Apr 222018
 

Let The Blues Be Your Muse! will be a blues-themed literary evening hosted by Waterline Writers at 7 PM, Sunday May 20th 2018, at Water Street Studios and Kiss The Sky in Batavia, IL. The event includes poetry, prose, essays and lyrics that not only evoke or celebrate blues music, but also build on and play off each other to create a unique literary experience. Participants include Latrina Childs, Joan Colby, Sharon Kotzin Frolick, Paula K Garrett, Robert Hellenga,  Dave Ramont, Al Schubert, Christopher Stolle and Emily Hollis Tipping.

Thank you to all 30 writers who submitted so many good pieces from which to choose, to Kiss The Sky’s Steve Warrenfeltz, who suggested this concept, and to musicians Scott Tipping and Dave Nelson, who helped curate this event!

Scott Tipping has been a member of The Mighty Blue Kings, Backyard Tire Fire, Magic Box, Cornmeal and currently plays guitar with the Grammy/Emmy nominated singer/songwriter, Peter Himmelman. His latest project, Bluebird Sessions Vol 1 pays tribute to the historic recordings that were made in 1937-1938 at The Sky Club in Aurora, IL. The project features a host of national artists including Nora O’Connor, Robbie Fulks, Dave Hererro as well as local legends like Mick Ducker and Mae Koen, who is featured here on I Won’t Be in Hard Luck No More.

Guitarist Dave Nelson performs with Heartsfield, Electric Dirt, Rachel Drew & The Bitter Roots and many Chicago area musicians. He worked with producers Steve Warrenfeltz and Scott Tipping as a major contributor to the Leland Bluebird Sessions. These sessions paid tribute to the blues artists of the late 1930’s, of which Dave has a profound and deep admiration. For forty plus years Dave has taught, performed, written and recorded many different and diverse styles of music. But none resonate so close to his heart than primitive American blues music. This original and truly American art form captivated him early on in his musical life.  The real life stories of the men and women who pioneered this music is what Dave believes to be some of the most visceral and fascinating history of our country and whose influences reach so far into numerous genres of music today. Dave is with Clayhead Records and can be heard at Heartsfield | Rockin’ the Country and The Minutes I’m In, a recording with Ben Schiltz, a local writer whom Dave admires greatly.

This collaboration with the Fox Valley Music Foundation, Kiss the Sky Records and Water Street Studios sets the stage for:

Paula Garrett & Anne Veague at waterlinewriters@gmail.com.

Apr 152018
 

April 15th, 2018: Welcome to Waterline Writers! We host live readings on 3rd Sundays at 7 PM.   At 8:30, Frank Rutledge hosts our Open Mic, limited to 6 writers. (We want to hear many different writers. Please don’t sign up more often than every other month!)

Tonight’s featured readers are:

Donna Pucciani, a long-time fan of Waterline Writers and frequent reader, has published poetry on four continents. Her work has been translated into Japanese, Chinese, German and Italian. Her seventh and most recent book of poetry is Edges, available tonight for  $15. She’s reading from her chapbook, Ghost Garden (available tonight for $10), which traces her genealogical adventures finding her roots in Italy. For more about Donna: donnapuccianipoet.wordpress.com

Christopher Kuhl is a frequently published poet and an active reader of his work.  Recently, he has begun to explore short fiction: he has published all his stories, and in 2016 won Editor’s Choice for his story, “Wade,” in Inscape. He is trained in all the arts except for literature, but has always written, and continues to improve. His new poetry collection, Night Travels, was released in August. When not writing, Christopher is either doing visual art or studying Hebrew. He is never bored. Christopher will have Blood and Bone, River and Stone available for $6 and Night Travels  for $6. For more about Christopher: christopherkuhlpoet.com.       

David W. Berner is a journalist, broadcaster, teacher and author of four memoirs and two novels. Of A Well-Respected Man, The San Francisco Review of Books says, “Impressive…writing with an enormous sense of humanity.” His broadcast reporting and documentaries air on WBBM, the CBS Radio Network, and on NPR. David is a former Writer-in-Residence at the Hemingway Birthplace in Oak Park and the Jack Kerouac Project in Orlando. His writing appears in Eunoia Review, Under the Gum Tree, PERIGEE, Tiny Lights Journal and others. David will have A Well-Respected Man or October Song available for $12 tonight. For more about David: davidwberner.com

BREAK

John Arends is a poet, author, playwright and screenwriter. He participated in the early days of Marc Smith’s poetry slams at the Green Mill in Chicago, and more recently is writing scripts for Hollywood and television. Tonight, he’ll read a scene from his full-length play, Of Sorrow Songs and Treason. It’s a work in progress, inspired by the life of civil rights activist Paul Robeson. His collection of poetry, SINEW – Muscle Poems and Mantras, Bar Rants and Bliss, is available on Amazon or  he’ll have copies tonight for $5.

Frank Rutledge is an author of poetry and short fiction, a musician, and popular host of 3 Open Mics: Modest Mic (3rd Wed, Sugar Grove Library), Harmonious Howl (Graham’s 318, 4th Thurs, summer), and Waterline’s (3rd Sundays). He’s a co-founder of Open Sky Poets and Early Risers Writers, and a pillar of Waterline Writers. He’s been published in A Café in Space: an Anais Nin literary magazine, Arts Beat, the Downtown Auroran and Foxtales Anthologies. Frank will have copies of Clothed in August Skin and Eat the Punchline–This Joke Is Over for $6 each tonight. His haiku, Voice in a Whisper, is $5 tonight. Frank’s books are also available on Amazon.

Sat. April 21st marks the 1st Fox River Arts Ramble, a 1-day, self-guided art tour of 40 locations from Elgin to Aurora. Info & maps on Facebook or FoxRiverArts.com!

Our venue! Water Street Studios makes Waterline Writers possible! Please become a member of WSS, sign up for Art Classes, attend 2nd Friday exhibit openings or 4th Friday Live Art Series, or expand your art collection – buy work from the main gallery or from one of the 26 resident artists’ studios!

Our sponsors! Solemn Oath Brewery & The Market at Gaetano’s.

Our vendors! Hand-tooled pens from Wooden Writers and handmade books & journals from Tieri Ton Books make wonderful gifts for writers, readers …  and you!

Our friends! The Republic of Letters, 1 W. State, Ste 103, Geneva offers books, classes, discussions, special events and more. The Book Shop Batavia is now open! Find them at 15 N. River Street!

Our neighbors! Kiss The Sky hosts live music and offers new & vintage vinyl, audio equipment and eclectic gifts! Check out this local gem, our collaborators in the May 20th Blues-themed Waterline event:

Let The Blues Be Your Muse, our special May 20th blues-themed literary event, is designed to kick off June’s Art of the Blues exhibit 6/8,  Blues & Roots on Water Street 6/9, and the 22nd Annual Blues on the Fox Festival 6/15-16 with poetry, essays and fiction evoking and celebrating The Blues. Scott Tipping & Dave Nelson will help curate this event, which will also feature live blues! Find the event on Facebook, at WaterlineWriters.org or contact Paula Garrett at waterlinewriters@gmail.com.

Friends of the Fox are looking for poets and storytellers to share their work on Love Our River Clean Up Day (5/12 in Elgin, 5/19 in Batavia). The clean-up will end with live music, stories, poetry, contests, picnic, treasure hunt and environmental exhibits. Contact Gary at gbmechanic@gmail.com.

Frank Rutledge hosts Modest Mic for writers and musicians at The Sugar Grove Library, 125 S. Municipal Dr. on 3rd Wednesdays from 6:30-8 PM.

Teens: attend T-WAAP Wordplay workshops! To support Teen Writers & Artists Project and their vital writing programs, contact Shayne Phillips at sphillips@twaap.org,  go to twaap.org or Smile.Amazon.

Thanks to our crew Frank Rutledge, Chuck Bennorth, Ginny Klespitz, Ray Ziemer, Paula Garrett, Barbara Barrows & Rick Veague; WSS’s Dani Hollis & Jaime Gutierrez; and to our wonderful audience!

Apr 132018
 

I would like to go to a fine Thai restaurant with Ralph Waldo Emerson. Then after our stomachs are satiated, discuss the deeper things of life over coffee. Or maybe share a picnic and balloon ride with Emily Dickinson.”

What was the inspiration behind what you’ll be reading at Waterline?

First off, I am always inspired by reading poetry. It’s important for my growth as a poet that I do. My inspiration comes from open observation of the everyday, reflection on emotions and an active imagination. I’m always mulling over my experiences I have had or am having. I’m a romantic at heart and always trying to impress the muse. I’ve been enchanted with the work of a painter friend of mine. My life is enriched contemplating other artistic media and disciplines. Music. Painting. Theater etc.

What are you working on now?

I have been writing and gathering new poems for my next book, “A Tattered Square of Joy.” I’m excited with anticipation to be sharing new work with an audience, the fresh poems I’ve created this winter. Often, I get the urge to dabble in the prose discipline, to tangle with sentences and paragraphs. Therefore, when I’m not working on free verse poetry, my brain wanders to prose poems (flash fiction). I’m enjoying visiting that different place in my mind.

What was the last great thing you read by another author?

Lately, I have been entranced with the poetry of Federico Garcia Lorca. His clarity and precision of vocabulary impresses me. He has a way of making it look simple but I’m certain it is accredited to his aptitude and practice of craft. His poetry is well polished yet doesn’t sacrifice emotion. Like other Latin poets and writers his meanings are ensconced in a gentle surrealism. Specifically, I’ve been spending time in his collection, “A Season in Granada.”

You’re organizing a literary dinner party. Which writer, dead or alive, do you invite?

I would like to go to a fine Thai restaurant with Ralph Waldo Emerson. Then after our stomachs are satiated, discuss the deeper things of life over coffee.  Or maybe share a picnic and balloon ride with Emily Dickinson.

Apr 122018
 

I’d invite Jane Austen [to dinner], whose sharp wit and brilliant control of satire would provide a lively commentary on the current political scene that would no doubt rival Colbert, Oliver, and SNL, among others.”

What was the inspiration behind what you’ll be reading at Waterline?

The inspiration for my chapbook, Ghost Garden, was the desire to connect with my Italian roots. After I retired from teaching a few years ago, I had time to research my family tree and discovered hundreds of Italian ancestors and also a few living cousins with whom I have become close friends. Together we have visited “our” village in southern Italy and walked the cobbled streets of our grandmothers, linking arms with each other and the past.

What are you working on now?

Current projects include preparing for a reading of my latest full-length poetry collection, EDGES, for First Presbyterian Church in Wheaton, and participating in Poetry Month displays at Chicago and suburban libraries.

What was the last great thing you read by another author?

Latest “good reads” include A Gentleman from Moscow by Amor Towles and Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney. One is by an established author, the other new, and they are polar opposites in plot, style, and characters. But both books are brimming with the kind of exquisite prose, particularly  the “voices” of their narrators, that inspire me as a poet.

You’re organizing a literary dinner party. Which writer, dead or alive, do you invite?

I’d invite Jane Austen, whose sharp wit and brilliant control of satire would provide a lively commentary on the current political scene that would no doubt rival Colbert, Oliver, and SNL, among others.

Apr 112018
 

…I realize that even children are mortal, and by the time they’re in school, they’re wondering about death. And that’s when we start telling them fairy tales…”

What was the inspiration behind what you’ll be reading at Waterline?

As I get older, I become more and more aware of my body, and mortality and spirituality (I don’t mean “religion”). And with that, in these poems I realize that even children are mortal, and by the time they’re in school, they’re wondering about death. And that’s when we start telling them fairy tales (religious or otherwise). But we all, ultimately ask, Why? The other thing I’m concerned with (also often in the same poem) is our relationship to the physical world, and time, and how they play into our lives.

What are you working on now?

I’m not working on any particular project now, except to become a better writer, and broaden my outlook. As I say that, though, I also have to say I have a little germ in the back of my head, because since my last book, I’ve been finding, feeling that these new poems are related in some way. So I’ll just say that the germ in my head also has a working title: TIMES THAT BIND, TIES THAT REND. But it’ll be a while before anything comes of that because I’m also just concentrating on learning more things. In any case, book or no book, I’m having a good time.

What was the last great thing you read by another author?

I have to expand this to two, one a short novel, the other a collection of poems. First, the novel: A LESSON BEFORE DYING, by Ernest J. Gaines. It’s a powerful, angry and compassionate book about race, (in)justice, relationships between others, and with ourselves. It just blew me away. And the writing is beautiful. The other book is a collection of poems that won the 2014 Walt Whitman Award: THE SAME-DIFFERENT, by Hannah Sanghee Park. Talk about playing with language in all kinds of ways that I’ve never seen before. It’s absolutely fascinating. I keep it next to me, dipping into it again and again. Find a copy, read it, and be prepared to fall over with the power and depth and tragedy and playing that this book provides.

You’re organizing a literary dinner party. Which writer, dead or alive, do you invite?

Flannery O’Connor. A short fiction writer and novelist, her language, imagery and spirit have, in their own way, shaped me. Although her work is fiction, she still deals, with power and twisted wit (I don’t seem to have that in my work), many of the issues that drive me.

Apr 102018
 

What would you do if asked to fulfill someone’s last wishes when those wishes would change your life forever?”

What was the inspiration behind what you’ll be reading at Waterline?

I have had the idea for the novel A WELL-RESPECTED MAN for several years, the theme of end-of-life wishes and modern parenthood. What would you do if asked to fulfill someone’s last wishes when those wishes would change your life forever?

What are you working on now?

I have a memoir that two publishers are vying for. And I’m working on final edits. It’s based on the theme of home—what home means, why we seek it, why it resonates so strongly with who we are.  The memoir is a series of connected essays with the working title THE CONSEQUENCE OF STARS.

What was the last great thing you read by another author?

Oh my. Several things. Karl Ove Knausgaard’s WINTER. David Szalay’s ALL THAT MAN IS. A memoir by Nancy Chadwick entitled UNDER THE BIRCH TREE. And I finished another rmemoir recently that I loved by the great writer John Banville. TIME PIECES: A DUBLIN MEMOIR is about his life in Ireland. The writing is no less than poetic.

You’re organizing a literary dinner party. Which writer, dead or alive, do you invite?

Just one? That’s tough. Modern day—maybe Karl Ove Knausgaard, but I hear he can be rather reserved. Dead—maybe Jack Kerouac, but he may not be able to hold his liquor. The same with Hemingway. Albert Camus would be interesting—all those philosophical questions. Still, he might be a bit intimidating. As I write this now, I think of Gretel Ehrlich, the author of one of my favorite books: THE SOLACE OF OPEN SPACES. But here’s the thing, if you ask me this same question a week from now, I’ll have a completely different list.

Apr 092018
 

…of all the events, and all the human beings that walked planet Earth during the 20th century, it’s impossible to find one more astonishing than the story of Paul Robeson.”

What was the inspiration behind what you’ll be reading at Waterline?

My wheelhouse is in shaping and writing stories that are based on or inspired by true historical events. Most of these stories have a fascinating human being at their center. And of all the events, and all the human beings that walked planet Earth during the 20th century, it’s impossible to find one more astonishing than the story of Paul Robeson. The range, breadth and depth of his impact and achievements are remarkable. At the height of his influence and fame, his was the most recognized voice on the planet. He excelled in fields as diverse as acting for the stage and film, political activism, concert hall singing, international diplomacy, collegiate and professional athletics, Constitutional law, and civil rights — especially for indigenous, oppressed and/or working class people. His entire adult life was devoted to using his gifts and influence as a performing artist to fight against racism, fascism and colonialism– and for freedom and opportunity for all people of color, so that they could live and work in full human dignity.

What are you working on now?

On April 15th, at Waterline Writers, I’ll be reading a scene from a work-in-progress, full-length stage play. I’m about five drafts in on the rewrite. My goal is to have it ready by mid-summer for development with a local director and theater company. I’ve also recently been hired to write a screenplay for an independent feature film. It, too, is an adaptation of a book inspired by true events.

What was the last great thing you read by another author?

Stolen Air: Selected Poems of Osip Mandelstam, translated by Christian Wiman. Born in Poland and raised in St. Petersburg, Madelstam is the poet who was arrested and thrown in the Soviet gulags during the Purges, in part because of his poem The Stalin Epigram. In it, he compares Stalin’s mustache to a pair of laughing cockroaches.

You’re organizing a literary dinner party. Which writer, dead or alive, do you invite?

Billy Wilder

Apr 012018
 

On Sunday, April 15th at 7 pm, Waterline Writers will feature authors John Arends, David W. Berner, Christopher Kuhl, Donna Pucciani and Frank Rutledge.

John Arends often amplifies the voices of unsung African Americans, but his new play, Of Sorrow Songs and Treason, shifts emphasis from the renowned voice of Paul Robeson to the intense beliefs and struggles for which he should also be remembered.

In David W. Berner’s A Well-Respected Man, a professor who once wrote, “The story of a young woman breaking through society’s restraints, owning her sexuality, accepting love on her terms … is also a man’s story… And a young man’s decision ultimately is to either fight it with fire or celebrate it with wine,” finds he is still experiencing the complicated ramifications of being their author.

Christopher Kuhl follows his first book of poems, Night Travels, with words from the same deep well of material, such as “The first shadowy light/Of language shines like/The sea’s black mirror,” from the imminent Blood and Bone, River and Stone.

Donna Pucciani’s fascination with her ancestry has inspired years of Italian language study and not a few transatlantic phone calls. From “Phoning Pasquale” in Ghost Garden, she describes the tenuous connection, “We play in the shadow of Babel/tracing the fragile lines of language/on the tower walls, climbing the ladder/of each other’s voices.”

If this stretch of the Fox River Valley has an unofficial a poet laureate, we think it is Frank Rutledge, who “walk(s) across metaphorical/waters as easily/as a clown crosses a high wire.” Experience the poetry of Frank’s wit and wisdom.

Admission is $5/$3 students. You’ll have the opportunity to purchase signed copies of authors’ books, wine or beer ($5), a hand-tooled pen from Wooden Writers or a hand-constructed book from Tieri Ton. We also offer food from The Market at Gaetano’s and desserts from Limestone Coffee & Tea!

Everyone is welcome! Writers may bring a 5-minute piece to share at our 8:30 Open Mic. And don’t miss our May 20th event, Let The Blues Be Your Muse, with blues-themed readings and live blues!

Waterline Writers, 3rd Sundays at 7 pm, September to May, in the newly accessible art gallery at Water Street Studios, 160 S. Water Street, Batavia IL. To be considered as a featured writer for the 2018-19 season, please follow our Submission Guidelines, contact Anne Veague or Kevin Moriarity at waterlinewriters@gmail.com, or find us on Facebook or Twitter.