The Marble Room Reading Series

Location + Time:
On April 13, 2014, at 4 PM, I attended the Marble Room Reading Series, a third Sunday of the month series, located at Wicker Park’s The Parlor. $5 at the door, the venue/location is located at 1434 N. Western Ave.

Atmosphere + Feel:
The Marble Room, started by writer and professor Kathleen Rooney and Olivia Lilley and co-curated by Timothy Moore, began on June 16, 2013. By far, this series was one of the most enjoyable, laid-back, and engaging reading events I have been to in all of Chicago. Whether I am biased because Kathleen Rooney was my former professor at DePaul University makes little difference (okay, maybe it makes some difference). Upon walking into the space, I was immediately welcomed and thanked for attending. The space itself feels like a living room because, well, it is a living room! This characteristic makes a huge difference in the listener’s comfort level. There was something so intimate and rewarding about the setting, certainly something that sets The Marble Room apart. Rooney, Lilley, and Moore encouraged attendees to have cheese and crackers, wine, and cake while we watched, grinning, with the alertness of a deer. Yes, cake. Yes, a deer. Leave the stuffiness at the door.

Performers + Quality:
Aside from a warmth and intimacy permeating from the space itself, the handful of readers were absolutely fantastic. They included Angela Narciso Torres, author of her first book of poetry, Blood Orange, Kathleen Rooney herself, author of her debut novel, O, Democracy!, Ladan Osman, author of her chapbook, “Ordinary Heaven”, and David Maclean, author to his memoir, The Answer to the Riddle is Me. All readers were varied in their styles but still engaging in their own distinct ways, as attendees (a full crowd) soaked in poetry and prose, fiction, non-fiction, and something in-between. That something in-between is what kept us wanting. An unceasing, ongoing want.

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Amanda Hanna

Amanda Hanna earned her Bachelor's Degree in English, with a concentration in Creative Writing, from DePaul University in June 2014. She plans to pursue her MA in Writing & Publishing, from DePaul, beginning in the fall of 2015. She was born in Chicago, but has lived in a variety of places throughout Southern California, such as Riverside, Orange County, and San Diego. Post high school, she attended a nineteen-day trip to Europe and visited Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, England, and France. On her free time, Amanda loves to draw and paint, attend symphonies and plays, peruse museums, visit farmers' markets, and, of course, read and write. One of her favorite collections of short stories is J.D. Salinger’s, 'Nine Stories'.

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