The Department of Cultural Affairs just opened a permanent venue at the Cultural Center, the Chicago Publishers Gallery. Kathryn Born attended the opening event and interviewed the who’s-who of the Chicago Publishing Scene. This week’s episode contains a staggering eight interviews in just one hour!

The show starts with Lois Weisberg revealing that she loves publishing more than visual arts. Then peppy interviews follow, including:

* Audrey Niffenegger, author of the national bestseller The Time Traveler’s Wife and publisher of Little Bang
* Dominique Raccah, Sourcebooks
* Marc Smith, Green Mill Poetry Slam
* Haki Madhubuti, Third World Press
* Jonathan Messinger, Time Out Chicago (books) and Featherproof Books
* Donna Seaman, Booklist
* Annie Heckman, StepSister Press

The Chicago Publishers Gallery aims to be a comprehensive resource for anyone trying to get a grasp on the local publishing scene. The permanent collection showcases publications from over 100 Chicago-area publishers, which means you will find everything that falls under the category of locally distributed bound paper. The gallery presents zines, newspapers, comic books, literary and scholarly journals, children’s books, artists’ books and other experimental forms — plus a computer with exquisitely organized bookmarks for every worthy local blog, online publication and publisher website.

This is the latest branch to sprout from the mighty Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs “Creative Industries Initiative.” Their fashion initiative begat Fashion Focus Chicago, a week-long Midwestern version of New York’s Fashion Week, and their culinary arts initiative spurred the creation of a professional training kitchen used in the “World Kitchen” series of cooking classes. Now all eyes are on publishing, and a city-sponsored equivalent to CAR (Chicago Artists Resource) is expected to follow.

Sorry for so much ambient noise! It got very loud, the place was packed.

Chicago Publishers Gallery
Lois Weisberg
Audrey Niffenegger
Dominique Raccah
Marc Smith
Haki Madhubuti
Third World Press
Jonathan Messinger
Featherproof Books
Donna Seaman
Annie Heckman
StepSister Press
Danielle Chapman
Random House
MacAdam Cage Publishing
Joe Regal
Scott Turow
New York
Nikki Giovanni
In the Land of Invisible Women
So Many Books: Reading and Publishing in the Age of Abundance
New Concept School
Sizemore Academy
William Ayers
Barack Obama
Zach Dodson
Daily Candy
Baker and Taylor

Christopher Hudgens