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Five Highlights of Pitchfork’s Book Fort

From vintage typewritten letters to readings from your favorite local writers.

Pitchfork Book Fort 2013   Photo: Joe Tiefenthaler

Yes, Pitchfork is a music-heavy affair. But that doesn’t mean that the increasingly eclectic fest doesn’t have love for the bibliophiles among us. For the past two years, Pitchfork and local independent book publishers have collaborated to create a mini book fest within the larger event called Pitchfork Book Fort.

Founded by Zach Dodson of Featherproof Books and Mairead Case in 2012, the Pitchfork Book Fort showcases the work and writers of some of the Midwest’s finest independent presses. This year Naomi Huffman, managing editor of Curbside Splendor and Artifice Books’ Peter Jurmu curated.

 “One of my goals at the Book Fort this year was to make it much more interactive,” says Huffman. “I wanted to make it so that people aren’t just coming to the Book Fort to learn about things, but also to meet the publishers and artists that will be there.”

On that note, here are some highlights as recommended by Huffman:

Spudnick Press Cooperative

“Spudnick, which is located in West Town, will be doing different workshops on how to make foldable books and simple bound books. It’s the kind of thing that will attract the DIY scene at Pitchfork. ”

Pixiehammer Press

“They are a letter writing troupe associated with [live lit series] Write Club. And they’ll be bringing writers and artists to type out letters on vintage typewriters for a small donation at that table. I’m really excited about that.

Poetry Foundation reading

“That’s going to be at 2:30 on Saturday. It’s with Anthony Madrid, Tyler Mills, and Phillip B. Williams. I’m a  fan of those poets; Anthony Madrid in particular. I’ve been lucky enough to see him perform now twice. He has such an energy.”

The inaugural reading at 6 p.m. on Friday

“That’s a collaboration between Tiny Hardcore Press, Curbside, The Pitchfork Review, and the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography.  We’ll have readings from James Tadd Adcox, Jessica Hopper, Mason Johnson, Tim Kinsella, and Cassandra Troyan. The lineup is beautiful, all those writers have gorgeous voices and do what they do really, really well.”

The Marrow

“Curbside Splendor just launched a new nonfiction series called The Marrow; it’s held every Third Sunday at the Punch House. But because this day coincided, we decided to uproot ourselves from the Punch House and see what happens with the show at Pitchfork.  Joe Erbentraut, myself, Britt Julious, Leah Pickett and Mark Richardson will be reading. Mark Richardson is the editor-in-chief of The Pitchfork Review and I’m really geeked to be reading alongside him.”

For the complete schedule and lineup at Book Fort, click here.

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