those; they used every one of my brain cells.

GS: I discovered, online, that you have also written some young adult books.

CA: Oh man, I wrote, like, 23, maybe 25 of them. Under pseudonyms mostly, mostly series books. About cheerleaders or girls in boarding school. Near the end, I got into teen horror, which was my favorite genre. The Claw. I have to confess, I am the author of The Claw. I’m grateful to have had this work. I could do those paperbacks in a few weeks and the money would buy me a few months’ time for my own writing. I was always struggling then to buy time and keep a roof over my head.

GS: Your novel Aquamarine is ranked at No. 37 in the list of 100 best gay/lesbian novels by The Advocate. How does that feel?

CA: I was blown away when I saw that. It’s like Aquamarine has its little niche in history.

GS: You are also an educator, having taught at both School of the Art Institute Chicago and Vermont College. How do you see your role as a teacher? What do you like best about teaching at the graduate level?

CA: I only teach at the School of the Art Institute now. I am so lucky to have this job. All grad students, already committed to their craft, really smart. Basically, my job is I go downtown and have these great conversations about writing. It’s the best sort of teaching, the opposite of being Professor Thuckleberry or whoever, some authority…THE authority on whatever, lecturing in stentorian tones. I don’t have a lectern; I’m never even standing at the blackboard. What I do is sit with students and their stuff and say, OK, I’ve been working over this puzzle of writing for years and I’m still trying to figure it out myself, but here’s something that might help you. And because it’s such a giant puzzle and they are looking for pieces, they will listen to me.

GS: Earlier this year, About Face Theater (in Chicago) produced a stage adaptation of your novel Seven Moves. Did you see the production? How do you feel about stage or potential screen adaptations of your work?

CA: I saw the play twice. The first time was opening night and it was overwhelming. Words I’d put down on a page years ago suddenly leaping to life, spoken by actors. Scenes that had only existed in my imagination now happening on a sofa on a stage. And being with an audience…hearing and seeing their reactions. The whole thing was just overwhelming. I came home and told my girlfriend, “I can’t even talk about this.” Then I saw it a second time and I could just relax and enjoy it. They did a good job. Of course, they have to take out nine-tenths of your book or the play would be 102 hours long. I didn’t realize that. But the one-tenth they kept was good.

GS: In Lucky In The Corner you present the reader with the new contemporary American family: Fern lives with her mother Nora and Nora’s female lover Jeanne.

CA: I think the family is undergoing both huge and subtle changes now…the shape it takes, what makes a family. What used to be connection only by blood now also includes connection by love, affinity, friendship, partnership, marriage and remarriage, adoption. I wanted to capture this vibrant human enterprise, and so I created a family going through a lot of change. Fern used to live with her mother and father; now she lives with her mother and her mother’s partner, Jeanne. Her mother, Nora, is queer and Fern is straight. Fern finds a boyfriend; her mother finds a girlfriend. As you may have noticed Nora already has a girlfriend, so quite a bit of trouble ensues. Fern’s uncle, Harold, her closest confidante, is straight, but he also likes to fool around with personas. On Thursday afternoons, he’s Dolores, a vamp from the ’40s; Dolores hosts a little canasta club.

: Your portrayal of Harold and his cross-dressing male friends is insightful and nonjudgmental. Can you say something about the genesis of this character and his preference for women’s clothing?

CA: The genesis was a dream. In my dream, four guys were dressed like vamps from ’40s films noirs, sitting around a table, drinking cocktails and playing canasta. This was when I’d first started writing Lucky and I knew this had to be an image in the book. In fact, the working title of the book was Canasta. And so I gave Harold an affinity for drag and an alter-ego, Dolores. When Fern wants advice to the lovelorn, she always talks to Dolores, which is a little different from talking to Harold.

GS: The relationship between Nora and Harold, the sister and brother in the novel, is complex and wonderful. Is it a reflection of your relationship with your own brother?

CA: I have a close relationship with my brother. We are very different now, but we were allies through a rough growing up and so we’re sort of war buddies. We were in the trenches together. I’ve written about sisters and brothers before and I suppose it’s always some kind of nod to my own brother. He’s not into drag, though. He’s not even into jeans, doesn’t even own a pair. He’s a very khakis and loafers guy. Monogrammed shirts. I don’t know, maybe that’s a kind of drag.

GS: In the book, Lucky is a dog. What role do dogs play in your life and in your writing?

CA: Dogs are huge in my life…my dogs, my friends’ dogs, the dead dogs whose ghosts I can still hear clicking around my bed in the night. No one in this book is from my life except Lucky, who is my great old dog, Sebastian. He was a total character through his life and so I thought, why not make him a character in the book? I only changed the color of his fur, from blond to red. I don’t know why. Fiction writers, they’re always fiddling with reality, I guess.

GS: Infidelity is a familiar theme in your work. What makes it such a compelling topic?

CA: Well, fictively, it’s a more dramatic topic than fidelity. If you’re a writer, you want to throw a monkey wrench into the works and see what happens. But, more than infidelity in this book, with Nora’s character, I was interested in exploring obsession…the way it can drag someone out of the perfectly reasonable groove of her life and yank her this way and that and hurtle her down a black hole and turn her into someone she doesn’t even recognize in the mirror. Ain’t it grand? If you’re only writing about it, that is.

GS: Lucky In The Corner is your most “Chicago” novel, populated by neighborhoods and streets and businesses. Chicago is more than just a setting for this novel; it is a character. What does Chicago mean to you?

CA: I love that you got that, that I want the city to be much more than backdrop. I’ve lived here since I got out of college and I just love this place, the way it’s such a jumble of the hip and corny, the layers of ethnicity in almost every neighborhood. The Swedish herring shop next to the Chinese vacuum cleaner repair shop, that sort of thing. In Seven Moves and in Lucky and in the book I’m working on now, I think what I’m doing is trying to create a fictional Chicago that exists parallel to the real one, with its own population, inhabitants that appear majorly in one book, minorly in another.

GS: Have you begun work on your next novel?

CA: Yeah, but it’s an amorphous mass at this point. I know how it begins and where it ends, but what’s in between is still undifferentiated protoplasm. This place used to scare me, but I’ve written enough books now that I can live with the not-knowing until I do know. The best place for me is being in the middle of writing a book, when I’ve got enough that I know it will all come together eventually, but that eventually is still a ways off. I don’t have to show the book to anyone; it’s still infinitely perfectible. The place where I am with Lucky in the Corner is a harder one. It’s done. I took all the time I needed. It’s the best Lucky I can write. Now I can only hope readers will like it.

[interview first published in Windy City Times]