Well, folks, we’ve made it to Month #2 of 2013! How are your resolutions holding up so far? Don’t let them stagger under the oppressive weight of the dreaded V-word – Valentine’s Day. Instead of basking in the illusory glow of red roses and Godiva chocolates, we’ve conjured up a list of cool literary events that honor the day without going overboard. More coming up next week!

As part of their Committee on Creative Writing and Poetry Series, the University of Chicago will be hosting artist of the long form poem Campbell McGrath to read from his enormous collection of published poetry, most notably In the Kingdom of the Sea Monkeys, which celebrates its one year publication anniversary on Valentine’s Day. What better way to warm your heart than with humorous and satirical contemplations on American society? There is none. Monday, February 4, 5 pm at Lorado Taft House, 6016 S. Ingleside Ave.

Got your manuscript typed up, ready to go – but haven’t the foggiest idea what to do next? For $15 you have the opportunity to attend the Chicago’s Literati Networking Event, where you can munch on tasty appetizers whilst mingling with and learning from bestselling authors and literary agents. If you get there early enough, you can even get a take-home bag of goodies! Pretty sweet deal, eh? Tuesday, February 5, 6 pm at The Hidden Shamrock, 2723 N. Halsted St.

If you’re not big on spending, 19th United States Poet Laureate and Poet Laureate of Mississippi Natasha Trethewey is coming to town for a free reading. Her work focuses on issues of multiracial identity and explores the geography of the South to encounter the history of humanity lingering beneath the surface. See her Tuesday, February 5, 7 pm at the Poetry Foundation, 61 W. Superior

Bitter about the upcoming Hallmark holiday? Have no fear – there are plenty of other literary geeks out there who share your exact sentiments. For $3 you can attend RUI’s (Reading Under the Influence) get together and hear them wail about the unending woes of tainted love. But don’t worry, comedian Adam Guerino will be there to make sure things don’t get too depressing. Wednesday, Feb 6, 7 pm at Sheffield’s, 3258 N. Sheffield Ave.

Amy Andrews will be reading from her just published novel Love & Salt, a story of remarkable friendship between two women, and their individual tales of struggle with marriage, careers, and their spirituality told through letters. Andrews will be reading on Friday, February 8, 7:30 pm at Women & Children First, 5233 N. Clark St. 

-Genevieve

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