Meet Our Readers

We’ve got a big appetite for Lucy Knisley, Sarah Becan, Nadine Kenney Johnstone, and Lauren Jordan. We’re also three years old! We were three last month too but uh, we forgot. Join us for a belated birthday celebration and stories about snacks. There will be pie.

Lucy Knisley is a graphic novel author and illustrator. She’s written and drawn five published books, including “Relish; My Life in the Kitchen” and Eisner nominated “Displacement.” She lives in Chicago and when she’s not working, she’s hanging out with her tiny little fat baby.

Sarah Becan is a comics artist, author, illustrator and designer, and the creator of “I Think You’re Sauceome”, a food-centric autobiographical webcomic. Her work has appeared in various publications, including Saveur, Eater, StarChefs, Tasting Table, TruthOut, and the collaborative serial collection Cartozia Tales. She was awarded a Xeric Award and a Stumptown Trophy for Outstanding Debut for her first graphic novel, The Complete Ouija Interviews, and her work has twice been nominated for the Ignatz Award. Lately, she’s been illustrating cookbooks, such as The Adventures of Fat Rice, and if she had her way, she’d do nothing but draw pictures of food all day.

Lauren Jordan is a southern transplant living in Chicago with her two cats. She manages the online shop Hey Chickadee when she’s not drawing comics, knitting hats, or baking cookies. She hosts a podcast about food if you’re into that sort of thing which you would be if you’re at this reading. You can follow her work at laurenjordan.net!

Nadine Kenney Johnstone is the author of the memoir, Of This Much I’m Sure, about her IVF challenges and the healing power of hope. Her infertility story has appeared in Cosmopolitan, Today’s Parent, MindBodyGreen, Metro, and Chicago Health Magazine, among others. She teaches at Loyola University and received her MFA from Columbia College in Chicago. Her other work has been featured in various magazines and anthologies, including Chicago Magazine, The Moth, PANK, and The Magic of Memoir. Nadine is a writing coach who presents at conferences internationally. She lives near Chicago with her family. Follow her at nadinekenneyjohnstone.com.

 

 

Meet Our Readers

This week, we’ve got Chloe Riley, Elizabeth Gomez, Julie Jurgens, and Sarah Souri breakin’ the law breakin’ the law. Get your legal ass to Gallery Cabaret to for stories of protest, poor choices, good choices, and more.

Chloe Riley

Chloe Riley is a journalist, skeptic, and bullshit fighter, depending on the day. She writes about death and old magazines in a blog called Pimp to the Mouthbreathers and she’s also written for The Guardian, the Chicago Reader and Huffington Post. She writes about criminal justice, politics, and theater and she eats oatmeal even though it deeply pains her to do so.

 

 

Elizabeth Gomez

Elizabeth GomezElizabeth Gomez is a comedian, writer, and a free bleeder. She performs all over the city, but you may have seen her on Check Please, which means she is Chicago famous now. She is the founding writer of Drinkers with Writing Problems, cast member of the Kates, founder of the Windy City Rollers, and possibly the reason your parents broke up.

 

 

Sarah Souri

Sarah SouriSarah Rashmee Souri is a psychotherapist, musician, writer, and speaker. Her previous storytelling experience includes performing at Sunday Morning Stories at The Second City in Chicago, as well as The Moth and Wordplay in her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA. Sarah believes in the therapeutic power of storytelling, and she hopes her story will inspire you. To contact Sarah, please visit her website at http://www.sarahsouri.com/.

 

 

 

Julie Jurgens

julie jurgensJulie Jurgens has appeared on stages all over the city, magically, like some kind of beautiful teleporting genius. Once she’s on stage she tries to change history in small but substantial ways, then leaves again, hoping beyond hope that the next stage appearance will be the appearance that takes her home.

Sibling Rivalry is Live

March’s show is up on iTunes and Stitcher — the theme was Sibling Rivalry and Leah Jones, Kenzie Seibert, Amy Eaton, Al Rosenberg, Molly Rafferty, and special guest host Carly Oishi take you through brothers, sisters, step, blood, and everything in-between.

Meet Our Readers

Get out your quills and charge your keyboards, we’re talking about letters. Legal letters, letters of recommendation, Dear John letters, FAN LETTERS OMG, from the desk of Maggie Tomasek, LeeAnn Yops, Anna Wolfe, and Lisa Hilleren.

Maggie Tomasek

maggie tomasekMaggie Tomasek is a writer, comic, runner and rapper. She’s performed at the kates, Write Club, Story Club, You’re Being Ridiculous, Essay Fiesta and Tuesday Funk, among many others. Maggie is also a member of She’s Crafty, Chicago’s all-female Beastie Boys tribute. You can see her with She’s Crafty on Saturday, May 6, at Township in Logan Square.

 

 

 

LeeAnn Yops

LeeAnn YopsLeeAnn Yops (long “O” in that “Yo”) is a Chicago-based stand-up comedian, storyteller and writer originally from Wisconsin. She’s your go-to guide for all thing 80s and 90s related. LeeAnn is the creator of the website BH9021WHOA, the site that’s better than a Mega Burger about everyone’s favorite teen drama zip code. When she’s not busy gushing over Luke Perry, she also runs a monthly storytelling show about music called Appetite for Rock n’ Roll Storytelling. You can catch Appetite every second Wednesday at the Elbo Room at 8 p.m. for a true evening of oral debauchery.

 

Anna Wolfe

Anna Rose WolfeAnna Rose Wolfe is an writer / performer. She is the co founder of Scout & Birdie, and online literary magazine and podcast. Anna is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago, where she earned a BA in Acting and a minor in Gender Studies. She performs regularly with The LIVINGroom, a solo performance ensemble. Anna has been featured in venues and fests around Chicago, such as Life Line Theater’s Fillet of Solo Festival, Greenhouse Theatre Center’s Solo Celebration, Abbie Hoffman Died for Our Sins Festival, National Cool Shorts, The Plagiarists Salon, and The Election Monologues.

Lisa Hilleren

lisa hillerenLisa Hilleren is a North Dakotan who moved to Chicago via Wisconsin. Lisa is the founder of bikecampchicago.info, a blog dedicated to car free camping in the Chicago region. While Lisa usually writes about bicycles or feelings about bicycles, sometimes she also just writes about feelings. If you’d like to know more about Lisa’s bicycles or feelings, follow her on Twitter and Instagram @yo_uterus.

Meet Our Readers

Sister sister brother brother blood and step and everything in between on Wednesday with Molly Rafferty, Al Rosenberg, Leah Jones, Kenzie Seibert, Amy Eaton, and the triumphant aka I asked her and she said okay return of co-host Carly Oishi (Jasmine is taking the air in England). The theme is Sibling Rivalry and we hope to see you there.

Kenzie Seibert

Kenzie SeibertFrom the suburbs of Chicago, Kenzie trained at The iO Comedy and The Second City Conservatory. Currently, you can see her through the end of April with the amazing all-female cast of “For The Love Of”, at Pride Films and Plays, where she is a proud company member. You can also see her on Upworthy.com and the Huffington Post with her satirical film piece, “Pinkwashing for a Cure”, where she sheds light on the injustice behind booby health. She does storytelling at The iO Comedy Theater, The Annoyance Theater, and The Second City. She also performs drag as The Duchess, at Berlin Drag Club, and every month at Gender Is A Drag— the variety show she co-created and co-hosts with her partner, at The iO Comedy Theater. She is represented by BMG talent, and fueled by the Lincoln Ave Burrito House.

Molly Rafferty

Molly RaffertyIf Tina Fey and Jerry Seinfeld had a baby, Molly Rafferty would run away from it because babies are disgusting. Molly (just barely) graduated from Columbia College Chicago’s Fiction Writing program and has studied comedy writing at iO, Second City, and FemCom. Molly has read her work at Reading Under the Influence and Essay Fiesta, and she’ll also be performing at the Book Cellar with the Kates in June. An ornery educator by day, Molly spends her nights co-hosting “Smartmouth,” a feminist history tribute podcast.

 

Al Rosenberg

Alexandra RosenbergAl Rosenberg is a writer and Professional Jew. She also likes to think of herself as a professional sick person and lesbian, but she doesn’t actually get paid for that. She spends what little free time she can wring from her day reading, gaming, and being a mediocre cat mom. You can find her super sad essays and mostly sassy game reviews on WomenWriteAboutComics.com.

 

 

 

Leah Jones

Leah JonesAfter 15 years in Chicago, Leah Jones is finally willing to admit that she’s here to stay. She is a former stand-up comic, long-time blogger, and is starting to threaten her boss that she’s going to start a podcast about healthcare policy. She lives in Ravenswood with her two cats and insists that there’s always room for pie.

Amy Eaton 

amy eatonAmy Eaton has performed original work with Tellin’ Tales Theatre and is a 2-1 Write Club winner (though she swears that 1 was really a tie).She has performed as an actor with Curious Theater Branch, Thunder Rd Ensemble, Mary-Arrchie and others. She served as Artistic Director for Evanston Children’s Theater and founded Mudlark Theater Company.
She lives with her two beautiful giant size teenagers who are being homeschooled, her incredibly patient husband and three jerky cats.
She comes from the Twilight Zone. But that’s another story.

 

Heroes is Live

Our first show of the year is up. Get over to iTunes and let Amy Sumpter, Crystal Lynette, Louise W. Knight, Deborah Siegel, and Allie Kahan take you on a hero’s journey.

mariah carey

Meet Our Readers

Is Sam Smith kinda edgy for you? You’re in luck this Wednesday. We’ve got Melanie LaForce, Ali Kelley, Danette Chavez, and a *~mystery guest~*, talking about what those star tattoos on your wrist really mean, and perhaps going a little or a lot deeper than you’d expect.

Okay the mystery guest is Brittany Meyer. Also, it’s Ali’s last Chicago show before she departs for her East Coast homeland. Also, we’re going to have a raffle.  Get in, loser, we’re going shopping.

Melanie LaForce

Melanie LaForceMelanie LaForce was born in Painesville, Ohio and has lived in Chicago since 2000. Most of Melanie’s time is spent as an education researcher at the University of Chicago. Melanie also writes essays and satire for websites such as The Hairpin, Bust, Refinery29, and Medium. In her spare time, Melanie plays onstage at Second City and trains skaters with the Windy City Rollers.

 

 

Ali Kelley

ali kelleyAli Kelley is a writer living in Chicago and soon to be New York. Her work has appeared in HelloGiggles, McSweeney’s and the Washington Post. She writes about ’90s pop culture and teen angst on her blog, Sleepoverz.

 

 

Danette Chavez

danette chavezDanette Chavez is a culture writer and editor but she took the scenic route getting there, spending over 10 years in the hellscape that is newspaper advertising sales. She’s been published in the Chicago Reader, Chicagoist, Literary Chicago, XOJane, and is currently the Assistant Editor at The Onion’s A.V. Club.

 

 

Brittany Meyer

brittany meyerBrittany is a Chicago-based comic, story teller, cat owner, arm wrestler, and queer. Brittany has green eyes and has often been described as “that song Killer Queen.” As a comic, Brittany performs around Chicago in various clubs and showcases from Zanies to Laugh Factory, and hosts many pop up shows out of state. Brittany is both the creator and producer of ‘Strip Joker;’ a body positive, comedy showcase partnered with the ‘You are Beautiful’ campaign, located at Uptown Underground, cast member of the kates, and producer of Tuxedo Cat Comedy. For more info, check out BrittanyMeyerDoesThat.com.

Meet Our Readers

In these times, we’re holding out for a hero more than ever. This Wednesday, Allie Kahan, Amy Sumpter, Crystal Lynette, Louise W. Knight, and Deborah Siegel bring us their personal definition of just that, from caped crusaders to feminist icons to family. Meanwhile, I’ll softly hum the lyrics to the Mariah Carey classic, and hope it adds ambience.

Allie Kahan

allie kahanAllie Kahan grew up in the suburban town of Glenview, Illinois. Heavily influenced by Nancy Drew, she was fond of trying to solve neighborhood mysteries, of which there were always none. Now, Allie is graduating in March with a degree in Communications and Media with a minor in Psychology. She has completed two internships working in the communications department of different non-for-profits. Allie writes weekly satirical articles for The Black Sheep, as well as hosts, interns and studies improvisation at iO Chicago. She is a monologist in DePaul University’s Vagina Monologues in February. In her spare time, Allie sees improv shows at iO, tries recipes from Chrissy Teigen’s cookbook, and fruitlessly tries to convince her friends how fun it would be to start a book club.

Amy Sumpter
amy sumpterAmy Sumpter
 is a cast member of the Kates. She can be seen all over Chicago doing stand up. When she isn’t doing that, you can find her high-kicking and rapping with She’s Crafty, Chicago’s all-female Beastie Boy tribute band.

 

 

 

 

Louise W. Knight

louise w. knightA native of Evanston who spent 20 years elsewhere after college, Louise W. Knight eventually found her Midwest roots too strong to ignore. Writing two books about Illinois-born Jane Addams also helped draw her back. After a career in university and nonprofit administration and fundraising, she is a biographer now, working on a third book about two radical abolitionist-feminists of the 1830s, the sisters Sarah and Angelina Grimke.

 

Deborah Siegel

Deborah SiegelDeborah Siegel is the author of two books and a pair of boy/girl twins, and the founder of the public voice consultancy, Girl Meets Voice Inc. She’s also co-founder of SheWrites.com, Senior Facilitator with The OpEd Project, and creator of the Girl w/Pen blog. A Visiting Scholar in Gender and Sexuality Studies at Northwestern University and a lover of all things lake, she’s an ex-New Yorker who bailed on academia but never fully left. Her writing has appeared in venues including The Washington Post, The Guardian, CNN.com, The Forward, Kveller, Slate, The Huffington Post, The American Prospect, Ms., More, and Psychology Today, and she’s been featured on The Today Show, at TEDx, and in the New York Times. Deborah is currently obsessed with a multimedia experiment in thinking out loud, and in community, about gender and early childhood. Learn more at http://www.deborahsiegelphd.com.

Crystal Lynette

crystal lynetteCrystal Lynnette is a lifelong, deep dish-eating, Cubs-loving, no ketchup on hotdogs-having Chicagoan. She is new to storytelling in front of adults, but spends most of her days telling stories to 9 and 10-year-olds as a 3rd and 4th grade teacher. During her free time she is training for a marathon, doing yoga, or watching reruns of The Office, and eating an embarrassing amount of Taco Bell (it is called balance).

Twenty Seven Theme

Happy New Year! I’m pretty freaked out about our president elect, and pretty excited about our upcoming shows. We’re going to do kind of a staggered release this year (settle down, Beavis), you’ll get the rest sometime in March — something to look forward to during an interminable Midwestern winter. But yes. We’re looking for readers for everything with an asterisk, hit us up at missspokenchicago [at] gmail [dot] com if you’re interested. 

January: Heroes (BOOKED)

February: Basic*

March: Sibling Rivalry*

April: Letters*

May: Breakin’ the Law*

June: Munchies (BOOKED)

-Rose

Rites of Passage

Happy holidays! We hope you had a good Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or day off of work. The last Miss Spoken of 2016 is up on iTunes (and shortly, Stitcher). The theme was Rites of Passage, and featured readers included Sophie Amado, Lauren Catey, Turi Ryder, and Rachel Hyman.

2016 blew pretty hard, and 2017 is going to be even worse if we don’t do something about it. We’re committed to showing up in the coming year, whatever form that takes. As of January, that means our inaugural show. The theme is Heroes.

xoxo and RIP George Michael and Carrie Fisher (what the hell),

-Rose and Jasmine