jessica dimaio

Meet Our Readers

The kind of girl you read about/in the new wave magazines joins us Wednesday for Freaks and Geeks: Rebecca Vipond-Brink, Jessica DiMaio, KT Hawbaker, and Veronica Arreola bring the geeky, weird, and sometimes both. Whoa. We’ll also be having a raffle, because we love raffles: a gift certificate to our favorite comic book store, Challengers!

Rebecca Vipond-Brink

rebecca vipond-brink

Rebecca Vipond-Brink is a journalist, editor, and artist who’s written for such publications as BuzzFeed, Waypoint, and, most prolifically, The Frisky. She’d like to take this opportunity to plug the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Domestic Violence Outreach Ministry, to which she gives her time, and encourage you to make donations to or volunteer for Sarah’s Inn and Housing Forward, shelters for DV victims and the homeless (respectively) that do tremendous work in the west suburbs of Chicago.



Veronica Arreola

Veronica ArreolaVeronica I. Arreola is professional feminist, writer and a mom. She’s been a fish researcher, fried pizza puffs, and a door canvasser for Greenpeace. Today she runs UIC’s new Latinx in Science office. Veronica serves on the national board of Bitch Magazine. She has written a lot of things, spoken to a lot of people and received awards for it too! This veteran blogger met her husband 25 years at the mall in a shoe store. Today they are raising a very sporty & smartypants daughter. You can find her online at or @veronicaeye on Twitter & Instagram.




Jessica DiMaio

jessica dimaioJessica is an aging goth who hates board games, but loves cosplay, dissecting pop culture with friends, and impromptu new wave dance parties. She has had essays published in OG feminist magazines, such as BUST and Bitch, back when people still read print. She works as an esthetician at Salon Echo in Edgewater, and if you want someone to talk to about Game of Thrones while getting the perfect brow arch, she’s your girl.




KT Hawbaker

KT HawbakerKT Hawbaker is a fiercely Midwestern, fiercely emotional nonfictioneer. She is an arts and entertainment journalist with the Chicago Tribune, and she recently graduated with her Master’s from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. You might also know her as June Carter-Gash, HBIC over at “A Fairy Home Companion,” a podcast that drags “A Prairie Home Companion” in the name of queer histories.







Meet Our Readers

Pits. Pubes. Upper lips and legs. This month’s theme is Body Hair. We’ve got a talented crop of women on deck Wednesday to talk about it. I can’t think of a better prelude to your Thanksgiving.

Maya Marshall

missspoken_mayamarshallMaya Marshall is a Cave Canem Fellow. She co-facilitates the Vox Ferus After Dark workshop series. She was a 2013 Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mic Award finalist. She has led workshops for people ages 8-80 in the Midwest, Southwest, and South America. Her poems have appeared in BlackberryThe LegendaryPoetic Hustles in the Era of Hope and Change, and other publications.

Jessica DiMaio

missspoken_jessicadimaioJessica DiMaio is a graduate of Columbia College’s Fiction Writing program, who then became an esthetician because fiction writing doesn’t pay the bills. Turns out sculpting the perfect brow is as gratifying as crafting the perfect sentence. She wrote her essay while working at a ritzy downtown spa, but she much prefers the clients she has at the Benefit boutique she works for now. You can read more about her adventures in esthetics at



Alyssa Sorresso

Alyssa Sorresso is a creative non-fiction writer and performer living in Chicago. She has performed internationally and at home, including as an ensemble member for 2nd Story and at The Moth slams. Alyssa’s writing was recently published in Creative Non-Fiction Magazine and on OhioEdit. She maintains a blog at, and you can follow her on Twitter @tactless_grace. Please come say hi, because otherwise she’ll probably sit by herself and be somewhat awkward about it.

Lisa White

missspoken_lisawhiteLisa is a born and raised Midwestern girl who’s had numerous adventures and escapades writing. After moving here to attend college she fell in love with Chicago and despite a brief stint in New York returned to the city that feels like home. She cut her teeth writing about music and food around town for various outlets, including Heave, Gapers Block, IE and ChicagoStyle Wedding. She kinda went corporate for a while but like most writers never strayed far away from the clacking of laptop keys. She now is the Associate Editor at Chicagoist where she spends her days writing and editing work about all aspects of Chicago life.

missspoken_liliarissmanLilia Rissman

Lilia Rissman has enjoyed writing for a long time – one of her proudest moments was winning a trophy in fourth grade for her play about Harriet Tubman and the underground railroad.  Most of the writing that Lilia does today involves phrases like “morphosyntax” and “agent-oriented teleological modal base.” She is very happy for the opportunity tonight to pursue a more physical topic. Talk to her later if you would like to know what a modal base is.


Samantha Irby

missspoken_samanthairbySamantha Irby recently published a collection of essays called “Meaty.” You can find her blog at