GrubStreet Essay Incubator Graduate Reading

Please join us to celebrate the graduates of GrubStreet's first Essay Incubator, taught by local author Grace Talusan (The Body Papers)! They'll read their creative nonfiction on topics as diverse as sexuality, personal heroes, an ancestral book, a facial expression, love, and the challenges of growing up. A gathering to celebrate the writers will follow the store reading.

Readers include:

Shirley Jones-Luke is a writer and a poet. Ms. Luke has undergone a transformation in mind, body and spirit. Shirley struggles to put her words onto the page due to anxiety and depression. She is currently a breast cancer patient and lost her mother to ovarian cancer. Writing has been Shirley's life raft and security blanket. Ms. Luke lives in the Lower Mills section of Dorchester. Shirley is a mom and a dog mom. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College. Ms. Luke is also an educator for the Boston Public Schools. Shirley has been teaching English Language Arts for over a decade. Her work has been published in several journals and magazines, such as Anti-Heroin Chic, BlazeVOX, Dogwood, For the Sonorous and Long Leaf Review. She has attended conferences at Grub Street, Breadloaf, Tin House and Voices of Our Nation (VONA). Shirley is working on a collection of poetry and essays.

Effie Kong is a writer, relatively speaking, located in a cross-dissolve between Xuzhou, Huston, Philly, NYC, Shanghai. Genera promiscuous and interested in themes of temporality, subconscious, and love, she endeavors to express The Instance--moments resigned to and so allowing for our boundless existence. Effie has been supported by Writers Room of Boston, Art Farm residency, and was selected for Undergraduate Master Classes in nonfiction and fiction at NYU. She is a recent graduate from the Essay Incubator at Grub Street and working on her first book of essays.

Theresa Okokon is Wisconsin native, a social worker, a yoga teacher, a storyteller, a writer, and host of Stories From The Stage, a nationally televised storytelling program with WGBH, WORLD Channel, and Massmouth. She is a graduate of GrubStreet's first Essay Incubator program, a student in the 2019-20 class of the Memoir Incubator, and is working on a memoir of essays about her parents, her childhood, and the death of her father. Theresa Instagrams gorgeous cocktails, food porn, and almost daily bathroom selfies at @ohh.jeezzz.

Kristen Paulson-Nguyen is a co-founder of the nonfiction reading series Tell-All. Her writing has appeared in The Orange Dot, the blog for the app Headspace, BREVITY’s Nonfiction Blog, Hippocampus, and PoemVillage in Saranac Lake, an exhibit by the Adirondack Center for Writing. Her website is

Kat Read is a graduate student of the Essay Incubator program and works at GrubStreet. She has published work in Brevity, Prometheus Dreaming, Punctuate., and Coastin’. She'll be reading excerpts from her essay "Adorned." Learn more at or find Kat on Twitter as @KatARead.

Lauren Rheaume is an essayist and the HR & Operations Manager at GrubStreet. She’s a member of two writing groups and has been published at Boston Accent and Punctuate. She writes about female friendships, finding identity in the wake of the Great Recession, and her experience as a white woman in the patriarchy.

Karen Wilfrid is a participant in Grub Street’s Essay Incubator program. She received her B.A. in Creative Writing from Oberlin College, and she now specializes in essays, novels, and teaching seventh graders the finer points of comma usage. Her work has appeared in Publishers Weekly, Cicada magazine, and Embark literary journal.

GrubStreet is one of the nation's leading creative writing centers. Grubstreet believe that narrative transforms lives, builds bridges, and produces empathy. By rigorously developing voices of every type and talent and by removing barriers to entry, GrubStreet fosters the creation of meaningful stories and ensures that excellent writing remains vital and relevant. More information on the Essay Incubator course and Grubstreet's mission can be found at

Event date: 

Monday, July 22, 2019 - 7:00pm

Event address: 

Porter Square Books
25 White St.
Cambridge, MA 02140