Tongue & Groove on March 3rd

Tongue & Groove @ the Boca de Oro
Orange County’s Premier Art & Literature Festival.
We are a small part of this great event. Please check out the full schedule at

Saturday March 3rd
8:00 pm
Chapter One /Red Room
227 N Broadway, Santa Ana, CA 92701
Our lineup features: +  Daniel McGinn, Debra Diaz, Sheila J Sadr, Cynthia
Romanowski, Steve Ramirez, Conrad Romo
+ Music (TBD)

Daniel McGinn is the author of The Moon, My Lover, My Mother & The Dog (Moon Tide Press, 2018) and 1000 Black Umbrellas (Write Bloody, 2011) He is a native of Southern California who’s led writing workshops at Half Off Books, The Orange County Rescue Mission, Los Angeles charter schools and poetry venues. Daniel received his MFA in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts and has been married to the poet and painter, Lori McGinn, for 41 years.

Debra Diaz lived in a citrus worker camp during the first seven years of her life. On scholarship, she attended UCSD, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree. She pursued post-graduate studies in the MFA program at the Motion Picture/Television Division of the University of California, Los Angeles, and then worked in the film industry for 15 years as a Line Producer. She is  now an educator. She has written numerous short stories along with her first novel, The Red Camp (Arte Público Press, 1996).

Sheila J Sadr is a first generation Iranian-American poet, journalist, educator, and resident cow-enthusiast nuzzled somewhere between Orange County & Long Beach California. She writes about her mother, her communities, flowers, her brown body, and her whole heart. She has been featured/ is forthcoming at Two Idiots Peddling Poetry, Afrohaus, As We Create, The Long Beach Poetry Slam, Cadence Collective, Nat. Brut, 22 West, Westwood Westwood, and many other gems. She has facilitated workshops at CSUF and CSULB and now serves as coach for the CSULB Slam Poetry Team. She also serves as a core staff member for Forthe Media and is the project lead on the Forthe-produced forthcoming video series Give Me Lip. She is one of the social media coordinators for The Definitive Soapbox family, one of LB’s longest running open mics that is now going on its eighth year.

Cynthia Romanowski is a writer and community organizer from Huntington Beach. Her column “Books. Read. Must.” appears monthly in Coast Magazine and online in the OC Register. Her short stories and essays have appeared in The Nervous Breakdown, Angel’s Flight Literary West, Writers Resist, The New Short Fiction Series, The Rumpus and others.

Steve Ramirez hosts the weekly reading series, Two Idiots Peddling Poetry. A former member of the Laguna Beach Slam Team, he’s also a former organizer of the Orange County Poetry Festival and former member of the Five Penny Poets in Huntington Beach. Publication credits include Pearl, The Comstock Review,Crate, Aim for the Head (a zombie anthology)  & MultiVerse (a superhero anthology).

Come early!  Seating is limited and we start on time!

The club is a two story black brick building 1/3 rd of a block below Hollywood Bl. There are parking lots on Selma as well as Cahuenga. Meters need to be fed till 8pm.

Tongue & Groove on July 30

Join us at Hotel Cafe, July 30th at 6pm for a monthly offering of short fiction, personal essays, poetry, spoken word + music produced by Conrad Romo. This month featuring: Amanda Fletcher, Xach Fromson, Yennie Cheung, Mike Sonksen, Chelsea Rose and our musical guest is Erin & Melissa. Entry: $7

Amanda Fletcher is a 2012 PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Fellow. She was a flash fiction finalist for the Orlando Prize. Her work has appeared in the Orange County Register, Hippocampus, Coast and AfterParty Magazine. She is currently working on her memoir tentatively titled, HALO.

Xach Fromson is the co-founder of the Shades & Shadows literary series. He is a Los Angeles native who has been obsessed with horror and dark fiction from a very young age. After a brief and ill-advised attempt at being a theater major, he received his BA in Creative Writing from California State University Northridge in 2009. He earned his MFA in Creative Writing from the University of California Riverside’s Palm Desert program. He appeared on stage at Dirty Laundry Lit in February, 2013, and has had work appear on The Rumpus, The Los Angeles Times, and the anthologies Halloween Tales and Winter Horror-Days. He is currently in various stages of working on a ton of projects. Asking him his favorite book will earn you as blank a stare as asking him his favorite wine or whiskey. And once, he slew a dragon. Find him on Twitter @_mythogenesis_.

Yennie Cheung is co-author of the upcoming book DTLA/37: Downtown Los Angeles in Thirty-seven Stories. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from UC Riverside-Palm Desert, and her work has been published in such places as The Los Angeles Times, Word Riot, Angels Flight • Literary West, The Best Small Fictions 2015, and the PEN Center/Rattling Wall anthology Only Light Can Do That. She lives in Los Angeles.

Mike Sonksen is equally a scholar and performer. Mike Sonksen, also …known as, Mike the Poet, is a 3rd-generation L.A. native acclaimed for poetry performances, published articles and mentoring teen writers. Following his graduation from U.C.L.A. in 1997, he has published over 500 essays and poems. Mike has an Interdisciplinary M.A. in English and History and his writing has been included in programs with the Mayor’s Office, the Los Angeles Public Library’s Made in LA. series, Grand Park, the Music Center and the Friends of the Los Angeles River. His most recent book, Poetics of Location was published by Writ Large Press. Mike has taught at Cal State L.A., Southwest College and Woodbury University.

Chelsea Rose is an art-minded person from southern California. While attending UC Riverside for linguistics, she was Editor-in-Chief of the 49th edition of Mosaic: A Journal of Literature and Art. She curated The Casserole Online Reading Series, a literary reading/interview show broadcast and archived on YouTube. While living in Seattle, Chelsea created an art happening called The Party of Your Dreams. She also once collaborated with a friend to bedazzle and collage a disused toilet that was left outside her apartment, and it remained on the street as a work of art for a month. Her writing has appeared in Black Napkin Press, Phantom Journal, Catacomb Journal and elsewhere.

Erin & Melissa met in a magical place not found on traditional maps. One day they realized their penchant for comedy and nonsense. Today they are living it up in SoCal making movies, taking pictures and involving themselves in general ruckus.

Come early! Seating is limited and we start on time!

Tongue & Groove Memorial Day Weekend

A monthly offering of short fiction, personal essays, poetry, spoken word + music produced by Conrad Romo. This month featuring: Ben Loory, Joshua Nguyen, Cynthia Romanowski, Brandi Neal, Jian Huang, and musical guest Hannah Rebekah

Sunday May 28
6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
The Hotel Cafe
1623 1/2 No. Cahuenga Blvd.
Hollywood, Ca 90028

Ben Loory is the author of the collection Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day (Penguin, 2011) and a picture book for children, The Baseball Player and the Walrus (Dial Books for Young Readers, 2015). His fables and tales have appeared in The New Yorker, Tin House, READ Magazine, and Fairy Tale Review, been heard on This American Life and Selected Shorts, and performed live at WordTheatre in Los Angeles and London. His second collection, Tales of Falling and Flying, is coming from Penguin in September.

Joshua Nguyen began writing with the Meta-Four Houston Youth Slam Team from 2008-2012 and competed in Brave New Voices. He is an alumnus of the University of Texas at Austin and was part of the UT Spitshine slam team from 2014-2016. He placed #1 in the nation in 2014, won ‘Best Writing as a Team’ in 2015, and was the 2015 CUPSI Haiku Champ. In 2016, he traveled to Washington D.C. as a member of Future Corp to organize the 2016 Brave New Voices International Poetry Festival. He was a featured poet in a commercial for the National Education Association’s ‘Do You Hear Us?’ campaign. 

Joshua is a Kundiman Fellow. He has been published in The Offing, The Acentos ReviewFreezeray PoetryButton Poetry and is forthcoming in Birds Thumb and The Texas Review. In 2015, he was part of the Word Around Town Poetry Tour (WAT) in Houston, Texas. He is a tapioca connoisseur and plays an aggressive-tight strategy in poker.

Jian Huang  Immigrant. Proud American. 2016 PEN Emerging Voices Fellow. Jian’s parents brought her to the Unites States from Shanghai, China, when she was six years old. She grew up in South Los Angeles and earned her bachelor’s degree in art history from the University of Southern California. She has worked for a number of social service organizations, including the LA Conservation Corps, Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Homeboy Industries, and Little Tokyo Service Center. Jian is working on her first memoir titled Business in the Front about the journey to the American Dream. Read more at

Brandi Neal is a staff writer at the women’s news and lifestyle website Bustle, and a regular contributor to Coast magazine. She has also been published in Freshly Hatched, Ignite magazine, MovieMaker magazine, The Blue Room, Port City Life magazine, Portland magazine, Common Dreams, and more. She was a 2016 Idyllwild Arts Summer Writers Week Creative Nonfiction Fellow and a 2012 Summer Literary Series Workshop Fiction Fellowship finalist. Brandi has an MFA in creative writing from Stonecoast at the University of Southern Maine. She lives in North Hollywood with her special-needs dog, BiBi and is currently revising her memoir “Night Swimming.”

Cynthia Romanowski is just another asshole with an MFA. Her short stories have appeared in places you’ve never heard of and her monthly book column Shelf-Awareness can be found in Coast Magazine . She lives in Huntington Beach and has been working on a novel-in-stories called “The Habitual Position Of Being Okay” for longer then she likes to admit. You can read more of her work at

Hannah Rebekah is a Wisconsin-bred nomad who is finally starting to enjoy Los Angeles. She lives in a tricked out van and parks in your neighborhood at night. Compassion, creation, and social progress are at the heart of her foot-stomping alt folk. Check it out at and on FB under Hannah Rebekah.

Come early!  Seating is limited and we start on time!


Tongue & Groove
Saturday April 29th
6-7:30 pm
The Hotel Cafe
1623 1/2 N. Cahuenga Blvd.
Hollywood, Ca 90028

A literary variety show with short fiction, poetry, personal essays, spoken word etc. and with music. This  month we proudly features the 2017 PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Fellows:  +  music tbd

Soleil David was born and raised in the Philippines and now lives in Los Angeles. She graduated with high distinction from the University of California, Berkeley. She is a recipient of the Julia Keith Shrout Short Story Prize, andher poetry and prose have been published inOur Own VoiceThe Philippine Daily InquirerPittsburgh Poetry Review, and the Asian American Writers’ Workshop anthology The Margins. She is working on a collection of poems.

Peter H.Z. Hsu was born in Taipei, Taiwan, and raised in the San Gabriel Valley. He attended the University of California, Los Angeles, where he received a bachelor’s degree in English literature, and California State University, Los Angeles, where he earned a master’s degree in psychology. His fiction debuted in March 2016 in The Margins and is included in the Fall 2016 issue of Pinball. Peter is currently working on a short story collection.

Kirin Khan was raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and currently lives in Oakland, California. A Senior Analyst for YouGov, she has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Mills College and a post-baccalaureate in math from Smith College. Kirin is a 2016 VONA Voices alum and an upcoming 2017 Grotto Fellow. She is published inUprootsPARKLE & bLINK, and 7×7.LA. Kirin is currently working on her first novel.

Chinyere Nwodim was raised in Baltimore, Maryland, and attended Johns Hopkins University where she received a bachelor’s degree in biology and history of science. In addition to writing, she works in development at a regional community health center serving low-income populations in Los Angeles and Orange County. Chinyere currently lives in Los Angeles and is working on a short story collection.

Jessica Shoemaker was raised in Torrance, California, and earned a bachelor’s degree in cultural anthropology from University of California, Santa Barbara. She now lives in San Pedro, California, and teaches middle school. Her fiction has appeared in Blue Skirt ProductionsFiction Southeast, and Lunch Ticket. Jessica is working on a collection of short stories.

Come early!  Seating is limited and we start on time!

The club is a two story black brick building 1/3 rd of a block below Hollywood Bl. There are parking lots on Selma as well as Cahuenga. Meters need to be fed till 8pm. Avoid Cahuenga street parking.

Tongue & Groove on March 14


Tongue & Groove @ the Boca de Oro:
Orange County’s Premier Art & Literature Festival.
We are small part of this great event. Please check out the full schedule at

Our reading happens:
Saturday March 4th
8:00 pm
The Rinconada 300 W 5th St.
Santa Ana, CA 92701

Our lineup features: +  Anna Leahy, Steve Ramirez, Chris Davidson, Conrad Romo music by Eddika  Organista of  El Haru Kuroi

Steve Ramirez hosts the weekly reading series, Two Idiots Peddling Poetry. A former member of the Laguna Beach Slam Team, he’s also a former organizer of the Orange County Poetry Festival and former member of the Five Penny Poets in Huntington Beach. Publication credits include Pearl, The Comstock Review, Crate, Aim for the Head (a zombie anthology) and & MultiVerse (a superhero anthology).

Chris Davidson is associate professor of English and co-director of first-year writing at Biola. He teaches courses in critical thinking and writing, writing for competency, and creative writing. He has a bachelor’s degree in English from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from University of California, Irvine. His work has appeared in several journals and anthologies, including Monster Verse: Poems Human and Inhuman. A chapbook, Poems, appeared in 2012.

Anna Leahy is the author of two full-length poetry collections, Aperture (Shearsman, 2017) and Constituents of Matter (KSUP, 2007), and two nonfiction books, Generation Space: A Love Story (with Douglas R. Dechow, Stillhouse, 2017) and Tumor (Bloomsbury, 2017). Her essays won the annual literary awards from Ninth Letter and Dogwood in 2016. She edited and co-wrote What We Talk about When We Talk about Creative Writing and Power and Identity in the Creative Writing Classroom (Multilingual Matters, 2016 and 2006).  

 In fall 2017, Anna’s nonfiction book Tumor will become part of Bloomsbury’s Object Lessons series, an innovative exploration of hidden lives of ordinary things. Conversing with Cancer, her co-written book about how patients, caregivers, and healthcare providers can improve communication, will be out in 2017.

  She teaches in the MFA and BFA programs at Chapman University, where she curates the Tabula Poetica reading series and edits the international journal TAB. | @generationspace

Conrad Romo grew up on the other side of the tracks (N.E.L.A.) short, stocky and swarthy. He has studied writing with Lynda Barry and Jack Grapes. He’s been published in Los Angeles Review, Latinos in Lotusland, Huizache, Palehouse, Coiled Serpent + Splicetoday. He is the producer of the monthly reading series called Tongue & Groove, now into year 13 and he is one of the founders of Lit Crawl L.A and the Melrose Bellow.

Eddika Édule Organista Moctezuma is an artist, musician, composer of songs, and poetry. Born in Boyle Heights and of Mexican decent was brought up in various parts of the U.S. and Mexico. Coming from a family of musicians, Eddika has been singing since 5 years old, playing guitar since 11 and has been writing songs since 12 years of age, which led to her interest in pursuing music. Her focus switched to music after studying art / printmaking at Pasadena City College, as well as at Self-Help Graphics in Boyle Heights. At PCC she studied in the jazz department under Bobby Bradford and later transferred to the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) for her Bachelor’s Degree in Ethnomusicology, with a minor in Brazilian Portuguese. Her music reflects elements of Jazz and music from various Latin American countries, such as Brazil, Mexico and Peru to name a few. Currently, Eddika is the front woman of the LA based group,  El Haru Kuroi and the recently formed group, Yanga  which is a hybrid of Colombian traditional music.


Tongue & Groove on December 18th!

A literary variety show with short fiction, poetry, personal essays, spoken word etc. and with music. This month we proudly features: Siel Ju, Bonnie Johnson, Samantha Emily Evans, + music guest Logan Heftel.

Siel Ju’s novel-in-stories, “Cake Time”, is the winner of the 2015 Red Hen Press Fiction Manuscript Award and will be published in April 2017. Siel is also the author of two poetry chapbooks. Her stories and poems appear in ZYZZYVA, The Missouri Review (Poem of the Week), The Los Angeles Review, Denver Quarterly, and other places. She gives away a book every month at

Bonnie Johnson studied Modern Thought and Politics at Stanford and the LSE. She received a Harvey Milk Club award for her work as a labor and community organizer. Her recent essays also appear in LARB and The Rumpus.

Samantha Emily Evans recently graduated from the University of St Andrews with a degree in English and Modern History. She is the Publicity and Marketing Intern at Red Hen Press, as well as co-editor of Mad for Poetry/ Pazzi per la Poesia, a bilingual poetry journal and poetry events calendar for Los Angeles. She also co-produced the Melrose Bellow 2016, a free literary festival sponsored by LA City Council member Paul Koretz. Her writing and poetry have been published in the Moorpark College Review, Guerrilla Poetry, and Inklights Literary Journal. She has performed poetry, storytelling, and stand up in Boulder, CO; Washington D.C., Los Angeles, St. Andrews, Scotland; and Barcelona, Spain. Read more at her blog,

Conrad Romo is a second generation L.A. native. He grew up on the other side of the tracks (N.E.L.A.) short, stocky and swarthy. The first album that he bought was the soundtrack to the movie Bonnie and Clyde. The first concert he attended was in ’68 for The Cream. He has been the subject of artwork five times and has been carved, sculpted, watercolored, photographed and photocopied. He’s been published in Los Angeles Review, Latinos in Lotusland, Huizache + elsewhere. He is the producer of Tongue & Groove, a co-founder of Lit Crawl L.A and the Melrose Bellow.

Logan Heftel is a singer-songwriter and producer based in Los Angeles. His songs are folk-adjacent. From 2007-2014 he wrote and performed with Taylor Negron as a music-and-spoken-word duo. Under the direction of David Schweizer, they developed off-Broadway in LA and New York and would often perform at comedy clubs and spoken word communities like Sit ‘n Spin and UnCabaret.  Their last show was called The Band The Bible. In January 2015, Taylor passed away after a long battle with cancer. The Bible Records is an independent label founded in his honor.

Logan produces audio, video and graphics for projects and shows like Waking From The American Dream on Smodcast, The Kelly Carlin Show on Sirius XM, History of Cool, Setlist, and Modern Day Philosophers. He is the archivist for the George Carlin Estate and produced the 2016 release George Carlin: I Kinda Like It When a Lotta People Die.

Come early! Seating is limited and we start on time!

Check out the FB Event and invite your friends!

The club is a two story black brick building 1/3 rd of a block below Hollywood Bl. There are parking lots on Selma as well as Cahuenga. Meters need to be fed till 8pm. Avoid Cahuenga street parking.

The Melrose Bellow


Tongue & Groove


The Melrose Bellow

bel·low: a deep roaring shout or sound.


Saturday November 12

8pm (round 2)

Sal’s Restaurant

7356 Melrose Ave, 90048


Featuring: Jack Grapes, Derrick Brown, David Huntsberger (animation)

and music by Erin and Melissa

The Melrose Bellow is a for fun and for free literary fest of 15 presenters!

Poets, Storytellers, Comedians, Fiction Writers and Musicians: will offer a dynamic and entertaining evening of a taste at what makes this great city a literary force. Some participants include: Rant & Rave, Da Poetry Lounge, The Groundlings, Story Salon.

See the full lineup here.

At 5pm to attend a FREE rubber block carving workshop and walk away with some art. Class size is limited to 18!

Take a look here.

Or sign up at 6:30 for an open mic at the Standup Bus.

Where? On a four-block stretch of Melrose Avenue from Poinsettia Place to Gardner Street.

The Bellow will happen at a variety of locations consisting of an art gallery, a tattoo parlor, a theatre space, an eyewear shop etc.

Check the site for info on where to park and bring a crowd with you.



Support for this program was graciously provided through the City of Los Angeles Arts Development Fee Program, Department of Cultural Affairs, the Office of Los Angeles City Councilmember Koretz, and the Melrose BID.

Tongue & Groove on September 25th!

Tongue & Groove
Sunday September 25
6-7:30 pm

The Hotel Cafe
1623 1/2 N. Cahuenga Blvd.
Hollywood, Ca 90028

A monthly literary variety show with music produced by Conrad Romo. This  month we proudly feature: Rich Ferguson New Jersey Me,  Martin Pousson Black Sheep Boy, Dana Johnson In the Not Quite Dark, J. Keith van Straaten, Gwen Banta, The Fly Strip,  +  music by tbd

Martin Pousson was born and raised in Acadiana, in the bayou land of Louisiana. His short stories won a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. He also was a finalist for the John Gardner Fiction Book Award, the Glimmer Train Very Short Fiction Award, and the Lambda Literary Award. His stories have appeared in The Antioch Review, Epoch, Five Points, StoryQuarterly, and elsewhere. He now lives in Los Angeles

Dana Johnson is the author of the short story collection In the Not Quite Dark. She is also the author of Break Any Woman Down, winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, and the novel Elsewhere, California. Both books were nominees for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. Her work has appeared in The Paris Review, Callaloo, The Iowa Review and Huizache, among others, and anthologized in Watchlist: 32 Stories by Persons of Interest, Shaking the Tree: A Collection of New Fiction and Memoir by Black Women, and California Uncovered: Stories for the 21st Century. Born and raised in and around Los Angeles, she is a professor of English at the University of Southern California.

Rich Ferguson has performed across the country and has shared the stage with Patti Smith, Wanda Coleman, Exene Cervenka, T. C. Boyle, Loudon Wainwright, Bob Holman, and many other esteemed poets and musicians. He has performed on The Tonight Show, at the Redcat Theater in Disney Hall, the New York City International Fringe Festival, the Bowery Poetry Club, the South by Southwest Music Festival, the Santa Cruz Poetry Festival, the DocMiami International Film Festival, the Topanga Film Festival, and Stephen Elliott’s “Rumpus.” He is also a featured performer in the film, What About Me? (the sequel to the double Grammy-nominated film One Giant Leap), featuring Michael Stipe, Michael Franti, k.d. lang, Krishna Das, and others. Ferguson has been published in the Los Angeles Times, has been anthologized by Uphook Press (gape-seed), Smith Magazine (The Moment), TNB Books (The Beautiful Anthology), spotlighted on PBS (Egg: The Art Show), and was a winner in Opium Magazine’s Literary Death Match, LA. He is a Pushcart-nominated poet, and also a regular contributor and poetry editor to the online literary journal, The Nervous Breakdown. He lives in Los Angeles

Keith van Straaten regularly writes about travel and credit cards for and about pop culture for In the game show world, he wrote many of the puzzles on GSN’s “Chain Reaction,” is a senior writer for  NPR’s “Ask Me Another,” and is the creator and producer of “Predict-ament,” coming this November. He’s written animation screenplays for Dreamworks, lyrics for ABC News, sketches for Clear Channel Radio, singles columns for The Jewish Journal, editorials for Backstage, and jokes for NBC-Universal.  On the storytelling scene, J. Keith has performed his work in Sit N Spin, Bawdy Storytelling, The Liar Show, Rant & Rave, Pinata, Tongue & Groove, and more.

Gwen Banta, author of The Fly Strip, received her B.A. and M.S. degrees in English from Butler University. She has won numerous accolades for her fiction, including the Opus Magnum Discovery Award and a host of honors at book festivals throughout the U.S. and Europe. A former award-winning actor of stage, screen and television, Gwen is a member of SAG/AFTRA and AEA and has earned recognition for her screenplays as well. She resides in Los Angeles with her dog, Buddy, who is a major fan of her books…as long as there are endless treats involved.

Come early!  Seating is limited and we start on time!

The club is a two story black brick building 1/3 rd of a block below Hollywood Bl. There are parking lots on Selma as well as Cahuenga. Meters need to be fed till 8pm. Avoid Cahuenga street parking.


Tongue & Groove on August 14th!

Tongue & Groove
Sunday August 14
6-7:30 pm
The Hotel Cafe
1623 1/2 N. Cahuenga Blvd.
Hollywood, Ca 90028

A monthly literary variety show with music produced by Conrad Romo. This
month we proudly feature: Eric Spitznagel “Old Records Never Die”, James
Fearnley (Pogues) “Here Comes Everybody”, Lisa Jane Persky, David Kendrick,
Bruce Duff  ” The Smell of Death ” +  music by Kaylee Cole

Eric Spitznagel is an Executive Writer at Men’s Health Magazine, where he’s
written about topics like Burt Reynolds, satanism, raw meat eating, sex
robots, and why sperm should never be used as a cocktail ingredient. He’s
also been a frequent contributor to magazines like Playboy, Esquire, Vanity
Fair, Rolling Stone, Maxim, Billboard, Details, The Believer, and the New
York Times Magazine, among many others. He’s the author of seven books,
including Ron Jeremy’s bestselling autobiography The Hardest (Working) Man
In Showbiz, a project that exhausted his literary reserve of penis puns.
He’s also edited several humor anthologies, most recently Care To Make Love
In That Gross Little Space Between Cars?, which features questionable life
advice from people like Louis C.K., Zach Galifianakis, and Amy Sedaris. His
most recent book is called “Old Records Never Die.” You can read all about
it at

James Fearnley, a founding member  of The Pogues, has written a great
memoir, “Here Comes Everybody”, drawn from his personal experiences and the
series of journals and correspondence he kept throughout the band’s career.
Fearnley describes the coalescence of a disparate collection of vagabonds
living in the squats of London’s Kings Cross, with, at its center, the
charismatic MacGowan and his idea of turning Irish traditional music on its
head. With beauty, lyricism, and great candor, Fearnley tells the story of
how the band watched helplessly as their singer descended into a dark and
isolated world of drugs and alcohol, and sets forth the increasingly
desperate measures they were forced to take.

An early participant in the CBGB’s scene, Lisa Jane Persky was a founding
member of the staff of the New York Rocker and more recently a founding
editor of Los Angeles Review of Books. Her work as journalist, photographer
and artist has appeared in Mojo, The Pitchfork Review, The Los Angeles Times
and elsewhere, and her fiction has appeared in Bomb and has been
anthologized in Eclectica: Best Fiction Volume 1. She has appeared on, off
and off-off Broadway and in numerous films and television shows. Lisa also
anthologizes Chickens in Literature at

David Kendrick came to Los Angeles by way of a phone call from the legendary
Kim Fowley. He has played with 90 bands more or less. Some of note have been
Gleaming Spires, Sparks, DEVO and Andy Prieboy. He is an avid collector of
odd art and some of his finds have appeared in Clown Paintings by Diane
Keaton. David’s ongoing music project – “The Empire Of Fun” to date has
released a box set plus six other collections, including the fiction story
CD set “I’m sorry Mr. Kendrick, there’s a skull inside your head.” Recently
he has had essays on cycads and fear published by the Laboratory Arts
collective Hymn magazine.

Bruce Duff is a thirty-year veteran of the music business, having worked as
musician, producer, journalist, publicist, A&R director, product manager,
and artist manager. As player and producer, he’s worked with Jesters of
Destiny, Cheetah Chrome, Adz, Circle, Jeff Dahl, Prima Donna, 45 Grave, the
Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs, Thor and Simon Stokes, among many others. As a
journalist, he’s written for LA Weekly, Billboard, Bass Player,
Psychotronic, Rip, Creem, and dozens of other out-of-print magazines. He
retired from journalism in 2005. Duff lives in the Hollywood Hills with his
roller derby-star wife and their two cats.

Kaylee Cole has called the Skagit Valley, Spokane, Seattle, Nashville and
now, Los Angeles home, opened for bands such as The Lumineers, The Head & The
Heart, Damien Jurado, and Emily Wells, performed with the Seattle Rock
Orchestra and Portland Cello Project, and nearly finished a debut album
(recorded and produced by Dave Sitek of TV On The Radio).  While her
deftly-engineered love songs may feel heavy and heartbroken at first listen,
it is clear during a live performance that the stories whittled out of the
music more closely resemble aging photographs one would leaf through in a
second-hand shop than scars that still weigh heavily on Cole.  Whether she’s
behind a grand piano at an ornate theater, or sitting with a keyboard on her
lap at a cozy house show, Kaylee Cole is a true entertainer who leaves no
audience member without an impression.

Tongue & Groove on July 31!

Tongue & Groove
Sunday July 31
6-7:30 pm

The Hotel Cafe
1623 1/2 N. Cahuenga Blvd.
Hollywood, Ca 90028


A monthly literary variety show with music produced by Conrad Romo. This  month we proudly features:  Pam Ward, David Darmstaedter, Elizabeth Marquez, Rios de la Luz, Kristina Wong+  music Linda Ravenswood

Pam Ward is an author/artist and L.A. native. An art advocate as well as an instructor and mentor at ART CENTER COLLEGE OF DESIGN, Pam has designed for politicians, community organizations and corporate America.  A former board member of Beyond Baroque Literary Foundation, Pam was also an artist-in-resident for the city of Los Angeles, Venice and Manhattan Beach.  After publishing two novels, “Want Some Get Some” and “Bad Girls Burn Slow,” and working on merging writing and graphic design, Pam produced the recent installation, My Life, LA: The Los Angeles Legacy Project, a poster project blending graphics with story/facts documenting the impact of Angelenos on the actual land. Her play, “I Didn’t Survive Slavery for This” has played throughout L.A. Currently she is working on the true story of her aunt a real Black Dahlia suspect.

David Darmstaedter lives in Topanga and travels the hills dressed in tinfoil underwear to summon ideas from the wild. He has written plays, screenplays, short stories and novels. His memoir ‘My Monster; is in eternal development with Mark Ruffalo and Ethan Hawke. He will be reading from his most current book in the works – Solly’s Shangri -La.

BETH Marquez stumbled into a spoken word tent at Lollapalooza when she was 13 and it changed her life. She co-hosted Java Gardens reading in Huntington Beach and attended the National Poetry Slam as an alternate for the Laguna Beach team. She’d been  published in the Moontide Press, Valley of Contemporary Poets, and Ugly Mug anthologies and elsewhere. She will be debuting a show based on her poetry at The Victory Theater in Burbank in September.

Rios de la Luz is a queer xicana/chapina living in Portland, Oregon. She is brown and proud. She is the author of, The Pulse Between Dimensions and The Desert (Ladybox Books, 2015). Her work has been featured in Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Entropy, The Fem Lit Magazine, World Literature Today and St. Sucia.

Kristina Wong  is a performance artist, comedian and writer who has created five solo shows and one ensemble play that have toured throughout the United States and UK. She was recently featured in the New York Times’s Off Color series highlighting artists of color who use humor to make smart social statements about the sometimes subtle, sometimes obvious ways that race plays out in America today. She’s been a frequent commentator/guest with, xoJane, Playgirl Magazine, Huffington Post  and The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore to mention but a few places. She has been the recipient of numerous prestigious grants and residencies and not to brag, but Kristina has twice given the commencement speech at UCLA, her alma mater.  Her most recent solo show “The Wong Street Journal” navigates privilege and economic disparity and premieres in June 2015.  Kristina’s mail order bride website is This Fall, she is a guest professor at Cal Arts in the MFA Creative Writing Program.

Linda Ravenswood is from Los Angeles. Her work is performative, cinematic and visual and can be seen on film, in print and online. She has an album, Held by the Border, and new books, MUDSLINGER and Hymnal, a Pushcart Prize nominee (2012, Mouthfeel Press). Linda holds a BFA from CalArts, and a Master’s Degree in The Humanities from Mount Saint Mary’s College. She is about to earn a PhD  at the Pacifica Graduate Institute.


Come early!  Seating is limited and we start on time!

The club is a two story black brick building 1/3 rd of a block below Hollywood Bl. There are parking lots on Selma as well as Cahuenga. Meters need to be fed till 8pm. Avoid Cahuenga street parking.