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Curious Tales: A Goreyesque Halloween Reading

  • The Book Cellar 4736 N Lincoln Ave Chicago, IL, 60625 United States (map)

In celebration of everyone's favorite holiday, Goreyesque hosts an indescribable evening of literary nonsense and ghastly curiosities. Join us at The Book Cellar, one of Chicago's finest independent bookstores, for a frightful, delightful reading.

Readers will include:

Mort Castle: A former stage hypnotist, folksinger, and high school teacher, Mort Castle has been a publishing writer since 1967. Castle has been deemed a "horror doyen" by Publishers Weekly, "El Maestro del Terror" by South America's Galaxia Cthulhu, and "the master of contemporary horror" by Poland's Nowa Fantastyka magazine. Castle has won two Bram Stoker Awards®, two Black Quill awards, the Golden Bot (Wired Magazine), and has been nominated for The Audie, The Shirley Jackson award, the International Horror Guild award and the Pushcart Prize. He teaches in the creative writing program at Columbia College Chicago and at writing conferences and seminars throughout the country. Castle and Jane, his wife of 44 years, live in Crete, Illinois, known for both its bandstand and bubbling fountain.

Kate Duva: Her poetry and prose have appeared in Bookslut, Word Riot, Hair Trigger, Bird’s Thumb, and Fugue, and her story “Horizontal” won the 2014 Guild Complex Prose Award in Fiction. She lives part-time in the 1930s, where she’s working on a novel about a burlesque dancer from the Dust Bowl and her strange stagehand, a man who talks like a human radio.

Kenneth Gerleve: First and foremost a storyteller, Gerleve uses narrative and image to tell stories, which are often subversive and darkly humorous. His work juxtaposes traditional elements of the Gothic with contemporary culture. He routinely explores the darker side of childhood, sexuality, gender, and the supernatural. Gerleve has exhibited works nationally including at the Loyola University Museum of Art, Printworks Gallery Chicago, and Dieu Donné in NYC and has work in several private collections. His illustration and design work has been featured in Goreyesque, on E-book covers for Zola Books, in Pistil Magazine, the Journal of Artists’ Books and Little Bang. Currently he is the studio assistant for visual artist and author Audrey Niffenegger. 

Simone Muench: The author of five books, including Orange Crush (Sarabande, 2010) and Wolf Centos (Sarabande, 2014). Her chapbook Trace received the Black River Award in 2014. Some of her honors include an NEA fellowship, Illinois Arts Council fellowships, the Marianne Moore Prize for Poetry, the Kathryn A. Morton Prize for Poetry, the PSA's Bright Lights/Big Verse Contest, and residency fellowships to Yaddo, Artsmith, and the Vermont Studio Center. At Lewis University, she serves as professor of English and chief faculty advisor for Jet Fuel Review. Her collaborative sonnets, written with Dean Rader, are forthcoming in the American Poetry Review, New American Writing, Zyzzyva, Blackbird, and other journals.

Alex Shakar: His latest novel, Luminarium (Soho Press, 2011) won the 2011 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction. It was also named a Washington Post Notable Book, a New York Times Editor's Choice, and a best book of the year by Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and other periodicals. His novel The Savage Girl was a New York Times Notable Book. His story collection “City in Love” won the FC2 National Fiction Competition. A Brooklyn native, he now lives in Chicago and is a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Richard Thomas: The author of seven books, including Disintegration (Random House Alibi), Staring Into the Abyss (Kraken Press), and The Soul Standard (Dzanc Books). With over 100 stories published, his credits include Cemetery Dance, PANK, Gargoyle, Weird Fiction Review, Midwestern Gothic, Arcadia, Qualia Nous, Chiral Mad 2 & 3, and Shivers 6. He is also the editor of four anthologies: Exigencies and The New Black (Dark House Press), The Lineup (Black Lawrence Press) and Burnt Tongues (Medallion Press) with Chuck Palahniuk (finalist for the Bram Stoker Award). In his spare time he is a columnist at LitReactor and Editor-in-Chief at Dark House Press. For more information visit