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dateline: Chicago, January 2004

Mouthy gets talkin'

Chicago, IL (January 27, 2004)
Promising to pick up where Sister Spit left off, Mouthy, the Midwest’s newest traveling performance troupe, will kick off a Midwestern “weekend tour” on Friday, February 6 at 9pm at spareroom (2416 W. North Avenue). They will present an evening of performance, poetry, prose, drag, burlesque and more. Mouthy consists of local performers JT Newman and Rose Tully, Elizabeth Whitney (Milwaukee, WI) and JenFish Superstar (Bloomington, IN).

Newman explains the origins of Mouthy: “Last summer, I was emailing back and forth with Elizabeth [Whitney] because she wanted to perform at my old show, Dyke Mic. She told me to check out her website and I saw that our work was so similar that it seemed like a natural fit.” Dyke Mic favorites Rose Tully and JenFish Superstar were added to the bill to round out the shows and Mouthy was born. “We’re calling these groups of performances a ‘weekend tour’ because we will be in several different cities throughout the spring.” Whitney elaborated.

On February 6, the troupe will perform its inaugural show at spareroom. Each performer will present old favorites and new work with a range of themes. In round-robin style, the performance promises to delight, enchant, titillate and always leave audiences thinking. Superstar summed it up by saying, “The unifying theme about all of our collective work is that it is always conscious about its underlying politics. We discuss important issues through irony, absurdist antics, and playfulness.”

For further information, artist bios, or more dates, please check the website at

Mouthy, an all-girl, all-queer performance troupe
Midwestern tour kickoff
Spareroom, 2416 W North Avenue, Chicago
Friday, 6 February, 2004, 9:00 PM
$10 suggested donation

The "Sea" means business

Veteran monologuist and online literatus Dave Awl announced his book What the Sea Means just a year ago, and it has made some interesting hits online in that time. Webwatchers and Google mavens noticed his book showing up on Gaper's Block and Thoughtcat. Whereas most first folios struggle for any movement at all, What the Sea Means seems to have legs and is ambling happily around Chicago and the world.

Well-anticipated before its release, the book compiles monologues, poems, short stories, memoir and a kind of "bestiary" (definition to follow). The author is recognized in Chicago as an enduring performance luminary. The book marks Dave Awl's transition from apprentice to journeyman writer, in for the long haul. With his Partly Dave shows back in production on a monthly basis after a hiatus in 2003, Awl's circle of writer/performers remains as strong as ever. Word of mouth around that group is that the book has positively reinforced the writers' close community. (FYI: The Partly Dave Show is on the second Wednesday of each month, at No Exit Café, in Rogers Park, Chicago. The forthcoming show on 11 February is themed as a gathering of the gods and goddesses... a great chance to see Awl's writers' milieu in action.)

One particularly fun item in the book is its bestiary. Awl borrows an old trope, writing about a particular animal for each letter of the alphabet. Only, these being post-modern times, the beasts are not livestock or birds, but corporations, commercial products, governments, and other difficult creatures. It's a trip. Signature pieces from Awl, such as "The Idea of You," also find places in the book, keeping a warm tone going throughout, as a balance to the political cynicism.

What the Sea Means is currently available on

Links we like:

Some websites with something to think about:

Blackfilm, African and African-American cinema...

JavaMuseum, Resource Center for Cyberculture Studies, Le Musee diVisioniste, Stuart Moulthrop's new work Pax on the Iowa Review Web, R-R-F Festival, and the Association for Computers and the Humanities...

Recent stuff online from Nick Montfort, such as Grand Text Auto, and his book Twisty Little Passages, on the development of interactive fiction... homepages of e-lit' artists Deena Larsen and Geniwaite... advance info and ordering links for the new book by trAce online writer's workshop founder Sue Thomas, Hello World!- travels in virtuality... and the ELO/UCLA Reading series at the Hammer Museum... some particularly interesting links from the e-lit' sphere...

Tim Brown, former Chicago fiction writer, now at home "back East"...

Bunk Magazine, an online journal of satire and humor, that's getting particularly political these days, Found Magazine, a journal of "found stuff: love letters, birthday cards, kids' homework" ...

More news as it comes in... Thanks!

- Kurt Heintz, founder
e-poets network, Chicago

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