Stories & Beer Presents: The Out of Towners | Indi Go | Saturday 5-8 | BYOB | Free

This Saturday, a couple of the folks who throw together Stories and Beer will be presenting you with a crew of talented writers (and apparent weirdos) from Southern Illinois University's MFA Program.  Now, I know what you're probably thinking: why are you bringing writers from the most backwards region of Illinois (and perhaps the USA)  to come read about whatever they write about down there? Well, read their strange collective responses to some pretty reasonable questions and find out. 

Much like the hit NBC primetime comedy The Office, JOSH BONTRAGER’S childhood is based in Scranton, PA.  From those humble beginning, he rose all the way to poor man’s Dartmouth – Colgate University, a brand name University.  Stirred up by liberal propaganda, joined the proletariat after graduating in 2005, moving to New Orleans after the Katrina thing and for five years worked as the Construction Manager for Habitat for Humanity in Slidell, Louisiana. He thinks your mother is a beautiful woman. He forgives her heavy eye shadow, her turtlenecks, and the way she let herself go after having you.  He would like to take her out dancing. 

JENNY FLACK burst from her mother's able loins in the fine town of Detroit, Michigan. She spent the last three years seeking her fortune in Seattle, Washington, by trapping hipsters and selling them to coffee shops as cheap salve labor. Now she writes about her exploits under the auspices of Southern Illinois University's MFA program and educates her English 101 students about the dangers of PBR and irnoic t-shirts. Her fiction is forthcoming.

For many years, AUSTIN KODRA drank a gallon of milk a day to become who he is today: 6 feet, 7 inches tall with 2% running through his veins. He's a poet whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in Pirene's Fountain, Polaris, Birmingham Arts Journal, The Medulla Review and elsewhere.

SHAWN MITCHELL was born in Independence, Missouri, which is where you bought your supplies in Oregon Trail. His work has gotten around, and while a gentleman doesn't publish and tell, his story "It's Not the Heat So Much As the Jelly" was anthologized in Torpedo Greatest Hits, and "One Tall Tale at a Time Until We Reach the Bed", written in homage to AC/DC's "Big Balls", is forthcoming in Hair Lit Volume 1. He drinks, unsuccessfully courts women, and teaches in Carbondale, IL, where's he pursuing his MFA and working on his first novel, which is the love story of a man and his sex robot.

NICK OSTDICK has paid his dues, time after time. He's done his sentence but committed no crime. And bad mistakes? He's made a few. He's had his share of sand kicked in his face, but he's come through. But it's no bed of roses, no pleasure cruise, but he considers it a challenge before the whole race and he ain't gonna lose. But seriously, Nick Ostdick is finishing up his MFA in fiction writing at Southern Illinois University and is happy just to be invited to things.  

So, what's Carbondale/Southern Illinois known for? Share with us some highlights/low lights/triumphs/embarrassments.

Men of dubious character.  We never share.

It's the end of the night, you've been shut off at the local bar and you've got two bucks in your pocket. The jukebox is hot. What do SIU writers put on to bring the party home?

There are several possibilities, and any one is more than valid given the proper circumstances. After a good night: It Was a Good Day - Ice Cube. After a bad night: I Still Miss Someone - Johnny Cash (those damned blue eyes). Any night, regardless of outcome: Satin Sheets - Jeanne Pruett, the entire album straight through, on vinyl. If you haven't heard of it, search Google to look for the cover art, and imagine a universe of satin as the extended background.

Let's say, hypothetically, that you form a band on the 3 hour journey here (not that we did that on our visit to see you or anything). What's your band name?

ShitDaddy's. No hypothetical about it. Or Josh B and the Ramblin' NAMBLA.

Reno or Atlantic City? Stuffing or sweet potatoes? Eliot or Pound? Go.

Atlantic City - Best Springsteen song. Dressing or Yams? Eliot, but for Prufrock.