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The Frunchroom Reading Set to Make Beverly Woods Debut

By Howard Ludwig | June 23, 2016 5:40am | Updated on July 21, 2016 7:49am
 The Frunchroom will move to the Beverly Woods Restaurant in Morgan Park when the live literary series returns at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
The Frunchroom will move to the Beverly Woods Restaurant in Morgan Park when the live literary series returns at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
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DNAinfo/Howard A. Ludwig

MORGAN PARK — The Frunchroom, a quarterly reading series, will debut in a new location at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Beverly Woods Restaurant in Morgan Park.

A $5 donation will be requested at the door of the live literary event. The proceeds will be used to offset the cost of future projects, said Scott Smith, the organizer and emcee of the event at the restaurant and banquet hall at 11532 S. Western Ave.

The Frunchroom was first unveiled in April 2015 with the intent to showcase written work about the South Side as well as pieces read aloud by authors from the area, said Smith, a Morgan Park resident.

"We've been letting others define us in a very narrow way over the past few years, and I want us to demonstrate that there is a lot more that unites us than divides us," he said.

The Frunchroom has held all of its shows until now at O'Rourke's Office in Morgan Park. But the event has since outgrown the venue, Smith said.

"The same literary, storytelling vibe will carry over to Beverly Woods. O'Rourke's was very intimate and obviously you lose a little of that in a larger space. But it also means having more space for people to sit, settle in and relax for the evening," he said.

The Beverly Woods will continue to host The Frunchroom going forward, Smith said. The upcoming event will be held in the Beverly Woods' Caravan Room, which is named for Mount Carmel High School.

It will feature retro-inspired decor created by members of the Beverly Area Arts Alliance, the group behind the annual Beverly Art Walk. The details of the setting are still coming together, but it should resemble something along the lines of "a retro cocktail party," Smith said.

The scheduled readers for the upcoming show include:

Leah Chibe: Described as a baroque singer, devotee of the fermented/distilled arts and a parent of three small humans, Chibe is a Michigan native who has lived in Beverly since 2006.

Kelly Norman Ellis: This poet also works as an associate professor of English at Chicago State University. She is author of "Tougaloo Blues" (2003) and "Offerings of Desire" (2012). Her poetry has also appeared in "Role Call: A Generational Anthology of Social and Political Black Literature and Art," Essence magazine and elsewhere. Ellis lives in Avalon Park.

Bill Leslie: Leslie works as a lawyer and played catcher for the Ridge-Beverly Minor League Champion Redlegs in 1969 and 1970. The Beverly resident has been published in the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Reader.

Peter Nickeas: The Tribune reporter works overnight covering violence and mayhem in Chicago. Nickeas lives in Norwood Park.

RHYTHM (Rhonda Gholston): This member of the performing artist group P.O.E.T.R.E.E. also works as an art teacher at Hyde Park Academy High School. Gholston lives in Avalon Park.

For more information about The Frunchroom, visit the group's website.

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