Welcome to a “Reading Karaoke”, a literary geek-out to celebrate the joys of reading, and to learn how people surviving prison terms deal with limited access to books. Volunteers from Chicago Books to Women in Prison will moderate a laid back evening of conversation at Mess Hall (6932 North Glenwood Avenue) on Saturday March 20, from 7:00 to 9:00 PM. After 9:00, the evening will continue to an after-party at the Red Line Tap (7006 N. Glenwood).
Apart from talking about favorite books, the activities will include a round-table discussion of why prisons (and the realities of prison funding) restrict inmate’s reading materials. Attendees may sign up to be matched with pen pals in prison, or may choose to solve the puzzle of finding books for CBWP’s most difficult orders.
The event also offers a chance to put the overflow from your book collection to good use, with a book drive to collect donations of paperback dictionaries, poetry, Spanish-language novels, blank journals, and other softcover books. Blank journals are especially in demand because they are so useful for class work, letters, drawings, and diaries.
Chicago Books to Women in Prison, an all-volunteer collective that mails paperback books to women in prisons in nine states. CBWP is dedicated to offering women behind bars the opportunity for self-empowerment, education, and entertainment that reading provides. Incarcerated women send their requests for books directly to CBWP, which then gathers on Sunday afternoons to fill the requests and package the books, which are largely donated by individuals around Chicago.
Mess Hall is an experimental cultural center that offers space for classes, exhibitions, meetings, dinners, lectures, readings, concerts, screenings and art happenings. A storefront space in the Roger’s Park neighborhood, Mess Hall offers city residents a dynamic gathering place where they can share resources and ideas.
6932 North Glenwood Avenue Chicago, IL 60626
El: Red line to Morse