Nov 082015

We recently asked people what they value about Waterline Writers. Here, Mary McHugh responds:

Waterline Writers creates a rare forum for the exchange of language and ideas between writers and readers. It celebrates the spoken word – not for sake of language alone, but rather for the sake of raising words up off of the page and bringing them out into the world. We ask ourselves: Does art exist if it remains unseen? Does music have melody if it remains unheard? Does poetry have meter if it remains unread? Waterline Writers brings the best amateur and professional writers of all genres together with lovers of the same to share the deepest value of writing and reading; binding us all together in the truths of why we laugh, love, weep, scowl, gossip, dance, mourn and celebrate.

Mary McHugh

Aug 282015

John Arends, Corey Dillard, Ed Herdrich, Mary Hutchings Reed, Bruce Steinberg with Henriette Agnes.  Waterline Writers kicks off its 2015-2016 season of monthly reading events with five writers whose diverse styles and genres share one commonality: their high literary quality! John Arends will share his beautiful poetry and maybe a sneak preview of an upcoming film script; Edward Herdrich’s story takes us into a soldier’s transition from active duty to “the company”; Mary Hutchings Reed excerpts from her most recent novel, Saluting the Sun; Bruce Steinberg shares the memories of Henriette, whose house was surrounded by Nazis when she was three days shy of her 6th birthday, and Corey Davis Dillard uses his spoken word superpowers to cast yet another literary spell over our audience. Everyone is welcome; you don’t have to be a writer! Come to listen once a month, and let the words and work of writers from all over the Chicago area (and beyond) inspire you for days to come! 3rd Sundays from September to May at 7 PM, with open mic to follow. $5! Put these dates on your calendar now: Sept 20, Oct 18, Nov 15, Dec 20, Jan 17, Feb 21, Mar 20, Apr 17 and May 15th. As always, the events are held at the art gallery at Water Street Studios, 160 S. Water Street, Batavia IL.

Jun 242015

tmwfiWe’re looking for kids who already have a passion for writing AND for those who don’t even know how much fun it can be! “Take My Word For It!” is offering creative writing classes this July at Water Street Studios! TMWFI’s innovative curriculum is designed for young authors, and summer sessions include lots of creativity-inspiring activities.

3rd – 5th grades: July 6-10 (M-F, 10 am – 12pm); 6th – 8th grades: July 20-24 (M-F, 10 am-12 pm). Sign up online!

Learn more about TMWFI’s history and curriculum at or get more info about these new, local classes at

Mar 152015

March 15 2015      Welcome to Waterline Writers!     Our lineup for Climate Crisis: Solutions includes:

Ray Ziemer writes prose and poetry, teaches writing at C.O.D. and is a member of the Batavia Writers Group. One of his poems won 1st prize in Poets & Patrons Poetry Contest and “Riding With Gary” was just published in Prairie Light Review. Ray recently read at Waterline Writers: 

Donald J. Bingle is a man so committed to the environment he arranged to be born on Earth Day, 16 years before it was even invented. He’s written GREENSWORD, the world’s only darkly comedic eco-thriller about global warming, Forced Conversion, Net Impact, and Frame Shop, a semi-finalist in the Soon to be Famous IL Author Project! He’s reading steampunk, a branch of science fiction set in the 19th century which imagines present day technology powered by steam, not electricity.

Joe Pisciotto thought he was going to be a proper writer but somehow stumbled into farming, which he’s been doing for nine years now. He runs a small, sustainable vegetable farm with his business partner, Carolyn, in Winfield, called Three Plaid Farmers.

Lucinda Marshall is an artist, activist and writer who started the first recycling center in Phoenix in her parents’ garage in the ‘60s, served as teen consultant on a bicycle trail study with Sandra Day O’Connor, built a solar cooker from recycled materials, then illustrated Building Your Own Solar Greenhouse (1980). She is Director of the Feminist Peace Network and has published environmental pieces and also poetry (in Common Dreams, Stepping Stones, Poetica, and ISLE). Reclaiming Medusa:

Jim Lewis is a poet, musician, and nurse practitioner. His poetry and music reflect the difficulty and joy of human interactions, and draw inspiration from his decades of experience in healthcare. When he is not writing, composing, or diagnosing, he’s on a kayak, exploring and photographing the waterways near his home in California. or Jim Lewis – Poetry on Tap on Facebook.

Barbara Ungar’s fourth book of poems, Immortal Medusa, is forthcoming from The Word Works. Prior books include Charlotte Bronte, You Ruined My Life; Thrift; and The Origin of the Milky Way, which won the Gival Press poetry award, a silver IPPY award, a Hoffer award, and Adirondack Center for Writing’s poetry award. She directs the MFA program at the College of St. Rose in Albany, NY.

Tricia Marcella Cimera’s poetry has been published in Prairie Light Review. “The Poem That Waits Across the Street” won the 2009 Prairie Poetry Award and a Judges’ Merit Award by the CCHA. Volunteering at Fabyan Villa, Garfield Farm Museums and WSS has reinforced the ideology of Think Globally, Act Locally in her life. Tricia was recently featured at Waterline Writers:

Donna Pucciani’s poems have appeared on four continents, translated into Italian, Chinese and Japanese. Tonight’s winning poem, “Noncommittal,” appears on, with a photo taken by X Woods, who’s translated the poem into German. Donna is a five-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize and was VP of the Poets Club of Chicago for over a decade. Her sixth book, A Light Dusting of Breath, is available tonight. Lineup continued on page 2.

Luis Mejico, a School of the Art Institute BFA candidate, works in performance, sculpture, and new media. He’s exhibited at the MCA Chicago, Links Hall & Zhou Brothers. “For You: Songs for a Mute Field” translates imagery from tonight’s poems into live performance. To access his special effects, you can download LAYAR from App Store for iPhone or Play Store for Android, and follow directions given during his performance. Find more about Luis at or support his event!

A 5-minute-limit Open Mic follows at 8:30! Your host for tonight is Frank Rutledge! 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. 

Tonight: if you buy a signed book to add to the special bookshelf reserved for authors you’ve met in person, we’ll refund your $5 donation. Ditto if you purchase art, or become a ($30 level) 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.

Climate Crisis: Solutions includes the WSS art exhibit opening Mar 20 6-9 PM (with Luis Mejico at 7). Steve Apfelbaum presents Harnessing Nature To Address Climate Crisis on Fri. April 1 at 7; Lisa Albrecht presents Solar Energy on Fri. April 17 at 7, and Dr. G.P. Yeh presents World Energy Transformation Fri. April 24 at 7. All events held at Water Street Studios. Free to members; donations gratefully accepted. 

From frustration to fruition: Many writers wanted to write about climate issues, but didn’t think they had solutions, or didn’t know how to begin. We encouraged them to try anyway, because as you write about something, do research and think deeply, you find insights and connections, maybe even solutions, in surprising places. One of those surprising places is right here, in a gallery full of art inspired by the earth and its climate issues. Come write about what you care about! Join Anne Veague for Galleries Are For Writers Too! workshops on Sunday March 22 and Sunday April 12, 7-9 PM at WaterStreetStudios. Find insights, make connections, and learn to trust the importance of your words and what they can create in the world. Free to WSS members; we gratefully accept donations.

March 20, 7:30 PM: Poetry Springs Eternal: Teen and adult poets from Chicagoland at The Albright Theatre, 100 N. Island Ave. Batavia. $10 adults, $5 teens/seniors at the door or at 630.406.8838. We suggest making an early appearance at the WSS opening before strolling over to The Albright.

Take My Word For It!  New creative writing classes at Water Street Studios for kids, Thursdays 4-5 pm (ages 8-11) and 5:15-6:15 pm (ages 12-14). Sign up or contact Trish Kredell at has info on 20 area writers’ groups, 3 Wordplay writing workshops for teens, as well as Open Mics like Paul LaTour’s Lit By The Bridge, at Culture Stock in Aurora, March 19th at 6:30; limited to first ten people so come by 6:15. Or come just to listen! The Fox Valley Writers Group will hold a reading of works from their latest anthology, Foxtales 3, on Saturday, April 18, from 2 to 4 p.m., at Messenger Library (113 Oak St, North Aurora). 

You can find tonight’s readings again this week on BATV and forever in our Video Library! Thanks to the writers; to volunteers Frank Rutledge, Nik Markevicius, Ginny Klespitz, Brandon Fink, Mary McHugh, Kristin LaTour, Paula Garrett, Barbara Barrows, Chuck Bennorth; and to all of you for coming! Your hosts, Anne Veague and Kevin Moriarity

Mar 152015

Announcing two special Galleries Are For Writers Too! workshops: At Waterline Writers, we received some interesting feedback during the months leading up to Climate Crisis: Solutions. Many people said they’d like to write about climate issues, but didn’t think they had any solutions, or didn’t know how to start. We encouraged them to try anyway, because we think that as people write about something, as they do research and think deeply, they’ll find insights and connections—and maybe even solutions—in surprising places. Right now, one of those surprising places is Water Street Studios, a gallery full of art inspired by the earth, our home, and its climate issues. Whether you want to write a heavily-footnoted piece of hard science, or a poem that makes the science accessible to a larger audience; whether you write an essay about how we might move past polarization and paralysis, and towards rational dialogue and consensus, or a novel in which those possibilities are modeled for us to emulate; whether you write a heavy tome or a tiny haiku….we have the perfect opportunity to find out what roles art can play in these processes. Anne Veague, Artistic Director of Waterline Writers, will be hosting two special Galleries Are For Writers Too! workshops as launching pads for those who want to write about climate issues. Join us on Sunday, March 22nd or Sunday April 12th from 7-9 PM to write in the Water Street Studios gallery, 160 S. Water Street in Batavia, IL. Find insights, make connections, and learn to trust the importance of your words and what they can create in the world. Free to WSS members; donations gratefully accepted! More info at

Mar 072015

Sunday, March 15th at 7 PM: As part of the Water Street Studios Climate Crisis exhibit and event series, Waterline Writers will feature the winners of the climate poetry contest, as selected by poet Kristin LaTour. Winner Donna Pucciani and honorable mentions Tricia Marcella Cimera, Jim Lewis, Lucinda Marshall and Barbara Ungar will be joined by performance artist Luis Mejico with an interdisciplinary piece based on the poems. Essays and fiction from Donald J. Bingle, Joe Pisciotto of Three Plaid Farmers, and Ray Ziemer will offer perspectives on past, present, and future climate issues. A 5-minute-limit Open Mic begins at 8:30 PM. Waterline Writers: experience writers reading their own work—poetry, spoken word, fiction, non-fiction, scenes and more—3rd Sundays from September through May at Water Street Studios, 160 S. Water St. Batavia, IL. $5 donation.

Come back on March 20th 6-9 pm for the opening reception for the Climate Crisis art exhibit, which will be on display through May 2nd. Luis Mejico will also perform on March 20th. Our venue, Water Street Studios, is also home to two beautiful art galleries, twenty-six artist studios, School of Art classes for all ages, free Awesome Art Afternoons, Art Flow enrichment programs, and artist access to PrintLab, CeramicLab or MetalLab equipment.

Only 3 more Waterline Writers events before our summer hiatus! Plan to join us at 7 pm on March 15th, April 19th and May 17th! We’ll return in the fall!

Take My Word For It! writing classes for kids are held at Water Street Studios on Thursdays from 4-5 pm (ages 8-11) or 5:15-6:15 (ages 12-14). Sign up online.

Open Mic: Thurs. March 19th, 6:30 PM: Paul LaTour hosts Lit By The Bridge with this month’s feature, Rich Le Cropane. To participate, sign up early—limited to first 10 people! Culture Stock 43 E. Galena Blvd, Aurora.

Do YOU want to write?

  • Join one of 13 Local Writers Groups.
  • Visit Wordplay poetry workshops for teens in one of three west suburban locations.
  • Come to Galleries Are For Writers Too! Look at art (and the world around you) with new eyes, and find new ways to approach and understand your writing through informal and creative discussions, time to write (in the gallery!), and sharing of the evening’s work or insights. No homework! Facilitated by Anne Veague and open to creative writers of any genre, at any level. Bring your laptop or notebook. Free to Water Street Studios members. We appreciate a small donation from non-members! Sundays at 7 pm at Water Street Studios.  

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Feb 222015

Kristin LaTour has selected Donna Pucciani as winner, and Tricia Marcella Cimera, Jim Lewis, Lucinda Marshall and Barbara Ungar as honorable mention poets to kick off a series of climate-related readings, gallery shows, featured speakers, workshops and other opportunities this spring at Water Street Studios. The poets will have their first opportunity to read, joining a full lineup of selected writers (TBA) and Open Mic participants at Waterline Writers on Sunday March 15th at 7 PM. Luis Mejico will also perform an interdisciplinary piece based on the poems. Luis and the winning poets will share their work again on Friday March 20th at the gallery opening of the Climate Crisis art show. Both events: Water Street Studios, 160 S. Water Street, Batavia IL.

Jan 252015

Feb 1st is the deadline for submissions to Climate Crisis: Solutions, our March 15th event. Common ???’s: Are we REALLY expecting writers to envision solutions? Or just depictions of what the future might be like? It’s a tall order, but it’s the former. Before you give up, consider a couple of things, writers! Remember the precedent set by science fiction writers. Think of the technology we take for granted today that made its first appearance at the end of someone’s pen. When a poet withdrew a submission because “I’ve never been one for solutions, only asking questions and/or thinking about life on this planet”, I replied that the fact that your poetry has “no answers” shouldn’t deter you from writing (and sharing!) your careful observations, keen fears, wild schemes or “I-have-a-dreams” about our planet and our future. Whether your poems contain precise roadmaps and checklists which will lead us onto a clear path out of the acid-rain-soaked woods, or whether they just cause listeners and readers to pause to look at the world more closely, reflect on the intricacies of ecosystems, or think more critically about our global realities, please think about life on this planet, please ask the questions, please write about it as only a poet/writer can! Yes, we know you don’t have The Solution. But you have the heightened perceptions and the vision to ask really good questions and the words to ask them really well. You have the ability to phrase them in ways that people will notice and maybe remember. You may even have little solutions and medium solutions, and if you all try, and we all try, we are going to build up better questions and a lot of awareness and, I predict, a lot of solutions. Building blocks. Tipping points. A-ha moments. Everyone has a say in our future. Give it your best shot. -Anne Veague


Jan 142015

Krista and Eric Anderson of FreshGround Roasting, Geneva IL. have been providing coffee for Waterline Writers events since Oct. 2014. They brew it, drop it off hot with cream and sugars, supply the cups and pick up the empty carafes the next day. All complimentary to us, and allowing us to offer this fantastic coffee free to our audience each month. Thank you, Krista and Eric!

From the Kane County Chronicle:

Taste of the Town: FreshGround Roasting aims to educate its customers

Continue reading »

Dec 032014

Last call: Deadline for submissions for poetry and prose: Feb 1st! For art: Feb 15th.

From Waterline Writers and Water Street Studios: Artists and writers are often first to create awareness and envision solutions for the most important issues we face. This spring, Water Street Studios will host the 1st annual Artists As Visionaries, inviting artists of every media to research and respond to an issue that affects all of us. The focus of AAV 2015 is Climate Crisis: Solutions. In conjunction with the art show at Water Street Studios from March 20th-May 2nd 2015, Waterline Writers seeks writing on this topic, and will devote its March 15th  2015, 7 PM  reading event to it. Look for additional events featuring expert speakers, workshops, and classes to increase dialogue and foster connections as we seek solutions. Continue reading »