The SPECTRA Reading Series will host the release party for a new chapbook published by MWC Press: “For A Second, In The Dark” by Alec Hershman of Ann Arbor, Mich., on Friday, Oct. 6 at Rozz-Tox (2108 3rd Ave. Rock Island).

The event (free with a $5 suggested donation) will feature readings by Hershman. Sophia Best, Emily Kingery, and Aubrey Ryan, with an open mic at 7 p.m. and featured writers at 8 p.m.

Hershman’s new book will be available for $10 at the event. It is an Editor’s Choice Selection for the Foster-Stahl Chapbook Series, which is currently open for submissions. The Friday event also will be livestreamed to Midwest Writing Center’s YouTube page HERE.

Alec Hershman is the author of two previous volumes of poetry: “Permanent and Wonderful Storage” (Seven Kitchens, 2019) and “The Egg Goes Under” (Seven Kitchens, 2017). He is a grassroots labor organizer and currently serves as the Chair of Education for the Ypsilanti Industrial Workers of the World. He lives with his husband and dogs in Michigan.

Sophia Best is a current student at WIU studying professional writing. She participated in the Young Emerging Writers internship for three summers, and was published in The Atlas. Her first chapbook, “Pink Bathwater,” was selected for the 2023 Iowa Chapbook Prize — this is her first time having solo work published.

Emily Kingery is the author of “Invasives” (Finishing Line Press, 2023) and the recipient of several honors and awards in both poetry and prose. Her work appears widely in journals. She teaches English at St. Ambrose University and serves on the Board of Directors at the Midwest Writing Center, a non-profit supporting writers in the QC community. Read more of her work at

Aubrey Ryan is the author of two chapbooks: “A Good Beast” (Phantom Limb Press) and “CHOIR” (MWC Press). Her work has appeared in various journals, including DIAGRAM, Pinwheel, Booth, Best New Poets, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.