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    Keith S. Wilson is an Affrilachian Poet, Cave Canem fellow, graduate of the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop, and recipient of a Bread Loaf scholarship. He holds an MFA in poetry from Chicago State University. Keith’s poetry has been published in 2 chapbooks: Generation Oz (Finishing Line Press) and Kindermeal (Imaginary Friend Press).His work has appeared in a number of anthologies and has appeared or is appearing in the following journals: American Letters & Commentary, 32 Poems, Cider Press Review, Anti-, Muzzle, Mobius, and The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature. Additionally, he has had poems nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net award.

    You can read one of his amazing poems at Kinfolks: A Journal of Black Expression.

    Keith WIlson will be reading at Marble Room XIII. That’s tomorrow. Logan Square, at Uncharted Books. That’s 2:00pm. There will be poetry. There will be wine. 
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    B. David Zarley is a freelance journalist, essayist, and book/music/art critic based in Chicago. His work has been seen in VICE, Paste Magazine, Salon, The Chicago Reader, Sports on Earth, The Classical, and numerous other publications. You can find him on Twitter (@BDavidZarley) or at bdavidzarley.com.

    B. David Zarley will be reading at Marble Room XIII. This Sunday, at 2:00pm. There will be wine. There will be poetry. There will be B. David Zarley. Here’s an excerpt from his work, a piece entitled “Saturn’s Shaft; Or, Brief Impressions on EXPO Chicago from a Young Art Critic”:

    Night, as it is wont to do, had given way to day, replacing the trepidation and loathing that had crept in with the crepuscular gloam with thick, acrid tentacles of marijuana smoke and a ceiling mosaic of Vulcan’s anvils, a segue by way of deluge and born upon the twin steeds of sound and fury, the sound—this being Illinois—the sound of thunder; by late Thursday morning, Navy Pier did not so much resemble an outpost on the edge of the world, as it always does, sticking lonely and emaciated and cheaply rococo, like a skeletal finger threatening to break beneath its own heavy baubles, into the great, ship swallowing maw of Lake Michigan, but the world itself, with said abyssal view on one end and a the last remains of the storm on the other, a cloud covering thick enough to hide Chicago herself, as if a pyroclastic veil had been pulled over the city, and now, rather than resembling the fragile ring finger, Navy Pier jutted from the mist into the void like Saturn’s mighty phallus, ready to spring creation—existence—from its tip.
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    Marble Room XIII is coming. This Sunday. Do you know Joshua Young? You should know Joshua Young. He’ll be reading this Sunday, September 21st, at 2:00pm.

    Joshua Young is the author of four collections, most recently, The Holy Ghost People (Plays Inverse Press, 2014). His work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Bat City Review, Gulf Coast, Rhino, Fugue, Puerto del Sol, Third Coast, Pank, and others. He teaches writing in the MFA and BA programs at Columbia College Chicago, where he is Associate Director of Creative Writing. He is editor-in-chief at The Lettered Streets Press. He lives in Chicago. Here’s one of his poems that was published in Corium Magazine


    i don’t know nebraska—
    all that grass to walk through.
    but what’s with the soft glow?
    there are extremists lying
    in the field, & self-righteousness
    up to the rafters. pew-violence
    draws no blood. it hatches
    plans, what words can you
    carve into stained glass?

    Are you ready for Marble Room XIII? It’s ready for you. Uncharted Books. There will be wine. 

  4. Did you get the news? The Marble Room is back! We’ve moved to Logan Square’s beautiful Uncharted Books, and our inaugural reading will be next Sunday, one week from today, September 21st, at 2:00pm. Here’s our first reader, the wonderful Dorothy Knight! 

    Dorothy Knight recently recovered from an MFA program and has begun to take short trips from her apartment in Chicago, IL. You may have seen her at a reading around town, offering single beers to strangers from her purse. She grew up in Kingsland, GA, and her work takes listeners to strip clubs, paper mills, and construction sites to offer a glimpse from the inside out of life in the rural South. She tries to capture the music of its language and the particular character of the working class world she grew up in with none of the quaint, pastoral romance. She apologizes in advance for not having an accent.  If you want, she can tell you about the lasers people use to measure drywall. Her work has appeared in Salt Magazine and the Squaw Valley Review.   

    Marble Room XIII. September 21st. 2:00pm. Poetry, wine, no entry fee. And here’s a poem from Dorothy Knight!  

    There is Love that Throws You Through a Plate Glass Window, and Then There is Love

    I didn’t understand my brother
    until I asked about the bandage
    on his knee and he told me
    he kicked his girlfriend’s cat,
    so she threw him through the glass coffee table.
    The look in his eyes got all dreamy;
    he was smiling, and I
    realized he needed the kind of woman
    who could take a punch like a man,
    who could survive being thrown
    through a glass windshield when that red
    Honda pulled out into an intersection
    he had been drinking too much to slow for.
    He had the right of way. He was on
    the way to pick up his daughter
    who died a year after that, swerving
    to avoid a deer and colliding instead
    with a tree. The family didn’t want
    his girlfriend to attend the funeral,
    knowing she was prone to histrionics,
    prone to leaving restaurants and commencing
    the walk home alone down the highway
    if he was too nice to the waitress serving
    his sweet tea. My brother tended to leave
    us all at the table to chase her
    down the median, but he came
    alone that day in his polyester suit
    and stood next to his daughter’s
    boyfriend in marine dress blues,
    to watch the release of
    sixteen white balloons
    into the sky.

  5. As you all know by now, the reading/release party for Poems in which You Die is this Sunday! You can check out the event here! Our next reader is Bill Coughlin. Meet Bill. 

    Bill Coughlin is a Chicago native who lives near the lake with his partner and cocker spaniel. He earned his MA in English from DePaul University and his MFA in Poetry from Columbia College. At various times in his life he has been a seminarian, a teacher, a Unitarian Universalist, a classical pianist, a runner, a dog lover and a world traveler. He lives with his partner and their cocker spaniel in Chicago and spends as much time as possible on the coast of Maine. His first collection of poems, entitled migrations, was published by Aquitaine Media, a local publishing company. He is currently planning a second full-length collection centered on issues arising from recovered memories.

    That’s right. Bill will be reading this Sunday. 5:00, at the Towbar. One drink minimum. Sarah Carson will have her book on hand. See you there? 

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    We’re so excited about Sarah Carson’s Poems in which You Die, only a few days away now (This Sunday, at 5:00, at Towbar, check out the Facebook event here). We’re also excited to be introducing the next reader for the event! Friends, meet Margaret Brady: 

    Margaret (aka MoFo) Brady, a recovering Catholic, journalist and PR flack, received her MFA in Creative Writing/Poetry at Columbia College Chicago in 2007. Her work has appeared in Court Green, Columbia Poetry Review, MiPoesias, Whistling Shade, Rambunctious Review and The Creative Woman magazine. She also has a haiku at the Harrison “L” stop in Chicago. Margaret takes heart in the words of her favorite poet/teacher, David Trinidad: “All poets are useful and necessary.”


    The incredible Margaret Brady will be just one of the poets at the reading for Poems in which You Die. But if she was the only poet, wouldn’t she be enough? 

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    Our look at the great poets of Sarah Carson’s Poems in which You Die reading/party continues! Now, friends, we bring you Joe. 

    Joe Eldridge earned his MFA in Poetry at Columbia College Chicago where he is an adjunct teaching in the poetry, literature, and speech programs. His poems have appeared in a variety of journals including Court Green, The Gay & Lesbian Review, The Apocalypse, and Velvet Mafia. The past twenty-five years, he has also been a flight attendant for a major airline spending his weekends working trips to Paris or London, and as he pins his gold wings above the left breast pocket of a freshly pressed uniform, Joe reminds himself that he really does love people—really.


    We’re excited to see Joe and all of the readers. And we’re excited to see Sarah Carson’s first book! You will be too, by this weekend (if not sooner). The reading is this Sunday, the 22nd, at 5:00. The Towbar. One drink minimum. Here’s the Facebook Event. See you there! 

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    The wonderful Sarah Carson has been a friend of the Marble Room since her reading last fall. We’re excited about the release of her first full-length collection, “Poems in which You Die.” We’re so excited that Timothy Moore, co-curator of this very Marble Room, will be hosting the reading and release party at the Towbar, and we will be sharing bios of the readers all this week! So why don’t we start with Sarah Carson herself? 

    Sarah Carson was born and raised in Michigan but now lives in Chicago. Her poetry and short stories have appeared in numerous journals including Columbia Poetry Review, Cream City Review, the Nashville Review, the New Orleans Review, and Whiskey Island. She is the author of three chapbooks. Poems in which You Die, released by BatCat Press—the only press in the country run entirely by high school students— is her first full-length collection of poems.


    Sarah will be joined by Margaret Brady, Bill Coughlin, and Joe Eldridge. You can check out the event here. But if you’re Facebook illiterate, just know that the reading is this Sunday, June 22nd, 5:00 at Towbar, on 1500 Jarvis Ave, Rogers Park. There is a one drink minimum, but you were going to drink anyway, weren’t you? Stay tuned for more bios this week! And see you Sunday? 
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    Suzanne Scanlon is the author of a novel, Promising Young Women (Dorothy, 2012), and a forthcoming work of creative nonfiction titled, Her 37th Year, An Index (Noemi Press, 2015). New fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Spolia and MAKE Literary Magazine. She lives in Chicago and teaches creative writing at Columbia College and in the MFA program at Roosevelt University. 

    Suzanne will be reading at Marble Room XII. That is this Sunday, May 18th, at 4:00pm, at the Parlor in Wicker Park. $5 at the door will get you wine, poetry, prose, cheeses, and shelter from the terrible, beautiful day. See you there? 

    In the meantime, please enjoy this excerpt from Suzanne’s Promising Young Women:

    Her name is Marissa or Stacey or Christine and she decides to ignore themisrepresentation. She also ignores the way you drink too much, mostly because you are not a profound personality change drinker—unlike her last boyfriend, for example; you do not become injudicious or mean or abusive while drunk, not so far as she’s observed. It has to do with school, you explain—med school or law school or your never-ending PhD program in the School for Social Thought. She can’t understand the pressure; anyway, all of your classmates drink. Mostly, she doesn’t care. As far as she can tell, you become more loving, more affectionate. You stand by the door, buzz too many times, declare through the intercom that you must kiss her or that you must sing her a song or that you must read her the poem you wrote for her just that afternoon.

    It is not a very good poem. She won’t tell you this.

    She is usually in her pajamas or in her bed or on the floor or in the bathtub, which is in a small room down the hall from her apartment. She doesn’t wear actual pajamas, just loose sweats and t-shirts of the sort mental patients wear.

    She’s 25 or 28 or maybe even 30 by now.

    She lives alone, with a cat named Sylvia or Clarice or Gertrude.

    She is on stage—acting or singing or dancing or reciting poetry in a spoken word competition—when you first see her. She plays the role of the Patti Smith character in a Sam Shepard one-act about a lobster. You are there for your sister; you’ve come to this showcase, this selection of Winter One-Acts, to see your sister perform and so you see her.

    “There is something about her,” you tell your sister, who also happens to be an actor or a singer or a dancer. It won’t be easy for you, having a sister and a girlfriend who act.

    “Is she on drugs or is that just the part? She really seemed like she was on drugs.”

    Your sister doesn’t know.

    “She’s always like that.”

    “Drugged, you mean?”

    “She doesn’t drink. But yeah, slurs her words. Seems to be somewhere else.”

    “I like it,” you say. “She seems interesting. And she’s not unattractive.”

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    Lindsay Hunter is the author of the story collections Daddy’s and DON’T KISS ME. Her first novel, Ugly Girls, comes out November 4 on FSG. Find her at lindsayhunter.com.

    Lindsay Hunter will be reading at the Marble Room on May 18th. Marble Room XII, friends. 4:00pm, at the Parlor in Wicker Park. Her excerpt below is from the first story in DON’T KISS ME. Enjoy. And see you soon?

    Three Things You Should Know About Peggy Paula 

    In high school Peggy Paula worked as a waitress at the Perkins. Night shifts were her favorite, students from her school would come in after games or dances with bleary eyes and messy hair and Peggy Paula knew they’d been drinking and smoking those flimsy joints she’d see them passing, the girls with smudged makeup and rats nests in the back of their heads, proud unblinking eyes, scanning the dining room like I dare you, I dare you to guess what I just let Jared or Steve or Casey do to me, I let him and I liked it and I don’t care, and Peggy Paula honored to be among these girls, envious, taking their orders for French fries and Ranch, keeping their secrets and the sticky lipgloss tubes they’d sometimes leave behind, watermelon and cherry and berry and once a spicy cinnamon that burned Peggy Paula’s lips for an hour, what kind of girl wanted burning lips, poison lips, Peggy Paula’s heart pounding at the thought of such a girl, of the boy who went after such a girl in the backseat of his father’s sedan, the girl stinging his lips, his neck, moving further down, burning that boy up with her mouth, Peggy Paula going into the bathroom stall and wanting to touch herself but not knowing where to begin, wanting to begin everywhere, standing with her fists clenched and breathing hard, and then needing to be out from the stall and moving and so going back to the dining room feeling every inch of her skin, her lips cherry red and raw when she saw her reflection in the toaster, and three weeks later asking the redheaded dishwasher to drive her home and directing him to the spot she knew those girls went to, her lips aflame, when he pulled up sliding over, the stick shift digging into her hip, putting her mouth on his freckled neck, it smelled like mashed potatoes and industrial soap and sweat, her hand first on his thigh and then crabcrawling to his zipper, it was already hardening under there despite him saying, Hey hey, what, and Peggy Paula saying, Just, please, and the dishwasher quiet after that, letting Peggy Paula, letting her, following her into the backseat, holding her tight when it happened, saying I’m sorry and Peggy Paula saying Shh, stinging his shoulder with her lips and his back with her nails and feeling filled up and afraid and like her heart could kick the windows out.

The Marble Room

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