In its decade of monthly words-and-music nights, Tongue & Groove has turned the stage over to hundreds of the freshest voices in short fiction, essays, poetry and spoken word in L.A. — always with a compelling musical guest bringing it home. Humor, pathos, politics, pop culture, memory, aspiration, identity, mystery, metaphor — producer Conrad Romo (an accomplished poet himself) has made sure no subject matter or literary style is left behind. The roster of award winners, best-sellers and local heroes who have tongued and grooved is too long to enumerate, but Sunday night’s lineup speaks to the eclecticism for which the night is known. Emily Ansara Baines is the author of The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook and The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook and, as one might assume from those titles alone, her short stories merge wit with observation, invention and just the right amount of cheek. Jack Grapes is a poet, playwright, actor and renowned teacher who somehow found the time to write 14 books of poetry. Eddie Pepitone is an essayist, actor, stand-up comedian and subject of the documentary Bitter Buddha. Musical guest Kathleen Wilhoite is a multitalented singer-songwriter and actress whose storytelling impulse is right at home among the authors. Really, there’s no better chill Sunday-night fine culture you can buy for $6. Plus, according to the organizers, “Mystery guests potentially will be an Oscar winner, a MacArthur Fellow, a Pulitzer Prize winner or a bank robber.” So there’s that. Hotel Cafe, 1623 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Hlywd.; Sun., Aug. 25, 6-7:30 p.m.; $6. (323) 461-2040,

Sun., Aug. 25, 6 p.m., 2013

LA Weekly