Oct 192018

Caroline Johnson, Patrick Parks, Lenora Murphy and Christine Swanberg will be the featured authors at Waterline Writers on Sunday, October 21st at 7 pm.

Caroline Johnson has two poetry chapbooks, Where the Street Ends and My Mother’s Artwork. In 2012 she won 1st Place in the Chicago Tribune’s Printers Row Poetry Contest and was nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. She has more than 70 poems in print, is past president and current webmaster of Poets and Patrons of Chicago, and is a facilitator for the Illinois State Poetry Society. Her full-length poetry manuscript, The Caregiver, is forthcoming from Holy Cow! Press in May 2018.

Patrick Parks has had fiction published in a variety of journals, including The Chattahoochee Review, The Beloit Fiction Journal, Clockwatch Review, Farmer’s Market, B City, and had a story in the anthology, The Breast. In addition, he was editor of Black Dirt, a literary journal, edited Sarajevo: An Anthology for Bosnian Relief, and wrote reviews for Literary Magazine Review. Recipient of two Illinois Arts Council awards, he is a graduate of the University of Iowa’s Writers’ Workshop. Tucumcari is his first novel. www.patrick-parks.com

Lenora Murphy is an English student at Northern Illinois University specializing in creative writing and teacher licensure. She has been published in the Paragon, Horizons, Towers, and Quail Bell Magazine. Her writing consists of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and drama. Lenora’s first stage production titled Pieces of Harper’s Heart debuted in 2015 which Lenora also cast and directed. Lenora’s most recent nonfiction publication can be found in Quail Bell Literary Magazine’s August issue titled Beauty Mark: http://www.quailbellmagazine.com/the-real/essay-society-self-acceptance-and-beauty-marks.

Christine Swanberg has published hundreds of poems in journals and anthologies such as Earth Blessings, Garden Blessings, Gratitude Prayers, and Back To Joy. Recent books include Who Walks Among The Trees With Charity (Wind, 2005), The Alleluia Tree (Puddin’head Press, 2012) and Wild Fruition (Puddin’head Press, 2017). A community poet interviewed by Poet’s Market 2008, she has won many poetry awards and grants such as The Mayor’s Award for Community Impact, YWCA Award for the Arts, and Womanspirit Award.

Admission is $5/$3 students. You’ll have the opportunity to purchase signed copies of any of our authors’ published works, wine or beer ($5), beautiful hand-tooled pens from Wooden Writers, and custom hand-constructed journals from Tieri Ton Books. We also offer food from The Market at Gaetano’s.

Everyone is welcome! Writers may bring a 5-minute piece to share at our 8:30 Open Mic. Waterline Writers, 3rd Sundays at 7 pm, October to May, in the art gallery at Water Street Studios, 160 S. Water Street, Batavia IL. To be considered as a featured writer for the 2018-19 season, follow the Submission Guidelines at WaterlineWriters.org, contact James Joseph and Cathy Borders at submissions@waterlinewriters.org, or find us on Facebook or Twitter.

May 212018

Thanks to all for a very unique and successful event, Let The Blues Be Your Muse! The videos of this event are available for all to enjoy! This was our final event of the 2017-18 season, and it was a collaboration intended to create crossroads between artistic communities, in particular writers and musicians, and to set the stage for June’s blues events in and around the area. The brainchild of Steve Warrenfeltz, LTBBYM evolved into a collaboration between Steve’s store, Kiss The Sky; the Fox Valley Music Foundation, of which he is the director; Water Street Studios and Waterline Writers.

In January, we sent out a call for submissions for written work inspired by or evoking blues music, and received 30 submissions, an impressive number! I also had a great team helping with submissions: Memphis-born Paula Garrett, whose love of the blues and National Public Radio led her to host a blues radio show during her years in Australia, also helped coordinate the entire event. Scott Tipping and Dave Nelson, two first-rate musicians, guitarists and dedicated blues lovers, lent their expertise to the submission selection process. Notably, they selected a poem from participant Latrina Childs and wrote a song with her lyrics, sharing it with us for the first time at the event. While Latrina was unable to attend at the last minute, we’ll be able to share the event video with her very soon.

Other selected participants who attended and co-created this great evening of fiction, poetry, essays and music included Robert Hellenga, Emily Hollis Tipping, Dave Ramont, Paula Garrett, Joan Colby, Sharon Kotzin Frolick, and Al Schubert. Christopher Stolle was also selected, but unable to attend. It was a strong evening from start to finish, but I have to say it was very special to be able to host Bob Hellenga, one of my first and most memorable Knox Professors, reading from one of his seven novels, Blues Lessons, and playing Mr. Jelly Roll Baker on his guitar.

We had a great time presenting this event from the Kiss The Sky music stage, so appropriate for a blues literary event. As always, in the adjoining art gallery at Water Street Studios, 160 S. Water Street in Batavia, we offered authors’ books & CD’s, charcuterie from The Market At Gaetano’s, wine, beer from Solemn Oath Brewery, hand-tooled pens from Wooden Writers, hand-crafted books and journals from Tieri Ton Books, the chance to meet the folks from The Republic of Letters and The Book Shop Batavia. Look out for the launch of their upcoming Batavia Lyceum series.

Now that you’re in the mood, don’t miss these upcoming blues events:

Friday, 6/8: Art of the Blues art exhibit at Water Street Studios

Saturday, 6/9: Blues & Roots on Water Street with one stage at Kiss The Sky and another stage at Water Street Studios.

Friday & Saturday, 6/15-16: 22nd Annual Blues on the Fox Festival at RiverEdge Park in Aurora

And if you want to be a featured reader at Waterline Writers next year during the 2018-2019 season, please closely read and follow our Submission Guidelines and send us your work no earlier than August 15, 2018. 2018-19 events are held at 7 pm, on 3rd Sundays: 9/16, 10/21, 11/18, 12/16, 1/20, 2/17, 3/17 & 5/19. (No April event due to Easter.)

I can’t thank Water Street Studios’ executive director Dani Hollis and special events manager Jaime Gutierrez enough for being so supportive of Waterline Writers! We ask anyone who loves Waterline and is able to support the arts to become a member of or donate time, talent or money to Water Street Studios! They make Waterline Writers possible!

I also want to thank Kevin Moriarity, Managing Director and co-founder of Waterline, for another seamless, drama-free year of partnership. The other long-standing volunteers who make Waterline happen and have done so much to create the community it has become include Frank Rutledge, Ginny Klespitz, Barbara Barrows, Chuck Bennorth Photography, Denise Bennorth, Ray Ziemer and Paula Garrett. Rick Veague is not only on our volunteer list, but is on my A-list for supporting this endeavor at every level. Thanks to all of you!

Anne Veague, Creative Director of Waterline Writers



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 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.

Mar 142018

Waterline Writers is proud to participate in the inaugural Fox River Arts Ramble. Held April 21st, it will be your chance to visit more than 40 locations, featuring artists, artwork, performances and more, including individual artists’ studios and public and private galleries. For more information, check out this map!

Mar 062018

On Sunday, March 18 at 7 pm,  Waterline Writers will feature authors Linda Heuring, Kate Johnson, Matthew Meade, Phil Rice and Ray Ziemer. 

In her exceptional collection of stories, A Woman Walked Into The Bar, Linda Heuring’s beleaguered protagonist gets total revenge on his boss by spilling just one tiny drop of blood.  

We’ll admit that Kate Johnson’s story had us at “She woke in a tiny bed shaped like a race car … evidently she had slept with the wrong Ruby,” the first line from her humorous murder-mystery, Skip Tracer, Heart Breaker. 

Matthew Meade’s A Unified Conspiracy Theory begins with “I didn’t care about much that summer. Even the break-in didn’t bother me,” then it takes us into extra-terrestrial territory that will bother us. 

In Winter Sun: A Memoir of Love and HospicePhil Rice writes of great love and great loss, bringing a rare clarity of vision to the loss, and choosing to dwell in the beauty of the love. 

Ray Ziemer offers us poetic tastings of two wines, Desire … “(its) cranberry blood redolent with … late-hour coffee, indulgent chocolate, wild raspberry of untamed lands” and Grief … “Pair this wine with bitter herbs and salt.” 

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 or follow the Submission Guidelines to be considered as a future featured writer. Note the deadline for our call for submissions for May’s Let The Blues Be Your Muse  is March 30th. 

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. 

Contact Anne Veague or Kevin Moriarity at waterlinewriters@gmail.com or find us on Facebook or Twitter.