Open Stacks Podcast

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From the Seminary Co-op Bookstores in Chicago... Open Stacks brings you conversations with scholars, poets, novelists and activists on subjects as eclectic as the books on our shelves.

Recorded live at Chicago's Seminary Co-op Bookstores, Open Stacks invites listeners to sit in on the kind of candid discussions and lively debates made possible by the participation of readers in a public space, with the aim of expanding and encouraging a broader community of ideas. Join the conversation. 

March 17th, 2019

From autobiography to music criticism, poet, essayist, and cultural critic Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib walks the floor of the Seminary Co-op in conversation with the books that served as muses of his love letter to A Tribe Called Quest, Go Ahead in the Rain. Oral historian and civil rights activist Timuel D. Black, Jr. shares his long-awaited memoir, Sacred Ground.


This episode, Hanif Abdurraqib joins us in the stacks, sharing his favorite works on the Co-op shelves as well as some that influenced his new work, ...

Open Stacks Podcast
March 3rd, 2019

On this episode of Open Stacks, punk poet Eileen Myles joins us in the stacks to discuss talking and writing Evolution, their new collection of essays and poems, and "trying so hard to be in this world." Co-op Booksellers weigh in on the art and "gentle madness" of collecting books.


On February 13, 2019, Eileen Myles came to the Co-op to read from their new collection,...

Open Stacks Podcast
February 17th, 2019

To deny our place in time is to imperil our perspective, says Marcia Bjornerud, professor of geology and author of Timefulness. This time on Open Stacks, we expand our view of the Seminary Co-op, with new looks at the Front Table, James Joyce’s time-intensive staff favorite Ulysses, and Bjornerud’s poly-temporal thinking and reading to support the claim that, contrary to current trains of thought, time is on our side. 


On November 27, 2018, geologist and environmentalist Marcia Bjornerud (right) discussed...

Open Stacks Podcast
February 3rd, 2019

Unwatchable, unreadable, or merely hard to find. It all adds up on this episode of Open Stacks as excesses of art and life are on (and off) display. Uncover your eyes and ears as editors Nicholas Baer, Maggie Hennefeld, and Laura Horak discuss our mediated era and contemporary modes of spectatorship in Unwatchable, and other books worth reading closely. From the front lines of the Front Table, Rachel Galvin's News of War examines early 20th century poetry's critical distance from cultures of war. And Co-op Manager Adam Sonderberg esteems value in books browsed and left behind.


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Open Stacks Podcast
January 20th, 2019

 

To accept that truth and expression can be easily...

Open Stacks Podcast
December 23rd, 2018

It’s that most wonderful time of the year and our booksellers and books are here to help, surprise, challenge, and delight every reader on your list. From Biography to Cooking (of a sort), indulge in books worth giving and lives worth living, with Imani Perry on the radiant and radical life of playwright Lorraine Hansberry in Looking for Lorraine; Norman C. Ellstrand on the romance of plants and your food in ...

Open Stacks Podcast
December 9th, 2018

A bookstore is more than a retail space, and on this episode of Open Stacks we welcome back old friends and longtime members of the Co-op for a celebration of community committed to a sense of time and conversation spoken across the ages. Poet David Ferry goes in search of a communal voice in his landmark translation of Virgil's The Aeneid; peace activist and Indologist David Shulman walks us through the West Bank in Palestine, retracing the "ambiguous grounds for action," freedom, and despair in territories that can't seem to coexist; and Hyde Park's own Michelle Obama returns to the Co-op to kickoff her tour for Becoming. 

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Open Stacks Podcast
November 25th, 2018

Our journey into other worlds continues on this episode of Open Stacks in preparation for the after and before-lives of great books, with lions, bears, and very hungry caterpillars (oh my!) that makeup and reveal the environmental wisdom of children's literature in scientist and poet Liam Heneghan's Beasts at BedtimeThen...

Open Stacks Podcast
November 11th, 2018

Oddly Modern Fairy Tales, Late Medieval "Vision Literature," and views of books and worlds beyond our own. On this episode of Open Stacks, we go to hell and back, with fairy tale scholar ...

Open Stacks Podcast
November 8th, 2018

 Just before the fantastic Epic Reads Meet-Up this past September at 57th Street Books, we sat down with celebrated YA author Kristen Ciccarelli and our own (National Book Award finalist) Franny Billingsley, who mentored Kristen through the completion of her first novel, The Last Namsara. And it was their first time meeting face-to-face! From why fantasy is an empowering genre to where...

Open Stacks Podcast