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!