The Filling Station is a free, monthly reading series hosted by Willie James and Matthew Kelsey. It occurs the 4th Friday of each month (with occasional exceptions) from 6:30-7:30 at City Lit Bookstore.
While the series aims to showcase local authors to a diverse and growing neighborhood, it also endeavors to introduce Chicago to the constellation of talent that illuminates the rest of the country. The Filling Station emphasizes poetry, but will also feature fiction and creative non-fiction periodically.
Regardless of whichever genre is shared on a given night, the series will offer proud neighbors and perfect strangers alike the chance to refuel at the end of the week. Everyone is welcome.
Please come join us at our inaugural reading. We will feature the work of both Tarfia Faizullah and Cassie Donish.
Tarfia Faizullah is the author of two award-winning poetry collections, Registers of Illuminated Villages (Graywolf, 2018) and Seam (SIU, 2014). Tarfia’s writing appears widely in magazines and periodicals, is translated into multiple languages, and has been displayed at the Smithsonian, the Rubin Museum of Art, and elsewhere. Born in Brooklyn, NY to Bangladeshi immigrants and raised in Texas, Tarfia is currently an artist-in-residence in the Writing Program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and is a 2019 United States Artists Fellow in Writing.
Cassie Donish is the author of the poetry collections The Year of the Femme (University of Iowa Press, 2019), selected by Brenda Shaughnessy as winner of the Iowa Poetry Prize, and Beautyberry (Slope Editions, 2018). Her nonfiction chapbook On the Mezzanine (2019) was selected by Maggie Nelson as winner of the Gold Line Press Chapbook Competition. Her writing has appeared in The Cincinnati Review, Best New Poets, Colorado Review, jubilat, Gettysburg Review, Kenyon Review Online, Tupelo Quarterly, and elsewhere. She earned her MFA from Washington University in St. Louis, and she holds degrees from the University of Oregon and the University of Washington. She currently teaches classes at the University of Missouri in Columbia, where she's pursuing a PhD in English and creative writing.