Tuesday Funk : Debriefings : Page 2

September Debriefing


tf_97.jpgThe 97th edition of Tuesday Funk happened on a hot September night, but the readings were downright cool.

Poet Virginia Bell read an excerpt of her memoir in progress about her relationship with her father. Ryan DiGiorgi followed with a story about backing out of getting a tattoo -- and then getting sent to Mars alone as a prank. Cohost Eden Robins then took us into the intermission with a microessay about financial security and status in America.

After the break, special guest cohost (and regular videographer) Kyle Thiessen read a selection of seasonal and topical haiku -- transcribed below -- and then introduced Gina DeLuca, who shared a personal essay about trying her hand at acting, auditioning for commercials for tampons and mammograms.

Fred Sasaki closed out the night with one of his patented emails, this time directed to Katy Perry about one of his daughters.

Miss the show? You can watch the readers on our YouTube channel, along with videos of past shows.

We'll be back on Tuesday, Oct. 4 with guests Tom Haley, Kevin Smokler, Henri Harps, KB Jensen and Jen Masengarb. Hope to see you there!

August Debriefing


aug2016.jpgIt's been a hot summer, but the August 2 edition of Tuesday Funk was very cool.

Connie Voisine led off with poems about life in New Mexico, followed by Vojislav Pejovic with an excerpt of his book about a fraudulent plastic surgeon on the run. Cohost Andrew Huff read a couple topical haiku (including a birthday wish to his long-suffering wife, whose birthday it was), and then Ines Bellina read an essay about how the roots of her family tree have entwined with politics.

After the intermission, cohost Eden Robins read a micro-essay, and Angel Simmons told the story of a near-death experience she had crossing the street. Ryan Bartelmay closed out the show with a bittersweet short story about a group of teenagers looking for "a good time."

We'll be back twice in the next few weeks: We'll be part of Lit Crawl Chicago on Thursday, Aug. 18 with Rosamund Lannin, James Gordon, Steve Bellinger and Jasmine Davila, and then back to our regular schedule with Virginia Bell, Fred Sasaki, Ryan DiGiorgi, Gina DeLuca and KB Jensen on Tuesday, Sept. 6. Hope to see you there!

July Debriefing


hannahgamble-07052016.jpgComing off the holiday weekend, Tuesday Funk was the perfect way to ease back into the real world -- especially since the beer was cold and the Hopleaf's air conditioning was working.

Maggie Jenkins got us started with a story about becoming a karaoke hero in enemy territory. Leland Cheuk read an excerpt from his novel The Misadventures of Sulliver Pong, after which Scott Smith delivered a powerful essay on the broad brush the South Side is often painted with. To wit: "Myths are stories we tell ourselves to explain things that seem far away. Things that we don't understand. And for a lot of people, the South Side is a myth."

After the intermission, cohost Andrew Huff shared his patented topical haiku, and Hannah Gamble echoed Scott with an essay on race, bias and revolution, as well as a second essay -- disguised as a poem -- about the treatment of women in film and its relationship to sexuality. Kendra Stevens Closed out the night with a story about how fixing her teeth revealed self-consciousness she didn't realize she had.

Miss the show? You can watch the readers on our YouTube channel, along with videos of past shows.

We'll be back on Tuesday, Aug. 2 with guests Ryan Bartelmay, Ines Bellina, Vojislav Pejovic, Angel Simmons and Connie Voisine. Hope to see you there!

June Debriefing


Rana Khoury reads at Tuesday FunkJune's edition of Tuesday Funk was a lively one. Cohost Eden Robins led us off with a bit of Ke$ha fan fiction, followed by post-apocalyptic poetry by Sara Krueger. Cohost Andrew Huff read some topical haiku before handing the mic over to Parker Molloy, who read an essay about the challenges facing transgender teens and how much they outweigh the fantasies of restroom menace imagined by conservative congressmen.

Then we took a break to let Sal refresh our drinks and discuss what we've heard.

Rana Khoury kept the more serious mood going with an excerpt from her book As Ohio Goes: Life in the Post-Recession Nation, describing the decline of manufacturing in the Buckeye State. Norman Doucet closed us out with a personal essay on how Americans have allowed politics to divide us.

We'll be back on Tuesday, July 5 -- yep, the day after Independence Day -- with guests Leland Cheuk, Hannah Gamble, Scott Smith and the cohosts of monthly reading series Serving the Sentence, Maggie Jenkins and Kendra Stevens. Come celebrate freedom with us!

May debriefing


IMG_20160503_204945277_HDR.jpgWe may not get an actual spring in Chicago, but it's always spring in the heart of Tuesday Funk. The evening started off strong with former co-host Sara Ross Witt's reading from her YA novel about a family of witches... and one girl who's a little different. Next up, J. Preston Witt read a short story about childhood desires, birds, and mud shoes that was funny and wistful in turn. And Martha Bayne finished off the half with an essay about haunted houses and the housing collapse.

Jason filled our glasses and we drained them dutifully.

Kimberly Dixon-Mays got us back in the mood with poems about Record Store Day and the trials and tribulations of marriage alike. And then Elizabeth Gomez provided our grand finale, with three separate pieces, a poem, an essay about a foray into self-waxing, and a short story told from the perspective of a sandwich-eating Cormac McCarthy.

Bravely, we exited our warm haven, back into the cold Chicago evening. But we'll be back next month on Tuesday, June 7 with Sara Krueger, Rana Khoury, Parker Molloy, Norman Doucet and cohost Eden Robins!

April debriefing


IMG_20160405_204226973.jpegWhat a night! Drama, intrigue, and baseball... the trifecta for any good reading.

Robert Loerzel started it off with a fascinating historical essay about the Cubs' one-time short-lived nickname "Microbes." Jessi DiBartolomeo followed with some more historical insight - this time about cemeteries in Chicago and how they interweave with stories of her own history. Then co-host Eden Robins read a micro-essay about that time a tree fell on her car. And Lily Be finished off the half with a jaw-dropping story about parenthood, infidelity, and family secrets.

Jason was quick with pouring drinks and we were even quicker with drinking them.

Co-host Andrew Huff opened the second half with his patented seasonal haiku, and then it was James Finn Garner, who did a dramatic, Vaudevillian-style reading of a "Casey at the Bat" parody. Finally, Joe Meno read a short story that was humorous and heart-tugging in turns, and left everyone wanting more.

And we do it all again next month! Join us on Tuesday, May 3 with Elizabeth Gomez, J Preston Witt, Martha Bayne, Kimberly Dixon-Mays, and former co-host Sara Ross Witt!

March debriefing


IMG_20160303_082241.jpgSuper Tuesday may be super, but it can't hold a candle to Tuesday Funk. Matt Fogarty put us in the right mood with his stories about space traveling dinosaurs and going to the moon in a barrel, and then Felix Jung mellowed us out with his wistful poems about love, death, and other juicy poetry stuff. Then Rosamund Lannin finished off the half with a meditation on the many meanings of fear and failure.

Bartender Alex filled our glasses expertly.

After the half, co-host Andrew Huff read his well-loved haiku, and then Kelly Swails entertained us with a chapter from her new book about a school for world domination, This May Go on your Permanent Record. Finally, Mark Borowsky had us roaring with his essay about his obsession with watching sports and how the many-worlds interpretation gives him comfort.

Here's a tip: Take a break from politics to make and support art. Your brain deserves better than Trump! So come see us next month, on Tuesday, April 5 with Joe Meno, Robert Loerzel, Jessi DiBartolomeo, James Finn Garner, and Lily Be!

February debriefing


IMG_20160204_085603.jpgWhat a night! What a show! It was another standing room-only night at the ol' Hopleaf! Joshua Landsman set us in motion with his very first public reading - a fable of love and poor judgment from his book of fables, accompanied on the guitar by his son. Then Jasmine Davila talked to us about the pros of turning 40 and getting to do whatever you want. And Tom Underberg wrapped up the first half with a haunting and chilling story about a girl haunted by a murder in the dead of winter.

During intermission, Jason helped us quench our thirsts.

Co-host Eden Robins read a microessay about her various forays into therapy, and then co-host Andrew Huff read an essay about attention spans and haiku... followed by a few of his signature haiku! And finally, Alex Shakar finished us off strong with a funny and heartfelt story about the relationship between a woman and her dead lover.

We laughed, we learned, we cheered the fact that we did not have to endure a blizzard this year. And we'll be back next month on Tuesday, March 1 with Kelly Swails, Felix Jung, Mark Borowski, Matt Fogarty, and Rosamund Lannin!

January debriefing


IMG_20160105_203108184.jpgWhether it's out of genuine love for the Funk or the result of New Years resolutions, our January show is always packed to the gills! And what a great show it was! Christopher Sweet started us off with an excerpt from his novel about a boy just trying to make sense of mid-century America... and who is also a balloon. Next up, Chuck Sudo read a strange-but-true story of his childhood spent scamming Columbia House Records and mingling with religious zealots. Then co-host Eden Robins, in a little switcheroo, read some haiku, and Lori Rader-Day closed out the half with an excerpt from her new novel Little Pretty Things, a mystery set in a roadside motel in northern Indiana.

Whodunit? Well, if you're asking about pouring beer, the answer is Jason, our bartender!

After intermission, co-host Andrew Huff read a micro-essay about being part of Gen X... an article he had written in 1996. Then Robert O'Connor told a story about a four-day, many-hundreds of miles trip he took for a piano audition at Oberlin. Finally, Mare Swallow gave a multi-media presentation all about the many benefits of the celebrity crush.

Don't give up those resolutions now! We're going to have another show - Tuesday Funk #90 (!!) on February 2. See you there!

December debriefing


IMG_20151204_105415.jpgHoly standing room only, Batman! This was a popular show... and for good reason! Clayton Smith started us off strong with an excerpt from his new novel Anomaly Flats, about adventure and fantastical... anomalies in rural Missouri. Next up was Gint Aras, reading from his new novel The Fugue, about secrets, neighborliness, and the displacement that comes with immigration. And Britt Julious ended the first half with a powerful essay about the fears and bodily perils of traveling around Chicago as a woman.

We swarmed Jason for drinks, and he responded admirably.

After intermission, Bill Savage read an essay about why we should stop using the classist and divisive term "dive bars," and James Gordon (aka G.P.A.) wrapped up the evening with a true story about a frightening run-in with gun violence as a young man.

It was really a stellar show, and if you missed it, then you are sorry you missed it. But you don't have to miss any more! Tuesday Funk #89 will be on Tuesday, January 5, featuring Christopher Sweet, Robert O'Connor, Mare Swallow, Lori Rader-Day, and Chuck Sudo!

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, October 3, 7:30 p.m. at Hopleaf, 5148 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60640. Admission is free.

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