Chicago|July 31, 2011

EILEEN FAVORITE’s debut novel, The Heroines, was selected as a Best Debut Novel of 2008 by The Rocky Mountain News and has been translated into Italian, Finnish, Korean and Russian. The audio version of The Heroines was nominated forthe American Library Association’s Best Recordings of 2008. Her poetry and prose have been twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize and have appeared in many publications, including TriQuarterly, the Chicago Reader, Conscious Choice and Poetry East. She is the two-time recipient of individual artist fellowships from the Illinois Arts Council. She holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute (SAIC) and currently teaches writing at SAIC and at the Graham School of Continuing Studies, University of Chicago.

JESUS ANGEL GARCIA is the author of badbadbad, a transmedia novel about sex, God, rock ‘n’ roll and the social web: What’s the line between self-destruction and redemption? Is there such a thing as sexual morality? What does intimacy look like in a culture dominated by e-communication? Stories adapted from the project — which combines a traditional print book with a soundtrack of original songs derived from the narrative and a series of short documentary films based on the novel’s themes — have been published or podcasted in 3:AM Magazine, Monkeybicycle, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Orange Alert and other venues. Info, excerpts, song samples and film clips may be found at http://badbadbad.net.

ALYSON LYON is the co-producer/co-host of Essay Fiesta (every third Monday at the Book Cellar) and a founding member of The Chicago Story Collective. Alyson also has a background in acting. A Chicago native and graduate of DePaul’s Theatre School, Alyson’s performance highlights include: 12 Ophelias at Trap Door; The Vagina Monologues at the Apollo Theatre; Pajama Girl, her one-woman show, at the Chopin Theatre, a guest appearance on HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm and a cameo in Jeff Garlin’s I Want Soeone to Eat Cheese With. She reads her personal essays all over town and currently works as a makeup artist.

ROBERT RODI has written fiction, nonfiction, criticism, plays and comic books. His newest effort, Seven Seasons In Siena: My Quixotic Quest for Acceptance Among Tuscany’s Proudest People, was released in June by Ballantine Books. He has also jsut released a new novel — a Hitchcock-for-the YouTube-age thriller entitled The Sugarman Bootlegs — exclusively as an e-book. He has published seven other novels, including Fag Hag and When You Were Me, and the nonfiction book Dogged Pursuit: My Year of Competing Dusty, the World’s Least Likely Agility Dog. His short fiction can be found in a number of anthologies, including Men On Men 5, His and Sandman: Book of Dreams. His literary criticism has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, New City and The Harvard Gay and Lesbian Review. He blogs about the Chicago performing arts scene for The Huffington Post and writes a “guerilla lit-crit” blog on Jane Austen, Bitch In a Bonnet. He was a founding member of the Chicago-based performance art troupe, The Pansy Kings, who were active throughout the 1990s, and he wrote sketches for the Live Bait Theater. Recently he became an auxiliary member of the monologuist ensemble BoyGirlBoyGirl. He is also the front man for the fusion rock band 7th Kind.

FEATURED ORGANIZATION: THE NEIGHBORHOOD WRITING ALLIANCE, publishers of the Journal of Ordinary Thought, provokes dialogue, builds community, and promotes change by creating opportunities for adults in Chicago’s underserved neighborhoods to write, publish, and perform works about their lives. The Journal of Ordinary Thought publishes reflections people make on their personal histories and everyday experiences. It is founded on the proposition that Every Person Is a Philosopher.

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