Feb 152015

Tonight’s lineup features 7 diverse authors:

Tricia Marcella Cimera is an obsessed reader and lover of words. Her poetry has been published in C.O.D.’s Prairie Light Review. “The Poem That Waits Across the Street” won the 2009 Prairie Poetry Award and a Judges’ Merit Award by the Community College Humanities Association. Volunteering at Fabyan Villa Museum, Garfield Farm Museum and Water Street Studios has reinforced the ideology of Think Globally, Act Locally in her life.

Angela Smallwood is 15 and a sophomore at Plainfield East High School. She’s been interested in writing since she was a little kid, but her interest in human rights and equality led her to join the Poetry Club last year. Her main motivation is to spread knowledge of different forms of oppression and privilege through her art–both graphics and writing. She is the first of tonight’s “Use Your Words” writers! * 

Rick Holinger’s fiction, poetry and essays have appeared in The Southern Review, The Iowa Review, Boulevard, Witness, and elsewhere. He has received three Pushcart Prize nominations and has published two chapbooks of short fiction. He moved to the Fox Valley in 1979 to teach English at Marmion Academy where he’s still learning to this day. His collections of short fiction and creative nonfiction are both under consideration for publication through traditional presses. He writes River Town Chronicles, a column in the Kane County Chronicle, and is the leader of two local writers groups. Tonight, he recommends reading: dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-racial-discrimination. *

Hakeem Jones has been writing since age 7, and is now 13 and an 8th grader at Plank Jr. H.S. His favorite piece is “Chicago”–his first great poem in his eyes, and his emergence into the art of spoken word. He’s performed at several slams competitions including Louder Than A Bomb. This high-honor-roll student is in poetry club, wrestling, track, cross country, band, and wind ensemble; writes short stories and essays; was 1st place in the DuPage County Fair Essay Contest; and has taught himself programming languages like Python and JavaScript. His dream college is MIT, and he hopes to attend IMSA next fall.  *

Kristin LaTour’s first full-length poetry collection, What Will Keep Me Alive, is coming out late in 2015 with Sundress Publications. Her poems can be found online, in print journals, and in her three chapbooks. Her website is kristinlatour.com, where readers can find links to poems, audio of her poems, and upcoming events where she is appearing. Kristin helps select poetry for Waterline Writers and WSS.

Ray Ziemer is a lifelong writer of prose and poetry, currently finishing a Young Adult novel, The Ghost of Jamie McVay. He teaches writing part time at C.O.D. and is a member of the Batavia Writers Group. Born and bred on Chicago’s South Side, he’s made his home of 30 years on the West Branch of the DuPage River with his wife and extended family which includes a ninety-one year old father-in-law, several dogs and cats, and grown sons who also contribute to the family construction business.

Neill E. Shanahan is a partner with Ken Clark Partners, a global executive search firm, and is also a Network Playwright and Board President at Chicago Dramatists. His plays, Mandatum and Miranda’s World, have been read in Chicago Dramatist’s Saturday Series, Director’s Lab, and/or Monday Series. For tonight’s scene from Lighthouse Beach, his full-length play currently in development with their Script Lab, we welcome Jana Rae Blumberg, who performs, directs, and is the current Marketing Manager on the board at the Albright Theatre. She recently joined Galen Malick in the commedia dell’arte group Troupe Strozzi. Galen has appeared in plays at the Albright Theatre and with the Batavia Art Council.

* Angela, Rick and Hakeem are tonight’s “Use Your Words” authors. Each month we will feature writers who wield their pens to make a difference in the world!

A 5-minute-limit Open Mic follows at 8:30! Your host for tonight is Nik Markevicius! Sign up on the clipboard at the counter. No racist, sexist, homophobic or otherwise hateful content. Open Mic material has not been screened. We reserve the right to stop a reading. 

Louder Than A Bomb (LTAB), the 15th annual, month-long spoken word poetry slam and festival begins with preliminary bouts from Feb 25-Mar 14th and ends with Indy finals on Mar 21st at the Rubloff and team finals Mar 28th at Arie Crown. Visit youngchicagoauthors.org for ticket. Why not make a trip to hear tonight’s Hakeem Jones or Angela Smallwood compete? We’ll post the dates on our website!

Enrollment is open for Take My Word For It! classes at Water Street Studios for kids ages 8-14. Beginning Thursday February 26th, 4-5 pm (for ages 8-11) and 5:15-6:15 pm (for ages 12-14). Sign up at waterstreetstudios.org or contact Chicago Area Director Trish Kredell at tmwfichicago@gmail.com.

Galleries Are For Writers Too!  A unique writers’ group meeting in the art gallery. Learn the practice of looking at art (and the world around you) with new eyes, always finding new ways to approach and understand your writing. Informal and creative discussions, gallery writing time, and optional sharing of the evening’s work or insights. No homework! Open to creative writers of any genre, at any level! When: Sundays, 7-9 PM. Where: WaterStreetStudios, 160 S. Water St., Batavia. Cost:  Free to WSS members; we appreciate a small donation from others. Facilitator: Anne Veague

WaterlineWriters.org has information on 20 area writers’ groups, 3 Wordplay poetry writing workshops for teens, and Open Mics. Try Paul LaTour’s 3rd Thursday Lit By The Bridge at Culture Stock in Aurora, Feb 19th at 6:30; limited to first 10 sign-up’s so come by 6:15. Or come just to listen!

Now on Kindle: Frank Rutledge’s Clothed in August Skin and Eat the Punch Line, this Joke is Over; F.V. Writers Group’s Foxtales 3; and Nik Markevicius’ Head. Submit your own work to FewerThan500.com (see Kevin Moriarity) or Reverie Fair (this month featuring Adrienne Novy! See Barbara Barrows).

Tonight! Purchase a signed book to add to the special bookshelf you reserve for authors you’ve met in person! We will refund your $5 donation when you buy a book, purchase art, or become a member of Water Street Studios, home to galleries, art & writing classes, free after-school and family art programs, and artist access to PrintLab, CeramicLab & MetalLab equipment. 

You can find tonight’s readings again this week on BATV and forever in our Video Library! 

Thanks to tonight’s authors; to volunteers Frank Rutledge, Nik Markevicius, Ginny Klespitz, Brandon Fink, Mary McHugh, Kristin LaTour, Paula Garrett, Barbara Barrows; and to all of you for coming!

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