Tuesday Funk : Debriefings

January debriefing


IMG_20170105_152844.jpg2017 is a mystery, but at least 2016 is history, amirite? Tuesday Funk #101 ushered in the new year with style, PER USUAL. Kelly Swails started us off with the first chapter of her YA novel, This May Go on Your Permanent Record, about a school for world domination, followed by a series of lyrical and moving poems by another Tuesday Funk veteran, Cameron McGill. Co-host Andrew Huff promised, in haiku form, to avoid 2017 haikus about T-R-U-M-P, and then Amy Sumpter had us roaring with her story about a rogue opossum and other brushes with the strangeness of adulthood.

Sal expertly refilled our boozes, and then we sat back down.

Co-host Eden Robins read a microessay about losing and then finding her voice, and then Dmitry Samarov shared an excerpt from his memoir about art-making and influential teachers. Finally, James Gordon finished off the night with a story about a Labor Day party gone horribly, horribly wrong.

And we'll be right back here next month for Episode #102 of Tuesday Funk on Tuesday, February 7th, featuring Deborah Siegel, Leonard Zawadski, Jenn Sodini, Molly Dumbleton, and Keidra Chaney!

December debriefing


IMG_20161206_210455127.jpegWow, what an unbelievable turnout for our 100th birthday! The World Series Champion Chicago Cubs (still love saying that) would be green with envy. To celebrate this auspicious occasion, we asked all five former co-hosts to return to the stage and delight us with their wit and prose. Connor Coyne started off the evening with a history of Tuesday Funk and an excerpt from a book he described as Les Miserables in Flint, Michigan. Hallie Paladino followed with a funny, cringe-worthy, and heartfelt story of her adolescence in an East Coast prep school. Co-host Andrew Huff read his signature haiku (ripped from the headlines!), and Reinhardt Suarez read a series of short-shorts before serenading us with an original song seeking to understand who IS Alex Trebek?

We all returned our gaping maws to their proper position, and drank some beer, courtesy of Sal behind the bar.

Co-host Eden Robins read a micro-essay about the nature of truth, and then Sara Ross Witt charmed us in the second half with an excerpt from her YA novel about a young witch, and William Shunn finished off the night with an excerpt from his first published short story (from 25 years ago) that chilled us with its uncanny political prescience.

It was quite an event, and if you weren't there, you wish you were. And you can be! Join us on Tuesday, January 3 for another excellent show, featuring James Gordon (aka G.P.A.), Dmitry Samarov, Cameron McGill, Amy Sumpter, and Kelly Swails!

November 2016 Debriefing


Coya Paz at Tuesday Funk, November 2016With the Cubs battling their way back from behind in the World Series, the crowd was a little smaller for your favorite eclectic live lit series, but those who made it saw a fantastic show.

Veronica Arreola led us off with an essay about what her self-given title "professional feminist" entails. Then, Coya Paz told 10 personal ghost stories, inspired in part by the play, 100 Hauntings, she's currently directing at Free Street Theater. Next, Mary Robinette Kowal read an excerpt from her book Ghost Talkers.

After the intermission, cohost Andrew Huff read a few of his trademark topical haiku, then introduced Cesar Torres, who read an portion of his upcoming book 9 Lords of Night. Lastly, Megan Stielstra shared a coming of age story of sorts, featuring an encounter with a guy with a glass testicle.




We'll be back in December with a very special 100th episode — featuring every one of Tuesday Funk's cohosts, past and present! Join us on Tuesday, Dec. 6 for readings by Connor Coyne, Reinhardt Suarez, Hallie Palladino, Sara Ross Witt and William Shunn, in addition to current cohosts Andrew Huff and Eden Robins! Hope to see you there!

October 2016 Debriefing


hharps.jpgThe October edition of Tuesday Funk exemplified our mission of being an eclectic monthly reading series. We began with a story of love and loss from K.B. Jensen. Next, Henri Harps told a tale of a young jazzman who finds his sound in an unlikely source. Cohost Andrew then read a couple topical haiku, then introduced Tom Haley, who found 10 ways to explain a joke.

After the intermission, guest cohost Jasmine Davila read an essay about Filipino Heritage Month and the wait for Filipino culture to get its moment of popularity. Next, Jen Masengarb read haiku about life in the city, many paired with photos that she projected. Lastly, Kevin Smokler told a personal story about searching for a fictional town from the movies that didn't exist -- and eventually finding it.

The illustration here was drawn by Dmitry Samarov -- see the rest on our Facebook page. And if you missed the show, you can watch the readers on our YouTube channel, along with videos of past shows.

We'll be back on Tuesday, Nov. 1 with guests Megan Stielstra, Coya Paz, Cesar Torres, Mary Robinette Kowal and Veronica Arreola. Hope to see you there!

September Debriefing


tf_97.jpgThe 97th edition of Tuesday Funk happened on a hot September night, but the readings were downright cool.

Poet Virginia Bell read an excerpt of her memoir in progress about her relationship with her father. Ryan DiGiorgi followed with a story about backing out of getting a tattoo -- and then getting sent to Mars alone as a prank. Cohost Eden Robins then took us into the intermission with a microessay about financial security and status in America.

After the break, special guest cohost (and regular videographer) Kyle Thiessen read a selection of seasonal and topical haiku -- transcribed below -- and then introduced Gina DeLuca, who shared a personal essay about trying her hand at acting, auditioning for commercials for tampons and mammograms.

Fred Sasaki closed out the night with one of his patented emails, this time directed to Katy Perry about one of his daughters.

Miss the show? You can watch the readers on our YouTube channel, along with videos of past shows.

We'll be back on Tuesday, Oct. 4 with guests Tom Haley, Kevin Smokler, Henri Harps, KB Jensen and Jen Masengarb. Hope to see you there!

August Debriefing


aug2016.jpgIt's been a hot summer, but the August 2 edition of Tuesday Funk was very cool.

Connie Voisine led off with poems about life in New Mexico, followed by Vojislav Pejovic with an excerpt of his book about a fraudulent plastic surgeon on the run. Cohost Andrew Huff read a couple topical haiku (including a birthday wish to his long-suffering wife, whose birthday it was), and then Ines Bellina read an essay about how the roots of her family tree have entwined with politics.

After the intermission, cohost Eden Robins read a micro-essay, and Angel Simmons told the story of a near-death experience she had crossing the street. Ryan Bartelmay closed out the show with a bittersweet short story about a group of teenagers looking for "a good time."

We'll be back twice in the next few weeks: We'll be part of Lit Crawl Chicago on Thursday, Aug. 18 with Rosamund Lannin, James Gordon, Steve Bellinger and Jasmine Davila, and then back to our regular schedule with Virginia Bell, Fred Sasaki, Ryan DiGiorgi, Gina DeLuca and KB Jensen on Tuesday, Sept. 6. Hope to see you there!

July Debriefing


hannahgamble-07052016.jpgComing off the holiday weekend, Tuesday Funk was the perfect way to ease back into the real world -- especially since the beer was cold and the Hopleaf's air conditioning was working.

Maggie Jenkins got us started with a story about becoming a karaoke hero in enemy territory. Leland Cheuk read an excerpt from his novel The Misadventures of Sulliver Pong, after which Scott Smith delivered a powerful essay on the broad brush the South Side is often painted with. To wit: "Myths are stories we tell ourselves to explain things that seem far away. Things that we don't understand. And for a lot of people, the South Side is a myth."

After the intermission, cohost Andrew Huff shared his patented topical haiku, and Hannah Gamble echoed Scott with an essay on race, bias and revolution, as well as a second essay -- disguised as a poem -- about the treatment of women in film and its relationship to sexuality. Kendra Stevens Closed out the night with a story about how fixing her teeth revealed self-consciousness she didn't realize she had.

Miss the show? You can watch the readers on our YouTube channel, along with videos of past shows.

We'll be back on Tuesday, Aug. 2 with guests Ryan Bartelmay, Ines Bellina, Vojislav Pejovic, Angel Simmons and Connie Voisine. Hope to see you there!

June Debriefing


Rana Khoury reads at Tuesday FunkJune's edition of Tuesday Funk was a lively one. Cohost Eden Robins led us off with a bit of Ke$ha fan fiction, followed by post-apocalyptic poetry by Sara Krueger. Cohost Andrew Huff read some topical haiku before handing the mic over to Parker Molloy, who read an essay about the challenges facing transgender teens and how much they outweigh the fantasies of restroom menace imagined by conservative congressmen.

Then we took a break to let Sal refresh our drinks and discuss what we've heard.

Rana Khoury kept the more serious mood going with an excerpt from her book As Ohio Goes: Life in the Post-Recession Nation, describing the decline of manufacturing in the Buckeye State. Norman Doucet closed us out with a personal essay on how Americans have allowed politics to divide us.

We'll be back on Tuesday, July 5 -- yep, the day after Independence Day -- with guests Leland Cheuk, Hannah Gamble, Scott Smith and the cohosts of monthly reading series Serving the Sentence, Maggie Jenkins and Kendra Stevens. Come celebrate freedom with us!

May debriefing


IMG_20160503_204945277_HDR.jpgWe may not get an actual spring in Chicago, but it's always spring in the heart of Tuesday Funk. The evening started off strong with former co-host Sara Ross Witt's reading from her YA novel about a family of witches... and one girl who's a little different. Next up, J. Preston Witt read a short story about childhood desires, birds, and mud shoes that was funny and wistful in turn. And Martha Bayne finished off the half with an essay about haunted houses and the housing collapse.

Jason filled our glasses and we drained them dutifully.

Kimberly Dixon-Mays got us back in the mood with poems about Record Store Day and the trials and tribulations of marriage alike. And then Elizabeth Gomez provided our grand finale, with three separate pieces, a poem, an essay about a foray into self-waxing, and a short story told from the perspective of a sandwich-eating Cormac McCarthy.

Bravely, we exited our warm haven, back into the cold Chicago evening. But we'll be back next month on Tuesday, June 7 with Sara Krueger, Rana Khoury, Parker Molloy, Norman Doucet and cohost Eden Robins!

April debriefing


IMG_20160405_204226973.jpegWhat a night! Drama, intrigue, and baseball... the trifecta for any good reading.

Robert Loerzel started it off with a fascinating historical essay about the Cubs' one-time short-lived nickname "Microbes." Jessi DiBartolomeo followed with some more historical insight - this time about cemeteries in Chicago and how they interweave with stories of her own history. Then co-host Eden Robins read a micro-essay about that time a tree fell on her car. And Lily Be finished off the half with a jaw-dropping story about parenthood, infidelity, and family secrets.

Jason was quick with pouring drinks and we were even quicker with drinking them.

Co-host Andrew Huff opened the second half with his patented seasonal haiku, and then it was James Finn Garner, who did a dramatic, Vaudevillian-style reading of a "Casey at the Bat" parody. Finally, Joe Meno read a short story that was humorous and heart-tugging in turns, and left everyone wanting more.

And we do it all again next month! Join us on Tuesday, May 3 with Elizabeth Gomez, J Preston Witt, Martha Bayne, Kimberly Dixon-Mays, and former co-host Sara Ross Witt!

Tuesday Funk

About Us

Tuesday Funk is an eclectic Chicago reading series, hosted by Andrew Huff and Eden Robins, showcasing a mix of fiction, poetry, and essays the first Tuesday of every month. Join us next on February 7, 7:30 pm, upstairs at Hopleaf Bar, 5148 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60640.

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