Guild Literary Complex

Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

A Map of My Want | Book Launch and Celebration with Faylita Hicks

July 9 @ 7:00 PM 9:00 PM

A Map of My Want follows a nonbinary femme on their long walk home from a rural county jail as they contemplate how threesomes, quantum mechanics, beaches and nature hikes led them to an epic journey of sexual liberation.

An offspring of Audre Lorde’s seminal essay “Uses of the Erotic,” Hicks’s A Map of My Want follows a nonbinary femme as they explore the sensual intersection of the personal and the political, a crossroads to which their sexual liberation brought them after their escape from a religious cult. Lyrically, Hicks interprets the US Declaration of Independence’s infamous “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” for themselves. Combining storytelling with Western astrology, this poetry collection is an intimate erotic spell through which Hicks conjures joy as they develop an alternate theory on how to attain happiness—through ecstatic healing. A Map Of My Want is available from Haymarket here


“A Map of My Want is an essential collection that burns with resilience, eroticism, and the pursuit of freedom on every page.”—Ruben Quesada, author and editor of Latinx Poetics: Essays on the Art of Poetry

“Faylita Hicks’s A Map of My Want is a poetic knowing of jail, sleeping cots, bills, and of riding feral pleasures beyond to the self’s heat. Their poetry sings, and invites the reader to sing along—ecstatically.” —Maud Lavin, author of Push Comes to Shove

“Each poem in A Map Of My Want is a special magic that inhabits the deepest parts of the psyche, digs in, and resists forgetting.”—Airea D. Matthews, author of Bread and Circus

A Map of My Want vividly paints a theology of self-love, one that transcends the shifting world around it and somehow anchors us, firm-footed, in the wanderlust of belonging.”—Deborah Mouton, author of Black Chameleon

“Reading A Map of My Want—so muscular, impassioned, and wide-awake—it’s not difficult to believe that bull’s-eye poetry is alchemy, that healing the un-nursed self is healing the world.” —Cyrus Cassells, author of Is There Room for Another Horse on Your Horse Ranch?

“Too often we are fooled into thinking we are in control of our desires—Faylita Hicks is gracious in the correction of our folly, in reminding us that the body always draws the map, and we merely follow it.” —Taylor Byas, author of I Done Clicked My Heels Three Times

***This in person event will be live-streamed through Haymarket Books. Register through Ticket Tailor to receive a link to the video conference on the day of the event. 

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


Faylita Hicks (she/they) is a queer Afro-Latinx writer, spoken word artist, and cultural strategist. Newly based in Chicago, Illinois, Hicks is the author of the critically-acclaimed debut poetry collection HoodWitch (Acre Books, 2019), a finalist for the 2020 Lambda Literary Award for Bisexual Poetry, the 2019 Julie Suk Award, and the 2019 Balcones Poetry Prize.

Andrea Change is poet, writer, Executive Director and a long-time friend of the Guild Complex. She has been a part of the Chicago poetry community for over 20 years. Her work has been published in a number of poetry magazines, journals and included in such poetry anthologies from Tia Chucha Press as Powerlines and Stray Bullets. Her poetry was also included in the 2001 Steppenwolf Theatre production, Words on Fire.

Adrian Matejka is the author of 7 books, most recently the graphic novel Last On His Feet: Jack Johnson and the Battle of the Century which was selected as one of the 10 Best Books of 2023 by the New York Public Library. He is the editor of Poetry magazine.

Billy Tuggle is a South Side Chicago native, a renowned writer, vocalist, performance poet and event producer; a mentor, an activist and HipHop culturalist; recorded, published, a poetry slam champion. He is the author of A Tree Falls in The Hood (Swimming With Elephants, 2024). He will be joined by youth performer, Carmendy Tuggle.

Ruben Quesada’s sophomore collection of poetry, Brutal Companion, winner of the Barrow Street Editors Prize, will be available on October 15, 2024. He edited the groundbreaking anthology Latinx Poetics: Essays on the Art of Poetry (2022), winner of the Gold Medal from the Independent Publisher Awards. He is the author of two chapbooks—Jane (2023) and Revelations (2018) and a collection of poetry, Next Extinct Mammal (2011). His poetry and criticism appear in The New York Times Magazine, Best American Poetry, Ploughshares, Harvard Review and elsewhere. He teaches for the low-residency MFA Programs in Creative Writing at Antioch University and Cedar Crest College. He lives in Chicago.

More speakers coming soon!

This celebration is co-sponsored by Haymarket Books and the Guild Literary ComplexIllinois Humanities, ICL Ltd. Co. and L&A Healing Studio.

Free – $25 Sliding Scale

Haymarket House

800 W. Buena Ave.
Chicago, Illinois
View Venue Website