Tuesday Funk : Debriefings

April 2017 Debriefing


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A misty April evening greeted the live lit faithful on their journey to Tuesday Funk on April 4, 2017. Felix Jung set the mood with a collection of poems, then Melissa Wiley carried it forward with a short story about baking and desire. Tracy Harford-Porter closed out the first half with a story about sisters.

We took a quick break to refill our drinks, and Nestor Gomez told two fun stories -- one about finding his sports niche as a Guatemalan immigrant in a Chicago high school, the other about a flashback while putting a new stereo in his car. Cohost Andrew Huff read some topical haiku, and Kellye Howard read an essay about her existential struggles as a young mother.

We'll be back in action on Tuesday, May 2 at Hopleaf, with readings from Mikki Kendall, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Anne Elizabeth Moore, Mare Swallow and Alicia Swiz. Please join us!

March Debriefing


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We had a blast at Tuesday Funk #103 on March 7! The show truly lived up to its tagline, with an eclectic lineup that covered the breadth of literary genres.

First, Edward McClelland gave us a lesson on the Chicago accent from his book How to Speak Midwestern,then Steve Bellinger read an excerpt from his science fiction novel, The Chronocar. Naomi Buck Palagi closed out the first half with a reading of poems, including one that involved two additional readers.

After the intermission, Lori Barrett read a funny short story about puppy love, and host Andrew Huff recited a couple topical haiku. Tori Szekeres closed the show with the story of an embarrassing typo made all too permanent.

We'll be back on Tuesday, April 4 for Episode #104, featuring readings by Felix Jung, Tracy Harford-Porter, Melissa Wiley, Kellye Howard and Nestor Gomez. Hope to see you there!

February Debriefing


molia_dumbleton.jpgIt didn't feel terribly much like February outside, but that didn't stop us from all getting cozy in the upstairs bar at Hopleaf for episode #102 of Tuesday Funk!

Jenn Sodini led us off with a funny-sad story about unexpectedly encountering refugees in Germany and Connecticut, then Leonard Zawadski read poetry. Cohost Andrew Huff followed up with a few seasonal haiku, then Keidra Chaney shared her theory that Morris Day and the Time are the true heroes of Purple Rain.

We took a break and Sal refilled everyone's glasses, and cohost Eden Robins welcomed us back with a micro-essay about the need for everyone to show up and participate in society. Next, Molia Dumbleton read a selection of short stories and poems. Lastly, Deborah Siegel described her tribulations and revelations in child-rearing.

We'll be back on Tuesday, March 7 for Episode #103, featuring readings by Lori Barrett, Steve Bellinger, Naomi Buck Palagi, Tori Szekeres and Ted McClelland. Hope to see you there!

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!

Tuesday Funk

About Us

Tuesday Funk is an eclectic Chicago reading series, hosted by Andrew Huff and Eden Robins, showcasing a monthly mix of fiction, poetry, essays and performance. Join us next on Tuesday, May 2, 7:30 p.m. at Hopleaf, 5148 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60640. Admission is free.

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