Roving Café Society with WBEZ: Writing and Responsibility

Tuesday, May 24, 2011 @ 1:00pm

Event Info


FREE - Reservations Recommended


The Polk Bros Foundation South Side Community Bureau

6957 S. Halsted Street





How do writers locate their identities, and what responsibilities do they have with the communities they identify with? Award-winning journalist and author Achy Obejas will talk about these questions and more in a conversation with WBEZ's Natalie Moore.

Achy Obejas is the author of the critically acclaimed novel Ruins (Akashic Books, 2009) and three other books of fiction. Her poetry chapbook, This is What Happened in Our Other Life (A Midsummer Night’s Press, 2007), was both a critical favorite and a best-seller. She edited and translated, into English, Havana Noir (Akashic Books, 2007), a collection of crime stories by Cuban writers on and off the island. Her translation, into Spanish, of Junot Díaz’ The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Riverhead, 2009)/ La Breve y Maravillosa Vida de Óscar Wao (Vintage/Mondadori) was a finalist for Spain’s Esther Benítez Translation Prize from the national translator’s association (a rare honor for a Latin American). Her most recent translation projects, into English, are Barcelona Noir (Akashic Books, 2011), a collection of crime stories based in the Spanish metropolis, and a novel, One Hundred Bottles by Ena Lucía Portela (University of Texas Press). With Megan Bayles, she was awarded a fellowship to develop a Chicago-based online anthology for young women from Columbia College’s Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women & Gender in the Arts & Media. She is a member of the Editorial Board of In These Times, the editorial advisory board of the Great Books Foundation, and a blogger for

Created by The Public Square, a program of the Illinois Humanities Council, Café Society is a series of conversations where families, friends, neighbors, and citizens come together to discuss current events and other important political and social issues. By engaging in the meaningful exchange of ideas and perspectives, these conversations aim to enliven the core of democracy and empower the public.  "Cafe Society with WBEZ" was started in 2009 as an annual collaboration whereby one of the monthly Roving Cafe Society discussions is hosted at each of WBEZ's facilities throughout the year.

Major sponsorship support for the Community Bureaus is provided in part by the Sara Lee Foundation.