Evanston will be among more than 75 locations worldwide to host a collaborative one-day event aimed to inspire activism in the current political climate. 

Writers Resist, a national network of writers, has organized community readings on Jan. 15 as “a re-inauguration of our shared commitment to the spirit of compassion, equality, free speech, and the fundamental ideals of democracy.” 

Bookends & Beginnings Bookstore at 1712 Sherman Ave., Alley #1, together with Chicago Book Expo and Rhino Poetry, will host readings from 4 to 6 p.m. Featured readers include Osama Alomar, Veronica Arreola, Virginia Bell, Dina Elenbogen, Pamela Ferdinand, Aricka Foreman, Ralph Hamilton, Maudlyne Ihejirika, Parneshia Jones, Bennett Johnson, C. Russell Price, Bill Savage, Megan Stielstra, Michele Weldon, and John K. Wilson, among others.

“The primary goal is to have a lot of provocative thinkers talking about interesting ideas. But we also hope that this is not a one-time event but the start of more conversations about the intersection of art and activism and what good writing is able to accomplish. This is no substitute for all of the  activism … in our community already, but rather a supplement to it that aims to inspire,” Lynn Haller co-organizer, Chicago Book Expo, told the RoundTable.

A variety of area writers will read on the themes of democracy and free expression – whether they are reading their own work or someone else’s, said Ms. Haller.

“There will be both poetry and prose that addresses the current moment. Examples of topics include Michele Weldon speaking about how writers determine if what they’re writing is true –  especially relevant in an era where fake news is proliferating. We’re excited to be featuring Syrian writer Osama Alomar reading several of his parables, for the first time since his move to Chicago,” she added.

Chicago-area readings are also planned for Hyde Park, Humboldt Park, Albany Park/Old Irving Park, Logan Square, and Pilsen.

Because Evanston is a “very engaged community, in both the literary and the political areas,” said Ms. Haller, organizers felt it should be represented in the Chicago-area activities.

More information can be found  at www.writersresist.org  and www.chicagowritersresist.info.