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Books for changing the world

April 25, 2024 at 7.00pm – 8.30pm

Haymarket House

Choice Words: Writers on Abortion

Join us for a special event celebrating Choice Words: Writers on Abortion and raising money for the Chicago Abortion Fund.

Haymarket House

800 W Buena Ave
Chicago, IL 60613


Choice Words collects essential voices that renew our courage in the struggle to defend reproductive rights. Twenty years in the making, the book spans continents and centuries. This collection magnifies the voices of people reclaiming the sole authorship of their abortion experiences. These essays, poems, and prose are a testament to the profound political power of defying shame.

Featuring readings from Annie Finch, Tara Betts, Debra Bruce, and cin salach this event is a fundraiser for the Chicago Abortion Fund so please come for the literary performances and also to hear about the organizing work Chicago Abortion Fund is doing on the ground to protect reproductive rights for all. 

The Chicago Abortion Fund (CAF) is Illinois’ statewide abortion fund that has been dedicated to removing barriers to abortion care access in Chicago, Illinois, the Midwest, + beyond for 39 years. CAF supports people by covering appointment cost gaps, supporting with travel-related needs, and providing deep logistical expertise via individualized case management so that people can get to the abortion care they deserve.

**We ask that all in-person attendees wear masks in the event space during the program for the health and well-being of the speakers and other guests. We will have a reception afterwards with light refreshments and books available for purchase.***


Annie Finch, editor of Choice Words: Writers on Abortion, is a poet, cultural critic, and performance artist. Her work includes six volumes of poetry, writings on matriarchal spirituality, and the ritual verse play on abortion “Among the Goddesses: An Epic Libretto in Seven Dreams”, which received the Sarasvati Award. Annie earned a Ph.D from Stanford University and has written widely on feminist uses of poetic form. Through her Poetry Witch Ritual Theater, she has collaborated with artists in theater, dance, and music to offer rituals including abortion healing. She teaches meter and magic at and travels widely to teach and perform.

Dr. Tara Betts is the author of Refuse to Disappear, Break the HabitArc & Hue. She served as the inaugural Poet for The People Practitioner Fellow at University of Chicago. Betts currently teaches as a Professor of Practice and Poet in Residence at DePaul University’s Peace, Justice, and Conflict Studies Program and serves as poetry editor for The Langston Hughes Review. Betts co edited The Beiging of America: Being Mixed Race in the 21st Century, a new edition of Philippa Duke Schuyler's Adventures in Black & White, and Carving Out Rights From Inside the Prison Industrial Complex. She is currently editing an anthology of Bop Poems with Afaa M. Weaver.

Debra Bruce is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Survivors’ Picnic. She has published widely in journals, including The AtlanticPoetryShenandoah, and Women’s Studies Quarterly. She has recent and forthcoming poems in Presence: A Journal of Catholic Poetry and in Ecotone. Debra is Professor Emeritus at Northeastern Illinois University, where her great love was teaching poetry in traditional forms. Some of her sonnets were included in Annie Finch’s first anthology of formal poetry by women, A Formal Feeling Comes, in 1994. During her years in Chicago, Debra has been awarded the Carl Sandburg Award, the Gwendolyn Brooks Award, and grants from the Illinois Arts Council.

cin salach is a poet of page and stage, Illinois Arts Council recipient, four-time Ragdale fellow, and Emmy nominee for voice-over and on-screen narration of the PBS documentary “From Schoolboy to Showgirl.” cin salach has collaborated with musicians, video artists, dancers, photographers, and most recently, healers, chefs and scientists, for over 30 years. She was honored to be the inaugural Poet Laureate of Covenant Farm in Sawyer, Michigan. Her two books of poetry, “Looking for a Soft Place to Land” and “When I am Yes” are housed there in the Porch Swing Poetry Box. cin leads circles of women writers in a monthly workshop called Splitting the World Open, inspired by the quote, “What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open. (Muriel Rukeyser)” She also creates workshops/poetry experiences for seniors, caregivers, and those with dementia and Alzheimer’s. Helping people voice their deepest truths with poetry, even when they are the most afraid, is the work she has always felt called to do.

Alicia Hurtado (they/she/ella) is a queer, latine organizer based in Chicago. They are deeply committed to abolition and reproductive justice organizing as a means of achieving bodily autonomy and liberation for all people. Alicia has been building power as a staff member at the Chicago Abortion Fund (CAF) since 2020, where they currently serve as the Movement Building Director. At CAF, Alicia leads the organization’s political advocacy and grassroots organizing strategy towards a world in which all people can not only access abortion and other reproductive care, but also live their full lives in safe, resourced, and affirming communities. Outside of their work with CAF, they serve on the advisory team at Dissenters, a youth-powered nationwide anti-militarism movement with Chicago roots.