Let’s Make Out!: Stories of Awkward Love

Relationships can be challenging and complex, especially when there’s kissing involved! This Valentine’s Day weekend, 2nd Story will celebrate the awkward, but charming, moments from relationships of all kinds. From a honeymoon so disastrous that it threatens to cause a divorce only a few days into a marriage, to a drunken kiss that will live in infamy, this month we bring you stories of kisses and the awkward moments they often produce.

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The Storytellers

Ames Hawkins

Ames Hawkins is a writer, educator, and art activist. An Associate Professor in the Department of English at Columbia College Chicago, and practitioner of collaboration as a radical act, Ames teaches and co-teaches courses in First Year Writing, Cultural Studies, and Literature. Her most recent creative and critical work appears in Computers and Composition Online, Slag Glass City, The Feminist Wire, and Water~Stone Review. She served as curator and co-editor of the Lambda Literary Foundations 25th Anniversary 2103 eBook Collection, 25 for 25: An Anthology of Works by 25 Outstanding Contemporary Authors and Those They Inspired. Ames is currently working on the installation/book project, These Are Love Letters: e, l, o, s, t, r, v, and is co-host and co-producer of Masters of Text(mastersoftext.com), a scholarly podcast exploring alternative alphabetic texts and creative-critical scholarship.

Jim Stevens

Jim Stevens studied theater and film in Chicago and Paris, and has written  and directed work that has been seen at festivals around the country. He has performed stories at Story Lab Chicago and This Much Is True. Jim is also a General Manager for an art tile manufacturer.

Lott Hill

Lott Hill is a poet, fiction writer, teacher, photographer, and a strong believer in engaged citizenship. He received his MFA in Fiction Writing from Columbia College Chicago, where he now serves as the Executive Director of the Center for Innovation in Teaching Excellence. Lott’s fiction, poetry, and nonfiction have appeared in multiple issues of Hair Trigger, Columbia Poetry Review, Fish Stories, B-City, Metropolitan Universities, The Spoon River Poetry Review, AdBusters, Demo, and the Association of American Colleges and Universities Peer Review and is a regular featured reader at 2nd Story.  His story Crazy for You is also included in the 2nd Story Anthology, Briefly Knocked Unconscious By A Low Flying Duck.

Laura Krughoff

Laura Krughoff is a writer whose fiction has appeared in The Washington Square Review, The Chicago Tribune, The Threepenny Review, and the Pushcart Prize Anthology, among other journals and magazines. She has taught fiction writing at Loyola University Chicago since 2005 and is currently a PhD student in the Program for Writers at UIC.

Robyn Okrant

Robyn Okrant is an actress, author, freelance writer, & yoga teacher. She has appeared on the Today Show, CNBC’s The Oprah Effect, The Bonnie Hunt Show, The Joy Behar Show, and NPR’s All Things Considered. Her book, LIVING OPRAH: My One Year Experiment to Walk the Walk of the Queen of Talk, was published in the US, UK, Australia and oddly enough, Portugal. Robyn's essays can be read at The Huffington Post, Washington Post, and www.robynokrant.com. She's spun yarns at The Paper Machete, This Much is True, Essay Fiesta, Interface 2.0, Skald, Tales of Adventure, and The Women in Comedy Festival. Robyn holds an MFA in performance from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Wyl Villacres

Wyl Villacres is from Chicago. He's the author of the chapbook, Bottom of the Ninth (WhiskeyPaper 2015), and his stories have appeared in The Rumpus, McSweeney's, and Hobart Pulp, among others. Wyl was included in the 2014 Best of the Net anthology and was a notable selection for Best American Essays in 2015. He holds an MFA from Sierra Nevada College, along with a tremendous amount of student loan debt. Follow him on twitter: @Wyllinois.  

About the Stories & Wine Series

At our flagship Stories & Wine series, we pair some of the best wines in the city with some of the finest storytellers you've ever heard. Whether you're looking for something bright and crisp or something complex and full-bodied -- in either your story or your wine! -- you'll find it at our Stories & Wine series.

Images from from Webster's Wine Bar

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