Beauty in the Spools



If you are current on social media, you probably have seen or heard news about my exciting new online literary ventures: Thread: A Literary Publication and companion Thread Reading Series.

Both are set for launch and celebration on December 10th at Curt’s Cafe in Evanston, Illinois at 7 pm. The first issue is thick with Chicago-area writers and issue two is looking like it will go that way, too but my hope is that by the third issue, Thread will actually be connecting writers and photographers across the US and, with any luck, extending across the ocean.

But for now, Thread: A Literary Publication and the Thread Reading series are local efforts. And rightly so. The inspiration came last April after my adult writing workshop students read their essays at Curt’s Cafe for friends and family. I knew the pieces were good – even great – and that the range of voices was quite poignant (20-somethings to 80-somethings) but I had no idea how much the writers would enjoy reading their work on stage nor did I know how an audience might react. The second time they read their work four months later in August, the audience doubled! It was big fun, eye opening and for me, incredibly inspiring.

The idea of thread came to me then. We talk about pulling the threads of an essay together or finding one main thread when we workshop a piece. When someone designs a dress or a coat or a suit, sometimes you see the threads, sometimes you don’t, but it’s the thread that allows the garment to hang well. True for essays, too.

So it makes sense for the launch to be a community effort. We are holding the festivities at Curt’s Cafe which has this amazing vibe and lure that everyone who walks in just loves. Curt’s Cafe catering is providing us with homemade food and beverages for the evening. (Feel free to bring your own booze if you like.) To help defray the production costs associated with the Thread site – designed by the very talented Amanda Good and brought to electronic life by Web Wizard Steve Stern – we’re adding a raffle to the mix that will include juicy literary goodies such as:

Thread will go live in early December. I’m currently in final edit mode and it’s definitely a labor of love. I’m learning how to build databases, create page designs, size photos and am reminded how many typos can fall through the cracks even with a detailed-minded team of supportive family members as proofreaders! So it goes a bit slower than I’d like, but I’m starting to appreciate slow. Slow is actually kind of refreshing. Feels a bit like the detailed handwork of seamstresses and tailors. I’m resonating with all of these sewing terms lately, as well as images like the one above  – a shot from my growing collection of spooled silk thread. What surprises me is how poetically the spools  –  the delivery system for thread  – speak.

Hoping to see you at Curt’s Cafe on December 10th, threaded together by the beautiful words and images of some amazing writers and image makers.

Photo by Ellen Blum Barish










Photo by Ellen Blum Barish