Our Writers

In addition to the editors on the About page, these Chicago writers contribute articles, reviews and interviews to Third Coast Review. If you’d like to write for Third Coast Review, please fill out our Contact Us form (in the footer) and include a short bio and links to writing samples.


3cr-abieheadshot-1Abie Irabor is a storyteller, actor and writer. She received her MFA in acting from DePaul University. If she’s not writing an art review, she’s performing on stage somewhere around the city. Follow her in IG @ abieirabor.



Andrew Xu is a University of Chicago student. His high school English teacher once asked him to read a batch of Roger Ebert’s reviews for class, and he’s been fixated on the idea of writing about movies ever since. Follow his attempts to pursue this obsession at The FilmWatcher.


Angela AllynAngela Allyn is a multidisciplinary culture hound who administers community arts programs for the city of Evanston. A foodie who loves to meet farmers and her meals when they are growing, she is addicted to fair trade coffee and chocolate.




Andrea Palm is a Florida native. She’s constantly asking herself: “Why did you leave the warmth? Why did you come here? Where are you? Is this Narnia? How do I get out of this miserable windy snow closet?!” Andrea loves to spin, eat Nutella (amongst other things but with a strong emphasis on Nutella), and roam around Chicago with her squad of friends. She developed a fondness for musical theater as a child, watching her sister star in local theater productions. She describes her theatergoing taste as “eclectic-pop-classic” and her favorite musicals are those that make you laugh, cry and come back.


hertzberg photoAndrew Hertzberg is a writer and reader, sometimes more of one than the other. You can find him biking around all over the city, volunteering at Open Books, contributing to various (on)/(off)line avenues, or at any of Chicago’s finest TV-deficient, cash-only bars. He tweets at @and_hertz.



Benjamin Cannon holds a few bachelor’s degrees and is doing nothing related to what they prepared him to do. In addition to 3CR he is a freelance contributor for The A.V. Club. His passions are design, culture, comedy and Epicurean pursuits. Find him on Twitter or at his website.


Bian3cr-bianca-headshotca Bova is a Chicago-based curator. She has worked with national and international contemporary arts organizations including Gunder Exhibitions, SiTE:LAB, the Chicago Architecture Foundation, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and EXPO Chicago.


Brent-200x300 (1)Brent Eickhoff is a director, writer and educator. He’s a founding member and co-artistic director of Blue Goose Theatre Ensemble. Brent has worked with A Red Orchid Theatre, Mary-Arrchie Theatre Co., Arc Theatre, the Public House Theatre, Something Marvelous, Whiskey Radio Hour and The Burrowers. He’s the educational coordinator for Silk Road Rising and has also taught at the Children’s Theatre Co. in Highland Park. While Brent has worked with a variety of Chicago theater artists, he doesn’t let that get in the way of writing unbiased reviews of any production he covers.


BrianBrianna Kratz Headshotna Kratz has a B.A. in English Writing from Illinois Wesleyan University where she learned the importance of “the poetic turn,” the difference between thee and you, and how to read Middle English. She lives on the Internet almost always and you can follow her on Twitter.


SelfieCameraBIO (001 of 001)Chris Riha–better known by his instagram handle @Superbia454–is a multimedia photojournalism student at Columbia College Chicago. He’s earned a certificate from the under-appreciated photography department of Oakton Community College, where he is also a student employee. Chris has studied alongside legendary Chicago photojournalist John H. White, and barely survived a three-month internship at the Chicago Reader. He is rarely seen out in the wild without a camera or three around his shoulders. When not covering arts and culture, he can be found chasing and photographing politicians and protesters on the streets of Chicago.


tcr colin smithColin Smith listens to garage rock and reads theory by the Frankfurt school. He led his college’s newspaper, wrote features for a magazine in Kenya, and wrote a thesis on the cultural iconography of the guitar. He edits reviews for Pop ‘stache and plays pop-rock music. Follow him on Twitter.


Cynthia Kallile is the founder and owner of The Meatloaf Bakery™ and an enthusiastic foodie. Her creative meatloaf recipes wowed customers across the country for seven years and are offered today via Meatloaf By Mail. She cooks, writes and loves to talk about her experiences with ingredients, techniques and delicious outcomes.


3cr-DaniellePic2016Danielle Wilcox holds an M.F.A in creative writing from Columbia College Chicago where she currently works in the News Office. She is the co-creator of LDOC, a free bi-monthly arts publication, and the recipient of the 2015 Crusade Engagement Grant. She lives in Humboldt Park with her husband and her cat.


David Lanzafame has been a freelance writer and journalist for nearly 10 years, having worked previously at local publications such as Suburban Life News and magazines such as Cleaning and Maintenance Management. He’s a fan of most things pop geek, including graphic novels, pc and console games, boardgames, and pen and paper rpgs.


3cr-elifgeris-headshot (1)Elif Geris is a concert addict, who also can’t go a day without feeling a musical hum in her throat, and the trickle of her fingers across the keys. She has a background in journalistic writing and radio production, currently working as a producer at WGN Radio. UIC is her alma mater and where she began connecting with Chicago’s music scene.


Elizabeth Anastos is an art consultant and collections management specialist for a boutique art consulting firm in the city. She received her BA in Art History from DePaul University and is currently working towards her fine art appraisal credentials through the International Society of Appraisers. Elizabeth has a passion for travel and is always planning her next get-away.


Emma Terhaar is one of the founding editors of Third Coast Review and former editor of the Lit page. She reviews books, plays and music and is an active volunteer for both 826CHI and the Old Town School of Folk Music.


tcr-amandatugadeF. Amanda Tugade is known as the girl in the back of the bar standing on her tippy-toes, trying to take a cool photos of the show on her iPhone and posting it on IG. She’s currently hustling as a freelance reporter. Follow her every move @followmetugade.


3cr-JOrbesen headshot (1)James Orbesen is a writer and professor living in Chicago. His first book on the comics of Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely is forthcoming from Sequart. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Guernica, Salon, Jacobin, Chicago Review of Books, PopMatters, TriQuarterly and elsewhere.


Jennifer Roger is a Chicago-based podcaster and writer. She is currently​ the​ co-host of Seal of Approval Music Review and a volunteer for CHIRP Radio. Her writing has been featured in WhiskeyPaper, Lockjaw Magazine, Chicago Innerview Magazine, The Indie Mine and Full Circle Magazine.


3cr-JessicaMlinaricheadshotJessica Mlinaric is a writer, photographer and cat mom. Her first book on the strange and secret corners of Chicago is forthcoming from Reedy Press. Jessica founded urbnexplorer.com in 2010 to share stories about cities and their cultures. Right now, she is probably at a concert or volunteering at 826CHI. She tweets at @urbnexplorer.


Tankboy resides in the body of Jim Kopeny and lives in Mayfair with his wife, Pickle the Kitten, Sasha the Cat, and a beagle named Betty (RIP) who may have actually been slightly more famous than most of the musicians slogging through the local scene. He’s written about music for longer than most bands you hear on the radio have existed. He also swears that it wasn’t him who did that and has learned that “deny everything” is a basic tenet of existence. He was also the senior editor of A&E at Chicagoist from 2005 until the site’s shuttering in late 2017. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram and check out his website.


Julia PhamJulia Pham is a queer feminist who enjoys using food, mindless television shows, and dominant culture to critically think about the world in which we live. When she’s not engaging in social critique, she practices funny accents, gets tattoos, and develops recipes.


tcr-julianramirezJulian Ramirez is a natural-born Chicagoan who graduated from UIC with a BA in Creative Writing. He spends most of his sleepless nights indulging in as much art and media as he possibly can. You can read more of his writings on all his creative obsessions at orgasticfutures.


Justin Freeman has been fascinated with Chicago ever since he played “Michael Jordan: Chaos in the Windy City” https://thirdcoastreview.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/3cr-jfreeman-headshot-100×80.jpgin grade school. That video game was so vital to his early understanding of Chicago, he was legitimately upset when he discovered that the Field Museum is not where you need to defeat hordes of evil skeleton warriors with an infinite supply of magic basketballs. He may have cried about this. Anyway, he writes about tech, music and pop culture now. Follow him on twitter at @justinstrange and email him here.


KarinMckieKarin McKie, MFA, is an arts reviewer and features writer, SAG/AFTRA actor, f/activist and curator of the live lit/improv mash-up “Kill Your Darlings.” Listen to Karin’s Chicago Public Radio stories and follow her on Twitter where her handle is unfortunately apt as @MzzzAnthrope.


kate scott photoKate Scott Daly specializes in music journalism. Her body of work includes live documenting over 200 bands, reviewing several albums and concerts, and multiple artist interviews. Kate continues to brave the photo pits of major music venues and outdoor festivals throughout the Chicagoland scene.


Katie Steensma says, “If you want to learn what someone fears losing, watch what they photograph.” Outside of picture taking, Katie lives in Old Town, can easily finish a bag of chips in one sitting, never wears color, and cries constantly when listening the DJs Porter Robinson and Madeon. @steeeeenz.


TCR-kimCheadshotKim Campbell saw the tidy bowl blue of Lake Michigan for the first time while chugging down Lake Shore Drive with a car full of cats and books. 24 years later, she still misses east coast pizza but considers it a fair trade off for the arts & culture scene in Chicago. She writes with equal fervor about theater, circus, dance and food. See her tweets at @kimzyn or follow her on Instagram. Email her here.


Lauren ChicagoLauren Garcia is a Texas transplant and freelance writer.  When she’s not reviewing for 3CR, she usually can be found baking pies, contemplating the social impact of the show Frasier, or writing essays about food in conjunction with 20-something wisdom on The Cereal Box Philosopher .


3CR LouisHarrisheadshotLouis Harris taught himself to write back when punk rock was still in its formative years. At the time, he lived in Washington, DC, where he wrote record and show reviews for local fanzines, plus interviews with Government Issue, Big Black, the Meatmen, Killdozer, the Feelies, and other seminal acts. He later became engrossed in classical music, particularly chamber music, which remains his passion. He occasionally writes poetry and has a published novel . He lives on the north side of Chicago, which he considers to be the greatest city in the country, if not the world.


Mariel Fechik is a musician, writer, and program coordinator for a Chicago nonprofit. She fronts the band Church Booty, sings backup for Chicago musician Emily Blue, and also recently started a duo project with Blue. Her poetry has appeared in various literary journals. She holds a BA in English from the University of Illinois, as well as an Illinois Professional Educators License.


3cr-Matt Brooks HeadshotMatt Brooks is a veg-head, son of a dead head, grown in the Western burbs. If you’re looking to find him, a good place to start would be any Sofar Sounds gig, where he is connecting with fellow music-lovers and probably telling some bad emcee jokes.


Miriam Finder Annenberg is a Chicago transplant originally from Pittsburgh. She studied journalism at the University of Southern California and has written for print and online publications in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area and Chicagoland. Miriam works in marketing communications and likes writing about dance and art, reading, yoga and exploring Chicago in her spare time. Email her here.


Nick Blashill is a native of Downers Grove who has recently returned to the Chicago area. By day he works in market research, but he is looking forward to sharing the experiences with Chicago’s craft beer and music scenes that fill his free time.


3cr-Dailing-Headshot-186x300 (1)Paul Dailing writes The Chicago Review of Terrible Books for Third Coast Review. Whether it examines the Derridian logocentrism of hopping on pop, the speculative fiction of Ray Comfort or the narrative framing structures of a Chilton repair guide for a ’78 Dodge Aspen, the monthly series is a searing, penetrating eye by a literary luminary of whom South African playwright Athol Fugard once said “I have consulted my attorneys and will seek legal action if you do not refrain from attributing fictive laudatory quotes to me.” Dailing writes f’realsies at 1,001 Chicago Afternoons.


profileRobert O’Connor is a writer and editor in Chicago. Last year he wrote the book “Hiroshima Nagasaki: An Illustrated History, Anthology, and Guide” for Odyssey Publications. His work has appeared in Lumpen, Mash Tun, Proximity, Spike, 3:AM and Gapersblock.


Steve Prokopy is our chief movie reviewer. Steve writes about movies as Capone at aintitcoolnews.cocm. Follow him on Twitter @CaponeAicn.



3cr-taylor-headshotTaylor Poulin is a writer, art historian and curator. When she’s not in a museum looking out for Matisse, or digging up forgotten mid-century abstract artists, she’s practicing yoga and running around town on Instagram (@taylorlpoulin) reveling in Chicago’s art and architecture.



3CR Alumni Club

TCR-ZachblumyheadshotZach Blumenfeld. Zach, a native of suburban Lincolnshire, graduated from Vanderbilt University in May 2015 and began writing about music and culture as a way to both put off grad school and see as much live music as possible. Zach was the original calendar curator for Third Coast Review, but sorrowfully, he’s now gone on to attend law school in New York. He has been a regular contributor at Performer Magazine and Pop’stache and an editorial intern at Paste Magazine. He loves Twitter followers. Email him here.

Chris Zois has been roaming around Chicago since graduating Roosevelt University in 2011. He has been a copywriter and reporter since shedding his cap and gown, working for Fanatics and No Limit Agency. His ramblings deal with his gripes of recent viewings at the multiplex and interviews some of his favorite bands from Chicago. He now lives in Orlando with Katelyn.