From May 4 through May 14, 2016, the second annual Evanston Literary Festival (evanstonlit.org) will celebrate the city’s vibrant literary community and history. Venues around Evanston will host more than 50 free events, open to the public, including readings and talks by prominent authors.

Here’s a selected list of events: 

Wednesday May 4

6pm | Pulitzer Prize-winning Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin

Bookends & Beginnings, 1712 Sherman Ave., Alley #1

Thursday, May 5

6pm | The Chicago Canon: Our City’s Greatest Books From Then Until Now

Ed Roberson, Christine Sneed, Nambi E. Kelley, Toni Nealie, and Michael Raleigh join moderator Donald G. Evans, executive director of the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, in a discussion about Chicago’s best books. Bookends & Beginnings, 1712 Sherman Ave., Alley #1

Friday, May 6

6pm | Writing About Chicago With Aleksandar Hemon and Audrey Niffenegger

Bookends & Beginnings, 1712 Sherman Ave., Alley #1

Saturday, May 7
For Free Comic Book Day
4pm | The Personal and the Political in Graphic Books  The craft and stories behind writing comics memoir and comics journalism are discussed by some of the leading practitioners, Anne Elizabeth Moore, Ozge Samanci, Keiler Roberts, and Brian Cremins (moderator). Moore’s brand new book of comics journalism is Threadbare: Clothes, Sex, and Trafficking.Evanston Public Library, Community Room, 1703 Orrington Ave.

Sunday, May 7

1–5pm | Mamapalooza: A Mother’s Day Mini-Marathon Reading

Join 10 of the most eloquent, articulate chroniclers of mothers and motherhood around for a reading extravaganza centered on motherhood as it really is, including Julia Sweeney of Saturday Night Live fame, and many more.

Bookends & Beginnings, 1712 Sherman Ave., Alley #1

1–2pm | Pamela Ferdinand (Three Wishes) and Gili Sherman (Music From Our Windows)

2–3pm | Freda Love Smith (Red Velvet Underground), Barbara Mahany (Slowing Time: Seeing the Sacred Outside Your Kitchen Door), and Toni Nealie (The Miles Between Me)

3–4pm | Nina Barrett (Her Own Accord: American Women on Identity, Culture, and Community), Michele Weldon (Escape Points: A Memoir), and Ellen Blum Barish (Views From the Home Office Window: On Motherhood, Family, and Life)

4–5pm | Julia Sweeney (If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Your Mother) and Julia Claiborne Johnson (Be Frank With Me: A Novel)

Monday, May 9

6pm | The Future of Publishing

Publishers Brian Hieggelke (Newcity), Doug Seibold (Agate Publishing), and Cynthia Sherry (Chicago Review Press) discuss the state of book publishing and what the future holds. Bookends & Beginnings, 1712 Sherman Ave., Alley #1

7pm | Amina Gautier

Award-winning writer Amina Gautier will read selections from her latest collection of short stories, The Loss of All Lost Things. Evanston Public Library, Community Room, 1703 Orrington Ave.

Tuesday, May 10

7pm | Zoe Zolbrod

Evanston writer Zoe Zolbrod discusses her new memoir released on May 10, The Telling.

Evanston Public Library, Community Room, 1703 Orrington Ave.

Wednesday, May 11

7pm | Shoes of Your Choice

This storytelling event will recreate Alison Knowles classic Fluxus work Shoes of Your Choice(1963). Participants and audience members will be invited to tell the distinctive tales of the miles their footwear has walked. Knowles participated in the New York avant-garde festivals organized by Charlotte Moorman, whose life and work is featured in exhibitions at the Block Museum of Art and Northwestern University Library. This program is cosponsored by the Evanston Public Library, the Block Museum of Art, and the Northwestern University Library.

Evanston Public Library, Community Room, 1703 Orrington Ave.

Thursday, May 12

5:30pm-7pm | Alexander Chee Reading

Acclaimed novelist Alexander Chee reads from his latest book, The Queen of the Night, as part of the Northwestern Spring Writers’ Festival. Hinman Auditorium at the Hotel Orrington, 1710 Orrington Ave.

7pm | Richard Nickel Dangerous Years

We are finally catching up to Richard Nickel. He took risks, spoke his mind, and championed an oversize cause. His rebellion against the shortsighted disregard of an American genius, the architect Louis Sullivan, appeals to a new generation interested in conservation—whether of old buildings or natural resources. In this special presentation, author and CityFiles Press co-publisher Richard Cahan discusses his latest book, Richard Nickel Dangerous Years, and shows an array of Nickel’s photographs from the book. Perspective Gallery, 1310 Chicago Ave.

Friday, May 13

4pm | Writing the Next Chapter

Three local authors who have launched second careers as novelists discuss how they made the leap and landed on their feet. Patricia Skalka, Lynn Sloan, and Joyce Burns Zeiss — a mystery writer, a writer of literary fiction, and a young adult novelist — will share their stories of success and struggle, and offer insights into the changing world of traditional publication. Creative Coworking, 922 Davis St.

Saturday, May 14

4pm | Police Violence in the United States

Book event featuring contributors to the new Truthout essay collection, Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect?: Police Violence and Resistance in the United States (Haymarket Press). Evanston Public Library, Community Room, 1703 Orrington Ave.