rec room home

MCA Literary Gangs

tuesday, january 20, 2009
museum of contemporary art
220 east chicago avenue
chicago, il
6:30 pm

Please note the day, time and location change for this reading. For one night only, this reading/performance occurs in Puck’s Café at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (Address: 220 East Chicago Ave. ) at 6:30 on Tuesday, January 20.

So Help Me God

curated by Erin Teegarden

Rec room returns to the MCA for its Literary Gangs of Chicago series. Since this event takes place on Inauguration Day, we solemnly swear to focus our readings and performance on oaths, promises, commitments, and initiations.

We are proud to feature:

Allison Gruber writes fiction, essays, plays and sometimes poetry. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and teaches composition and creative writing at a number of area colleges. Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in The Stickman Poetry Review, Pindeldyboz and 580 Split.

Carl Marcum is the author of Cue Lazarus and the forthcoming Camera Obscura. He has been the recipient of a Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Illinois Arts Council. He teaches creative writing and literature at DePaul University in Chicago.

M. Eliza Hamilton Abegunde's first initiation occurred several centuries ago into the egungun (ancestral) society of Ifa. Little did she know that it was the beginning of unending initiations into her destiny to remember what the dead want to forget. She is Cave Canem, Sacatar, and Ragdale Fellow, as well as a recipient of a Poetry Center Discovery Award. Her work has been published in numerous places including The Kenyon Review, rhino, nocturnes, Beyond the Frontier, and Knowing Stones. She just got back from Brasil with her beautiful husband, and right now is dreaming of samba and sun and cachaca.

Eric Elshtain is the editor of the on-line poetry chapbook site Beard of Bees Press.

Erin Teegarden founded the reconstruction room with two friends in 2004. She earned an MFA the year before from the University of Pittsburgh. A teacher at Columbia College Chicago and a Poet-in-Residence at Snow City Arts, she is also a former recipient of AWP's Intro Journals Award and the founder of Pitt's first online literary journal. Her poems have appeared in several journals. She is the curator of tonight's show, the Pinky Tuscadero of the rec room LitGang, and if you ask her nice, she just might initiate you.

Mary Hamilton lives in Chicago where she writes very short stories and co-hosts the short-fiction reading series, QUICKIES!, at the Innertown Pub. Mary is fond of cupcakes, unicorns, baking bread, and Theodore Huxtable. In her spare time, she sews clothing that doesn't fit and dances like a maniac, maniac on the floor. Visit her blog at to find links to her online words.

Jason Bredle is the author of Standing in Line for the Beast, selected by Barbara Hamby as winner of the 2006 New Issues Poetry Prize, and A Twelve Step Guide, winner of the 2004 New Michigan Press chapbook contest. His most recent book, Pain Fantasy, is available from Red Morning Press. He lives in Jefferson Park, Chicago.

Krista Franklin is a poet and visual artist who has most recently been published in RATTLE, Indiana Review, Ecotone, Clam, Callaloo,, and the anthology Gathering Ground. Her collages have appeared on the covers of award-winning books, and she has exhibited nationally in solo and group exhibitions. She is a Cave Canem Fellow, and the co-founder of 2nd Sun Salon, a community meeting space for writers, visual and performance artists, musicians and scholars.

Miki Howald earned an MFA in creative writing from the University of Alaska Anchorage and a BA from the University of Pittsburgh. She was a finalist in the 2006 Guild Complex of Chicago's non-fiction prose contest. Her essays have been published in Gulf Coast, LikeWaterBurning, and in several zines. Miki has three essays forthcoming in the San Francisco-based journal, swap/concession.

Kyle Beachy
is happy to be here. His first novel, The Slide, is a summertime love story of the American Midwest, full of ghosts and lies and variously failed attempts at finding salvation. On January 29th he will read and discuss The Slide at The Book Cellar, in Lincoln Square.

Nicolette Bond is a breadbasket poet with a nose for trouble. She is currently working on earning her MRS degree in the Heartland. Her writings have appeared in the sparkle of a kid's eye (goat kid) and downwind from the Honey Dipper. On any given day you can find her layin it down or playin for free. She currently lives in a rusted out truck at the bottom of Lake Michigan. And it's all so sweet.

Matthias Regan is a co-founder of Rubba Ducky Press and the Cheap Art for Freedom Collective. He is the author of numerous little books and pamphlets of poetry, including The Most of It, Huckabee Goes Electric, and Home Entertainment. He is currently hosting a free objectivist writing workshop at the Mess Hall in Rogers Park: everyone is invited!

Pat Babbitt and Lindsey Fisher are improvisers who perform as part of the sketch comedy group The Cool Table at Fizz Bar every Tuesday at nine. They prepared nothing for their "So Help Me God" performance. They are going to use everyone else's prepared work for their inspiration. They hope no one will be offended.