Readings : Sunday Salon


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.


Chicago Reading / March 25, 2018 @Celtic Crown Public House

Our second 2018 reading happens on the last Sunday of March! Please join us at our temporary venue, Celtic Crown Public House, near Lincoln Square at Western Ave/Montrose. This month, our five featured writers are Quraysh Ali Lansana, Virginia Bell, Sahar Mustafah, Tony Romano, and Ines Rodrigues (see bios below). Come experience their current work and be inspired. And Roscoe Books will have readers’ titles to sell at the event.

Your hosts: Natalia Nebel, Betsy Haberl, Suzanne Clores, and Ignatius Valentine Aloysius

3/25/18, 7 pm (Arrive early, find a seat, order food, drink, and mingle)
Celtic Crown Public House, 
2356 W Cullom Ave, Chicago, IL 60618.
Call (773) 588-1110.

OUR 3/25/18 READERS:

Quraysh Ali Lansana is the author of eight poetry books, three textbooks, three children’s books, editor of eight anthologies, and coauthor of a book of pedagogy. He is a faculty member of the Writing Program of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Lansana previously served as Director of the Gwendolyn Brooks Center for Black Literature and Creative Writing at Chicago State University, where he was also Associate Professor of English/Creative Writing. His most recent books include Revise the Psalm: Work Celebrating the Writings of Gwendolyn Brooks with Sandra Jackson-Opoku (Curbside Splendor, 2017); A Gift from Greensboro (Penny Candy Books, 2016). Forthcoming titles include: The Whiskey of Our Discontent: Gwendolyn Brooks as Conscience & Change Agent, with Georgia A. Popoff (Haymarket Books, 2017).

Virginia Bell is the author of From the Belly (Sibling Rivalry Press 2012). Her poetry is forthcoming in the anthology 50/50: Poems and Translations by Women and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Her poems and personal essays have also appeared in Hypertext Review, Fifth Wednesday Journal, Rogue Agent, Gargoyle, Cider Press Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, Poet Lore, and other journals and anthologies.  She was a finalist for the Lamar York Prize in Creative Nonfiction and she is a Senior Editor with RHINO Poetry, an adjunct professor at Loyola University Chicago and the Chicago High School for the Arts, and the recipient of a Ragdale Foundation residency.  She holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature. You can learn about more about her work at


Sahar Mustafah is the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, a richly complex inheritance she explores in her fiction. Her story collection Code of the West was published in 2016. Her short stories have been awarded the Guild Literary Complex Prize for fiction, a Distinguished Story honor by Best American Short Stories 2016, and two Pushcart Prize and a Best of the Net nominations. She is co-founder of Bird’s Thumb and has been teaching for over twenty years in Illinois. She’s at work on her first novel, a hate crime shooting that takes place outside of Chicago.



Tony Romano is the author of the novel, Where My Body Ends and the World Begins (Allium Press), When the World Was Young (HarperCollins) and the story collection, If You Eat, You Never Die (HarperCollins). He is also the coauthor of Expository Composition: Discovering Your Voice and coauthor or the text, Psychology and You. He was recently named Illinois Author of the Year by the Illinois Association for Teachers of English (IATE) and was honored with a Norman Mailer award. One of his story collections was a finalist in AWP’s annual contest. He is a two-time winner of a PEN Syndicated Fiction Project award.  Both stories were produced on National Public Radio’s “The Sound of Writing” series and syndicated to newspapers nationwide. He lives near Chicago and writes about books, music, work, and family on his blog at


Ines Rodrigues is a Brazilian journalist, writer and teacher based in Westchester Co., NY. Her first novel, Days of Bossa Nova, was published in 2017 by Black Opal Books. Ines teaches Creative Writing at Sarah Lawrence College – The Writing Institute, and Italian language at Bronxville Adult School. She worked as a journalist and radio host in Brazil, and lived in Italy and London before making New York her home years ago. Since 2015, she also promotes the Scarsdale Salon, a quarterly literary event at the Scarsdale Public Library. Her website is



Support Chicago independent booksellers!
Chicago is home to many excellent independent bookstores. We are delighted to be partnering with Roscoe Village indie bookseller Roscoe Books ( to provide books for sale at our readings. They are at 2142 W Roscoe St, Chicago, IL 60618.
As well, this month Volumes Bookcafe is having a fundraiser to help them stay in their space in Wicker Park. Check out their website and please consider supporting them, if you can: They are at 1474 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622.

NYC | March 18, 2018

Hallelujah! The season of illumination is arriving and just in time. Join us on March 18th for the Ninth Annual Dark Tower Reading at Sunday Salon. A rising star comedian and DJ will share the stage with a stellar lineup of poets and writers of color. Ru Freeman, author and curator extraordinaire, will MC this literary celebration with a twist. Bring your dancing shoes! Head to Von Bar at 3 Bleecker St. At 7pm.

Elijah Bean was living with his parents in Alabama and writing poems in their kitchen several months ago. Now that isn’t so. Poet. Storyteller. Curator.

Kanya D’Almeida is a Sri Lankan writer, editor and journalist. She was formerly the Race and Justice Reporter at Rewire. From 2013-2016 she held the post of Regional Editor for Asia and the Pacific at the Inter Press Service (IPS) news agency and has reported for IPS from the United Nations, Washington, Mexico and Sri Lanka. Her journalism has appeared on Al JazeeraTruthoutAlternet, and The Margins. She is currently completing an MFA in Fiction Writing at Columbia University.

Christine Kendall grew up in a family of artists, the fourth of six children, where everyone studied the piano along with one other instrument. She still feels sorry for the neighbors. They woke up one morning and found themselves living next door to a flute, two clarinets, a french horn, a cello, a set of drums, and always, always somebody on the piano. Christine wasn’t any good on the clarinet but she loved writing. She has attended the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference at Middlebury College and studied children’s literature at the Southampton Writers’ Conference. Christine’s short fiction has appeared in numerous literary journals and her debut novel, Riding Chance, published by Scholastic in October 2016, was nominated for a NAACP Image Award in the category of Outstanding Literary Work for Youth/Teens. Christine lives in Philadelphia, PA where she co-curates the Cannery Lounge Reading Series.

Shreyas Manohar is a graduating senior at Columbia University majoring in English and Creative Writing. He’s a stand-up comic and performs regularly in comedy clubs in Mumbai and New York. He served as a writer for Season 1 of On Air With AIB, India’s first news comedy show on television. He’s previously worked as a cricket commentator, and as a prank-caller on the radio.

Geeta Tewari is a writer and human rights lawyer, born in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts after her parents emigrated from India. She has a BA from Cornell University, a JD from Fordham Law School and an MFA from Columbia University. Tewari now lives in New York, where she is raising her three daughters. Her stories have been published by GrantaNarrative MagazineCaustic Frolic/NYU Center for Experimental Humanities and NY Tyrant. Learn more about her: Instagram @tewargirl, Twitter,


GUEST DJ: DOUBLESIX was born and raised in Queens, NYC. He used to mix cassette tapes as a child and dropped needles to grooves as a teen, but now he curates soundscapes that make the night a night to remember. His selections tell stories and fill dance floors. They are why people say he is the “music man”. Remember to wear your dancing shoes when DOUBLESIX is juggling tunes. He is about musical revolution using the 1’s and 2’s.

GUEST MC: Ru Freeman is the author of the novels A Disobedient Girl (Atria/Simon & Schuster, 2009) and On Sal Mal Lane (Graywolf, 2013), a New York Times  Editor’s Choice Book. Both novels have been translated into several languages including Italian, French, Hebrew, Dutch, and Chinese. She is the editor of the ground-breaking anthology, Extraordinary Rendition: American Writers on Palestine (2015). Her writing appears internationally including in the UK Guardian, the New York Times,and the Boston Globe. She blogs for the Huffington Post on literature and politics, is a contributing editorial board member of the Asian American Literary Review, and is the recipient of many fellowships including from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Yaddo, Hedgebrook, and the Lannan Foundation. She is the 2014 winner of the Sister Mariella Gable Award for Fiction, and the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize for Fiction by an American Woman. ​She teaches creative writing at Columbia University.


Chicago / January 28, 2018

Our first January reading is coming up fast! Please join us at our temporary venue, Celtic Crown Public House, near Lincoln Square at Western Ave/Montrose, on the last Sunday of this month for an outstanding lineup of writers. Paula Carter, Jan English Leary, Ruben Quesada and Sharon Solwitz will be sharing from their latest novels, memoirs, short story collections.

1/28, 7 pm
Celtic Crown Public House, 
2356 W Cullom Ave, Chicago, IL 60618.
Call (773) 588-1110.

OUR 1/28/18 READERS:

Paula Carter’s essays have appeared in The Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, TriQuarterly, Salon, and Prairie Schooner. Based in Chicago, she is part of the nonfiction storytelling community and a company member with 2nd Story. She is the editorial manager of the digital magazine INTER and has taught writing at Indiana University, University of Kentucky and Concordia University Chicago. No Relation is her first book.


Jan English Leary lives in Chicago with her husband, John. She received an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and is the author of two books: a novel, Thicker Than Blood (Fomite, 2015) and a collection of short stories, Skating on the Vertical (Fomite, 2017). Her short fiction has been published in Pleiades, The Minnesota Review, The Literary Review, Carve Magazine, and other journals, and she has received three Illinois Arts Council awards for prose.


Ruben Quesada is a poet, editor and translator His writing and media have been featured at The Art Institute of Chicago, The Poetry Foundation, Oxford American, Ploughshares, TriQuarterly, The American Poetry Review, Southern Humanities Review, and elsewhere. Find on Twitter @rubenquesada.



Sharon Solwitz’s stories and essays can be found in numerous anthologies and creative writing textbooks, including Best American Short Stories 2012 and 2016. She has published the novel Bloody Mary, a collection of stories Blood and Milk, and, most recently, Once in Lourdes (Spiegel and Grau), about four students who make a suicide pact during the fraught days of the War in Vietnam. Her literary awards include the Pushcart Prize, the Katherine Anne Porter, the Carl Sandberg Award and the Nelson Algren runner-up, three times. She teaches fiction writing at Purdue University.