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. 

October 27th, 2019

 Award winning poet Ocean Vuong and journalist Rebecca Clarren turn a romantic and empiric lens on the art of fiction in their acclaimed debut novels, On Earth We’re Briefly...

Open Stacks Podcast
October 5th, 2019

 


A place like the Seminary Co-op is in some sense made of writing, but what can writing make? That question finds its way in conversations with Timothy Cresswell, Dani Shapiro and others on the first episode of the third season of Open Stacks.


"For decades, Maxwell Street was a place where people from all corners of the city mingled to buy and sell...

Open Stacks Podcast
June 9th, 2019

 


At the top of this episode, poet and translator Peter Filkins describes the Seminary Co-op as a Borgesian labyrinth, in reference to Jorge Luis Borges' purposefully disorienting literary landscapes. Borges' Labyrinths comes up again in conversation with the Co-op's Mark Loeffler and ...

Open Stacks Podcast
May 26th, 2019

How do you get to the end when there’s no where to get? Authors Evelyn Hampton and Amit Chaudhuri read and discuss fictions of anxiety, memory, autobiography, and impersonation, taking us there one sentence at a time. Booksellers Freddie and Joe chime in on Co-op staff favorites W.G. Sebald, Annie Dilliard, and more. 


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Open Stacks Podcast
May 12th, 2019

What might 4th century BC philosopher Aristotle and 20th century celebrity chef Julia Child have to say to each other and to us? We’re in dialogue with renowned classicist Edith Hall, author of Aristotle's Way, and the New Yorker’s James Beard Award-winning roving food correspondent Helen Rosner on how ancient wisdom, practical advice, and a decided lack of elitism are key ingredients for eating and living well. Plus, a dash of good taste (and advice) in books our staff live by.


On January 15, 2019, professor and philosopher, ...

Open Stacks Podcast
April 28th, 2019

Rock musician and professor Florence Dore attunes to static in her research on "resonant silences" surrounding censorship and race in modernist literature of the early 20th century and its recapitulation of institutional norms in her new book, Novel Sounds, Australian poet and philosopher Luke Fischer joins us just in time for Poetry Month to read and discuss A Personal History of Vision, and Co-op staff Mark Loeffler and Alena Jones help us dig through the maze of jacket copy, also known as "blurbs." 


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Open Stacks Podcast
April 14th, 2019

Open Stacks returns with historian Pamela Toler on women for whom battle was not a metaphor, while positing the use of story in shaping shared history. Meanwhile, feminist-vegan advocate Carol J. Adams deconstructs the narrative surrounding hamburgers and other animal sourced foods, and how eating, like reading, is always political. Plus, Co-op booksellers weigh in on the glut, guilt, and glory of biting off more than most readers can chew when it comes to ARCs (aka, advance reader copies).


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Open Stacks Podcast
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