Upcoming Readings | April 11 & April 15

Anam Cara Storytellinganam_cara-april2015-BW
Irish American Heritage Center
Saturday, April 11

Since September 2014, I have spent most of my Thursday evenings at the memoir writing workshop at the Irish American Heritage Center. The workshops are lead by Oakton Community College Professor of English Virginia Gibbons and curated by the ever-commited and talented, Theresa Choske.

Anam Cara means soul friend. In these workshops, we bring what we can. We are informal, opening the second floor library doors each week to the working writer, the struggling writer, the young writer, the dreaming writer, the in-love writer, the grieving writer, the elder writer, the tired writer–any writer–to come to the table with a pen and paper and with what words, or lack of them, we are capable of carrying that day.

Anam Cara Storytelling is a celebration of the writing we have been capable of carrying for the past year. I will be reading about ghosts, as usual. Others will be reading about ghosts, too. I hope you’ll join us.


CHIRP Radio Presents: First Time, First Lie
Wednesday, April 15th

In 2012, I performed at CHIRP Radio‘s “First Time, First Digs” live lit event. I told a story about my first apartment in Massachusetts. I paired it with the Tom Waits’ song, “Hold On.” It was a magnificent experience and I am grateful to have the opportunity to read again at “First Time, First Lie” at Martyrs’ on April 15. I won’t tell you what my first lie is, but I can assure you it will open an inverted world of wonder, faith, curiosity, satire, church, and restitution. Please, do come.


by the first of august / the invisible beetles began

Tomorrow, Tuesday, August 2, I will read poetry at the Tuesday Funk Reading Series at the Hopleaf in Andersonville at 7:30pm with writers: Tegan Jones, Eden M. Robins, Julie Rosenthal, Jerry Schwartz, and Karen Skalitzky. 
It is something like coming home in that place, a dim-lit universe of first beers with Eric, writing battles, and first mussels of the Midwest. It is a place of good friends and laughter, of coyotes in prairies in winter.
August marks a month for warmth and renewal, for orange days that never turn into evening. It is the anchor and switch, it is canoes and cicadas. It is wearing a sun hat all day. I wait all year to get here, and in two days it will be my birthday. I never worry about growing old because it’s been established that happens. I worry I am not taking the time to make and build the life I want. I worry there won’t be enough tea in the kitchen or pastries for everyone. I worry I may become complacent in a place that has never made me feel at ease.

August is its own namesake. It is regal. I will live alone for the remainder of it, but for the first time in two years, in September I will live with housemates again.

Anne Sexton understands why.  
I Remember
by Anne Sexton

By the first of August
the invisible beetles began
to snore and the grass was
as tough as hemp and was
no color—no more than
the sand was a color and
we had worn our bare feet
bare since the twentieth
of June and there were times
we forgot to wind up your
alarm clock and some nights
we took our gin warm and neat
from old jelly glasses while
the sun blew out of sight
like a red picture hat and
one day I tied my hair back
with a ribbon and you said
that I looked almost like
a puritan lady and what
I remember best is that
the door to your room was
the door to mine. 

Underwater Basket Weaving Orientation Reading

I will be reading once again with Two With Water as part of their Rx Reading Series on Sunday, September 19th at Beauty Bar on West Chicago Avenue. The theme for the event is Orientation, and the writing concept as of now threads toward gender orientation and sexual identity. The form may arrive in essay, or perhaps erotic poetics or micro fictions, inspired by the 2009 Best Women’s Erotica edited by Violet Blue

Many thanks to Curbside Splendor Publishing and Beauty Bar for sponsoring the reading. One of my poems recently appears on Curbside Splendor’s online journal.

On a silly note, as of late I have discovered the summer camp phenomenon of underwater basket weaving, which, honestly, sounds like one of the most ridiculous past-times someone neglected to impose upon me as a child. It is also, sadly, an idiom to describe boring higher education courses. A shame. Underwater basket weaving sounds like an excellent class on the outrageous, often out of date, though pleasantly mindful. Not unlike the pursuit and engagement of poetry. 

Hard At Work On Handmade Capes

I will be reading this Sunday at 7 p.m. at Center Portion as part of the Two With Water Rx Reading Series and the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival. The theme of the reading is Ten Years Gone, and I will be reading a short memoir that maps the movement of time wherein a series masquerades as a lifetime. 
If you happen to be at the Festival during the day on Saturday, be sure to stop by the CHIRP Radio table and say hello. I will be there from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. promoting independent Low Power FM Radio, because that’s important, too.

Oh, you will also find me here come August.