MORGAN PARK — The organizer of The Frunchroom has invited five unique voices to share their stories of Chicago's South Side for the fourth installment of the quarterly reading series.
Event coordinator Scott Smith named the series in Chicago vernacular for the front room of a house — a place where city-dwellers have long gathered to share stories. The Frunchroom will return at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan 21 at O'Rourke's Office in Morgan Park.
There's no theme to the free reading at 11064 S. Western Ave. Though, Smith said future gatherings could include some common threads. Here's a list of the featured performers:
• Lolly Bowean is a general assignment reporter for the Chicago Tribune. She often writes about Chicago’s African-American community. Before joining the newspaper, Bowean covered suburban crime, government and environmental issues for the Times-Picayune in New Orleans.
Bowean, a Chatham resident, was slated to appear at The Frunchroom's third installment as well. She missed the event for work-related reasons. Smith has since read her story and invited her back to share it.
• James Finn Garner is the author of "Politically Correct Bedtime Stories," which has sold more than 2.5 million copies nationally. A native of Dearborn, Mich., Garner also writes humorous plays and lives in Chicago with his wife and two children.
• Andrew Huff is the editor and founder of GapersBlock.com, which is self-described as a "Chicago-centric web publication providing information on news, events and other interesting stuff around town."
Huff, a Rogers Park resident, is the first reader who doesn't have a South Side background to participate in The Frunchroom, Smith said.
"It's been a goal for me to showcase observations of the South Side from people outside of it. Andrew's spent a bunch of time down here and with his background he's uniquely positioned to do just that," he said.
Earlier this month, Huff also announced he was putting Gaper's Block on hiatus starting Jan. 1. He cited several reasons for doing so, including taking over his father's business, Glendale Communications Group, and a just a general feeling of exhaustion.
• Grace Kuikman is the long-standing editor of "The Villager," the free publication from the Beverly Area Planning Association. A Beverly resident, Kuikman is also the facilitator of the Longwood Writers Guild.
• Mario Parker is the Midwest energy correspondent at Bloomberg News. His recent articles include a look at why coal remains a top source of electricity and a look at how abundant oil hasn't yet trickled down to lower prices at the pump.
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