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The Reader's Corner

What is The Reader's Corner?

The Readers Corner is a reading group for the literary community. We read and discuss books for their own sake (as in "regular" reading groups or book clubs), and we also discuss each selection from a writing/creative standpoint - i.e., plot, structure, POV, dialogue, characters, style, etc. The group is very dynamic, as our selections vary across genres in order to maintain significance to all members and their personal writing interests. Our membership includes writers with all levels of experience, from beginning or "aspiring" writers to those with several books in publication (and everyone in-between); we've even celebrated several members' success traveling from the former to the latter during the years they've been in the group! While some might feel that an online reading group would lack the quality of interaction that exists "in person," the Readers Corner has developed a strong community atmosphere over the years, with an impressive number of members located across the globe (a unique quality that can only be accomplished online); the diversity this brings to our discussions is invaluable. In addition to the reading/discussion of each selection, we also have a monthly "What are you working on?" discussion. This ongoing dialogue about our creative lives has also strengthened the Readers Corner's unique sense of community, which (admittedly) is often lacking in online discussion groups. In our group, everyone is equally valued and supported, and we are always looking for new members to enhance our discussions with their unique perspectives. SO, pull up a chair to the Readers Corner table in the Coffeehouse, and you will receive a warm welcome from the community where everyone can call themselves "a writer" . . . new chairs are always available!


"Dead Man's Cell Phone" by Sarah Ruhl


The future reading schedule will be established by group vote in the very near future.  Join up, and stay tuned.

To Join the Discussion:

Send blank email HERE.

If you are joining the group while a selection is currently in progress, please request a reading/discussion schedule from the group moderator.

About Our Moderators:  


Laura C. Alonso has studied psychology at Loyola University of Chicago and is a former employee in the field of child welfare, having worked with several nonprofit organizations such as The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and The American Academy of Pediatrics.  She now brings much to her writing from these experiences.  Ms. Alonso was Senior Editor at Fictionline Press, and she is now the Fiction Editor at The God Particle, an online literary journal.  Laura and her husband are also developing a nonprofit, grassroots publication in Chicago, News for a Change, with a focus on community and humanitarian issues.  Her work has been published in The Surface-Online Arts Magazine and Gallery, SFWP.com, 3am Magazine, Outsider Ink, Linnaean Street, and In Posse Review, and she was a finalist in the Santa Fe Writers Project's 2001 and 2002 Literary Award Programs.  Laura resides with her husband in a suburb of Chicago, and they are both voracious readers.  She especially enjoys the opportunity to discuss literature with members of Coffeehouse's Readers Corner, which she describes as follows:  "The Readers Corner is a true community in the best sense of the word; we are so fortunate to have gathered together a simply amazing and wonderfully diverse group of individuals in our little corner of the Internet."

Kim Jensen has a BA in English and an MA in curriculum and instruction. She currently designs both resident and e-Learning training courses for the Coast Guard. In the past, she has taught English for Mendocino College in California and high school English in the Virgin Islands, where she was born and raised. Her publishing experience includes travel writing for the Publishers of Caribbean Travel and Life, newspaper articles, and commercial web content. She is currently working on her first novel in the horror/fantasy genre. She is a member of the NEA (National Education Association), the NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English), the California Teacherís Association, and the e-Learning Guild.  She resides with her two teenage sons in the heart of wine country in Sonoma County, California. She enjoys discussing literature as a reader and a writer with other writers as it gives her an opportunity to experience fresh, diverse perspectives.

Current Selection:

Dead Man's Cell Phone
by Sarah Ruhl


from Amazon.com:
An incessantly ringing cell phone in a quiet cafe. A stranger at the next table who has had enough. And a dead man -- with a lot of loose ends. So begins Dead Man's Cell Phone, a wildly imaginative new comedy by playwright Sarah Ruhl, recipient of a MacArthur "Genius" Grant and Pulitzer Prize finalist for her play The Clean House. A work about how we memorialize the dead -- and how that remembering changes us -- it is the odyssey of a woman forced to confront her own assumptions about morality, redemption, and the need to connect in a technologically obsessed world.

Sarah Ruhl's plays have been produced at theaters around the country, including Lincoln Center Theater, the Goodman Theatre, Arena Stage, South Coast Repertory, Yale Repertory Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, among others, and internationally. She is the recipient of the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize (for The Clean House, 2004), the Helen Merrill Emerging Playwrights Award, and the Whiting Writers' Award. The Clean House was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2005. She is a member of 13P and New Dramatists.

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