I started this blog in October 2002 because I couldn’t find any listing, online or off, that focused on literary events in Chicago. By literary events I mean literary fiction, poetry, and related non-fiction (literary criticism, literary biography, etc.). So I decided to publish one myself.
I don’t include any of the non-fiction or self-help authors that dominate most lists of “author appearances.” I don’t include genre works (mysteries, thrillers, etc.) unless for some reason they appeal to me. I don’t include plays or other performance art. Where an author is new to me, I do a little research before I add them to the list to make sure they belong here. My ultimate screening criteria are a) does this fit within my definition of “literary,” and b) is this an event I would attend?
I hate listing events whose relevant details – time, place, etc. – aren’t listed elsewhere on the web, preferably by the publisher or author or event host. That can only end in tears, when I inevitably get the time wrong and you arrive early or late or on the wrong day and then blame me. Let’s not spoil this great relationship we’ve developed over the last five years, or five seconds, as the case may be.
I kind of think that putting your details on the web is the least you can do to advertise your events. All else is vanity, as the good book says. Meaning something entirely different, but I think you understand my point.
The posts on Golden Rule Jones are secondary to the events listing. Sometimes they highlight new event series or sponsors, or flag articles about writers coming to town, or talk about my impressions of those writers and their appearances. More often they just reflect random literary matters that catch my attention, Chicago-related or (more often) not. At a minimum, by revealing my tastes and preferences, they should help you determine whether the events I list might be of interest to you as well.
In the old days I would keep this list just for my own benefit. Now, with a tiny amount of added effort, I can share it with you. You gotta love the web.