2021 will see no stages again this year.  However, the Writer's Guild will have a Poetry on Demand booth as they normally do.


Spoken Word Stage is a place for local writers/performers to share their spoken word arts.

2020 Writers Guild Spoken Word Stage Performers:
Tony Brewer, Joan Hawkins, Adam Henze, Shayne Laughter, Nancy Chen Long, Antonia Matthew, Patsy Rahn, Eric Rensberger and Shana Ritter

TONY BREWER is treasurer of the Writers Guild, and a poet, event producer, voice actor, and live sound effects artist. He is executive director of the spoken word stage at the 4th Street Arts Festival and his books include: The Great American Scapegoat, Little Glove in a Big Hand, Hot Type Cold Read, and Homunculus. He has produced and recorded for the lit programs Books Unbound and The Linen of Words on WFHB community radio, and Anthology and The Poets Weave on WFIU public radio, and has won awards from the Kansas City HEAR Now Audio Fiction and Arts Festival and the Indiana Society of Professional Journalists. He was made a Kentucky Colonel in 2012 for his live sound effects work. Tony has been offering Poetry On Demand at coffeehouses, museums, cemeteries, churches, bars, and art and music festivals for over 10 years, and he is one-third of the poetry performance group Reservoir Dogwoods.

JOAN HAWKINS is the chair of the Writers Guild. She teaches Cinema and Media Studies at IU. She’s devoted to Spoken Word and publishes creative nonfiction and memoir pieces that have appeared in n+1, Sand, and the Performing Arts Journal. She’s currently working on a memoir, School and Suicide, and – with Kalynn Brower – is co-editing an anthology called Rape Escapes.

DR. ADAM HENZE is a researcher, educator, and spoken word artist, and has shared his work in over 30 states, as well as Puerto Rico, Canada, England, and Ireland. He is the co-founder of Slam Camp, a summer writing academy for teenage poets, and is the director of The Power of a Sentence, a writing workshop series at a women’s prison in Indianapolis. Adam earned a PhD in Literacy, Culture, and Language Education at Indiana University, where he also works as a Research Associate at the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community. He currently serves as a Bureau Speaker for Indiana Humanities, is the Master of Ceremonies at the Missouri Scholar’s Academy, and is the Official Poet of the Indianapolis 500. Adam has facilitated educational programming at over a dozen prisons and juvenile detention centers in IN, FL, KY, IL, and AR. Articles about his work as an artist and educator have appeared in The Japan Times, NPR, PBS, Big Ten Network, Chalkbeat, USA Today, and the Indianapolis Star. Adam is a Program Director at Southern Fried Poetry, Inc., which hosts one of the largest and longest-running poetry slam festivals in the world.

SHAYNE LAUGHTER is a Bloomington native with an IU degree, who has been trying to leave the Hoosier nest for more than 30 years yet keeps coming back for just a bit more. She has been a freelance and staff writer in print and broadcast media, including for WFHB Community Radio and WFIU Public Radio. Her novel, short stories, and screenplays have been published in literary journals and won honors in national competitions. The 2020 fiction issue of The Ryder Magazine will include her story “We Lie, We Die.” This reading covers a bit of her most recent escape attempt, to India, which was thwarted by a pandemic.

NANCY CHEN LONG is part of the team that hosts the Guild's Last Sunday Poetry Reading Series. She is the author of two books of poetry: Wider than the Sky, which was selected for the 2019 Diode Editions Book Award, and Light into Bodies, which won the 2016 Tampa Review Prize for Poetry. Her work has been supported by a National Endowment of the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship and the Poetry Society of America Robert H. Winner Award. She works at Indiana University in the Research Technologies division.

ANTONIA MATTHEW is from England, she's lived in Bloomington since 1968, and is a member of the Five Women Poets. They have published three chapbooks and put out a CD. In 2019, her play Home Front, about growing up in England during WWII and its lasting effects, was performed as a radio play produced by the Writers Guild. She is currently working on a novel set in 1940s England.

PATSY RAHN worked for many years as an actress in Toronto, New York, and Los Angeles. She has a degree in political science from UCLA and a master’s degree in East Asian Languages and Cultures from Indiana University. She is a founding member and chairperson emerita of the Writers Guild at Bloomington. Patsy's poetry and prose have been published in various journals and anthologies. Her book of poetry titled The Grainy Wet Soul is available through bookstores online. For more information, visit her author website at http://www.patsyrahn.com, where you may listen to some of her readings and sound works. You can also visit her photography website at http://www.skillfullycurledphotograph.

ERIC RENSBERGER is a long-term member of the Bloomington poetry scene. He has published several chapbooks and has been published in magazines and journals, as well as unconventional formats. He constantly works on a theoretically endless project, Account of My Days. He has hopes for the future.

SHANA RITTER’s poetry and short stories have appeared in various journals and magazines including Lilith, Fifth Wednesday, and Georgetown Review. Her poetry chapbook Stairs of Separation was published by Finishing Line Press. In the Time of Leaving, a novel of exile and resilience, set in late-15th-century Spain, was published in 2019. A Pushcart prize nominee, she has been awarded the Indiana Individual Artist Grant on multiple occasions. More info and her occasional blog can be found at http://www.shana-ritter.com.

Special thanks to Kyle Quass for his technical supervision

Sponsored in part by the Indiana Arts Commission, Bloomington Arts Commission, and the Bloomington Urban Enterprise Association.


For more information visit www.WritersGuildBloomington.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram


POETRY ON DEMAND available at demand4poetry@gmail.com