Monday, September 26, 2011

Red Rover Series / Experiment #51

Red Rover Series
{readings that play with reading}

Experiment #51:
X-Ref = Encyclopedia Vol. 2 F-K

5pm / doors lock 5:30pm
**please note change from usual time**

Samiya Bashir
Tisa Bryant
Gabrielle Civil
Carina Gia Farrero
Krista Franklin
A. Naomi Jackson
John Keene

at Outer Space Studio
1474 N. Milwaukee Ave
suggested donation $4

logistics --
near CTA Damen blue line
third floor walk up
not wheelchair accessible

THE ENCYCLOPEDIA PROJECT was founded in 2006, and is edited and published by Tisa Bryant, Miranda Mellis and Kate Schatz. The Encyclopedia Project is a hybrid publication that plays with the reference book, literary journal and arts catalogue, blending all into a hybrid series of cross-referenced hardcover volumes. Each book complicates categorical, genre and narrative expectations, while connecting seemingly disparate writers, artists and ideas within and among volumes. Encyclopedia Vol. 1 A-E was published to wide acclaim in 2006; Encyclopedia Vol. 2 F-K just launched new excitement in 2010.

SAMIYA BASHIR is the author of Gospel, finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and the 2009 Lambda Literary Award, and Where the Apple Falls, a Poetry Foundation bestseller and finalist for the 2005 Lambda Literary Award. Bashir is editor of Black Women’s Erotica 2 and co-editor, with Tony Medina and Quraysh Ali Lansana, of Role Call: A Generational Anthology of Social & Political Black Literature & Art. Bashir’s poetry, stories, articles and editorial work have been featured in numerous publications and granted several awards. For over a decade, Bashir worked as a social justice communications professional and was a founding organizer of Fire & Ink, a writer’s festival for LGBT writers of African descent. Most recently, she was owner and principal consultant of Lead Time Consulting, specializing in communications for non-profits and arts organizations. She currently lives amidst the Ann Arbor trees beneath which she teaches writing at the University of Michigan.

TISA BRYANT is the author of Unexplained Presence (Leon Works, 2007), a collection of hybrid essays on myth-making and black presences in film, literature and visual art. She is co-editor/founder of The Encyclopedia Project, and co-editor (with Ernest Hardy) of War Diaries, an anthology on black gay men’s desire and survival, published in 2010 by AIDS Project Los Angeles, and nominated for a LAMBDA Literary Award. Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in the journals 1913, Animal Shelter, Mandorla, Mixed Blood, Viz., in the ‘zine, Universal Remote: Meditations on the Absence of Michael Jackson, and the solo exhibits of visual artists Jaime Cortez, Wura-Natasha Ogunji, and filmmaker Cauleen Smith. A novel, The Curator, is forthcoming. She teaches at the California Institute of the Arts

GABRIELLE CIVIL is a black woman poet, conceptual and performance artist originally from Detroit, MI. Over the last ten years, she has premiered over twenty original performance works nationally (Minneapolis, Chicago, NYC) and internationally (Mexico, Puerto Rico, The Gambia).She is currently disseminating work from her 2008-2009 Fulbright Fellowship project “In and Out of Place: Making Black Feminist Performance Art in Mexico” and is circulating Swallow the Fish, her critical/creative text on race, body and performance art. She teaches at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, MN. The aim of all her work is to open up space.

CARINA GIA FARRERO, writer and interdisciplinary performer, received her BA from U.C. Berkeley, and her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is currently a PhD candidate in English at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee and a professor at the Illinois Institute of Art in Chicago. Her poems were most recently published or are forthcoming in Verse Daily, Arsenic Lobster, The Encyclopedia Project and Windy City Queer.

KRISTA FRANKLIN is a poet and visual artist from Dayton, OH who lives and works in Chicago. Her poetry and mixed medium collages have been published in lifestyle and literary journals such as Coon Bidness, Copper Nickel, RATTLE, Indiana Review, Ecotone, Clam and Callaloo, and in the anthologies Encyclopedia Vol. 2 F-K and Gathering Ground. Her visual art has been featured on the covers of award-winning books, and exhibited nationally in solo and group exhibitions. Franklin is a Cave Canem Fellow, a co-founder of 2nd Sun Salon, a community meeting space for writers, visual and performance artists, musicians and scholars, and a teaching artist for Young Chicago Authors, Neighborhood Writing Alliance, and numerous organizations in the city of Chicago.

A. NAOMI JACKSON was born and raised in Brooklyn by West Indian parents. She traveled to South Africa on a Fulbright scholarship, where she received an M.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town. A graduate of Williams College, her work has appeared in Coon Bidness, Encyclopedia, Obsidian, The Caribbean Writer, Sable, and Does Your Mama Know: An Anthology of Black Lesbian Writing. She has been a resident at Hedgebrook and received the Archie D. and Bertha H. Walker scholarship at the Fine Arts Work Center. She co-founded the Tongues Afire creative writing workshop in 2006 and is a current student in fiction at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

JOHN KEENE is a writer, translator and Associate Professor of English and African American Studies at Northwestern University. He has a B.A. from Harvard and an M.F.A. from New York University. He was a longtime member of the Dark Room Collective, an organization that from 1988 to 1998 celebrated and gave greater visibility to emerging and established writers of color. His first novel, Annotations, was published by New Directions in 1995. A new collection of poems entitled Seismosis, in collaboration with Christopher Stackkhouse, was published by 1913 Press in 2006.

THE CHICAGO CALLING ARTS FESTIVAL presents multi-disciplinary collaborations during Chicago Artists Month and collaborated with Red Rover Series on Experiment #51. For the 6th Annual Chicago Calling Arts Festival, people in the Chicago area will work with others outside of Chicago — both in the U.S. and abroad; these collaborations include a range of art forms, such as music, dance, film, literature, and intermedia — prepared or improvised.

RED ROVER SERIES is curated by Laura Goldstein and Jennifer Karmin. Each event is designed as a reading experiment with participation by local, national, and international writers, artists, and performers. The series was founded in 2005 by Amina Cain and Jennifer Karmin.

Email ideas for reading experiments
to us at

The schedule for events is listed at

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sept 23: Douglas Kearney

Harriet Reading Series: Douglas Kearney : Foundation Events

Harriet Reading Series


Friday, September 23 at 7:00 PM

at the Poetry Foundation
61 W. Superior Street
(Dearborn & Superior)

Free admission

The Harriet Reading Series features readings and presentations by “Craft Work” and “Open Door” writers from the Poetry Foundation’s blog, Harriet. “Craft Work” regularly features poets, editors, and translators writing in detail about their work, while “Open Door” reports on events and community organizations around the world. Poet, performer, librettist, and “Craft Work” contributor Douglas Kearney inaugurates this bi-monthly reading series.

Douglas Kearney’s poems touch on politics, African-American culture, and contemporary music, among other themes. He describes the nontraditional layout of his poems as “performative typography.” The author of Fear, Some and The Black Automaton, a finalist for the Pen Center USA Literary Award in poetry, Kearney teaches courses in African American poetry, opera, and myth at California Institute of the Arts. A reception will follow his reading.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sept 24: Bad Date America

Red Rover Series
{readings that play with reading}

Experiment #50:
Bad Date America

A special event with
100 Thousand Poets for Change


Kaveh Adel
Barbara Barg
Jen Besemer
Dan Godston
Laura Goldstein
Ruth Goring
Ezzat Goushegir
Kurt Heintz
Marcy Rae Henry
Philip Jenks
Jennifer Karmin
Francesco Levato
Toni Asante Lightfoot
Monica Long
Anthony Madrid
Ario Mashayekhi
Charlie Newman
Ladan Osman
Roger Reeves
Timothy David Rey
Kenyatta Rogers
Jacob Saenz
Larry Sawyer
Don Share
Keli Stewart
Tony Trigilio
Lina ramona Vitkauskas

at Outer Space Studio
1474 N. Milwaukee Ave
suggested donation $4

logistics --
near CTA Damen blue line
third floor walk up
not wheelchair accessible

BAD DATE AMERICA is the Chicago event of 100 Thousand Poets for Change. In the spirit of community-building, guest curators Larry Sawyer and Lina ramona Vitkauskas are asking local poets to go on a hypothetical “date” with America. Has your relationship with America started to seem like a bad date? Check out --

100 THOUSAND POETS FOR CHANGE is a global initiative of poetry readings, political demonstrations, community picnics, awareness events, and parades that will take place in 450 cities across the planet on September 24, 2011 to promote serious social, environmental, and political change. More at --

MESS HALL is a Chicago-based experimental cultural center and collaborated with Red Rover Series on Bad Date America. Mess Hall is a place where visual art, radical politics, creative urban planning, applied ecological design and other things intersect and inform each other. They host exhibitions, discussions, film screenings, brunchlucks (brunch + potluck), workshops, concerts, campaigns, meetings (both closed and open) and more. See --

RED ROVER SERIES is curated by Laura Goldstein and Jennifer Karmin. Each event is designed as a reading experiment with participation by local, national, and international writers, artists, and performers. The series was founded in 2005 by Amina Cain and Jennifer Karmin.

Email ideas for reading experiments
to us at

The schedule for events is listed at

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Piano Rats

Praise for Piano Rats:

“The 44 pieces in Franki Elliott’s Piano Rats are like the best kind of chance meetings—weird and unsettling, specific and transformative. They are Frank O’Hara meets Ellen Kennedy, ‘first kiss’ meets ‘fuck off,’ ‘hell’ meets ‘rainstorm,’ poetry meets prose, narrative meets lyric, trailer park meets city street. But they are also entirely themselves, places where you ‘remember who you wanted to be.’”

~Kathleen Rooney, author of Oneiromance (an epithalamion), managing editor of Rose Metal Press.

“Piano Rats is an homage to being stuck between where you've been and where you still might go. It's just that you haven't quite figured out how to escape where you've been and frankly you have no idea what comes next. And it is this tension of stuckness in all its messy, druggy, sometimes hopeful, youthful confusion that lives here in these poems and explodes across these pages, all oozy and terribly electric.”

~Ben Tanzer, author of Most Likely You Go Your Way and I’ll Go Mine, 99 Problems, My Father's House, and You Can Make Him Like You, among others.

“In Piano Rats you will find a young women drowning in sadness, and not worried about how she can hide it. Franki Elliot exposes what most bury beneath layers of shallow conversations, bottles of alcohol, and innuendo. She will subtly make you love her and hate her in the matter of a few well placed lines.”

~Jason Behrands, managing editor of Orange Alert Press.

“From page one, Franki's honesty and ability to drop an F-Bomb won my heart. Here is a woman who is no stranger to love. She’s suffered its beauty, its jealousy, and its brutal end. Her poetry is like a mirror hanging on my wall, reflecting my own emotions and thoughts back at me. She makes me want to scream ‘Fuck You’ to every guy I dated who didn’t ‘get me’. She makes me want to get behind the pretty words people throw around, quit beating around the bush, and see things for what they really are. She creates a language of her own, breathing out lines like: ‘Love sometimes is just another word for jealousy’, and ‘We can't save ourselves from anything that's supposed to happen.’”

~Lori Hettler of The Next Best Book Club (TNBBC) Blog.

“Franki Elliot's Piano Rats contains the kind of writing that forces its way into your thoughts. Her poems tingle the senses as the clever use of words often will, but there is more. They leave behind a love bite and a bruise. They're only felt deeply -- that good, hard heartbreak and tragedy that's nothing if not funny and sad at the same time. Like learning to live a little and with what you've got.”

~Matt Rowan, founding editor of

About the Author:

Franki Elliot is a 27 year old Chicago author who often is referred to as a “female Charles Bukowski” or “JD Salinger with a skirt.” She self-published a first edition of Piano Rats in 2010 that quickly sold-out. Curbside Splendor picked it up in 2011 for a second edition. She can’t keep a secret. This is her first book.

About the Publisher:

Curbside Splendor publishes work online and in print, sells books by Chicago presses and authors on a periodic basis at the Logan Square Farmers Market, and presents literary events at various venues throughout Chicago. Piano Rats marks its fourth publication. Staff include Curbside Splendor Editor-in-Chief Victor David Giron as Publisher, Curbside Splendor Sr. Managing Editor Jacob S. Knabb as Editor, and Curbside Splendor Managing Editors Lauryn Allison Lewis and Leah Tallon. Visit Curbside Splendor on the Web at For additional information, contact Victor David Giron at or at (312) 342-5935.

Publication Details

Publication date: October 15, 2011

Edition: 2

Imprint: Curbside Splendor Publishing

Trade Paperback

72 pages; 4.0″ x 6.0″; $10.00 USD

ISBN: 978-0-9834228-3-9

Publisher: Victor David Giron

Author: Franki Elliot

Editor: Jacob S. Knabb

Designer: Shawn Stucky (



Publisher Direct - - Kindle
Independent bookstores TBA

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Sept 7: Collection & Cocktails

Collection & Cocktails:
A Poetry Foundation Library Open House

5:30 to 8:30 PM

at the Poetry Foundation
61 West Superior Street

With readings of favorite poems
from the library collection by local poets

Philip Jenks
Quraysh Ali Lansana
Dolly Lemke
Anthony Madrid

Kathleen Rooney
Mike Puican
Robbie Telfer
Jennifer Karmin

Festivities include poetry fortune telling, poetry recording sessions, and a scavenger hunt. Wine and light refreshments will also be served.

FREE admission on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets not required for entrance; registering does not guarantee entrance.

The new Poetry Foundation Library houses the organization's 30,000-volume colletion, with books dating back to 1916. The non-circulating collection is now open to the public. The Poetry Foundation Library extends its hours this fall and expands its children's programming. The library, now open to the general public on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m., will also be open Fridays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. as of September 9th.