For Immediate Release

Announcing the Printers’ Ball: IT’S ALIVE!

Seventh annual celebration of print and literary culture takes place July 29
July 14th, 2011

CHICAGO — The Poetry Foundation and Poetry magazine are pleased to announce the Printers’ Ball: IT’S ALIVE!, presented with the Center for Book & Paper Arts, the Chicago Underground Library, Columbia College Chicago, and MAKE magazine. The seventh annual event, one of the largest free celebrations of literary culture in the country, will take place Friday, July 29, in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood.

This year’s Printers’ Ball will include a reading by poet, cartoonist, and former Silver Jews frontman David Berman, scheduled for 8:00 PM. Berman’s first book of poems is Actual Air (Open City, 1999). As Poetry contributor Cathy Park Hong has said, Berman is “a good gateway drug for that stubborn student who hates poetry.”

Berman’s reading will be one of many live performances featured at this year’s Printers’ Ball, which welcomes more than 200 organizations and 2,000 fans of the literary arts. The Printers’ Ball: IT’S ALIVE! will feature Chicago Underground Library’s larger-than-life-size Ouija board and haunting encounters with ghosts of the literary past, including Ernest Hemingway, Harriet Monroe, and Nelson Algren. Pocket Guide to Hell Tours will induct new members into the historical Whitechapel Club, a late-19th-century Chicago press club that gathered journalists for general carousing in quarters connected to crime. Other features include a horrific poem-film by Simone Muench, a literary costume competition, a live video collage by Judgeworks, and a short animated preview of the novel Ghosts by César Aira (New Directions, 2009), created by Susie Kirkwood and Jill Summers, with an original score by Daniel Knox. Musical guests include Chances Dances, White Mystery, and the Ebirac Project featuring Willie Gomez. Other special guests include Drag City Records, New Directions, Numero Group, and Uncle Fun.

Founded by Poetry magazine and other independent Chicago literary organizations, the Printers’ Ball celebrates literary culture by offering thousands of magazines, books, and broadsides free of charge; showcasing live music, readings, and other performances; featuring letterpress, offset, silk-screen, rubber stamping, and paper-making demonstrations; and providing other activities, entertainment, food, and drink free to attendees of all ages.

The first 150 people to pre-register at and check in at the Printers' Ball pre-registration booth on the eighth floor of the Ludington Building will receive a limited edition “IT’S ALIVE!” Printers’ Ball poster by Johnny Sampson.

What: Seventh Annual Printers’ Ball
Where: The Ludington Building
Columbia College Chicago
1104 South Wabash Avenue
One block west of Michigan Avenue
Friday, July 29, 2010 6:00 PM to 11:00 PM
Free, all ages
Dress: Formal attire not required; costumes encouraged
More Info: – includes details about pre– and post– Printers’ Ball events


About Poetry
Founded in Chicago by Harriet Monroe in 1912, Poetry is the oldest monthly devoted to verse in the English-speaking world. Monroe’s “Open Door” policy, set forth in Volume 1 of the magazine, remains the most succinct statement of Poetry’s mission: to print the best poetry written today, in whatever style, genre, or approach. The magazine established its reputation early by publishing the first important poems of T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Marianne Moore, Wallace Stevens, H.D., William Carlos Williams, Carl Sandburg, and other now-classic authors. In succeeding decades it has presented—often for the first time—works by virtually every major contemporary poet.

About the Poetry Foundation
The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience. The Poetry Foundation seeks to be a leader in shaping a receptive climate for poetry by developing new audiences, creating new avenues for delivery, and encouraging new kinds of poetry through innovative literary prizes and programs. For more information, please visit


About the Center for Book & Paper Arts at Columbia College Chicago
The Center for Book & Paper Arts (CBPA) at Columbia College Chicago is dedicated to furthering knowledge and appreciation of book art, including letterpress and offset printing, bookbinding, papermaking, and artists’ books. We work to preserve historical techniques while promoting research and innovations in the media of book and paper arts.

About Columbia College Chicago
Columbia College Chicago is an urban institution that offers innovative degree programs in the visual, performing, media, and communication arts to more than 12,000 students in over 120 undergraduate and graduate programs. An arts and media college committed to a rigorous liberal arts curriculum, Columbia is dedicated to opportunity and excellence in higher education. For further information, visit


About the Chicago Underground Library
The Chicago Underground Library is a new model for open, location-specific archiving of independent and small press media. They are always seeking books, magazines, zines, journals, broadsides, newspapers, and art books of all types, genres, and print runs from the Chicago area.


About MAKE Literary Productions
MAKE Literary Productions, NFP is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose purpose is to publish contemporary literary writing through the biannual print publication, MAKE: A Chicago Literary Magazine, to stage readings and integrative arts events, and to educate through public forums on literature and writing and publishing workshops.

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