BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

ChristmasSnowBoyBrevity‘s Holiday Smile essay blizzard continues:

For his middle school’s Christmas show, my little brother John and his classmates sang holiday standards.  During their renditions of songs such as “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” a few students kept their heads turned to the floor. They focused on their feet.

John, though, loved the spotlight. He acted as though he fronted a boyband. “Frosty the Snowman” elicited a Chorus-line-kick from him. “O Christmas Tree,” a mini-breakdance. After almost every song, he took a bow. Near the end of the performance, Mom cried, silently, regal-like.

When Mom had found out John would be born with Down syndrome, no one in my family knew what to expect. Two open-heart surgeries, an at-home breathing machine, and twelve years had passed since his birth. Now, he starred in a middle school Christmas show. John took his “curtain…

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poetry? poetry.

poetry? poetry.

it’s the new year. we want to hear your stories, poems, letters, laundry lists, loves, complaints, and dreams.

sign up for the open mic between 5:30 and 6pm.

featured readers TBA

let’s make this the best one yet!

can’t wait to hear you.

I’ll be your host! Come check us out.

The Straight and Narrow

In The Straight and Narrow — a comedy written by Jane Blackburn Hammer and Tyler Gillespie — four people sign up for a two-day “gay-conversion” seminar. The show explores why people would sign up for a seminar/camp like this and the ways society conditions people to act straight. Gurrrl, being straight is harder than you think.

WHEN: December 27th at 8PM

WHERE: Stage 773 — 1225 West Belmont Avenue  Chicago, IL 60657

WEAR: Your best lqqk

Tickets: General Admission — $12

Student Admission — $10


DIRECTOR: Carol Bontekoe

PRODUCER: Tyler Gillespie

CAST: Carol Bontekoe, Jane Blackburn Hammer, Scott Sawa, Wynton Shannon, Christina Slyter, and Berner Taylor

PHOTO: Carol Bontekoe


Colin Self
Gary Richardson
Eric Budzynski
Tyler Gillespie
Julia Solomon
Brandon Ogborn
Drrty Sqrlz (Sarah Ashley, Blair Beeken, Christina Boucher, Stephanie Jones, and Irene Marquette)

This month Wes will be telling true stories and singing songs, accompanied by guitarist Adam Cohen-Leadholm and drummer Ross Howard.

Wednesday October 17th at 8pm
The Upstairs Gallery in Andersonville
5219 N Clark St
FREE and BYOB! ($5 suggested donation)

Jakob and I organized this reading at Kitchen Sink [1107 Berwyn Ave., Chicago, Illinois 60640].

Reality Bitez Presents back porch secrets. 

“It’s almost the end of this beautiful Chicago summer, but before it’s over let’s have one more night on the back porch. Bring some beers because here we all are. Some of us you know, some you don’t. Eventually the laughter, the heat begs us to take off our shoes & long sleeved shirts.

Here we are & our lips get looser & we start to tell secrets to each other.
Now we are intimate strangers, best friends, dates & lovers.”
— Jakob VanLammeren

Come to kitchen sink cafe on friday, september 14th from 7-9pm for a reading so you can share some back porch secrets with us. Kitchen sink will have drinks & sandwiches for sale from 7-8pm, so make sure to be there on time. BYOB. Desert will be provided by Tatiana Guest.
featured readers are:
Amy Lipman
Huey Amaru Marley
Jane Blackburn-Hammer
Jakob VanLammeren
Juana Peralta
Tyler Gillespie
Steve Hnilicka
Hosted by Juana Peralta