Tuesday Funk : Debriefings : Page 4

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!

October debriefing


IMG_20141007_205528044.jpgAnother month cruised by, another Tuesday Funk delighted our senses. Time, how quickly she passes. Sunrise, sunset.

We started off with a story of love and Chicago with a twist of death (who could resist such a combination?) by Noel Jones, followed by an excerpt from Lori Rader-Day's gripping mystery novel, The Black Hour, and then Mark Turcotte left us shaking with an intense memoir-ish piece about his parents before they ever met.

We needed beer, and we needed it from Mark, who gave it to us in exchange for valid currency.

We were ready for round two! Dmitry Samarov told us two tales of being a cab driver in Chicago, from his most recent memoir Where To? A Hack Memoir. And then Paul McComas and Maya Kuper closed out the night with a moving musical/spoken word extravaganza based on McComas's novel UNPLUGGED that featured, yes, a real-live keytar.

It was a night to remember, and we have two more nights to remember in 2014 (you will remember NO OTHER NIGHTS). Join us on Tuesday, November 4th for Tuesday Funk #75 when we shall delight in the readings of Tom Haley, Maggie Jenkins, Melinda McIntire, Keesha Beckford, and former co-host William Shunn!

September debriefing


The SS Tuesday Funk disembarked again, and ahoy matey, what a grand voyage it was. That's about all the ship metaphor I can manage.

Holly McDowell pulled us in right away with an excerpt from her YA novel Snake Eyes - about a religious girl who decides to give up the reins of her life to the roll of two dice instead of God. Ryan DiGiorgi had us cracking up with his wacky tale of man's best friend, namely a dog named Roger whose influence extended to the Oval Office. Anne Holub closed out the half with poems about travel and the reasons we should be grateful for Chicago, even though winter is coming.

We caroused, we drank Mark's booze, we waited until the very last minute to return to our seats.

Co-host Andrew Huff told us about current events in 5-7-5, and then Jasmine Davila made her 20 year high school reunion actually sound like a lot of fun... not to mention a meaningful experience. Finally, Scott Smith closed us out with a thoughtful and poignant essay on the Jackie Robinson West victory and its political and social implications.

Listen. You know you should come to Tuesday Funk. What's keeping you? Come to the next one - Tuesday, October 7th, same time, same place. We'll be featuring Mark Turcotte, Paul McComas & Maya Kuper, Lori Rader-Day, Noël Jones, and Dmitry Samarov.

August debriefing


hanna gambleIf you're wondering why this post took so long, it's because we literally had our minds blown by Tuesday Funk #72. And I mean literally literally. Okay, that's a lie. But still. It was an awesome show.

David Daskal set the pace with a nail-biter of a story about a man's last thoughts as he goes down in a fiery plane crash, followed by Christine Simokaitis, who read three interconnected short stories about dying and living and the patron saint of hypochondria. Co-host Andrew Huff took his topical haiku hyper-local by commenting on Mark the bartender's pasta dinner, and then we were all tickled by an excerpt from Leah Thomas's upcoming YA novel about a boy allergic to electricity and his penpal... who is electric.

We took a breather. We drank some drinks, thanks to Mark's swift, booze-pouring hands.

Co-host Eden Robins ranted about the Muppet Babies cartoon, and then Britt Julious had us all rapt as she talked about harassment, black female bodies, and self-confidence. And, finally, we rounded out the evening with Hannah Gamble's funny, bittersweet poems about women and sex and being vs. nothingness.

It was a doozy of a doozy. Doozies all the way down. We laughed, we cried, we bit our fingernails, we ate mussels cooked in Belgian beer. And we'll do it all again on September 2nd, with illustrious guests Scott Smith, Ryan DiGiorgi, Anne Holub, Jasmine Davila, and Holly McDowell.

July Debriefing


IMG_20140701_195822.jpgWhoa. Just whoa. I am running out of exclamations for the amazingness of our readers. July was no exception. Why do you keep missing this show? Was it something I said? Come to the next one... I'll buy you a beer (I probably won't buy you a beer).

Sheri Reda revved our engines with a funny/scary rant about food and the chemicals therein. Norm Doucet tugged at our heartstrings with a story of his post-9/11 experiences in the Marines. Co-host Eden Robins tried to pick up the pieces of our broken hearts with a micro-essay on her own cultural incompetence while traveling. And then Evan Okun blasted our minds and bodies to smithereens with his potent rhymes about justice and addiction and social injustice.

Whew. It was time for a breather. Mark tried to keep up with our collective desire for liquor.

After the break, co-host Andrew Huff skewered Rahm and SCOTUS alike with his haiku, and then Lisa White shared some totally relatable stories about internet trolls, and Lisa Kirchner finished us off with an excerpt from her memoir about living in Qatar.

Like I said before. Whoa. Won't you come see us in August for another "whoa"-worthy show? We've got Hannah Gamble, David Daskal, Leah Thomas, Christine Simokaitis, and Britt Julious on August 5th!

June Debriefing


IMG_20140603_193029.jpgHoly moly, folks. I certainly hope you didn't miss this month's Tuesday Funk, because if you did... you are a CHUMP. We started off fast and furious with Ted Goeglein's true story of robbing a strip joint and then, remorsefully, trying to give the money back. You'd think that would be a tough act to follow, but then Claire Zulkey nailed it with a tale of decadence and mystery... with a touch of life-swapping. Co-host Andrew Huff dropped some sweet haiku on us, and then Patricia Skalka cleaned up the first half with a teasing and sinister excerpt from her novel Death Stalks Door County.

There was much schmooze and drinking of booze.

After the break, co-host Eden Robins made us worry about her sanity with her micro-essay, and then former TF co-host Sara Ross Witt charmed and alarmed us with the story of some kids who accidentally watched a porn about goat-men. Finally, Ted McClelland had us all agape when he talked about his now-posthumously-famous neighbor, street photographer Vivian Maier.

You just had to be there. Hopefully you'll be there next month on July 1st when we have fabulous readers Lisa Kirchner, Norm Doucet, Evan Okun, Sheri Reda, and Julia Gray!

May Debriefing


melissa.jpgThere ain't no party like a Tuesday Funk #69 party, and a Tuesday Funk #69 party don't stop... until about 9:15pm. We started the night off right with an excerpt from Gint Aras's novel Finding the Moon in Sugar, about an American chasing his Lithuanian mail-order bride across the ocean. We followed that up with Jeremy Owens' rousing tale of dog ownership, and rounded out the half with Melissa Wiley's melancholy essay about loneliness and lovers.

Mark then took care of all of our beery needs.

Co-host Andrew Huff nearly incited a coup with his haiku about Hot Doug's imminent demise. Dustin Monk picked up the pieces with a fantastical tale about magic tea and cultural friction, and then James Finn Garner followed with a natural segue into an excerpt of his upcoming clown noir novel, second in the series about Rex Koko: Private Clown.

You are sorry you missed it. Don't be sorry again! We'll be back on June 3rd with guest stars Claire Zulkey, Patricia Skalka, Sara Ross Witt, Theodore Goeglein, and Ted McLelland!

April Debriefing


Spring might have felt like a cruel April Fool's joke, but Tuesday Funk #68 was all real, baby. Cesar Torres gave us a glimpse into his soon-to-be-released serial novel The 13 Secret Cities with a breathless chase scene in a dystopian Chicago. Letitia Moffitt read a humorous and bittersweet story of a young woman changing her appearance to forget her past, from her novel-in-stories Sidewalk Dancing. Co-host Andrew Huff shamed Chicago for its 4% primary turnout in haiku. And Amy Sumpter rounded out the first half with the true trials and tribulations of a Girl Scout roadtrip gone horribly wrong.

Beers were had.

Co-host Eden Robins made us all think about aging with her micro-essay. Brooke Wonders took the stage with two stories - a horror love story (is there any other?) and one about writing, if stories were wild animals. And finally, Jill Howe chilled us to the bone and then warmed our hearts with her scary, sweet, funny, sad tale of teaching at CPS.

We tried to hold onto the moment for as long as we could, but all good nights must end. That doesn't mean we can't have another! Join us on May 6th for Tuesday Funk #69, featuring James Finn Garner, Melissa Wiley, Gint Aras, Jeremy Owens, and Dustin Monk!

March Debriefing


In traditional Mardi Gras fashion, Tuesday Funk #67 featured elaborate floats, the exchange of plastic beads for glimpses of nudity, and the consumption of King Cake.

Well, the last part is true, anyway. Co-host Andrew Huff brought two genuine King Cakes for our enjoyment, and luckily, no one ate the baby.

Joe O'Sullivan got us laughing with his all-too-true tales of life in cubicle farm drudgery. Co-host Eden Robins regaled us with a story of ancient demi-gods fighting with one another for supremacy over the Northwest Suburbs. And Naomi Buck Palagi rounded out the first half with her awesome collection of "rock"-in poems, ie poems about rocks.

We all grabbed some King Cake and some brewskies from the ever-faithful Mark, and then it was time for round two. Co-host Andrew Huff told us about the weather in haiku format, and then Laura Adamczyk gave us a lively, modern interpretation of Chekhov's gun. Wendy McClure finished us off with a tale of her visit to Walnut Grove, MN, home of the Laura Ingalls Wilder festivals, and the wackiness she encountered there.

And then, like all good Mardi Gras...es, we stumbled home, full of cake and beer, regret for our behavior merely a twinkle on tomorrow's horizon, ready to do it all again next month.

Speaking of next month -- don't miss it! Tuesday, April 1st, we've got Letitia Moffitt, Brooke Wonders, Cesar Torres, Amy Sumpter, and Jill Howe. No foolin'!

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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