Sapphire, Joe Meno, T. Geronimo Johnson
Sapphire, Joe Meno, T. Geronimo Johnson Credit: Sun-Times Media/Andrea Bauer/Elizabeth Cowan

No less a seer than William Blake is invoked in a letter heralding the 17th annual Story Week Festival of Writers—who by virtue of their profession, claims Columbia College fiction chair Randy Albers, are “all visionaries.” This year like every other, Columbia College has gathered some seriously heavy-hitting visionaries, and thank goodness, because the theme is “Vision and Voice.” Highlights of the free festival follow; a full schedule is available at

The evening of Sun 3/17, Buddy Guy’s Legends hosts a Story Week Kick-off Party with the assistance of the reading series 2nd Story, which presents Chris DeGuire, Ann Hemenway, and others (6:30 PM, 700 S. Wabash, 18+).

Sapphire (Push, The Kid) appears twice at Harold Washington Library Center (400 S. State) on Mon 3/18: first in conversation with Columbia prof Alexis Pride (2 PM), then hosted by Booklist senior editor Donna Seaman (6 PM). Tue 3/19, Joe Meno and Audrey Niffenegger talk sci-fi in the event Ray Bradbury: Tribute to a Visionary (2 PM, HWLC). Another panel, Wildly Imaginative Voices & Visions, includes Emma Straub (Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures) and T. Geronimo Johnson, whose Hold It Til It Hurts I can personally vouch for—it’s a hell of a book (6 PM, HWLC).

Playwrights including Theater Oobleck’s Mickle Maher (There Is a Happiness That Morning Is) join the panel Dramatic Revisioning (Wed 3/20, 1 PM, Film Row Cinema, 1104 S. Wabash). On Thu 3/21, assorted publishing-house reps speak on the topic Visions Recognized—Getting Published (2 PM, HWLC), and later that night Metro hosts Literary Rock & Roll: Girl Trouble, with Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl), Jane Hamilton (Laura Rider’s Masterpiece), and Joe Meno (Office Girl), plus music by the Right Now (6 PM, 3730 N. Clark).

Finally, for Chicago Classics, longtime Trib writer and current WBEZ host Rick Kogan welcomes “guests from Chicago’s creative community” to talk about their favorite local literary works (Fri 3/22, 6 PM, Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington).