TICKETS $8 through Eventbrite, $10 cash at door

The Bodies Visible reading will feature Denise Jolly, international spoken word and performance artist, and founder of the Be Beautiful project, as well as local artist whose bodies are alternative and outside of mainstream culture. The reading will explore our experiences through real talk, humor, poetry and storytelling. Hosted by Natalie E. Illum. Opening performers include Heather Kerstetter, Tyler Vile, Julia Takes FlightTaylor Carmen 
This event is fully ADA accessible.
DENISE JOLLY is the creator of the Be Beautiful Project. She is a Writer, Performer and Artist Educator. She is the former Executive Director of Seattle Youth Speaks, and Vice President of Stronghold Productions. Denise’s work stands at the intersection of gender, class, sexuality, and body. She has taught and performed at colleges, universities, community centers, and public and private schools all over the United States, Canada and parts of Europe, working with student populations in elementary through college and beyond. She likes doing great things with amazing people and being moved by art, community and how the two work together.


Posted March 31, 2014 by Natalie E. Illum in Uncategorized

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The Bodies Visible Reading featuring Denise Jolly and DC Area Poets with Disabilities.  I’ll be hosting!


Posted March 19, 2014 by Natalie E. Illum in Uncategorized

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Three Poems – Natalie E. Illum   Leave a comment

Natalie E. Illum:


You have all 3 of my <3s

Originally posted on DRUNK IN A MIDNIGHT CHOIR:

roulette blur
Blueprintfor Robert Illum My father can count cards. Once he cheated the house out of so much Blackjack, they threatened to kick him and his teeth out. Good thing he always knew when to walk away. By morning his wallet was as red as his bloodshot eyes. I am my father’s daughter. You can call me a slot machine. If you pay me enough attention, I will give you all of my 3 hearts spill my insides and watch you walk away to the next pretty thing. My father is an engineer. He loves blueprints and right angles; machines that can easily be fixed. I am my father’s daughter but my body cannot be fixed. No matter what he builds he will never design something better than a wheelchair. I inherited his cheekbone, but not his poker face I know how big he smiles for a straight flush; how…

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Posted March 19, 2014 by Natalie E. Illum in Uncategorized

Next Show February 13   Leave a comment


I’m excited to be performing with Story League again. Details on the show here:!/events/222563111258990/

Posted January 29, 2014 by Natalie E. Illum in Uncategorized

Gemini Truth   Leave a comment

Poem from the most recent Encloypedia DC show.

Posted January 29, 2014 by Natalie E. Illum in Uncategorized

Poem From When We Were Warmer   Leave a comment

Photo by Lindsay Arnold. Somewhere in our neighborhood, recently.

Photo by Lindsay Arnold. Somewhere in our neighborhood, recently.

I wrote this last April, about two weeks before my father died. I haven’t been able to write much since, not because of his death, but just because. But on December 14, 2013 I finally found a fraction of my voice. At least the draft poem is written, at least it is the truth of that moment, which is a start.

What artists do

You tell me you are hiking
waist-high in snow somewhere
in Wyoming. It is 80 degrees
here and raining blossoms.
The tourists have flooded
the stations again. Again

we are covered in humidity
too early. It’s too late
to tell you what happens
when I fall asleep with
the windows open.
But here’s what happens:

I become a watch, telling time
by the hours we are missing.
I become a straight key, turning
my blood into Morse code. I send

you only three words at a time.
On my worse nights, my SOS
misses your rely station. By morning,
the enemy has already taken me.

But mostly, I am a hope chest
storing our best memories
for someone else to open.

Mostly, I look down at my palms,
notice how fragmented my lifeline is.
The reader told me I have too many
false starts. She is right. She tells

me to keep only the ones with the strongest
grip. The one whose hands are as deft
as my tongue, but not as striking.
She tells me a piece of my heart line
is missing. She says obviously

it is with you.

Posted January 8, 2014 by Natalie E. Illum in Uncategorized

Next Show: The ZODIACalypse 1/16/14   1 comment

Next Show: The ZODIACalypse 1/16/14

I am so excited to be a part of this awesome show. It will be my first time performing in 2014. The poem will be unique to this show and heard for one night only! Hope to see you there.

Details here:

Posted January 7, 2014 by Natalie E. Illum in Uncategorized


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