Reading # 65 | Tuesday Funk
Reading # 65

On one of the coldest days of the year, Jan. 7 2014, Tuesday Funk's show still went on -- and with a full house, no less. Author Ryan Bartelmay read an excerpt from his book Onward Toward What We're Going Toward, in which the protagonist, Chic Waldbeeser, begins to deal with the death of his son by writing haiku.

It might not be the hottest day of the year, but our next edition is Tuesday, Aug. 5, and the upstairs lounge at Hopleaf will be nice and cool. Join us for readings by Hannah Gamble, David Daskal, Christine Simokaitis, Britt Julious and Leah Thomas.

Andrew Huff Warms January with Haiku


At the January 7 edition of Tuesday Funk, co-host Andrew Huff read his trademark topical haiku to help warm the crowd.

The Polar Vortex
turned Chicago into tundra.
Thank you for coming.

Holidays always
get insane. Here's to good cheer and
a happy new year.

The full moon rises
the wan color of bone through
cold wisps of cloud.

Feet freeze in our boots,
crunching through barriers of
dirty, hardened snow.

January Debriefing


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After nearly 48 hours of Arctic windchills, we certainly weren't expecting a standing-room-only event, but that was what we got! Spectacular turnout for the first Tuesday Funk of 2014, and some spectacular readers to boot. Christopher Sweet started us off right with a funny and bittersweet story of the lasting effects of a repressive childhood, complete with references to both Job and Bluebeard. Kelly Swails followed with a compelling Depression-era story of loss, regret, and fortune-telling. Our regular feature Haiku by Andrew had us all chuckling at our weather woes. Christa Desir rounded out the inning with a dark sex scene from her edgy 'Sid & Nancy' YA novel, Bleed Like Me.

As Christa warned us, we all needed a drink after her reading. Following a brief intermission where we threw ourselves at Mark, we were introduced to new co-host Eden Robins' first micro-essay about fecal transplant follies. Jasmine Davila spoke from the heart about growing up in the foster system and struggling to find herself. Ryan Bartelmay finished us off with a couple of funny and pathos-filled excerpts from his novel Onward Toward What We're Going Toward, all about what it means when one's talent turns out to be haiku.

That's all she wrote! If you missed Tuesday Funk, don't do it again! It was an incredibly special evening, and we're doing it again on Tuesday, February 4th, 2014 with Mare Swallow, Cameron McGill, Tom Underberg, Amelia Beamer, and Chuck Sudo!

Reminder: Tuesday Funk #65 is tonight!


Don't forget--tonight is Tuesday Funk's 65th episode, featuring Kelly Swails, Christopher Sweet, Christa Desir, Jasmine Davila, and Ryan Bartelmay! Don't miss it! Unless you have the flu, in which case -- miss it! But know that we will miss you.

Our readings take place at Hopleaf Bar, 5148 N. Clark St. in Chicago. We get started promptly at 7:30 pm in the upstairs lounge. Arrive early if you want a seat--but no earlier than 7:00 pm. Our readings are free, but only those 21 and over will be admitted. No food can be brought in from the restaurant. See you there!

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Meet Our Readers: Ryan Bartelmay


Ryan Bartelmay graduated from the University of Iowa in 1998, where he was a member of the Undergraduate Writer's Workshop, and then went on to Columbia University to receive an MFA in fiction writing in 2005. His debut novel, Onward Toward What We're Going Toward, was released in August 2013 by IG Publishing.

His short fiction has appeared in The Greensboro Review, Sycamore Review, Opium, Phoebe: A Journal of Arts and Letters, and Sweet Fancy Moses. Ryan has published non-fiction and other miscellanea in The Believer, Time Out: Chicago, Gadfly, and more. He is the Dean of General Education at Kendall College in Chicago and has been a member of the Gotham Writers' Workshop faculty since 2005. You can find him online at

He lives in Chicago with his wife, daughter and two cats.

Please join Ryan and all our top-notch, cat-loving readers on Tuesday, January 7th, 2014, upstairs at Hopleaf at 7:30 pm. This 21-and-older event is free.

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Meet Our Readers: Jasmine Davila


Jasmine Davila started her first blog in 2000, and has been over-sharing on the internet ever since. She is a contributor for Gapers Block, the greatest Chicago-centric blog that ever blogged, and Asian pop culture blog Jasmine has read essays about her non-existent love life (and her part-time cat-sitting business) at Solo in the 2nd City and That's All She Wrote, and recently performed in 20x2 Chicago.

Jasmine is a graduate of The University of Chicago, that little school on the South Side that originally brought her to Chicago almost 20 years ago. Despite this, Jasmine insists that she is still a New Yorker, and will buy you all the "soda" in the world to prove it.

Please join Jasmine and all our talented regional dialect aficionados on Tuesday, January 7th, 2014, upstairs at Hopleaf at 7:30 pm. This 21-and-older event is free.

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Meet Our Readers: Christa Desir


Christa Desir writes dark contemporary fiction for young adults. Her first book, Fault Line, came out this fall. Her second book, Bleed Like Me, is due out in October 2014. She lives with her husband, three small children, and overly enthusiastic dog outside of Chicago. She has volunteered as a rape victim activist for more than ten years, including providing direct service as an advocate in hospital ERs. She also works as an editor at Samhain Publishing. Visit her at

Please join Christa and all our multi-talented readers on Tuesday, January 7th, 2014, upstairs at Hopleaf at 7:30 pm. This 21-and-older event is free.

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Meet Our Readers: Christopher Sweet


Christopher Sweet worked in education for many years. He is one of those schoolers who has two advanced degrees - an MA in English and an MSJ from a now-defunct "School of Journalism." He learned to write in the Fiction Department of Columbia College, Chicago. But he bids that you do not hold that against him, stranger. His favorite "quote of the day" is, "Ecrassez l'infame!" Don't hold that against him, either.

Please join Christopher and all our fantastic, potentially Francophile readers on Tuesday, January 7th, 2014, upstairs at Hopleaf at 7:30 pm. This 21-and-older event is free.

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Meet Our Readers: Kelly Swails


Kelly Swails is a writer and editor who pays the bills by editing an online scientific journal. Her short fiction has appeared in several anthologies including Coins of Chaos and Boondocks Fantasy. She relocated to Chicago this past summer and has been busy exploring her new home. When she's not writing or working she watches geeky TV and pretends she's not a crazy cat lady. There's a rumor she sleeps on occasion, but that has yet to be proven. You can find her online at

Please join Kelly and all our awesome, potentially sleep-deprived readers on Tuesday, January 7th, 2014, upstairs at Hopleaf at 7:30 pm. This 21-and-older event is free.

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Tuesday Funk #65: January 7, 2014


We've put together a terrific lineup for our January edition of Tuesday Funk. The roster will feature Ryan Bartelmay, Kelly Swails, Christa Desir, Jasmine Davila, and Christopher Sweet. We'll also have a round of Haiku by Andrew, and new co-host Eden Robins most likely has something special in store as well. Add in delectable beers from around the world and you've got an evening that will warm your brain and your belly.

The evening gets underway with your hosts Andrew Huff and Eden Robins on Tuesday, January 7th, 2014, 7:30 pm, in the upstairs lounge at Hopleaf, 5148 N. Clark St., Chicago. Doors open at 7:00 pm, no earlier -- arrive early for a table and grab a beer from Mark at the bar. Admission is always free, but you must be 21 or older. And come early or stay late after for some great Belgian-style food downstairs.

Please bring plenty of friends, and become a fan of Tuesday Funk on Facebook so you never miss an invitation to one of our readings. See you there!

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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, April 7 T.B.A., 7:30 p.m. at Hopleaf, 5148 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60640. Admission is free.

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