Sunday, April 23, 2017

Anniversary Party Friday Night 6pm

after-words is turning 20.  We are having a celebration on Friday night starting at 6.  Have a drink, mingle with other literati, and hear some great jazz.  Thank you for all your support through these eventful decades.  Live performance by the Fat Babies.

Thursday, April 13, 2017


In conjunction with General Assembly Chicago and HarperCollins Publishing, we are proud to present a talk by Kelly Leonard centered around his book Yes, And: How Improvisation Reverses \"No, But\" Thinking and Improves Creativity and Collaboration: Lessons from the Second City.

Please join us from 6-8pm on April 19th, 2017.

Kelly Leonard is the Executive Director of Insights and Applied Improvisation at Second City Works.
He is a popular speaker on the power of improvisation to transform people’s lives. He has presented at, the Chicago Ideas Festival, TEDx Broadway, The Aspen Ideas Festival, The Stanford Graduate School of Business and for companies such as Coca Cola, Microsoft and DDB Worldwide. Kelly co-created and co-directs a new initiative with the Center for Decision Research at the Booth School at the University of Chicago that looks at behavioral science through the lens of improvisation. He also hosts the podcast, “Getting to Yes, And,” for Second City Works and WGN radio.

In this talk, Kelly Leonard will reveal principles of improvisation that individuals and organizations can use to thrive in a world increasingly shaped by speed, social communication, and decentralization. Attendees will have an opportunity to engage in hands-on improvisation exercises led by Kelly throughout the talk.

For over twenty years, Kelly oversaw Second City’s live theatrical divisions where he helped generate original productions with such talent as Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, Amy Poehler, Seth Meyers, Steve Carell, Keegan Michael Key, Amy Sedaris and others.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Poetry Reading April 13th at 5pm

In celebration of National Poetry Month, after-words bookstore is proud to host Poets and Patrons, along with the Illinois State Poetry Society, for a reading by local poets.

Join us April 13th, 2017 at 5pm.

We will hear from 15 different local poets, all members of Poets and Patrons, the Illinois State Poetry society or both.

Poets & Patrons evolved from earlier attempts to create a meeting ground for poets and poet enthusiasts in the Chicago area.  Established in 1954, it was set up as a non-profit outreach group for poets who wished to receive professional criticism through four workshops each year. In 1956, Poets & Patrons created a Chicagoland Poetry Contest, open to all in the area.

More recently, Poets and Patrons has expanded its outreach to offer free writing workshops at area museums (Write! Chicago), participation in the Printers Row Lit Fest, and open readings for its members. Visit their website at for further information.

The Illinois State Poetry Society (ISPS) was chartered in 1991.  The society was formed “To encourage the crafting and enjoyment of poetry in the state of Illinois.”  Equally important is the goal to offer opportunities for improving and sharing the crafting of poetry.

ISPS members meet all over Illinois to gather and critique poetry.   From its 12 charter members, ISPS has grown to more than 130 members. 

The society sponsors workshops on poetry writing for all ages.  There are also opportunities for featured readings by members throughout the year.  Monthly gatherings at a coffee house are one such example. Themed poetry displays at participating public libraries also showcase members’ work.

ISPS sponsors a poetry contest every year. Information is available on their website, The society also participates in the Manningham contest for students, with a follow-up awards gathering for winners and mention of their poems on the ISPS website.

Below is a list of the participating poets:

Peter Halliday  (P&P)
Jocelyn Ajami  (P&P)
Susan Moss (ISPS and P&P)
Diane O'Neill (P&P)
Mary Ann Eiler (ISPS)
Judith Tullis (ISPS and P&P)
Caroline Johnson (P&P and ISPS)
Melissa Huff (ISPS)
Myron Stokes (ISPS)
David Nekimken (P&P)
Beth Staas (P&P and ISPS)
Sheila Elliott (ISPS)
Joe Carey (ISPS)
Fereshteh Azad (ISPS)

Thursday, March 30, 2017

April 9th 4-7 Poetry Slam with WORLDOFi

after-words bookstore is pleased to welcome the members of the creative arts collective WORLDOFi as our co-hosts for a poetry slam/open mic competition.

Sunday, April 9st.  The competition will start at 4pm.  We will announce the winner at 7pm.

WORLDOFi is a creative arts company that aims to provide underground artists from all backgrounds with a platform to propel themselves forward in their careers.  The collective includes poets, writers, visual artists, clothing designers, and musicians.

WORLDOFi is dedicated to integrating communities and enriching culture by spreading art from city to city around the world. 

WORLDOFi’s clothing line is designed by the co-founder of the company. It is used to lift the spirits while also informing the community of the injustices in society. With art being one of the leading forces in social activism, WORLDOFi hopes to propel the fight for equality.

WORLDOFi was established in Chicago and has executive and artist representation in Chicago and Miami. 

We welcome you to join us for a display of both visual art and the performances of local poets. 
Or, if you want to sign up to perform yourself, we would love to hear you.  Slam participant sign-up will be on a first-come first-served basis.  The winner(s) of the competition will receive exclusive WORLDOFi apparel.

There will also be a silent auction of one of the pieces on display during the slam.
All proceeds from this event will be donated to the National MS Society.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Support after-words and get audiobooks

after-words is excited to share that we are now offering audiobook memberships through our partner @Librofm. Your first book is $0.99 and you can choose from over 70,000+ titles.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Buying Resumes

Hey buying for store credit has resumed.  Any day, any time. 20-25 books at a time.  See our website for more specific guidelines, or you can also call or email.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

CLOSED on Sunday

Just a reminder that we will be CLOSED on Sunday, February 12th for our inventory.  We will be open again on Monday the 13 and buying books for credit as usual.  Just please be kind and try to spread out your visits so that we aren't buried.  Thanks!

Image result for book pile

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Bag Tax February 1, 2017 $.07

To encourage customers to bring their own reusable bags, the City of Chicago is implementing a $.07 tax on each paper and plastic back provided by stores to carry out purchased items. Effective February 1, 2017.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Just a reminder

We will be CLOSED for INVENTORY on Sunday, February 12, 2017.  We will resume buying books for CREDIT on February 13th.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Free Panel Discussion January 19th 6pm Tolerance in the Age of Trump

Join us on Thursday, January 19th at 6pm for a discussion on racism and diversity in America.
The discussion will be led by Christian Picciolini, author of Romantic Violence: Memoirs of An American Skinhead (and reformed hate group leader) and John K Wilson, author of Trump Unveiled: Exposing the Bigoted Billionaire.
It will be moderated by Brandon Smith, the independent Chicago based journalist whose FOIA request brought the video of the Laquan McDonald shooting to the public.
The night before the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States seems an opportune moment for reflection on race in America. So join us for a bit to eat, a bit to drink, and perhaps a little catharsis.
Christian Picciolini is an award-winning television producer, an author, and a reformed extremist. His work and life purpose are born of an ongoing and profound need to atone for a grisly past, and to make something of his time on this planet by contributing to the greater good.

In 2016, Christian received an Emmy Award for his role as director and producer of an anti-hate campaign for ExitUSA that helped disengage several youths from white supremacist groups. He has worked as an adjunct professor and as the community partnerships manager for Threadless.

Most notably, in 2010 he co-founded Life After Hate, a nonprofit dedicated to helping others gain the knowledge necessary to implement long-term solutions that counter all types of racism and violent extremism.


John K. Wilson is the author of eight books, including Barack Obama: This Improbable Quest, Newt Gingrich: Capitol Crimes and Misdemeanors, Patriotic Correctness: Academic Freedom and Its Enemies, and The Most Dangerous Man in America: Rush Limbaugh's Assault on Reason. He is the co-editor of and the editor of Illinois Academe. He has a Ph.D. in education from Illinois State University, and is the co-organizer of the Chicago Book Expo and the Evanston Literary Festival.


Brandon Smith is a Chicago based journalist. He’s best known for writing about the case of Laquan McDonald, whose murder by a Chicago police officer in 2014 went un-prosecuted for 13 months, until his lawsuit forced the city to release the video.

He has written for, and maintains relationships with, The Guardian, Al Jazeera, The Chicago Reader, In These Times magazine, and the Better Government Association.