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Performer Bios:

Jay Besemer is the author of multiple poetry books and chapbooks, including Chelate and Telephone (both Brooklyn Arts Press), A New Territory Sought (Moria), Aster to Daylily (Damask Press), and Object with Man’s Face (Rain Taxi Ohm Editions). He is a contributor to the groundbreaking anthology Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics. His performances and video poems have been featured in various live arts festivals and series, including Meekling Press’ TALKS Series; Chicago Calling Arts Festival; Red Rover Series {readings that play with reading}; Absinthe & Zygote; @Salon 2014 and Sunday Circus. Jay also contributes performance texts, poems, and critical essays to numerous publications including Nerve Lantern: Axon of Performance Literature, Barzakh, The Collagist, PANK, Petra, Rain Taxi Review of Books, The VOLTA, and the CCM organs ENTROPY and ENCLAVE. He is a contributing editor with The Operating System, the co-editor of a special digital Yoko Ono tribute issue of Nerve Lantern, and founder of the Intermittent Series in Chicago. Follow him on Twitter and Tumblr for news.

Jen Blair is tired of email but fond of you. Email is a lot of effort if you think about it–just as hard as any other writing but oddly stripped of warmth, denatured. Email is where the spectacle goes to die and then, zombie-like, rise again. Brains. Email wants your brains. Email is a whiny zombie-tantrum that wants something from you. Email has just one quick question. Email never lets you have a weekend. Aren’t you tired? Everyone is so tired these days. Everything comes at you all the time.

JillWrites / Jill Jichetti is a playwright; monologue performance artist; self-portrait photographer & digital artist; mixed media painter; stand-up comedian; community arts producer, collaborator, and strategist; and internet age Conceptual artist. She’s currently working on a hybrid creative form thesis to complete the Master of Fine Arts in Writing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Nearly 39, she’s a newly-minted proponent of “40 Isn’t Fatal”, and is proud to work in a cyclical, interdisciplinary process.

Adrienne Dodt is a poet, essayist, and amateur photographer. Adrienne’s chapbook Return. is forthcoming from Damask Press this year. Zir work can be found in The Body Electric anthology and Fact-Simile, Apothecary, and Con/Crescent magazines. Ze is a regular contributor to Spoon River Poetry Review blog, and was the Poetry Editor for Bombay Gin magazine in 2008-2009. Adrienne currently teaches at a few community colleges in Chicago.

Laura Goldstein‘s first collection of poetry, loaded arc, was released by Trembling Pillow Press in 2013 and her second collection, awesome camera was published by Make Now Press in 2014. She has also published six chapbooks as well as numerous poems and essays in magazines in print and online. She currently teaches at Loyola University and co-curates the Red Rover Reading Series.

Chloe Johnston is a writer, performer, director and teacher. She is a long-time ensemble member of the Neo-Futurists where she performed in “Too Much Light Make the Baby Go Blind” and created several full-length shows, and is a founding member of The Laboratory for the Development of Substitute Materials. She holds a PhD in Performance Studies from Northwestern University and is a professor of theater at Lake Forest College.

Nathanael Jones is a Canadian artist/writer studying at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the MFA in Writing program. Since arriving in Chicago his art practice has thrown him for a loop, given him the slip, pulled the ladder out from under him. He now spends the time he should be writing meditating on the absence of content in his work.

Kate R. Morris was born and spent most of her life in Western Montana. Her plays Graceful Exits, Venn Diagrams or the Bee Play, Qyou are Here, and Fake yr Death in 6 Lonesome Steps have received popular productions at various venues in her home state. Her poetry has seen recent publication in Duende, an online creative writing journal from Goddard College. A writer and dramaturge with the Montanan theatre company Viscosity Theatre, Morris holds a BFA in Acting and an MA in Devised Theatre from the University of Montana, and is currently earning her MFA in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Aurora Tabar is a performer, bodyworker, cat lover, cyclist, and student of youtube dance videos. She is currently pursuing a masters in occupational therapy at UIC.

Gene Tanta immigrated to the United States in 1984. He is a poet, teacher, visual artist, and translator of contemporary Romanian poetry. As a scholar, Tanta specializes in twentieth-century American poetry, first-generation American poets, and the European Avant-garde. His first poetry book, Unusual Woods (BlazeVOX, 2010), pays homage to engaged and surrealist poetry. Pastoral Emergency, his second poetry book, blends the abecedarian from with the content of identity politics. Journal publications include: Ploughshares, EPOCH, Indiana Review, Columbia Poetry Review, Exquisite Corpse, Circumference Magazine, The Laurel Review, and Drunken Boat. While teaching literature at the University of Bucharest as Senior American Fulbright Scholar he began a forthcoming bilingual anthology titled Biography After Communism: Romanian Poetry After 1989. He hopes prose reflections written by the collected poets themselves will make contemporary Romanian poetry more accessible to non-specialist Anglophone readers.

Curator Bios:

Anne Shaw is the author of two poetry collections: Dido in Winter (Persea 2014) and Undertow (Persea 2007), winner of the Lexi Rudnitsky Poetry Prize. Her poems and reviews have appeared in Harvard Review, Black Warrior Review, Denver Quarterly, The Los Angeles Review, The Kenyon Review, and New American Writing. She is currently an MFA candidate in Sculpture at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work can be found online at

Toby Altman is the author of two chapbooks, Tender Industrial Fabric (Greying Ghost, 2015) and Asides (Furniture Press, 2012). His poems can or will be found in Best American Experimental Writing, 2013, The Black Warrior Review, Diagram, The Laurel Review, and other journals. He lives in Chicago where he co-curates Absinthe and Zygote and co-runs Damask Press.

Ira S. Murfin is a doctoral candidate in the Interdisciplinary PhD in Theatre & Drama at Northwestern University. His dissertation examines talk-based performances in the post-1960s American avant-garde, including David Antin’s talk poetry. He makes independent and collaborative performance work as a writer and theatre artist in Chicago.