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Ellen Blum Barish

Ellen Blum Barish

I didn’t know this would happen when I launched Thread in December of 2014, but it turns out that my literary publication has two very distinct identities.

The first, which takes most of my time, is as a high-quality literary publication that is released three times a year. I LOVE the process but it involves only me, a few writers and photographers, a graphic designer and programmer. I couldn’t do it without them, but outside of production, it can be a lonely business being a solo editor-preneur.

Its second identity is as a live reading series. I host two a year, in the Spring and Fall, and this is when Thread gets to unfurl its spools. The event celebrates the local writers whose work is published in Thread of course, (Sheri Reda, John Hahm and Ellen Hainen), but their essays are embroidered and embellished with food and drink (from The Curragh Irish Pub), guitar-harmonica-and-vocals (by Bar None with Lori Wyatt), storytellers (including Jill Howe, Alan Neff, Bobbie Scheff and David Barish) and … an audience!

Which turns Thread into a community maker by way of the arts.

Which is what happened at yesterday afternoon’s Spring Thread Reading. An afternoon of art, offering a rare window of time to gather for lots of folks, but especially art-loving sports fans. It was the day before the start of baseball season, a day off for the NCAA basketball championship players, and the event was scheduled AFTER the Chicago Blackhawks game and BEFORE the Chicago Bulls game began! So a lot of people came. Somewhere around 70!

Which put people in just the right mood in spite of the fact they were pushed together like sardines and we had to turn a few folks away. (Those folks have been offered a seat at the next reading as Thread’s guest.)

Titanic thanks to everyone who helped make yesterday so memorable as an arts event and community connector. You can see how it went through these photographic highlights supplied by Emily Barish, Nina Kavin, Jill Howe and Frances Freedman. (And mark your calendars for the next reading, tentatively scheduled for October 16th.)

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crowd pix #2 Bobbie Scheff close up Ellen Hainen Ellen & Allen Ellen & David Ellen & John Ellen Hainen smiling Jill

sheri5 2

David telling

Ellen at the mic

crowd pix #1

Painting by Sir John Everett Millais

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