Make friends, enjoy a drink and stimulate your creative juices as both established and new writers share selections from their works. Don't be shy. Please do drop on by.


NYC | October 18, 2015

Rain or shine (or probably both), October brings diverse, award-winning writers to the Salon stage and we can’t wait! Let’s raise a glass to compelling literary voices, noteworthy books, and sweeter fall weather. See you at Jimmys no. 43. At 7pm.

Juventud Full Cover Redo-1Vanessa Blakeslee’s first collection of stories Train Shots won the 2014 Independent Publisher’s Gold Medal for Short Story Fiction and has been optioned as a feature film by writer/director Hannah Beth King. Her debut novel is titled Juventud.

Orlando Ferrand was born in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, and moved to New York City in his late teens. His memoir Apologia: Cuban Childhood in My Backpack, received a 5-star rating by Readers’ Favorite in 2012, and was selected as the Book-of-the-Semester by Hostos Community College, CUNY, in the spring of 2012. Ferrand’s collection of poetry, Citywalker, won the Gold Medal in the Readers’ Favorite Book Review and Award Contest in 2011. He alsoapologia-published-bc2 won the Linden Lane Press Poetry Prize in 2011 for his book La Otra Isla (Spanish Edition). A graduate of City College and Columbia University, he teaches at numerous colleges and universities.

Anu Jindal’s short stories have appeared in Electric Literature’s Recommened ReadingJoylandThe New QuarterlyPioneer, and Matrix Magazine. His story “Not a Bad Bunch” was selected by Amazon to be a Kindle Single and Audible audiobook in 2014. Currently an NYC Emerging Writer Fellow at The Center for Fiction, he resides in Brooklyn and teaches Creative Writing at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.AsaliSolomonCover

Asali Solomon received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award for the stories later collected in Get Down, her first book, which was a finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Debut Fiction. In 2007 she was named one of the National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35.” Solomon teaches English literature and creative writing at Haverford College.

Chicago | September 27, 2015

Please join us September 27 at 7:00 p.m. Riverview Tavern, 1958 W. Roscoe St. (corner of Roscoe & Damen). Please note the new venue! We’re featuring four outstanding authors this month: Bayo Ojikutu, Lynn Sloan, Garnett Kilberg Cohen and Barrie Jean Borich. We’ll see you there!

Bayo Ojikutu‘s critically-acclaimed first novel, 47th Street Black (2003), received both the Washington Prize for Fiction and the Great American Book Award. His second novel, Free Burning (RH/Crown – 2006), has been called “Gritty lyrical [and]intense,” by Kirkus Book Review, “the most foreboding love letter the city [Chicago] has ever received” (Tim Lowery- Timeout Chicago), and “a searing portrayal of one of the shameful realities within an oft unjust society” (Denolyn Carrol – Black Issues Book Review). Ojikutu’s fiction has appeared in the various anthologies, magazines and collections.  His work has garnered a nomination for the Pushcart Prize.  The author and his family currently live in the Chicagoland area.

Lynn Sloan is the author of Principles of Navigation (Fomite, 2015), a novel set mostly in small town Indiana, when a young couple, he’s a sculptor, she’s a small town journalist, decide to have a baby. This simple decision cracks open their marriage, and when they receive disastrous news, launches them on separate and complicated journeys. Lynn’s short stories have appeared in American Literary Review, The Literary Review, Nimrod, Puerto del Sol, Sou’wester, among other journals, and they have been nominated for the Pushcart Award, and finalists for the Dana Award, the Katherine Anne Porter prize, and the Faulkner-Wisdom Competition. Also a visual artist, Lynn’s fine art photographs have been widely exhibited and collected by museums, galleries, and private collections in the United States and abroad. She received her master’s degree from the Institute of Design, and taught in the photography department of Columbia College Chicago. She lives with her husband in Evanston, Illinois.

Garnett Kilberg Cohen has published three collections of short stories, Lost Women, Banished Souls (U of Missouri Press), How We Move the Air (Mayapple Press), and, most recently, Swarm to Glory, published by Wiseblood Books in September 2014. Some of her awards include a Notable Essay Citation from Best American Essays (2011), the Crazyhorse National Fiction Prize (2004); and four awards from the Illinois Council of the Arts, including a 2001 IAC Individual Artist’s Fellowship for prose. Her essays, poems and short stories have appeared in many publications, including American Fiction, Ontario Review, TriQuarterly, The Antioch review, Brevity, The Rumpus, The Gettysburg Review and many others. She has also published a chapbook of poetry, Passion Tour (Finishing Line Press) and poetry in two anthologies. She has served as an editor on several literary magazines, most recently as Guest Nonfiction Editor at Fifth Wednesday, and will co-editor the Columbia College Chicago Creative Writing Department’s new nonfiction journal, Punctuate. She is a professor at Columbia where she has taught for over 20 years.

Barrie Jean Borich is the author of Body Geographic (University of Nebraska Press/American Lives Series), winner of a Lambda Literary Award in Memoir and an IPPY (Independent Publisher Book Award) Gold Medal in Essay/Creative Nonfiction. Her previous book, My Lesbian Husband (Graywolf), won the ALA Stonewall Book Award. Her work has been cited in Best American Essays and Best American Non-Required Reading and she’s currently working on a book-length essay about repurposed industrial landscapes, urban joy, and riding her bicycle on the mean streets of Chicago. Borich was the first creative nonfiction editor of Hamline University’s Water~Stone Review and is currently a member of the creative writing faculty of the English Department/MA in Writing & Publishing Program at Chicago’s DePaul University, where she’s developing Slag Glass City, a creative nonfiction and new media journal focused on sustainability, identity and the arts in urban environments. Borich earned her MFA from the Rainier Writing Workshop and lives now with her spouse Linnea, a few blocks from Lake Michigan, in the Boystown neighborhood of Chicago, which was recently voted the most “incomparable” gayborhood in the world.

Chicago | July 26, 2015

Please join us July 26 at 7:00 p.m. Riverview Tavern, 1958 W. Roscoe St. (corner of Roscoe & Damen). Please note the new venue! We’re featuring five outstanding authors this month: Kathleen Rooney, James Shea, David Berner, Scott Miles, and Eileen Favorite. We’ll see you there!

Kathleen Rooney is a founding editor of Rose Metal Press, a non-profit publisher of literary work in hybrid genres, and a founding member of Poems While You Wait, a collective of poets and their typewriters who compose commissioned poetry on demand. Her most recent book is the novel, O, Democracy! and with Eric Plattner, she is the co-editor of the first ever English edition The Selected Writings of Rene Magritte, forthcoming in 2016. Recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Toast, the Poetry Foundation website, and the Chicago Tribune. Follow her @KathleenMRooney.

Eileen Favorite’s first novel The Heroines (Scribner, 2008) was named a Best Debut Novel by The Rocky Mountain News, and has been translated into Finnish, Italian, Russian, and Korean. The audio version was nominated for best recording by the American Library Association. A writer of both poetry and prose, she’s twice received Illinois Arts Council Artist Fellowships (prose, 2001; poetry 2005). Her work has appeared in many publications, including Triquarterly, Folio, Chicago Reader, Poetry East, and Diagram. She’s been nominated for Pushcart Prize for fiction and nonfiction. She teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she received her MFA in Writing and at the Graham School of Continuing Studies at the University of Chicago. She lives in Chicago with her husband and two daughters.

Scott Miles is from Downriver Detroit and lives in Chicago. Twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize, he’s had his short stories published in nationally distributed magazines such as LIT, Cimarron Review, Atticus Review, Storyglossia, Crime Factory, Beloit Fiction Journal, The MacGuffin, Oyez Review, The Summerset Review, and Pebble Lake Review.

David W. Berner is an award-winning journalist, broadcaster, author, and professor at Columbia College Chicago. His first book, Accidental Lessons, was awarded the 2011 Royal Dragonfly Grand Prize for Literature. His second memoir, Any Road Will Take You There won the 2013 Book of the Year Award from the Chicago Writer’s Association for nontraditional nonfiction, and has been re-released by DREAM OF THINGS Book Publishing. His collection of essays – There’s a Hamster in the Dashboard – was released by Dream of Things in June, 2015. In 2011, David was named the Writer-in-Residence at the Jack Kerouac House in Orlando, Florida. You also may have heard his voice regularly on the radio. He’s a reporter and anchor or CBS radio and regularly fills in as the morning news anchor on WXRT.

James Shea is the author of two poetry collections, The Lost Novel and Star in the Eye, which was selected for the Poetry Society of America’s New American Poets series. A former Fulbright Scholar in Hong Kong, he is currently an Assistant Professor at Hong Kong Baptist University.