J. Preston Witt grew up in the suburbs of Flint, Michigan. He studied creative writing at the University of Michigan (2010) and The Ohio State University (MFA 2014). He served as co-editor of The Journal and as the founding editor of the education project PhoneFiction. In 2014, he won the Able Muse Write Prize for fiction, and he has recently published stories in Ninth Letter, The New Guard, and the Red76 anthology Trainwreck. He works as an adjunct writing instructor and lives in Uptown with his partner, the talented Chicago actress Elise Randall. He is working on a play and a novel.
Kimberly Dixon-Mays is a Ragdale and Cave Canem fellow whose publications include Reverie, Anthology of Chicago, Uproot, Consequence and Rhino magazines, the anthologies Trigger Warning and Just Like a Girl: A Manifesta! and her own collections SenseMemory, and More Than a Notion: Reflections on (Black) Marriage. Since 2004 she has been a frequent writer with the Poetry Performance Incubator project of the Guild Literary Complex, and served as the Guild's Executive Director from 2010 to 2012.
Elizabeth Gomez is a Chicago-based comedian, storyteller, writer, and experienced napper. She is a founder of the Windy City Rollers, Chicago's original all female roller derby league; a founding writer at Drinkers with Writing Problems; an associate producer of Story Club Southside and HilariTea; and a cast member of the Kates. She hopes to one day find a wealthy 96-year-old man to marry and eventually become addicted to prescription drugs and fluffy pink high heels.
Sara Ross Witt is a former co-host of Tuesday Funk and a graduate of The New School MFA in Creative Writing program. Her writing has appeared in Arch City Chronicle, Parent to Parent, Black Market Lit, and Best of Ohio Short Stories volume 1 and 2. Sara lives Chicago's Ravenswood neighborhood with her husband Andrew Witt - bassist for the hard rock doom pop fish metal band Sea Lords - their sons: a 4 year old and a 4 month old. She once listed Ellen Ripley from the Alien movies as a person she would like to meet.
Martha Bayne is a freelance writer and editor, and the editor-in-chief of Belt Magazine, an independent online magazine covering the postindustrial midwest. Her features and essays have appeared in the Chicago Reader, the Chicago Tribune, Crain's, Occupy.com, Belt, the Baffler, and the independent literary site the Rumpus, where she is the Sunday coeditor. She is also a company member with Chicago's Theater Oobleck and the author of Soup & Bread Cookbook: Building Community One Pot at a Time (Agate, 2011), a narrative cookbook based on the long-running community meal project she organizes at Chicago's Hideout bar.
The next installment of Tuesday Funk, your favorite eclectic monthly reading series, is May 3! Join us in the upstairs bar at Hopleaf for readings by Elizabeth Gomez, J Preston Witt, Martha Bayne, Kimberly Dixon-Mays and Sara Ross Witt! No relation between those two Witts, as far as we know. But Andrew Huff and Eden Robins are your witty co-hosts, and Jason or Sal will be ready to serve you a whitbier (or something else) at the bar.
Doors open at 7pm -- no earlier! really! unless you like standing in line on the stairs! -- and the show starts at 7:30 sharp. So get there early to grab a seat, but not overly early. As always, admission is free, but you must be 21 or older. And come early or stay late after for some great Belgian-style food downstairs.
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!
It'll be pretty much the best thing you can do on a Tuesday, and you know it. This month we've got the likes of Robert Loerzel, Jessi DiBartolomeo, James Finn Garner, Lily Be, and Joe Meno. Andrew Huff and Eden Robins are, as ever, your diligent co-hosts.
Our readings take place at Hopleaf Bar, 5148 N. Clark St. in Chicago. We get started promptly at 7:30 pm in the upstairs lounge. Arrive early if you want a seat -- but no earlier than 7:00 pm. Our readings are free, but only those 21 and over will be admitted. No food can be brought in from the restaurant. RSVP on Facebook if you like. See you there!
Joe Meno is a fiction writer who lives in Chicago. He is the winner of the Nelson Algren Award, a Pushcart Prize, the Great Lakes Book Award, and a finalist for the Story Prize. The bestselling author of seven novels including Hairstyles of the Damned and The Boy Detective Fails, he is a professor at Columbia College Chicago in the Department of Creative Writing. He was a longtime contributing editor to Punk Planet, the seminal underground arts and politics magazine, before it ceased publication in 2007. His latest novel, Marvel and a Wonder, was published in September 2015.
Please join Joe and all our amazing readers on Tuesday, April 5, 2016, upstairs at Hopleaf at 7:30 pm. This 21-and-older event is free.
Jessi DiBartolomeo hails from the suburbs of Phoenix, Arizona, which is just as bad as it sounds. She packed her car with her belongings and cat and made the drive to Chicago in the miserably humid summer of 2011 and has been dicking around in the Midwest ever since. She finds joy in volunteering for CHIRP Radio, which has included volunteer coordination for the organization, interviewing bands such as Chelsea Wolfe, Small Black, Sinkane, and Yuck, audio production, and being an on-air DJ who plays songs that remind her of feelings from high school. Her day job is general managing a very strange local doughnut shop called Doughnut Vault. She doesn't have anything published, but blogs, tweets, instagrams, facebooks, snaps, tumbles, and stares off into the dark in those quiet moments waiting for sleep.
Please join Jessi and all our amazing readers on Tuesday, April 5, 2016, upstairs at Hopleaf at 7:30 pm. This 21-and-older event is free.