Tag Archive for 'Ben Tanzer'

Ben Tanzer and Jonathan Travelstead read from The New York Stories and How We Bury Our Dead With Zoe Zolbrod and Seth Berg 7/7

7:00 pm

nystoriesbeerIn 2006, celebrated author Ben Tanzer began working on a series of short stories all set in the fictional upstate New York town of Two Rivers, most of them published in various literary journals over the years and eventually collected into the three small volumes Repetition Patterns (2008), So Different Now (2011), and After the Flood (2014). Now for the first time, all 33 of these stories have been gathered in The New York Stories, for what is already being recognized as career defining collection.


“With great humor and the natural voice of your closest confidant, Ben Tanzer brings us stories set in our shared fictional hometown of Two Rivers, NY. With tenderness and heart, Ben brings us real people and their poignant, messy struggles, reminding us of the folly of our youth and the beauty in even our most mundane histories. Though my family left when I was small for the big city, Tanzer has given this reader the gift of a sliding door here, and I think you’ll feel the same way, wherever you’re from.” – Elizabeth Crane, author of We Only Know So Much


Winner of the 2013 Cobalt Poetry Prize for his poem “Trucker,” Jonathan Travelstead has compiled an astounding collection of adrenalized poetry. How We Bury Our Dead is a narrative work which follows a single speaker as he jumps from one intense situation to the next in order to avoid his mother’s struggle with cancer. An Air Force firefighter, he volunteers to accompany his unit to Kuwait, and, after returning and still unable to cope, he hitchhikes his way across Alaska before finally going home.

“Jonathan Travelstead maps the quest for his elemental “end points and beginnings.” Doing so, he spans topography as various as Southern Illinois strip mines, automobile accident scenes, and Iraqi battle zones. What results are narratives that bare-knuckle gut-punch easy redemption. These poems honor the dead and the dying, refusing to avert the eye from certain explosion. It’s no wonder the keenest offer “prayers” for hand tools that do something palpably useful, say, prying open the wrecked heart’s flaming chariot of half-spoken desires.”   —Kevin Stein, author of Wrestling Li Po for the Remote

Tanzer and Travelstead will be joined Zoe Zolbrod, author of the acclaimed novel Currency (Other Voices Books, 2010) and poet Seth Berg, co-author of The Aviary, the recent Twin Antlers Prize for poetry from Artistically Declined Press.

For more info: Ben Tanzer:   tanzerben(at)gmail(dot)com

Tuesday, July 7th, 7pm – Free Event

Offsite: Quimby’s Night at LiveWire Lounge: 3 Songs, 3 Writers Reading About Those Songs 6/28

6:00 pm

3Songs June 2015

The LiveWire Lounge (3394 N Milwaukee) asked Quimby’s to curate a night at their lounge. So this is what we’re bringing, a themed mix of reading and music with a very specific focus.

Ben Tanzer, reading about The World’s a Mess by X

Shay DeGrandis, reading about Ever Fallen In Love by the Buzzcocks

Paul Durica, reading about Children of the Revolution by T. Rex

All 3 songs performed by The Blue Ribbon Glee Club

Original Readings by:

Ben Tanzer is the author of the books 99 Problems, My Father’s House, You Can Make Him Like You, Orphans, which won the 24th Annual Midwest Book Award in Fantasy/SciFi/Horror/Paranormal and a Bronze medal in the Science Fiction category at the 2015 IPPY Awards, and Lost in Space, which received an Honorable Mention in the Chicago Writers Association 2014 Book Awards Traditional Non-Fiction category, among others. He has also contributed to Punk Planet, Clamor, and Men’s Health, serves as Senior Director, Acquisitions for Curbside Splendor and can be found online at This Blog Will Change Your Life.

Shay DeGrandis is an artist, writer, producer, administrator, well-meaning amateur therapist, and accidental comedian. She produces and hosts the Chicago edition of Mortified, a comedy show of “personal redemption through public humiliation.” Helping performers bring to light their most awkward adolescent writing, she persuades them to share their shame with strangers. Shay also likes to share her own shame both on stage and off and has, in fact, fallen in love with someone she shouldn’t have fallen in love with . . . multiple times. You can see what the results look like at shaydegrandis.com

Paul Durica is a teacher, writer, and public historian. Since 2008 he has been producing a series of free and interactive public history programs under the name Pocket Guide to Hell. These talks, walks, and reenactments use costumes, props, music, and audience participation to make the past feel present. Paul has collaborated on programs with a range of cultural institutions from across Chicago including the Jane Addams Hull House Museum, Chicago History Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, Gallery 400, Smart Museum, and Sullivan Galleries among others. Paul’s writing on Chicago history and culture has appeared in Poetry, The Chicagoan, Mash Tun, Lumpen, and elsewhere and, with Bill Savage, he is the editor of Chicago By Day and Night: The Pleasure Seeker’s Guide to the Paris of America (Northwestern UP, 2013). pocketguidetohell.com

The Blue Ribbon Glee Club is Chicago’s punk rock a capella glee club, and regularly performs songs by Fugazi, Gang of Four, the Dead Kennedys, the Buzzcocks and more.

Please note: This event is NOT at Quimby’s. It is at the LIVEWIRE LOUNGE | 3394 N MILWAUKEE AVE, CHICAGO, IL

Facebook event invite here.

Sun, June 28th, 6pm
LiveWire Lounge

“Cinco De Awesome” J. Bradley Reads From The Serial Rapist Sitting Behind You Is a Robot

May ’11
7:00 pm

When asked about his influences, J. Bradley points to three enduring sources: failure, 80s cartoon, unrequited love. Not a likely combination for a writer, but one that has brought forth The Serial Rapist Sitting Behind You is a Robot (Safety Third Enterprises). A collection of prose-poems from J. Bradley in his first foray into fiction. Bradley’s swift cuts and unapologetic style still remains intact in this new frame delighting in tales of Jurassic Park, sexual liaisons, and sexual disgust. Even in the darker times of the twenty story collection the Florida poet goes for a dirty bountiful laugh.

“Rabbit punches are illegal in boxing because they are a potentially fatal blow. “The Serial Rapist Sitting Behind You Is A Robot” is a series of rabbit punches comprised of poetry, wit, sex and sick.  J. Bradley attempts to kill with each piece; packing their tiny structures full of a power reserved for breaking the teeth of cheating spouses.  Each piece makes an impact that stuns strong and spreads circular in a visceral ring that will leave the reader wondering, “What just happened here?” After they stagger to their feet, they will taunt him to hit them again and again.” – xTx, author of Normally Special

Also joining the bill are Chicago author Ben Tanzer, who will read from his book You Can Make Him Like You (Artistically Declined Press), James Tadd Adcox, editor of Artifice Magazine and Brandon Will.

For more info: http://iheartfailure.net