Monday, January 19, 2004

"Speak Easy" announcement

Well, it looks as though the growing snowball that is "Speak Easy" just keeps getting bigger. For those of you who haven't gotten the message, we're holding the next one at HotHouse on February 18th. We're also getting serious inquiries about the next reading, from both potential participants and audiences. So now the question becomes how to control the growth. I want to make "Speak Easy" an event. And hosting a weekly showcase, even a monthly one, could dilute that. I also want to be able to showcase Write Club members whenever possible when they have solid material. But that's something we'll need to discuss among the core Write Club members.

Here's the line-up for the February show:

-Second City alum Mike Zapata (shameless plug: I and the rest of Write Club Chicago are working with Mike on producing a literary journal called Make Magazine. Keep posted: we'll be taking submissions real soon.)

-Poet Michelle Kaffko

- Writers Gina DiPonio and Brandon Hopkins from AfterMAPH (a writers' group composed of alumni from the University of Chicago's Masters of Arts Program in the Humanities)

- Chicago Tribune reporter James Janega

- Write Club Chicago members Kelly Robertis, Fred Follansbee, and Sasha Simonitch

- Special guests Oba William King and Marvin Tate.

- Musical group The Bitter Tears will provide glorious melodies between sets.

The theme of this edition of "Speak Easy" is "The Afterglow." Inspired partly by the packed house that received us enthusiastically at Jinx Coffee House in November and the emotional high that we all felt afterward, "The Afterglow" will center on how we deal with the immediate moments following personal triumphs, tragedies, and watershed events in our lives.

I know I truly appreciated the turnout for our inaugural event at Jinx in November and hope to build upon that. Things went way better than planned for the quick way we just slapped things together. Plus, sharing a mike with guys I admire like Oba, and old Unofficial Soup Kitchen partners-in-crime like Chris McMahon, Rob Olmstead and Chris Hyatt brought back some old memories when we thought we all had the world by the balls. Just seeing the smile on Rob's face afterward over nightcaps at Bar Thirteen was worth it.

If you were the November show and had a great time, or if you will be attending your first "Speak Easy", please tell as many people as you possibly can about the next show. We would like to see a capacity crowd or, barring that, a good-sized, enthusiastic one. Hope to see you there and thanks you all for your support.

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