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WSSR ANNOUNCES OFFICIAL SELECTIONS OF THE ROCKFORD NEW WORDS WRITING FESTIVAL

WSSR ANNOUNCES OFFICIAL SELECTIONS OF THE ROCKFORD NEW WORDS WRITING FESTIVAL

WSSR ANNOUNCES OFFICIAL SELECTIONS OF THE ROCKFORD NEW WORDS WRITING FESTIVAL

Rockford Buzz

Posted On: January 15, 2023

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The West Side Show Room announces the official selections for Rockford New Words 2023. New works written for performance were chosen from 243 submissions representing writers from Rockford and around the world. Ten plays, poems, monologues, and stories will be presented in a staged reading at 7pm on January 19, 20, and 21, 2023 at The West Side Show Room in Rockford. The January 4th performance will also be broadcast on Facebook. 

 

The theme of this year’s festival is Healing + Homage.” RNW Artistic Director Claudia Consuelos felt her upbringing had impacted her in multiple ways, whether positive or negative. “As we navigate life, we carry with us great generational traditions, but we must also break free from their curses,” Consuelos said. “This year we wanted to ask writers to consider the ways in which they honor and heal from those who came before.”

 

This theme inspired first-time Rockford playwright Whitney Howell, who uses the name Nena Monroe in her artistic endeavors, to write the play “The Perfect Sweet Potato Pie” as a way of processing the grief she experienced from the death of her sister. “My sister was a nurse who worked on the frontlines of the pandemic and passed away from Covid,” Howell said. “Even though she’s gone physically, it’s like I’ve created a whole new memory with her that I will forever cherish.”

 

Likewise, the poem “Spider In The Labyrinth” by Rockford writer JP Rindfleisch IX, deals with loss. Rindfliesch, whose work embodies “things dark, strange, and queer,” says “Loss is painful, and many times we lose those we love before we have time to say goodbye. We find ways to honor them and heal from the regrets of conversations we didn’t get to have.”

 

Linda Zuba, whose work was first chosen for Rockford New Words in 2019, is back with a monologue entitled “Letter to Mamá.” After a serious case of COVID 2 years ago, Linda’s life drastically changed as she knew it and as she loved it. “My healing journey has involved repairing the physical damage as well as psychological wounds from suppressed emotions and vicarious trauma.” 

 

In its eighth year, Rockford New Words continues to provide opportunities for aspiring and established writers from the Rockford area to have their works selected, evaluated, and presented professionally to the public alongside national and international writers. Each writer receives a $200 royalty for the rights to present their new work. 

 

Rockford New Words received an Arts & Humanities Fund grant from the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois, and a Community Arts Access Grant from the Rockford Area Arts Council to support this one of a kind literary event. For more information and to reserve tickets, please visit wssr.org

 

OFFICIAL SELECTIONS

 

The Perfect Sweet Potato Pie | Play

Nena Monroe (Rockford, IL)

 

Photobombed | Monologue

Anne Valentino (Rockville, MD)

 

The Gettysburg Redress | Poem

Eileen Byrne (Wilmette, IL)

 

Kill The Beast | Play

D.A. Mindell (New York, NY)

 

New Year’s Purun | Play

Justin P. Lopez (San Francisco, CA)

 

Father’s Day Of Silence: A Healing Hymn In Words | Poem/Monologue

Cris Eli Blak (Louisville, KY)

 

srinivas | Monologue

Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj (Brooklyn, NY)

 

Letter to Mamá | Monologue

Linda Zuba (Rockford, IL)

 

Second Act | Storytelling

Savanna Mapelli (Yardley, PA)

 

Spider in the Labyrinth | Poetry

JP Rindfleisch IX (Rockford, IL)

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