Man seated on floor in aisle of library, reading a book
Take yourself on a date to the public library in 2022. Credit: Dollar Gill/Unsplash

Here are some book-related, word-inspired, and otherwise literary Chicago events to help kick off 2022. Each event is open to the public, but registration or tickets might be required (and you’ll want to support the writers by buying their books!). 

Wed 1/19, 6:30 PM: City Lit Books co-presents its regular Poetry Salon in an online version. This month features poet C. Russell Price, author of the chapbook Tonight, We Fuck the Trailer Park Out of Each Other. Go to Facebook for the Zoom details and you must register with Zoom to view.

Sat 1/29, 2 PM: Black Metropolis Research Consortium presents a conversation with Ayana Contreras on “Afro-Optimism and Creativity in Chicago,” in honor of Contreras’s new book Energy Never Dies. In person at Chicago Public Library Woodson Regional branch, 9525 S. Halsted, 312-747-6900,

Wed 2/2, 6:30 PM: American Writers Museum hosts a reading from writer Hanif Abdurraqib and illustrator Ashley Evans for their new children’s book Sing, Aretha, Sing! Online event, free registration at Eventbrite, information at

Thu 2/3, 7 PM: Women & Children First welcomes author Imani Perry in a celebration of the new book South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation. Perry will be in conversation with writer Eve L. Ewing for this ticketed and online event using Crowdcast. Tickets are available via Eventbrite and more information can be found at

Tue 2/8, 6:30 PM: Seminary Co-op Bookstore and the American Writers Museum cohost a reading and discussion with author and Chicago native Nancy Johnson, whose debut novel The Kindest Lie was a New York Times Editor’s Choice pick. This is a hybrid online and in-person event, and registration is required for either at the Seminary Co-op website. American Writers Museum, 180 N. Michigan, 773-752-4381,

Thu 2/24, 6 PM: Poetry Foundation’s Forms & Features poetry workshop participants share new work. An online presentation with Eventbrite registration required,

Sat 2/26, 10 AM: Take a master class in writing Black historical romance novels and the romance genre in general, led by Dr. Margo Hendricks (who writes in the genre under the pen name Elysabeth Grace). Sponsored by DePaul University’s Center for Black Diaspora. Free and online with Eventbrite registration; more information at