Friday 7/18: Palabra Pura is a bilingual poetry reading presented by the Guild Literary Complex, held upstairs at La Bruquena in Humboldt Park. This month features readings by Erika L. Sánchez and Richard Blanco. 7:30 p.m.
Saturday 7/19: Lori Rader-Day comes to The Book Cellar to launch her new book The Black Hour. 7 p.m.
Sunday 7/20: Rick Perlstein talks to Jonathan Rieder, Professor of Sociology at Barnard College, about Gospel of Freedom, Rieder’s dissection of Martin Luther King Jr.’s rhetorical masterpiece, “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” 57th Street Books, 6 p.m.
Monday 7/21: Essay Fiesta is back at The Book Cellar for an evening of live lit. This month celebrates the birthday of Ernest Hemingway. Featured readers include Ozzie Totten, Debbi Welch, Sarah Michael Hollenbeck, Britt Julious, and Scott Smith. Proceeds benefit 826CHI. 7 p.m.
Wednesday 7/23: Sun, Moon, and a Star is a poetry open mic co-presented by the Poetry Foundation and First United Methodist Church. Homemade lemonade will be served. Miró Plaza, First United Methodist Church at the Chicago Temple, 5 p.m.
The 21st annual Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mic Award features 20 semifinalists who will read their entries to the audience. The audience will then choose this year’s winner. Special appearance by Gwendolyn Brooks’ daughter, Nora Brooks Blakely. Chopin Theater, 7 p.m.
Thursday 7/24: Poets who appear in the anthology St. Peter’s B-List: Contemporary Poems Inspired by the Saints come to The Book Cellar for a reading. Featured poets include Alessandra Simmons, Wendy Vardaman, Naoko Fujimoto, Kristy Odelius, and Timothy Yu. 7 p.m.
Women and Children First Books welcomes James Magruder, who recently released Let Me See It, a collection of linked stories that charts the life of two gay cousins from adolescence to adulthood. 7:30 p.m.