Patrick McBriarty discusses ‘Chicago River Bridges’ on March 10


Patrick T. McBriarty will talk about his book Chicago River Bridges in a Society of Midland Authors program Tuesday, March 10, at the Cliff Dwellers Club, 200 S. Michigan Ave., 22nd floor, Chicago. He will speak at 7 p.m. A social hour, with complimentary snacks and a cash bar, begins at 6 p.m. The program is free and open to the public. No advance registration is required.

patrick-mcbriartyMcBriarty’s book, published by the University of Illinois Press, reveals the history and development of Chicago’s iconic bridges, from the first wood footbridge built by a tavern owner in 1832 to the fantastic marvels of steel, concrete and machinery of today.

McBriarty has also written the children’s books Drawbridges Open and Close (published last year) and Airplanes Take off and Land (which will be published in April). Those are the first books in McBriarty’s PTM Werks Series, which is designed to introduce kids to STEM topics — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — by answering the “why” questions they often have about how the machines all around us work that most adults struggle to completely answer. McBriarty and Chicago filmmaker Stephen Hatch co-produced the documentary “Chicago Drawbridges,” which has been broadcast on public television in Chicago and Milwaukee. McBriarty’s website is and the website for his film is


Tuesday, April 14, 6 p.m. social hour, 7 p.m. talk, at the Cliff Dwellers Club, 200 S. Michigan Ave., 22nd floor, Chicago: Poet Roger Bonair-Agard, winner of the Society of Midland Authors Award for his 2013 book “Bury My Clothes.” Free admission.

Friday, May 1: Society of Midland Authors annual awards banquet honoring the best 2014 books by Midwestern authors. 6 p.m. cocktail hour, 7 p.m. dinner and awards banquet, at the Cliff Dwellers Club, 200 S. Michigan Ave., 22nd floor, Chicago. The master of ceremonies will be Robert K. Elder, the author of six books, including Last Words of the Executed and The Film That Changed My Life. He is also the director of digital product development and strategy at Crain Communications Inc., a journalist and founder of Odd Hours Media, LLC. Tickets are $75 and can be reserved with a PayPal payment or by mailing a check with this printable reservation form.

Saturday, May 2, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: The Society of Midland Authors celebrates its 100th birthday with a day of literary speakers and panel discussions at University Center, 525 S. State St., Chicago. Free admission. More details to be announced.