34 things to do this weekend | July 29–31, 2011
Printers' Ball (Fri 29)
The annual Printers' Ball, now in its seventh year, returns with more giveaways from various Chicago presses and magazines. The highlight of tonight's event, though, will surely be the poetry reading from former Silver Jews frontman David Berman, who's also a well-regarded poet (Actual Air). The Chicago Underground Library will also host a gigantic Ouija board, summoning the ghosts of Chicago's literary past.
Printers' Ball Afterparty (Sat 30)
Another Chicago Magazine hosts this day-later party following the Printers' Ball, as a fund-raiser for its first foray into publishing, the anthology The Way We Sleep. It's themed "Slumber Party Massacre," so you're encouraged to show up in your best pjs and "murderous attire."
Chicago Slam Works 25th Anniversary Extravaganza (Sat 30)
It was 25 years ago this year that Marc Smith created something called the poetry slam, and since then it's gone on to be a mainstay in Chicago performance circles and to spawn competitions worldwide. Tonight, Smith hosts former slam champions Patricia Smith and Regie Gibson, as well as the Speak'Easy Ensemble, and Word Alert, a slam team from Germany, among others.