Aug 23rd 2022

The Comfort Station is pleased to host the book launch for Coco Picard’s new novel, The Healing Circle (Red Hen Press, 2022). From 6-9 pm on August 23, 2022, this event will feature a live meditative performance by Todd Mattei, a panel discussion led by Suzanne Scanlon with Fulla Abdul-Jabbar, Tricia Park, Coco Picard, and AM Whitehead, followed by a plant performance by Dao Nguyen, and a book signing. This event is free and open to the public. The Healing Circle will be available for purchase on site courtesy of City Lit.

About The Healing Circle: A mother abandons her family in California to pursue a miracle cure in Munich. Once she gets there however, she wonders if she might have already died. Bedridden with a terminal diagnosis, memories, nurses, immoral doctors, foreign television broadcasts, and phone calls from children intrude upon her consciousness. An aloe plant called Madame Blavatsky is her primary companion.

About the participants:

Fulla Abdul-Jabbar is a writer, artist, and editor living in Brooklyn. She presents thought in the form of language and presents language in various forms. She teaches in the Department of Writing at the Pratt Institute where she was awarded an AICAD Postgraduate Teaching Fellowship and is Editor and Curator at the Green Lantern Press. She has performed, screened, or exhibited nationally and internationally at SPACES, Defibrillator, Woman Made Gallery, ACRE, the Electronic Literature Organization, Human Resources LA, the Altered Aesthetics Film Festival, the Brussels Independent Film Festival, the Obskuur Ghent Film Festival, and the Ann Arbor Film Festival. Her work has been supported by the Vermont Studio Center and Zaratan Arte Contemporânea and her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Bad at Sports, DIAGRAM, Emergency Index, Bombay Gin, Jellyfish Review, Passages North, Northwest Review, and Prairie Schooner.

Tricia Park is a concert violinist, writer, and educator. She is a Juilliard graduate and received her MFA  at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In 2021, Tricia was awarded a Fulbright Grant to Seoul, Korea, where she worked on a literary and musical project. Her writing has appeared in Cleaver Magazine and F Newsmagazine. She was also a finalist for contests in C&R Press and The Rumpus. Since making her concert debut at age thirteen, Tricia has performed on five continents and received the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. She is the host and producer of an original podcast called, “Is it Recess Yet? Confessions of a Former Child Prodigy.” Tricia has served on faculty at the University of Chicago, the University of Iowa and has worked for Graywolf Press. She is the co-lead of the Chicago chapter of Women Who Submit, an organization that seeks to empower women and non-binary writers. Currently, Tricia is Associate Director of Cleaver Magazine Workshops where she is also a Creative Non Fiction editor and faculty instructor, teaches for the Iowa Summer Writing Festival, and maintains a private studio of violin students and writing clients. Learn more about Tricia at: Listen to Tricia play violin at:

Coco Picard is a writer, cartoonist, and curator. She is the author of The Chronicles of Fortune (Radiator Comics, 2017), which was nominated for a DiNKy Award. Art criticism and comics have otherwise appeared under the name Caroline Picard in Artforum, Hyperallergic, The Paris Review, and Seven Stories Press, among others. She started the Green Lantern Press in 2005, received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute and was a Bookends Fellow at Stony Brook University. Her novel, The Healing Circle, was the recipient of the 2020 Womens Prose Prize at Red Hen Press.

Todd Mattei is a musician, animator, and artist. Recent music releases include Datasleep (Felix Onyx Records) and Meditations for Imaginations Vol. 1, which documents a series of live, experimental sound meditations. He has recorded, performed, and toured nationally and internationally with the bands Joan of Arc, Male, and Sharks and Seals. From 2015-2018, Todd composed and performed music for the dance artist Victoria Bradford at venues including the Chicago Cultural Center, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and Zaina Gallery in Cleveland. In addition to the above, Todd has screened and exhibited experimental films, produced music videos, and exhibited in galleries and site specific contexts.

Dao Nguyen is a Chicago-based, interdisciplinary artist. Their name is a homophone for the Vietnamese word for knife. They are the compact, red Leatherman multi-tool your aunt gave you for Christmas ten years ago. On sale at Marshall’s. Versatility and hidden strength in a small package at a discount. Stealthy enough to pass through security checkpoints on three continents on four separate occasions. They can cut, screw, file, saw, and open your beer. Bonus applications include carving miniature graphite figurines, picking locks, and sculpting tofu. They have exhibited and performed in backyards, bathrooms, stairwells, highways, white cubes, and black box spaces, including Sector 2337, Defibrillator, the MCA, Hyde Park Art Center, Sullivan Galleries, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Brea Art Gallery, The Foundry Arts Centre, and Irvine Fine Arts Center. They received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and was Artist-in-Residence at ACRE, Vermont Studio Center, Ragdale, Elsewhere: A Living Museum, and Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts.

Suzanne Scanlon is the author of Promising Young Women (Dorothy, 2012), a novel-in-fragments about the life of a young woman in and out of institutions, and Her 37th Year, an Index (Noemi, 2015), a fictional memoir in the form of an index, following one year in a woman’s life. Her 37th Year was recently featured in a show at The Museum of Modern Art in New York City, and a Swedish translation is forthcoming. A chapter of Promising Young Women was featured as part of a group exhibition titled Institutional Garbage at Sector 2337, presented by the Green Lantern Press and the Hyde Park Art Center. She is at work on a collection of critical and personal essays about contemporary women writers, marriage/divorce, performance and grief, as well as a novel titled Scenes of Interrogation. Her work has appeared in The Iowa Review, The American Scholar, Electric Literature, BOMB Magazine, and The Brooklyn Rail.

Anna Martine Whitehead does performance from the homelands of the Council of the Three Fires: The Odawa, Ojibwe and Bodéwadmiakiwen (Potawatomi) Nations; as well as the Miami, Ho-Chunk, Sauk and Meskwaki; the Kiikaapoi, Peoria, and the Očeti Šakówiŋ (Sioux) Nations. Their solo and collaborative work has been presented by the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art; Chicago Symphony Orchestra; the Museum of Modern Art; San José Museum of Art; and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. They are a 2022-23 Vera List Center Fellow, 2021 Foundation for Contemporary Arts grant recipient, 2020 Graham Foundation Fellow, and an awardee of MAP Fund grants in 2020 and 2021. Martine has written about blackness, queerness, and bodies in action for Art21 Magazine, C Magazine, frieze, Art Practical and Queer Dance: Meanings and Makings (Oxford, 2017); and is the author of TREASURE | My Black Rupture (Thread Makes Blanket, 2016).

Official Website

More events on this date

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,