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dateline: Chicago, December 2005

e-poets' coverage of lit' and new media arts continues in the December Newswire...

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Chuck Perkins is alive and well and still living in Louisiana

Chuck Perkins in performance at Center Portion
guest of honor Chuck Perkins in performance at Center Portion

On a chilly Saturday evening last month, friends of Chuck Perkins gathered at Center Portion, a gallery and cabaret performance space on Chicago's northwest side. They were there to celebrate the return of their good friend and poetry comrade, who was safe after enduring the chaos of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans a little more than two months before.

Perkins was pleased to assure all that he and his family fared well. Their house, however, remains a mess. Flood waters reached about three feet up the interior walls. While the structure won't be demolished, the entire first floor must be rehabbed. The Perkins family will be back in New Orleans to stay, in due course. Until then, they are staying on higher ground with relatives.

The evening proceeded with readings from many good friends and fellow writers in Perkins' circle, including Tina Howell, Kent Foreman, Nina Corwin, and host Sheila Donohue. Guests came in from literary conclaves across Chicago, from Wicker Park's Lit-X series to the Green Mill, to Mental Graffiti. Perkins took the occasion to debut new performance pieces, some building on fresh experiences since Hurricane Katrina.

Immediately after Katrina blew through New Orleans, was contacted by many of Perkins' fans, friends, and peers, eager to hear about his situation. As a result, we've updated Chuck's feature in the Book of Voices to include an e-mail link that goes directly to him. (See the credits page.) We invite readers to keep in touch with Chuck, and follow his progress directly.

The city of New Orleans will not be the same ever again. But in some modest way, we can count on artists such as Chuck Perkins to persist, survive, and rebuild, fomenting new culture for the Crescent City for years to come. Hang in there, Chuck! We're with you.



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SlamNation! now on DVD

Paul Devlin's watershed film, SlamNation!, is now on DVD. The producer is offering it in two different editions for different purposes. The Home Edition is for private viewing and video collectors interested in slam poetry. The Community Edition of the SlamNation DVD includes public performance rights for screenings at high schools, libraries and community centers.

"SlamNation chronicles The National Poetry Slam [held in Seattle] - the Olympics of verse, in which spoken word artists (the adrenaline junkies of the literary world) compete fiercely in battle poetic. Follow New York City's novice dream team on its journey to join over 120 spoken word artists on 27 city teams to compete at the National Poetry Slam. Here, SlamNation discovers not only the raw energy and sheer talent of some of the greatest performance poets in the country, but a good old fashioned tale of heroes and villains amidst the dramatic tension of fiery competition."

The disc enables viewers to watch excerpted poems in their entirety, during the movie or from a list. Also included are Deleted Scenes, Chapter Selection, Additional Poems not seen in the movie, Commentary Track from director Paul Devlin, slam champ Taylor Mali, slam founder Marc Smith, and more.

The SlamNation DVD is now 50% off. Pick up the Home Edition On Sale for $19.95, or the Community & Public Performance Edition On Sale for $29.95.

Seattle's Real to Real screening & reading series, for 14 December

This month's Real to Real opens with a videopoem called "Pennsylvania," written and directed by Canadian poet Hilary Peach. "Pennsylvania" is a wry outsider's look into American working class life, with rhythmic imagery and understated humor. The clip was shown last month as part of the Visible Verse film festival in Vancouver, BC. Following the screening, ooets Ron Ellison, Jim Karnitz, and Doug Heckman bring on another dose of poetic repartee.

Reel to Real, Wednesday, 14 December at On the House, 1205 E. Pike Street in Capitol Hill, Seattle. For more about the poets, click here.

Rattapallax's Sound Barrier takes awards

The Rattapallax Films production Sound Barrier was recently honored with several significant international awards.

The Jury of the Filmcritica Award "Bastone Bianco" of the 23rd Torino Film Festival was given to Sound Barrier by Amir Naderi. Citation: For the extreme experimentation with which he breaks down the barrier between sound, sight and touch, in a form which touches the madness of Herzog and the tragic utopia of the story by Sokurov.

Director Amir Naderi was given the Critics Award (Roberto Rossellini prize) and Charlie Wilson won the Best Actor award at the Roma Film Festival.

The film was recently shown at Torino Film Festival, Roma Film Festival, Vancouver International Film Festival and Tokyo Filmex. The Village Voice called the production, "Exhilarating and exhausting — with a finale that is quite literally an epiphany."

source - Rattapallax Press

from Brazil, a call for all kinds of video:
Short(CUT)s' Festival

Movie- and video-makers from all over the world are invited to submit their works in the first festival for expanded cinema (into pieces) of history. The screening will run from March to May 2006, at the Itaú Cultural Institute (São Paulo - Brazil).

The Short(CUT)s' Festival intends to explore new audiovisual dynamics from an unusual perspective: as in the prehistory of Cinema, the movie sessions will be controlled by the projectionist himself. He will decide what will be exhibited, and how. Audiovisual works of any kind may participate. There will be no pre-selection. Also, there are no restrictions of format, duration, genre, etc. However, all works must be sent in MiniDV, VHS, DVD or CD-ROM. Clips in AVI or MPEG file formats should be sorted by common codec on each disc.

Contributors may send their work to the Short(CUT)s' Festival, Caixa Postal 010006, Vitória/ES – BRAZIL, ZIP 29001-970. Submissions will be accepted through 20 January 2006. All material received until the deadline will enter the Festival's program. Further information is available by e-mailing


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contribute to trAce's "Decade" Project

You are invited to make a contribution to 'decade' an online writing project launched the second week of November 2005, to celebrate ten years of innovative digital activity at trAce Online Writing Centre, NTU. The completed project will take the shape of a writing "quilt" of what I hope will be many different responses to technology and change.

The introduction to the project notes:-
"In the last ten years there has been an explosion of new technology, especially related to computers and the internet, and for some of us it has changed forever the way we live and write. As the trAce Online Writing Centre reaches its tenth anniversary, we invite you to reflect on your own personal decade of living and writing with technology."

You are invited to contribute a brief statement of a 100 words to the project about the technology you love, hate or anticipate; and the ways in which technology has changed your life.

At the beginning of the project the quilt will be empty, awaiting contributions. But as time passes, it will gradually expand; weaving together the differing perspectives of authors from across the globe.

I look forward to your participation in this exciting project.

- Gavin Stewart
Artistic Project Manager -trAce Online Writing Centre

BHQ's new edition for winter 2005-06

Blithe House Quarterly was featured in the January 2005 New York Times article on the literary magazine boom, and continues publishing quality short stories on the web. This season's issue includes contributions from Dale Gregory Anderson, Brian Malloy, Jonathan Odell, Gary Eldon Peter, Molly Quinn, and Andrea Worth. The issue is guest-edited by Jerod Santek, with photography by Aaron Gang.

"Setting the quality bar [for gay and lesbian writing] is the phenomenal site Blithe House Quarterly. It's awash in awards and rightly so. Of all gay and lesbian sites, Blithe House is the golden child, the one to be entered in the Literature Olympics. None of the stories needs special cosseting as our fiction. Be skeptical and go see the site!"

-- Gay & Lesbian On Line, 3rd Edition

Blithe House Quarterly: queer fiction lives here.


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Elizabeth Whitney gets glossy

The December issue of Curve, a popular and (yes!) even glossy lesbian magazine features an article about Elizabeth Whitney's performance work, with shoutouts to SIU, Emerson, and the lovely Lea Robinson. Whitney entertained the hope that she might even make the cover, such was the interest that Curve paid her. But she says, "I guess they decided that Melissa Etheridge would sell more copies. Maybe next time..." She's delighted just the same.

Just remember we're in your corner, Elizabeth. There will definitely be a next time!

Readers can follow the creative life of Elizabeth Whitney through her own website. She is also a contributing artist in e-poets' Book of Voices.

Dybek, Kotlowitz & Lombardo: poets of the city
on stage at Steppenwolf Theatre

This entry would ordinarily appear in the section below, reserved for readings in and around Chicago. But Alex Kotlowitz, Stuart Dybek, and Billy Lombardo have made a real collective push lately, not so much by design as by a common passion. They are creating new literature on Chicago with a street-level view of the city. The authors share a romance with the urban landscape and its intimate spaces, from street corners to playlots, from the memoirs of youth in the neighborhoods, to their city's particular connection with the cosmos. Read the books, then hear the authors.

Thursday, 15 December, 7:30 PM: reading with Stuart Dybek (The Coast of Chicago), Billy Lombardo (The Logic of a Rose), and Alex Kotlowitz (Never a City So Real) for Steppenwolf's Traffic series. Tickets available online through the Steppenwolf website.

Trigilio scores award

Tony Trigilio wrote to us, "Just to let you know, I received an email [22 November] saying my poetry manuscript, 'The Lama's English Lessons,' won the Three Candles Press first book award.

"Three Candles produces a journal/webzine, and just started doing full-length books and anthologies. Mine will be among the first 3 books it publishes. Right now, I'm told it's coming out Fall '06..."

Congratulations, Tony!

Schandelmeier's Chicago Phoenix in print

Puddinhead Press celebrates the release of Chicago Phoenix a new book of poetry by Cathleen Schandelmeier.

Cathleen Schandelmeier is best known as the founder of the "Beach Poet" series at Loyola Beach. Her books of poetry include: Chicago Phoenix, Tattoo Screams of Love, and Scream and I'll Believe You. She has been included in the anthologies Stray Bullets and Step Into The Light, and was named one the "100 Women Making A Difference" by Today's Chicago Women Foundation. She is an Artist in Residence with the Illinois Arts Council.

At the Muse Cafe, 817 N Milwaukee Ave., Chicago (East Uki Village). Book release scheduled from 1:00 to 3:00 PM. Includes readings by special guest poets Carol Anderson and Karla Armour. Copies of Chicago Phoenix and other books by Chicago authors available for Christmas gifts. Admission is free. For more info, see the publisher's website.

Rosa Parks tribute anthology:
call for submits

A poetry, short story and art contest is in the making, with the goal of paying tribute to the late Rosa Parks. Prize monies are modest: Honorable mention and 3rd prize - $25.00; 2nd prize - $50.00; 1st prize - $100.00. But winning pieces will be included in the anthology.

All submissions are $3.00 each. Send to: TFC, INC., P.O. Box 1088, Lancaster, PA. 17608-1088. Submission deadline: 1 January, 2006. For prize notification, all submissions must have your name, address, phone and E-mail on a separate sheet of paper. Make sure your name appears at the bottom of each piece entered. Also include a brief biography about yourself. Your photo can be paper clipped to submission, if you'd like your photo to accompany your bio in this anthology.


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Myopic rounds off 2005 featuring Matt Hart and host Chuck Stebelton

Matt Hart is the editor of Forklift, Ohio: A Journal of Poetry, Cooking, and Light Industrial Safety. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Conduit, Unpleasant Event Schedule, Ploughshares, Octopus, and The Canary, among others. He teaches in the Academic Studies Department at the Art Academy of Cincinnati.

Chuck Stebelton works as Literary Program Manager at Woodland Pattern Book Center, a non-profit arts organization in Milwaukee. He is the author of Circulation Flowers (Tougher Disguises, 2005) and Precious, an Answer Tag chapbook. Newer work appears in recent issues of Hutt, Jubilat, Verse, and Chain 12: Facts. He co-curates the Myopic Poetry Series, and recently collaborated with the artist Cindy Loehr on Revival, "a cathedral of flame with a pre-recorded oration inside."

The Myopic Poetry Series is free, held weekly, Sunday evenings at 7:00 PM, at Myopic Books, 1564 N. Milwaukee Ave, Chicago (Wicker Park). Click to the series' website for more schedule info and featured artists. No program on 25 December, owing to the holiday. Coming next year: 12 February - Gabriel Gudding; 19 February - Gabor Gyukics and Michael Castro; 12 March - Jules Boykoff and Bill Marsh; 9 April - Geoff Bouvier and Catherine Daly; and 21 May 21 - Juliet Patterson and Jackie Lalley.

16 & 17 December: Sonic Sandwidches unites new music and spoken word

Orchestra Inventions, led by Douglas R. Ewart, presents Sonic Sandwidches. The AACM, a producing organization for this program, has a long history in Chicago of offering outstanding original music. This program also embarks upon original poetry, and has enlisted some real interdisciplinary talent for the cause.

Douglas R. Ewart is current president of Chicago's Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), Ewart is an internationally renowned musician and educator playing with noted musicians such as Muhal Richard Abrams,George Lewis, Anthony Braxton, Mwata Bowden, Vandy Harris. He builds and plays his own instruments and has exhibited work at the Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art and other museums around the world. He teaches locally at the Art Institute of Chicago and can be seen regularly with incarnations of Orchestra Inventions at Fred Anderson's Velvet Lounge.

Ewart has assembled an outstanding ensemble for this piece, including:

  • Dee Alexander, vocalist
  • Mankwe Ndosi, vocalist and poet
  • Duriel Harris, poet
  • Edward Wilkerson, reeds and percussion
  • Mwata Bowden, reeds and percussion
  • Darius Savage, bass
  • Wallace LaRoy McMillan, reeds and percussion
  • Dushun Mosely, drums
  • Jeff Parker, guitar
  • Douglas Eward, vocalist, reeds, percussion

Some selected biographies of the ensemble, with particular regard for poetry and spoken word...

Mankwe Monika Nkatuati Ndosi is a Minneapolis-based vocalist and multidisciplinary performer. She's been working for over a decade in the mediums of theater, dance, music, spoken word and improvisation. She has brought her unique, theatrical offerings to Chicago for three years with Orchestra Inventions and calls Fred Anderson's Velvet Lounge her musical home away from home.

Darius Savage is a prolific bass player who can be seen regularly at Fred Anderson's Velvet Lounge. He has recorded and played with numerous groups including Nicole Mitchell's Black Earth Ensemble, personal/political spoken word group Two Tongues, and Orchestra Inventions.

Heralded as one of three Chicago poets for the 21st century by WBEZ Chicago Public Radio, Duriel E. Harris is a co-founder of The Black Took Collective and a Poetry Editor for Obsidian III: Literature in the African Diaspora. Recent appearances include featured performances at the UCSB Multicultural Center (Santa Barbara), Poet's House (NY), the Bowery Poetry Club (NY), the Studio Museum in Harlem and The New Langton Center for the Arts (San Francisco). A recent MacDowell Colony fellow and regular performer with Orchestra Inventions, Harris is completing her first year on the faculty of St. Lawrence University in upstate New York. Drag (Elixir Press), her first book, was hailed by Black Issues Book Review as one of the best poetry volumes of 2003.

Friday 16 December & Saturday 17 December 2005, 10:00 PM, at the Velvet Lounge, 2128-1/2 S Indiana Ave, Chicago. Admission $12. For more info call 312-791-9050. Presented by Aarawak Productions and the AACM. Click to AACM/Chicago for more info on the sponsoring organization.

Danny's this month: Nutter & Gibson

For December 2005, Danny's Reading Series features poetry by Geoffrey Nutter and Dobby Gibson.

Originally from California, Geoffrey Nutter lives in New York City, works at company on Times Square by day, and teaches by night. He has written two books of poetry, A Summer Evening and his most recent, Water's Leaves & Other Poems.

Dobby Gibson's book Polar was winner of the 2004 Beatrice Hawley award and recently published by Alice James Books. His poetry has appeared in Ploughshares, Fence, Iowa Review, New England Review, and Conduit, among other publications. The recipient of a poetry fellowship from the McKnight Foundation, he lives in Minneapolis on the west bank of the Mississippi River.

The Danny's Reading Series is Wednesday, 14 December, at 7:30 PM. Danny's tavern is located at 1951 W. Dickens (near the intersection of Armitage and Damen Avenues). This is a 21-and-over venue, so please bring ID. Phone 773-489-6457, or click to the Series website for full info.

A Short Ride with You: multi-arts poetry
by Ezekiel Brown on 13 December

PolyRhythmic Chicago presents Ezekiel Brown’s A Short Ride with You, a performance of spoken word combined with music and video.

Originally from Louisiana, Ezekiel attended the Art Institute of Chicago in 1993 to study film. But after leaving Chicago, his travels took him back south to Louisiana, then Texas, and finally to Los Angeles, where he began to see some order in his writing and filmmaking. In the summer of 1997 he was dragged by a friend to his first open mic. He saw at last that there was a place were he could just get things off his chest and let thoughts and words flow. In addition to his media work, he became a dedicated poet.

Over the years he has crafted a distinct style that's part poetic and part storytelling. As a member of PolyRhythmic Chicago, he has helped foster a non-traditional style of open mic that not only promotes poetry, but stand-up, music, improv, painting, and puppetry. With the release of his third book, Emotional Hangovers, he has combined his passion for experimental film with electronic music into a unique multi-faceted event.

Tuesday, 13 December, 2005 at the Trace, 3714 N Clark (just north of Wrigley Field), starting at 11:00 PM, right after the open mic. Program is about 1/2 hour long. For more info, click to $3 at the door. The Trace is a 21-and-over venue. Merch' will be available at the show.

Molly Malone's on 12 December:
Todd Heldt

Hosts Nina Corwin and Al DeGenova invite you to Molly Malone's Open Mic, one of the most highly respected open mics in the Chicago area. Bring a Holiday poem to read (even if it’s Scroogie) on Monday, 12 December, and join featured poet/novelist Todd Heldt.

Todd Heldt is a librarian living in Chicago. He has published poems and short stories in dozens of journals. In 2004 he was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He won second prize in the 8th (2005) annual PoetrySuperHighway poetry contest, and he is presently looking for a publisher for his second novel, Jukebox Loser, about independent musicians, lesbians, and losers. Todd’s poems have appeared in Laurel Review, Borderlands, Sycamore Review, Chattahoochee Review, Stirring and others. His first novel, Before You Were a Prophet, is currently being serialized in Hiss Quarterly. His new chapbook, The Science of Broken People, has been receiving rave reviews.

At Molly Malone's Irish Pub, 7652 Madison Street, Forest Park, IL (near west Chicago suburbs). Phone 708-366-8073. Guests are invited to donate, "$5 if you can, $3 if you can't." Poetry and fiction at Molly's is the second Monday of every month. Sign-up begins at 7:00 PM, followed a half-hour later by open mic and featured readings.

Thax gets Mental, 12 December

The Funky Buddha Lounge and Mental Graffiti offer a unique poetry experience this month. Thax Douglas has been on the periphery of slam in Chicago for years, showing up at the Green Mill only on occasions when Marc Smith doesn't host. He has opened for Wilco, Joan of Arc, Broken Social Scene, and many other bands. Thax's connection to urban underground music celebrity extends back to the early 1990s at clubs such as Lounge Ax (now closed). He might be considered Chicago's parallel to New York's Hal Sirowitz, with less Freudian connection to "Mother" and an extra heap of post-modernism.

Thax Douglas is not an easy persona to take in all at once and neither, necessarily, is his writing. For example, This American Life's Ira Glass said of his book Tragic Faggot Syndrome, "It's shocking that such disturbing dark poems come out of such a calm decent-seeming man. I read with great interest, worrying about Thax." That said, audiences have found much space for Douglas in their hearts. In all that darkness, there's something oblique that fascinates people, and through Douglas's droll deadpan there's still the hint -- a twinkle in the eye, perhaps? -- that lets you know someone is very much alive on the inside.

Monday, 12 December, at Mental Graffiti. Funky Buddha Lounge, at 728 W Grand Avenue, the intersection of Grand, Halsted, and Milwaukee Avenues, Chicago (River West/old Little Sicily). Doors open at 7:30 PM, show starts at 8:00 PM. $5 cover. DJ Major Taylor knocks out the jams after our set. 21-and-over venue.

the world can't wait
(well, perhaps not after 11 December)

"BUSH: Step down and take your whole program with you!" So hail a group of politically-minded writers, musicians, and other performers, who will convene at the Heartland Café on 11 December. It's a fundraising party for The World Can't Wait. Live music and poetry, and sharp talents taking aim at a timely domestic regime change.

Performers include:
Cottonseed, musician duo
Tristan James, musician
Jennifer Karmin, poet
Emcee Kurinto
Mars, poet & musician
Nikki Patin, poet & vocalist
Petey, musician

Sunday, 11 December, from 8:00 PM to 1:00 AM, at the Heartland Café, 7000 N. Glenwood, (CTA Red Line at Morse, Rogers Park). Suggested Donation $10-$20. Silent auction at the show. Raffle tickets available: $10 entry buys 1 raffle ticket; $20 entry buys 2 raffle tickets. Click to The World Can't Wait for info on the organization. Want to perform? Want to get involved? Send e-mail or phone 773-412-8318.

CIRCA Art for Youth Perform-a-Thon
10 December

CIRCA invites you to the first Art for Youth Perform-a-Thon, featuring songs, monologues, poems and -- who knows maybe even magic tricks by fabulous local artists, among them, Joanah Torre, Steven James, Bagwis, Jinky Arellano, Ginger Leopoldo, Narciso Lobo, Erick Garcia, Kay Barrett, Jackie Recinto, Carlo Quidlat, Byron Abalos, Lani T. Montreal, Chip Payos, Daisy Castro, Steve Baz, Mango Tribe members and other suprise guests!

The Center for Immigrant Resources and Community Arts is a not-for-profit arts organization founded in 2001. CIRCA believes in the power of the arts not only as a means of self-discovery and self-_expression, but more importantly, in its strength to collectively reflect the struggle of the immigrant experience in America. The founding members longed to create a safe space for children of immigrant parents to perform plays that reflect their realities. Proceeds from the Perform-a-thon will go into sustaining CIRCA's Youth Theater Program. Pledges will be accepted at the event.

Saturday, 10 December, declared Human Rights Day. Program starts at 7:00 PM, at Mont Clare UCC Social Hall, 6935 W. Medill (Brickyard area, south of Grand Ave). $25 in pledges cover entrance and food. For more info, please call 312-222-1551.

Coval & Gibson dual set at
Muse Café, 10 December

Two of slam's top artists who got their first broad public recognition in Chicago are set for a one-evening show on 10 December. Kevin Coval will be reading from Slingshots (A Hip-Hop Poetica), his new book and companion audio CD on EM Press, along with Regie Gibson, renowned National Slam champion who's back in town for this show.

Regie Gibson is a poet, songwriter, author, workshop facilitator, and educator whose work spans two continents and seven countries, including Cuba. He appeared in the New Line Cinema film love jones, based largely on events in his life. Regie performed "Hey Nappyhead" in the film with world-renowned percussionist and composer Kahil El Zabar, composer of the score for the musical The Lion King. He is widely published in anthologies, magazines and journals, such as Tia Chucha's Power Lines, along with three Pulitzer-Prize winning poets Gwendolyn Brooks, Yosef Komunyakaa, and Lisel Mueller. His first full-length book of poetry, Storms Beneath the Skin (EM Press) was released in 2001.

Regie Gibson and Kevin Coval perform at 5:30 PM, at the Muse Café, 817 N Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago. All ages program. Free. Read more about Gibson on his website.

Poetry Center's annual juried reading set:
deadline is 10 February 2006

The guidelines for the 12th Annual Juried Reading and Awards are now available at the Poetry Center website. Billy Collins is this year's final judge. The competition is open to poets from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin. Eight finalists will be selected to read at a Poetry Center event. Prizes to be awarded: $1,500 first prize, $500 second prize, $250 third prize and $50 each to the remaining five finalists. One poem by each finalist will be published in a chapbook and on The Poetry Center website.

On 19 December a billboard with a poem by Poetry Center founder Lisel Mueller will debut above Lightology Inc.'s showroom at Chicago and Wells. This is the third year The Poetry Center and Lightology have partnered to display a poetry billboard during the holiday season. Previous billboards featured verse from Mark Strand and Li-Young Lee. Mueller’s 14’ x 48’ foot billboard will read:

Each day, another minute of light.
They mount up, these tiny presents,
as we slowly unbundle ourselves
and offer our faces to the sun.

source: Poetry Center of Chicago

Columbia College faculty read on 8 December

Favorites on English faculty at Columbia College will gather for a poetry reading. Guest artists include Garnett Kilberg Cohen, Susen James, G.E. Murray, Michael Robbins, and Ed Roberson.

Thursday, 8 December, 5:30 PM, Columbia College Hokin Hall, room 109, 623 S. Wabash, Chicago (South Loop). Phone 312-344-8101.

Wordslingers on 3 December

Cathleen Schandelmeier is best known as the founder of the "Beach Poets" series at Loyola Beach. Her books of poetry include: Chicago Phoenix, Tattoo Screams of Love, Scream and I'll Believe You, and Suck on My Toes and I'll Follow You Anywhere. She has been included in many anthologies including Stray Bullets and Step Into The Light. She was named one the "100 Women Making A Difference" by Today's Chicago Women Foundation. She is an Artist in Residence with the Illinois Arts Council.

Jared Smith has a distinguished 25-year career of publication in poetry volumes and the nation's leading literary journals, while serving as a leader in continuing education and policy formation in both the public and private sectors. This includes advising the Clinton Administration on national security policy, serving as Special Appointee to Argonne National Laboratory, serving as associate director of Education and Research at a major private laboratory outside Chicago, and spearheading various private/public sector partnerships between industry and various university and government agency groups.

Smith has written and published poetry extensively throughout this period, as well as supporting literary development by serving executive functions in various literary organizations. His poetry has appeared in Poet Lore, The Small Press Review, The New York Quarterly, Kenyon Review, Pulpsmith, Rhino, Spoon River Quarterly, Bitter Oleander, The Pedestal, Beloit Poetry Journal, Greenfield Review, Bitterroot, Coe Review, Fine Madness, Pembroke Magazine, CrossCountry, Trail & Timberline, and many, many others. His work has been adapted to modern dance at New York's Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and to musical drama at Crossroads Theatre in Naperville, Illinois. He has been interviewed and read his work on NPR radio programs. Jared is on the advisory board of The New York Quarterly, and Poetry Editor of Trail & Timberline Magazine, the official journal of the Colorado Mountain Club. He is also immediate past president of Poets & Patrons in Chicago, a member of The Chicago Poets' Club and the Illinois State Poetry Society.

Lake Michigan and Other Poems is Jared Smith's fifth book of poetry. Jared's previous books have been critically well-received by such writers as the late William Packard, Walter James Miller, Andrew Glaze, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Harry Smith, Stanley Nelson, and others.

Wordslingers happens at 8:00 PM on the first and third Sundays of each month on WLUW, 88.7-FM, broadcast from the northside Chicago campus of Loyola University. Listen online in real-time through, or click to for back issues.

Reflections of Herself: 7 December

Reflections of Herself is a chilled-out performance event where you can read, speak, sing, scream, yell, whisper or dance a story, poem, song, monologue... or even lip-synch to your favorite jam! Whatever your story or passion, we want to bear witness...

Reflections of Herself is on Wednesday, 7 December, from 5:30-8:00 PM. For more information, please contact MC Nikki Patin, the Center on Halsted's Young Women's Program Coordinator, at 773-472-6469, ext. 227. The program is located at 2869 N. Lincoln (Lakeview). Reflections of Herself Open Mic is the first Wednesday of every month. The Young Women's Program convenes every Wednesday for young women & women-identified women (13-24), from 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM. MC Nikki says, "Donations are welcome, but you're much more valuable than bring you!"

Outer Ear: audio arts, spoken word & vocal techniques, and workshops

As part of the 2005 Outer Ear Festival of Sound, Experimental Sound Studio is proud to present "Calling All Voices", a special Visiting Artist Workshop with Dutch vocalist, sound poet, and composer Jaap Blonk.

If you are a vocalist, singer, performer, composer, actor, poet, or repressed primal screamer, dont' miss this rare opportunity to work with Europe's premiere vocal experimenter in an intensive workshop setting that will address extended vocal techniques and approaches to improvisation with voice. No formal vocal experience is necessary, just a willingnes to give voice.

Saturday, 10 December, 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM, at the Experimental Sound Studio, 406 N Aberdeen, Suite 200 (Greektown/Westgate Mills neighborhood), Chicago. $50/$40 for students and ESS members. Space is limited so YOU MUST REGISTER IN ADVANCE by calling ESS at 312-850-9362.

Homolatté for December 2005

Check out Chicago's weekly LGBT/Q coffeehouse for the latest in queer music and spoken word. This months' schedule for Homolatté includes:

7 December: Dave Awl (words) / Jeffrey Altergott (music)

14 December: Nikki Patin / Carrie Lydon

21 December: Chris Coakley / Julie Loyd

28 December: no open mic show due to the holidays

Homolatté queer words and music, weekly on Wednesday evenings at 7:30 PM at Marrakech Expresso, 4747 N Damen Avenue (just south of Lawrence Avenue, Ravenswood neighborhood), Chicago. Phone 773-271-4541. Admission is free, though the host, Scott Free, invites guests to donate $5; all collections go the featured artists and only the artists. Full program listing is available at

Discrete on 9 December: Elizabeth Block & Jordan Stempleman

Elizabeth Block works between fiction, poetry, scriptwriting, filmmaking, performance, and ethnography. Spuyten Duyvil just published her debut novel, A Gesture Through Time. The book was short-listed for a Heekin Foundation first novel fellowship and a Starcherone Fiction Prize. Robert Clark Young wrote (The Brooklyn Rail, September 2005), "Reading [it] is like wandering into the nexus between modernism and postmodernism, with new- millennium versions of the poetry riffs, prose poems, and stream-of-consciousness flights that are found in Ulysses or "The Waste Land." Block's work has been exposed or is forthcoming in/on TDR, Black Ice, Alt-X, Chain, Eclectic Seizure Radio, San Francisco Bay Guardian, ONTHEBUS, Drunken Boat, Documents Between, Camerawork, Chimera Review, The Detroit Free Press, Anthology Film Archives, San Francisco Cinematheque, Museum of Contemporary Art/Denver, Exploratorium Museum, Santa Fe Art Institute, etc. Block has received writing grants and fellowships from Djerassi Resident Artists Program, Mill Foundation, Sigma Xi Society for Scientific Research, University of Michigan, University of California, Santa Cruz, and Intersection for the Arts.

Jordan Stempleman currently lives with his wife and daughter in San Francisco, where he attends San Francisco State and works as a tobacconist. He has had poems published in Bridge Magazine, Columbia Poetry Review, Moria, MiPoesias, New American Writing, Shampoo, Word for/Word, and Milk Magazine (forthcoming). His first book, Their Fields is available as an e-book at It is also available as a paper copy at His daily writing can be found at his blog, Growing Nation:

The Discrete Series was founded in March 2003 by Kerri Sonnenberg and Jesse Seldess to present an event of poetry, or text-driven performance once a month. Formerly housed at the 3030 arts space in Humboldt Park, Discrete is making its home at The Spareroom through 2005. For more information about this or upcoming events, e-mail

On Friday, 9 December, at 7:00 PM p.m. the Discrete Reading Series presents readings by Elizabeth Block and Jordan Stempleman at the SpareRoom 2416 W. North Avenue (Wicker Park/Bucktown). There's a $5 suggested donation and all ages are welcome. Click for details.


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links we like

Fresh links for December 2005...

Chuck Stebelton's very pink book available through Tougher Disguises... e-poets associate, erstwhile anarchist, and Twin Cities poet Chris Shillock got some great coverage in The Pulse, in anticipation of a show coming on 11 December... UK author Kate Pullinger calls this sample of her hyperfiction The Breathing Wall a web taster, and invites guests to give it a try. <mmmmmm...> Quite good! You may like tha aural dimension of this particular piece.

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