Tuesday Funk : Debriefings : Page 3

August debriefing


IMG_20150808_170654.jpgAnother amazing show on the books... this must be starting to sound like hyperbole, but I assure you, friend, it is not.

The night started off strong with Robert McDonald and his swan obsession - manifested a series of fairytale retellings both funny and thoughtful. Next up was Tuesday Funk newbie Henri Harps, who read a quiet, absorbing short story about a man recovering from the death of a loved one. Co-host Andrew Huff deployed his signature haiku, and then Ryan DiGiorgi closed out the half with an insanely funny story told from the point of view of a man trapped in Brigadoon for a thousand years.

We wiped tears of hilarity from our eyes and drank some beer, delivered, as always, by our favorite Mark.

After the half, co-host Eden Robins read a microessay about being unfriended on Facebook because of a discussion on white privilege, and then former co-host Hallie Paladino read a thought-provoking essay about city kids' experience of the night sky, or lack thereof. Finally, Daniel Kraus read from his YA novel Trollhunters (co-authored by Guillermo del Toro), where we all learned about where trolls come from.

It was an eclectic and awesome night, best encapsulated by Daniel Kraus who said of Tuesday Funk "I've read here before... it was okay." We'll take it!

Join us next month for another great show - on Tuesday, September 1st we've got Brian Heath, Amanda Buckley, Jill Howe, Paul Dailing, and David Daskal!

July Debriefing


Lily.jpgWow, what a show. Not much more to say than that. Seeya next month!

I kid, I kid.

The night started off strong with Lily Be's telling of how our stories - particularly those of people of color - can be taken from us and twisted in sometimes catastrophic ways. Norman Doucet followed with an essay exploring his own prejudices and where they came from. And co-host Eden Robins finished up the half with an excerpt from her novel about golems and race in the age of the AIDS epidemic.

We all pretty much needed a drink after that.

The second half featured Erin Watson, who delighted us with her poems and essay. And then Fred Sasaki ended the night by reading a series of hilarious emails he wrote to a literary convention, pretending to be an indignant author expecting an invite.

We explored all reaches of human emotion on Tuesday, and you know what? We're going to do it again! So join us on Tuesday, August 4 for our next round of fabulous readers: Henri Harps, Robert McDonald, Ryan DiGiorgi, Hallie Paladino, and Daniel Kraus!

June debriefing


hannah1.jpgIt was a star-studded cast at this month's Tuesday Funk, and we tried to restrain ourselves from asking for autographs. Emily Nordling set the scene with an excerpt from her historical novel about a mysterious photograph. Next up, Mary Lorenz made us laugh about her various medical misfortunes. Co-host Andrew Huff read some seasonal haiku (as well as one about Mad Max that came with several different endings), and then Christa Desir closed out the half with a compelling excerpt from her YA novel about an alcoholic girl boxer.

Fittingly, we spent our intermission with alcohol from Mark.

Co-host Eden Robins read a microessay about the lonely art of the selfie, and then it was K.B. Jensen's turn to read a story from her collection about a beloved, decrepit house. And finally, Hannah Gamble regaled us with several poems about life, love, and loss.

By now you know the drill, right? We'll be back on Tuesday, July 7th for more! Come see Erin Watson, Fred Sasaki, Norman Doucet, Lily Be, and co-host Eden Robins... or live with the foul taste of regret.

May Debriefing


IMG_20150505_195045740.jpgWe may not have had margaritas, but we had great writers, and isn't that really what Cinco de Mayo is all about? Maggie Kast started off the night with an essay about making fudge and an excerpt from her newest novel. Jenny Drai followed it up with passages from her humorous novella about relationships and death. Co-host Andrew Huff read a few seasonally-themed haiku, and then Jack Silverstein wrapped up the half with a love/hate letter about living in Chicago.

Cameron plied us all with cervezas, and then we were refreshed for the second half.

Melissa Franic read part of her memoir about family, memory, and Croatia, and then Wesley Chu finished strong with a scene from his new novel, the sequel to Time Salvagers.

Did you miss it? Don't worry! We'll be back at it next month on June 2nd - same time, same place - with readers Emily Nordling, Hannah Gamble, Christa Desir, Mary Lorenz, and Kirsten Jensen!

April Debriefing


mary anne.JPGWhat a show! We had a packed crowd - standing room only - for Tuesday Funk #80 last night.

Former TF co-host Sara Ross Witt started off the night with a heartbreaking story of a family in wartime, dealing with unspeakable loss. Mary Anne Mohanraj shared the introduction of her novel-in-progress, a science fiction story of aliens and war and university life modeled after the events of the Sri Lankan civil war. Co-host Andrew Huff entertained us with his current events haiku, and Christian Picciolini ended the half with a difficult story of how being bullied in school led to his involvement in the white power movement.

A powerful half, and needless to say, we all needed some booze. Mark obliged.

The awesomeness didn't end there! Co-host Eden Robins read a microessay about identifying a little too closely with her celebrity doppelgangers, and then Parker Molloy told an intimate story of transition and self-reinvention. Finally, Mikki Kendall read us a short story of a black southern woman with the power to mold minds and events with her cooking skills.

It was a Tuesday Funk for the ages. Won't you join us at our next awesome event? Tuesday Funk #81 will be on Tuesday, May 5 at 7:30pm, featuring Wesley Chu, Melissa Franic, Jenny Drai, Jack Silverstein, and Maggie Kast!

March Debriefing


Thumbnail image for TF.jpgThe fluffy white snow has transitioned to hard black lumps, which means... it's almost spring! We rang in the new season with an evening of awesome readers!

Genevieve Waller warmed up the crowd with four linked essays about living with nature in the city. Danielle Susi followed that up with a series of poems from her new manuscript, and then co-host Andrew Huff got in on the poetry game with his patented seasonal haiku. Tom Underberg finished up the first half with an excerpt from his Chicago-based ghost story.

Cameron was playing the part of Mark this week, and did us proud.

After the half, co-host Eden Robins read a microessay about feeling old at a rock show, and then Mare Swallow spoke about feeling invisible as a child-free woman. Finally, Keidra Chaney made us all ravenous with her story of cooking and family legacies.

We left everyone hungry for more... and luckily there is more! Join us on Tuesday, April 7 at 7:30pm for readings by Christian Picciolini, Mikki Kendall, Sara Ross Witt, Mary Anne Mohanraj, and Parker Molloy.

February Debriefing


IMG_20150205_092001.jpgBlizzards will not keep Chicago down! Even though the weather was awful, our beloved room at Hopleaf was packed, our beer was plentiful, and our readers top-notch.

Alan DeNiro started the night off right with an alternately dark and amusing allegorical tale from his collection Tyrannia. Cameron McGill followed with a series of his signature rich, lyrical poems, and Patty Templeton treated us to an excerpt from her novel There Is No Lovely End, an Old West story about ghosts and snake oil peddlers.

We took a break, chatted with old friends over beers that Mark so lovingly poured.

After the break H. Melt read an essay and a poem about the ups and downs of queer life in Chicago. And Jasmine Davila finished us off with an essay about travel and the thrill of Priority boarding privileges.

We laughed, we thought about crying, we listened intently. This show was the epitome of our mission to curate an eclectic mix of writers and writing. Won't you join us for the next one? March 3, 2015 at 7:30pm - we've got Keidra Chaney, Mare Swallow, Genevieve Waller, Danielle Nicole Susi, and Tom Underberg!

February debriefing


IMG_20150106_194050.jpgWith only our collective body heat (and the Hopleaf HVAC system) to warm us, we embarked on a wintry evening of literary delights at Tuesday Funk #77!

Kelly Swails left us wanting more with a tense story about trying to undue the tragedies of the past with that mercurial tool - time travel. John Rich followed that up with a fascinating essay about the nature of happiness... and Lauren Bacall. Co-host Andrew Huff read a conceptual series of related haiku - about memory and the nature of existence. And James Kennedy finished up the half with an excerpt from his new novel about a boy who controls tornadoes.

Mark showed us his talents with bottle and glass at intermission, and we drank his masterpieces.

Co-host Eden Robins read a personal essay about the mystery of what happened to her childhood cat, and then Christopher Sweet kicked off the second half with an essay about the many flavors of anxiety, from childhood to adulthood. And Erin Shea ended the night with a bittersweet essay about shoplifting, lying, and motherhood.

Almost before it had begun, the evening was over. But don't worry! As ever, we will be back again next month with Tuesday Funk #78! Come see Alan DeNiro, Cameron McGill, Patty Templeton, Christa Desir, and H.Melt on Tuesday, February 3. Same time, same place!

December debriefing


JonathanandGPA.jpgDecember feels like a month of Mondays. EXCEPT when it's Tuesday Funk! Hoo-wee! Then it feels, ah, funky? Anyway.

We started out the evening with a Tuesday Funk newbie, Clayton Smith, and he killed it with an excerpt from his novel involving adventure, peril, and imaginary friends. Next up was Jac Jemc, reading a lyrical, surprising story about sisters and murder from her new collection, A Different Bed Every Time. Co-host Eden Robins read an essay about a complicated relationship with her grandmother. And Karen Genelly closed out the half with fascinating tales from her time as a sex educator in Chicago Public Schools.

Mark educated us about beers, or rather, he filled our glasses for us. Not that he doesn't know about beer... the man knows about beer.

Co-host Andrew Huff read his topical haiku - skewering Thanksgiving and Bill Cosby in one fell swoop. G.P.A. (Greatest Poet Alive) blasted off in the second half with an equally cringe-worthy and heartwarming story about romantic rejection, and Jonathan Eig drove it home with a fascinating excerpt from his new book The Birth of the Pill. Yes, that pill.

It was a funky night indeed. A great end to 2014. Help us ring in 2015 with readings by Kelly Swails, John Rich, James Kennedy, Erin Shea Smith, and Christopher Sweet on January 6th!

November Debriefing


IMG_20141104_200147.jpgAh... remember when we were all rosy-cheeked from voting, that glorious window between filling in those arrows and finding out that everything had gone horribly wrong? Remember how we all went to Tuesday Funk #75 together and had a glorious time listening to amazing readers?

Let's always remember it this way. The good times. Let them roll.

Melinda McIntire jerked our funny bones as well as our fear-flexes with a story of near-pregnancy, of love lost and sanity gained. Tom Haley followed with a dryly funny story of car-smashed cats and sentient grape tomatoes. And former co-host William Shunn made us all nostalgic with one of his signature poems... and an excerpt of a cool-as-hell sci-fi story involving nanotech, brain feeds, and hip New York parties.

We paused for a message from our local booze-peddler, Mark.

In the second half, Keesha Beckford delivered a heartfelt and sobering plea for the safety of black boys, asking for compassion and action from white moms. And Maggie Jenkins delivered an inspirational and heartbreaking story about trying to achieve one's goals... and falling just short.

So when you look at the election results, just remember what a swell time we all had that night. And come have another swell time with us on December 2nd, when we'll be featuring Jac Jemc, Jonathan Eig, Karen Genelly, James Gordon, and Carly Oishi!

Tuesday Funk

About Us

Tuesday Funk is an eclectic Chicago reading series, hosted by Andrew Huff and Eden Robins, showcasing a monthly mix of fiction, poetry, essays and performance. Join us next on Tuesday, June 6, 7:30 p.m. at Hopleaf, 5148 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60640. Admission is free.

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