Poetry Off the Shelf: The WRITE CLUB: Poetry Versus...


The WRITE CLUB is bare-knuckled literature. Two opposing writers argue two opposing ideas, and each has seven minutes, no more, to throw their best punches. The audience helps pick the winners. Hosted by Ian Belknap, all of the bouts in this Write Club will involve poetry in some way—prose versus poetry, page contesting stage and rhyme against reason. Brace yourselves and help pick the winners.

Diana Slickman (PROSE) vs. J.W. Basilo (POETRY)

Edward Thomas-Herrera (PAGE) vs. Barrie Cole (STAGE)

Emily Rose (RHYME) vs. Ian Belknap (REASON)

Timekeeper: Lindsay Muscato

Overlord Ian Belknap founded the WRITE CLUB at Chicago’s Rhino Theater Fest in 2010, telling Time Out Chicago “When I am part of an audience … I want the show to take a can opener to my skull and punch me in the brain.” A knockout success in Chicago, the WRITE CLUB is now delivering blows in Atlanta, Athens, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Toronto.

Emily Rose is a Chicago-born and raised poet, performer and host of many things. Named by Time Out Chicago as one of Chicago’s Cultural Curators, she is currently a Real Talk Avenue Artist, Slammaster and host of the Mental Graffiti Poetry Slam. Her work has appeared in After Hours, Columbia Poetry Review, and Time Out Chicago. Her first chapbook, Cigarette Love Songs and Nicotine Kisses (Cross+Roads Press), was published in 2004.

Barrie Cole is a writer, playwright and performer. Her newest play, Clumsy Sublime, is currently onstage at the Prop Theatre. She has read her work at That's All She Wrote, Guts and Glory, Story Sessions, Essay Fiesta and at many other live-lit  events throughout the city.

J.W. Basilo is a writer, performer, playwright, comedian, musician and educator from Chicago whose work is equal parts poignant and perverse, hilarious and heart-wrenching. His often raucous stage act, a vaudevillian mash-up of poetry, music, comedy and storytelling, has earned him a reputation as one of the more sought-after and compelling spoken word artists working today. Basilo is a National and World Poetry Slam finalist, a PushCart Prize nominee, executive director of Chicago Slam Works, one half of Poetry/Comedy duo Beard Fight (with Dan Sully), and an artist-in-residence at Real Talk Avenue. You can currently catch him every Sunday in Chicago at the Green Mill, where he co-hosts The Uptown Poetry Slam, the original slam on the planet.

Edward Thomas-Herrera has been attempting poetry, monologues and theatre in Chicago for many, many years. Buy him a drink and he'll give you all the details. Buy him two drinks, he'll thrown in a sloppy make-out session.

Diana Slickman is a Chicago-based writer and performer. She is a Theater Oobleck ensemble member and has appeared in seven of their shows, most recently There Is a Happiness That Morning Is. She’s also a member of BoyGirlBoyGirl, a group solo performance ensemble with whom she has created six shows based on found text. She has performed her own work with The Neo-Futurists, Curious Theater Branch, the Magpies and in many live lit shows around town.

Lindsay Muscato is a writer and proud member of the mighty squad that produces WRITE CLUB each month.

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Wednesday, September 25th, 7:00 PM
Poetry Foundation
61 West Superior Street
Free admission