Chicago is a literary town. This month the focus is on poetry–there’s so much to do and see and hear.
Sunday, April 7 at 1:30 pm is the 16th Annual Women’s International Open reading at Woman Made Gallery, 685 N. Milwaukee. Hosted by Nina Corwin, the event will feature Xanath Caraza, Kelly Davio, Marty McConnell, Simone Muench, Amy Newman and Rita Mae Reese.
Marcia Pradzinski will be reading her poetry on Tuesday, April 9 at 7:00 pm at THE NEW STUDIO located at 2948 Central Street in Evanston. Marcia’s poems have recently appeared (or are forthcoming) in CRAM 14, Journal of Modern Poetry (JOMP—for which she took the prize), Exact Change Press, Brevity Poetry Review, and Ephemera Magazine. Poet Beth Snyder will read from the work of the late Muriel Rukeyser. THE NEW STUDIO is just that—a new studio for writers and artists. I’ll write more about THE NEW STUDIO when I find out all the scoop. I heard there will also be cupcakes at the April 9 reading, which will make it even sweeter.
If you’d like to hear poetry in Spanish as well as English, you may want to participate in Poesia en Abril, which takes place from Thursday, April 11 to Tuesday, April 30 and is sponsored by contratiempo and DePaul University. Check the contratiempo website for more details.
Hey Pumpkin heads, on Friday April 19 from 8:00 to 10:00 pm, you can check out Billy Corgan’s latest gig, Madame ZuZu’s Teahouse in Highland Park where Salon Splendor, a night of intimate readings, literary discussion, and warm music, will take place. Kathleen Rooney, Okla Elliot and James Tadd Adcox will be reading. Check Curbside Splendor’s site for details.
Friday, April 12 Join Chicago Writers House at 7:30 pm at The Uptown Lounge for a publisher reading featuring Anobium, Switchback Books, Love Symbol and more. The readings will be followed by karaoke. Dana Jerman is the host. All the details can be found at the Chicago Writers House Facebook Page
[BTW, I just got an email from Anobium on two new writing projects that you may want to investigate. One is called Rescription II (NYC) and the other is Middle Ground: an Archive. Check the Anobium website for details.]
Want to stock up on local poetry? Drop in Sunday, April 14 from 1:30 to 6:30 pm to the Pop-Up Bookfair at The Empty Bottle, sponsored by The Empty Bottle, Curbside Splendor and Chicago Writers House. The Empty Bottle has food as well as bar service and local bands will also be playing. I had fun at the last Pop-Up Bookfair so you may want to check it out.
Also April 14 is Poetry Before Taxes, a special celebration put on by Puddin’head Press; it’ll take place from 3:00 to 6:00 pm at Twelve West Nightclub (12 West Elm Street) Hosts are Dave Gecic and Jeffery Wayne Helgeson and performers include master magician Isaac Hood and poets Emily Calvo, Shelly Nation, Mike Watson, and others to be announced. Check out all the details at the Facebook event page.
Saturday, April 27 is the date for Poetry Fest sponsored by Chicago Public Library. The daylong event at Harold Washington Library features a keynote by Campbell McGrath, readings by poets from Woman Made Gallery, and a workshop on form by local poets Tom Roby and Jenene Ravesloot. The first workshop starts at 10:00 am. There is also a panel discussion “Making a Name: The Art of Promoting Poetry” with C. J. Laity (chicagopoetry.com) Emily Calvo, Gregorio Gomez, Mario, and Victor David Giron (Curbside Splendor).
Do you like to listen to poetry? Or maybe you like to read it aloud? You can listen to poems or record one yourself through Record-a-Poem on Soundcloud, sponsored by the Poetry Foundation. It’s an ongoing poetry project and you can find all the details here.
Another upcoming event to keep in mind take place on June 7, which will be known in Chicago as BROOKSDAY. The Guild Complex is planning some special events to celebrate the life and poetry of Chicago’s own Gwendolyn Brooks.
I started my celebration of Poetry Month by attending the reading of Debra Bruce at the Glenview Public Library. I enjoyed hearing her work, which is both formal and accessible. I felt inspired to make more use of forms in my own poetry. Her latest book is Survivors’ Picnic.