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Posted by : cj on Friday, June 12, 2009 - 09:05 AM
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Friday, October 30, 2009
Brothers K, 500 Main St, Evanston
Al Degenova & Judith Valente
Open Mike 6:00 - 6:30
Featured Poets 6:45 - 7:30


Release Party: AREA #9 Peripheral Vision
A Local Reader Inside and Outside Chicago
Sunday, November 1, 2009
2:00pm - 5:00pm
South Side Community Art Center
3831 S. Michigan Ave
CTA: Indiana stop on the Green Line)

3:00 Peripheral Feminism: Readings by contributors

4:00 Performance by Sebastian Alvarez

Contributions by/about
Notes for a People’s Atlas of Calumet, Claire Pentecost, disability activism, Paul Durica, deindustrialization, Stephanie Farmer, Sean Noonan, Compass Group, Hobofest, Jayne Hileman, Ishpeming, Anthony Rayson, Forgotten Chicago, Dinah Ramirez, James Lane, Crandon mine campaign, Sarah Kanouse, Nick Brown, suburban segregation, The Brownlands, Mairead Case, rural pilgrimage, Beth Gutelius, feminism, Dale Asis, Southeast Environmental Task Force, Sarah Kavage, the Burnham plan, Lorenza Perelli, Chicago Otra, Donna Kiser, Erin Moore, immigration detention, Mara Naselli, used bookstores, Sue Simensky Bietila, Mary Patten, donation diasporas, Joann Podkul, MAS, Brian Schultz, ecology, Joey Pizzolato, regional energy, Alex Yablon, Native American sites, Carrie Breitbach, HIV in minority communities, Quincy Saul, Gary, Bert Stabler, Great Lakes waterways, Charlie Vinz, teaching urban studies in the suburbs, teaching art on the south side, Larry Shure, Southworks, Laurie Jo Reynolds, Dan Wang, Nazis in Skokie, No Se Vende, Mike Wolf, Human Action Campaign Organization, Ashley Weger, demolition, Ryan Hollon, Andrew Greenlee, Gloria Ortiz, Steel Shavings, Paul Sargent, slumming, Laurie Palmer, neoliberal poetry, Michelle Lugalia, world systems, Steve Macek, distribution, Rebecca Zorach, Nicolas Lampert, sprawl, Daniel Tucker, Tamms, Carol Ng-He, STAND, Wade Tillett, Nicole Marroquin, CTA, anarchists in the suburbs, Sam Barnett, Chase Bracamontes, Sergei Chrucky, Generations for Peace, Matthias Regan, Just Farming Small Farmers Confederation, parking meter protests, radical memory.


From John Beer to Larry Sawyer to CJ Laity to you . . .

Since 2001, the Chicago Poetry Project has brought locally and nationally significant poets to Chicago audiences. This year, the Project initiates a new series of poet's talks. In the tradition of Bob Perelman's Folsom Street talk series, but without the book & DVD package, or the lectures of Prof. Irwin Corey, but without the academicism, the series aims to generate discussion of issues in poetics among writers and readers outside the university aegis. This inaugural year will take up the issue of education: how does a poet get educated? and how might he or she work as an educator, in and outside of writing?

Talks will take place at the Green Lantern Gallery, 1511 N. Milwaukee Ave.

The initial talk will feature Karl Gartung, on Tuesday, October 20, at 7:30pm.

For close to 31 years, Karl Gartung has served Woodland Pattern Book Center (and before that, Boox, Inc.) as a guiding force. He is a reader and writer with deep ethical commitment, vision, and a particular enthusiasm for poetry and visual work in outside traditions. His own work is grounded in the poetics of William Carlos William's Paterson and in it one hears echoes of Lorine Niedecker's deft and lightly punning musicality. His writing was charged, changed irretrievably by Paul Metcalf, Dick Higgins, Karl Young and Jerome Rothenberg. Karl's work has appeared in 26, Five Fingers Review, Convergence, Croton Bug, Convoy Dispatch, and was featured along with Karl Young and Morgan Gibson in a special issue of Gam: Roots of Experimental Writing in Milwaukee.

Karl is artistic director at Woodland Pattern and works at United Parcel Service as a truck driver, union steward and activist.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Time: 7:30pm - 9:00pm
Robbie Q. Telfer Book Release!
Spiking the Sucker Punch!
The Chopin Theatre
1543 W Division
Free. All ages.
Refreshments provided.

Spiking the Sucker Punch is the debut work of longtime Chicago performance poet and youth arts organizer, Robbie Q. Telfer. This book release will be a 90-minute performance with readings from the book, performances by youth and adult poets, and the work of trained house cats. There will be a reception before and after the show.

“You won’t find another poet haunting the bars and coffee shops with as much humor in his verse as Telfer… a seasoned comedian’s presence on stage, at once unassuming and unpredictable.”

—Time Out Chicago

From the back cover:

"This gloriously bellowed lyrical and linguistic chaos, this "mess of crossed wires and mixed seagulls," will make your status quo ache, your perceptions implode, your horizons widen and shatter. Robbie Q. writes us toward a primal need, the need to go absolutely insane with the possibilities of noun, verb and participles of the dangled variety. This is not spoken word on the page... this is spoken scream headed directly for that corner of your head you try to hide."

—Patricia Smith, author of Blood Dazzler, National Book Award Finalist

“Robbie Q, our dazzling shooting star sparking the gritty Chicago heavens, crackling with the surprising and contradictory rhythms of life on the run and in the heat.
Keep on, Brother Q, dance the dialectic, your wild inspired unruly convergence and conspiracy. Write on, Robbie Q, poems to spin us around, words, large enough and true. Q-man, quirky and quixotic--- quo vadis Robbie Q? Take me there, too.”

—Bill Ayers, Activist, Educator, Co-Author of Race Course Against White Supremacy

“In Spiking the Sucker Punch, Robbie Q. Telfer rocks out a bestiary of antic poetics all his own. In his open and generous hands, speech acts zoom in and out of our collective desire to live and love. You will feel alive again reading it.”

—Daniel Nester, author of How to Be Inappropriate and God Save My Queen I and II

About the author:

Robbie Q. Telfer is a touring performance poet, having been a featured performer/reader in hundreds of venues across North America and Germany - most recently with the annual Revival Tour. Previous work appears in the American Book Review, Octopus Magazine, cream city review and decomP magazinE, as well as several anthologies and DVDs. He was an individual finalist at the National Poetry Slam in 2007 and he co-wrote the video game Ninjatown DS. He lives in Chicago where he co-curates the Encyclopedia Show and is the Director of Performing Arts for Young Chicago Authors, a not-for-profit that gives creative writing opportunities and mentorship to Chicago teens. His work with YCA was featured in two documentaries from HBO and Siskel Jacobs Productions. This is his first collection of published poetry.



Monday, October 19, 2009
7:30pm - 9:45pm
Butterfly Social Club
722 w. Grand

The Third Monday of October is upon us!

That means it is Mental Graffiti time. We felt like breaking you off something proper so we present to you Mr. Robbie Q. Telfer. We welcome Robbie back to Chicago after a nation wide tour with Anis Mojgani, Derrick Brown, and Buddy Wakefield.

And guess what Robbie did? He brought back a book. His book! And it is awesome!

Robbie helps run Young Chicago Authors, was a 2007 NPS indy finalist, and is the brain behind the wildly popular Encyclopedia Show. In short, he rules.

Also, we have the second slam of the season. We are using points this year so slam early and slam often. Remember, you can win $20 or the Mystery Prize!

Not feeling competitive? Sign up for the open mic and blow minds anyway!

Sign up begins at 7:30. First come, first served.

doors: 7:30
show: 8:00

$5 donation, 21 and up, no outside drinks.


Monday, October 26, 2009
The Book Cellar
4736-38 N Lincoln
7 PM

Join us for a reading with contributors to Polyphony H.S., a student-run literary journal for high school writers and editors.

We believe the development of the individual voice depends upon close, careful, and compassionate attention. We believe that Polyphony H.S. demonstrates the value of experience and accomplishment as ideal tools for student learning.


Our mission is to create a high-quality literary magazine written, edited, and published by high school students. We strive to build respectful, mutually beneficial, writer-editor relationships that form a community devoted to improving students’ literary skills in the areas of poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction. We aim to expand our staff and increase submissions on a national level with hopes of continued international exposure and participation.

Finding Your Voice

"Polyphony is a find. An eclectic collection of prose and poetry, it's like nothing else around. It's like a Paris Review for the young. Daring. Provocative. Exhilarating. And just plain fun"

—Alex Kotlowitz, There are No Children Here

"Here are young writers displaying keen social and moral awareness, receptivity to beauty and sorrow, and a genuine feel for the richness and subtlety of language. Here is hope."

—Donna Seaman, Booklist

Polyphony H.S. was co-founded by Paige Holtzman (Latin School of Chicago ’06) and Billy Lombardo in August 2004.


Saturday, October 17, 2009
3rd Saturday Coffeehouse:
Open Mic with featured performer
at Unity Temple in Oak Park
875 Lake Street (at Kenilworth)
in Downtown Oak Park
Open Mic sign up 7:30,
Open Mic 8, feature at 9

Singer & caretaker of songs
Steve Justman

Join us on Saturday, October 17 as 3rd Saturday Coffeehouse Open Mic welcomes the “Vintage Folk and Classic Country” of Steve Justman—singer, troubadour, musician, and caretaker of songs. Steve sings popular folk music and country songs that people know. He has performed his mix of folk songs--with a dash of bluegrass and country rock---at many venues over the years. Don’t miss a show where you can hum along to the tunes you remember.

Sponsored by Unity Temple Unitarian-Universalist Congregation.

Open Mic is limited to 5 minutes. Charlie Rossiter host. We are acoustic--no equipment provided. $3-$5 donation. Wheelchair accessible. Info at 708-660-9376.


November 21 – poet Gregorio Gomez, MC from Weeds

December 19 – Whiskey Bucket Blues Review


From Chicago take the I-290 exit at Austin, go north to Lake and west to

From the West take the I-290 exit at Harlem Ave, go north to Lake and east
to Kenilworth

With the el, exit the Green Line at Oak Park Ave, go north to Lake St;
west to Kenilworth

Parking--there's lots of street parking.

Also a village lot at Oak Park & North Blvd., and another at Lake Street & Forest.
Need more info: 708-660-9376.


its a weeds thing...

poetry contest #4

possible definitions to "of the wall" ;

1) not main stream
2) totally unusual
3) something you'd rather not do in other venues
4) something you'd say "holy shit" i can't believe he/she said that"
5) in other words something that is not safe...
6) bizarre

what: "Best Off The Wall Poem" poetry contest
when: Monday October 26th
time: 9p sign up/ 10pm first contestant
where: WEEDS
1555 n. dayton
why: $50.00 prize money
host: gregorio gomez
barkeep: sergio mayora

so come on by sit right down and sign up between 9 and 10pm...first poet will be on the mike by 10pm; come hell or high water...last poet by 10:45...(which means there's a limited number of slots) and the judges will retire and unanomisly choose a winning poem...

open mike will continue soon after the last poet contestant reads...
when the judges makes their determination of a winner...i will announce it and present the "prize money"...
looking forward to seeing you at weeds.


Sunday, October 25th, 2009
and peer exchange
Evanston Public Library
Church & Orrington
1:30-4:30 -- Room 108
Leader: Tony Trigillio
Tony’s topic: Documentary Poetics
sponsored by RHINO/the Poetry Forum


Past leaders and readers and all poets welcome. Drop in, have poems critiqued, and participate in an ongoing discussion of poetry and poetics. Sessions are free* and no registration is required.

Tony Trigilio is the author of the poetry collection, The Lama's English Lessons (Three Candles Press, 2006); the chapbooks, With the Memory, Which is Enormous (Main Street Rag Press, 2009) and Make a Joke and I Will Sigh and You Will Laugh and I Will Cry (e-chap, Scantily Clad Press, 2008); and two books of criticism, Allen Ginsberg's Buddhist Poetics (Southern Illinois University Press, 2007) and Strange Prophecies Anew (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2000). With Tim Prchal, he co-edited Visions and Divisions: American Immigration Literature, 1870-1930 (Rutgers University Press, 2008). He teaches at Columbia College Chicago, where he also co-edits the poetry journal Court Green.

Bring 15 or more copies (no longer than two pages) of work you want critiqued.

*$5 donation appreciated

This project has been partially supported by a grant from Poets & Writers.

For more info: RHINOPOETRY.ORG

Note: Tony Trigilio will be leading the October Rhino Poetry Forum


Here are four more October events that come highly recommended by

Tuesday, October 13, 2009, 6 PM, The Hideout, 1352 W. Wabansia, Requited Journal Reading Series, featuring Mike Zapata, Heather Momyer, Nicholas Hayes, Ira S. Murfin, Kathy Regina, Laura Krughoff, Amanda Marbais and Kevin Kilroy, check out


Thursday, October 15, 2009, 6 PM, ETA Creative Arts Foundation, South Shore 7558 S. South Chicago, 773-752-3955, Useni Eugene Perkins presents the anthology Poetry From the Masters: The Black Arts Movement.


Thursday and Friday, October 15 and 16, 2009, Poem Present: Jennifer Moxley. Reading from her work October 15, 4:30 PM, Social Sciences Tea Room and then Discussion on Poetics October 16, 1:00 PM, Social Sciences Tea Room. For more information,,, 773-834-8524, and Reception to follow. This event is free and open to the public


Thursday, October 22, 6 PM, 2009, Fullerton Hall, Art Institute of Chicago, 111 South Michigan Ave. Helen Vendler, the A. Kingsley Porter University Professor at Harvard, discusses the poet Robert Lowell at the end of his career, when he viewed great American modernists Pound, Eliot, Frost, Tate, Crane, and Williams no longer as intimidating predecessors but as fellow human beings. A booksigning follows the talk. Sponsored by The Poetry Foundation and the Art Institute of Chicago. Free admission


Friday, Oct. 16, at 7:30 p.m.
River Forest Public Library
735 Lathrop Ave.
River Forest
Poe After Dark features Five Local Performers

Come get scared in the safety of the River Forest Public Library on Friday evening, Oct. 16, at 7:30 p.m. “Poe After Dark” will feature five local writers and performers interpreting some of the best of Edgar Allan Poe. The lights will be down and the fireplace aglow. Appropriate Poe-inspired treats will be served. This Big Read event is free, but reservations are encouraged. Please call (708) 366-5205, Ext. 316, to register.

The performers include:

Paulette Cary, a lifelong Oak Park resident, is a founding member of the Free Readers Ensemble, currently embarking on their 17th season of free performances at the Oak Park Public Library. Paulette has more than 30 years of stage performance. She currently provides professional on camera and voiceover talent represented by Stavins Talent Agency.

Singer-songwriter and actor Rick Pickren is a member of the Illinois Arts Council ArtsTour and an emeritus member of the Illinois Humanities Road Scholars program. A descendant of Buffalo Bill Cody, he has performed his program “Illinois: Gateway to the American West” throughout the State. Rick’s knowledge of western history, lore and song is displayed in his critically acclaimed albums: Songs From The Lonesome Prairie, The Call: More Songs From The Lonesome Prairie, and Rails, Rogues & Wrecks. The Call was one of five finalists nominated by The Academy of Western Artists as Best Western Song of 2009. Rick is also in the process of arranging and recording all of the U.S. State Songs. Vol. 2 has just been released. Rick has shared the stage with George Strait, Merle Haggard, Alabama, The Judds, Dolly Parton, B.J. Thomas and cowboy poet Waddie Mitchell. He has been featured in the films, Major League, While You Were Sleeping, Soul Survivors and U.S. Marshals. He has guest starred on The Untouchables, ER, Early Edition, Missing Persons and Turks. For more info:

Charlie Rossiter, NEA Fellowship recipient and three-time Pushcart Prize nominee, hosts the audio website Charlie is the author of four books of poetry and nine chapbooks. His latest book is All Over America: Road Poems (2009), and his music group, Whiskey Bucket Blues Review, has just released a live album. For more information, see

Rolfe Sanberg, Jr., R.N., has worked as a surgical tech and registered nurses in surgery in 1979. Rolfe, a River Forest resident, is the author of his first book, The Surgery Insomniacs and is an experienced film, TV and Shakespearean theatre actor. He is an accomplished athlete who has competed and finished five Vineman triathlons (swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, run 26.2 miles). Rolfe Sanberg was also the star of the aerobic video, “Wild Workout I” which was produced in 1990.

Michele Weldon, an award-winning author and journalist for 30 years, is an assistant professor at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. She is the author of three books. Her most recent, Everyman News: The Changing American Front Page, won the 2009 National Federation of Press Women award for nonfiction books. She recently completed a fourth book about raising her three sons and her recovery from cancer. Her first book, I Closed My Eyes: Revelations of a Battered Woman, (Hazelden, 1999) has had more than a dozen printings and was translated into seven languages. Weldon’s second book, Writing to Save Your Life (Hazelden, 2001), has been translated into four languages and is the basis of her Writing to Save Your Life Workshops. She has written for newspapers, websites, magazines and radio such as the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago magazine, Los Angeles Times, Newsday, Dallas Times Herald, New York Times, Woman’s Day, Parenting, Dial, Seventeen, Writer’s Digest and West Suburban Living. For more information, see

Visit our blog for all the latest information about Big Read events at


P.O.W.W.O.W. Tuesdays presents "new Chicago school of poetics" events.

P.O.W.W.O.W. Tuesdays take place every Tuesday night at Jeffrey Pub, located at 7041 S. Jeffrey Blvd., right off the the #14 and #15 buses with plenty of street parking.

(Note the location change for the Stacyann Chin event: Little Black Pearl in Bronzeville, located at 1060 E. 47th Street.)

The Pre-POWWOW workshops take place twice a month at 7pm and P.O.W.W.O.W. starts promptly at 8:30pm. The list opens at 8pm. Suggested donation is $5 and P.O.W.W.O.W. Tuesdays are always 21+.

P.O.W.W.O.W. (Performers or Writers for Women on Women Issues) Inc., Chicago's premier organization supporting the performance and writing of women, will present a month of events in October to highlight National Coming Out Month, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. As part of efforts to increase pride and educate communities, P.O.W.W.O.W. Inc., in collaboration with Little Black Pearl, will present Staceyann Chin on October 27th at Little Black Pearl at 7pm for a signing of her new book, "The Otherside of Paradise" and a performance. P.O.W.W.O.W. will also present an after-party at Jeffrey Pub immediately afterwards. In addition to the event on October 27th, P.O.W.W.O.W. Inc. will present an entire month of workshops, plays, performances and book releases planned to highlight various women artists of color, as well as to encourage and educate young women artists on the rise.

P.O.W.W.O.W. Inc. provides a weekly performance space for women artists to present, create, develop and implement artistic performances and writing, as well as mentorship to young women and teen girls who seek to become full time artists. P.O.W.W.O.W. Inc. also creates allies with men who support women's social justice issues and women artists and develops training programs for women and teen girls to help create economically sustainable careers in the arts. P.O.W.W.O.W. Inc. also supports women and teen girls re-entering society from traumatic, domestic or penile systems with art based educational programs that empower them to pursue careers in the arts and provides arts-based literacy programs in schools that address the social, gender and economic issues of women and girls.

October 6th - P.O.W.W.O.W. Inc. presents "Does Yo Mama Know?" in celebration of National Coming Out Month. Featuring singer-songwriter, Monica Dylan, plus Bring Your Coming Out Stories and the book of the month for October by Red Bone Press, "Does Your Mama Know, Volume II". Open mic. Jeffery Pub, 7041 S. Jeffrey Blvd. 8pm. 21+. $5 suggested donation.

October 13th - P.O.W.W.O.W. Inc. presents "Disturbia: Somebody Better Say Something," in observance of Domestic Violence Month, featuring the incredible Mama Brenda. Pre-POWWOW Workshop at 7 PM - You Have The Right To Be Protected with Vernita Gray from the Illinois States Attorney's Office. Open mic. Jeffery Pub, 7041 S. Jeffrey Blvd. 7pm. 21+. $5 suggested donation.

October 20th - P.O.W.W.O.W. Inc. presents the launch of "Just Femmes: A Pink Ribbon Sweetest Day Celebration". Pre-POWWOW workshop at 7 PM - Expose Yourself and Cop A Feel with the Lesbian Community Cancer Project and Dr. Margo Bell, in recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Open mic. Jeffery Pub, 7041 S. Jeffrey Blvd. 7pm. 21+. $5 suggested donation.

October 27th
Staceyann Chin

October 27th - POW-WOW and Little Black Pearl present "Staceyann Chin: The Otherside of Paradise" performance and book signing. "The Otherside of Paradise" is POWWOW's book of the month for November.

Also featuring POW-WOW Protege - Deja Taylor performing from her one woman show - "Free Deja Taylor". This special event will take place from 7-9 PM at Little Black Pearl in Bronzeville, located at 1060 E. 47th Street. All ages.

The mission of P.O.W.W.O.W. Inc. is to provide and create performance, writing and economic opportunities for writers, male and female, to address the social justice issues concerning women, particularly those issues that affect Women of Color and those within the multilinguistic regions of the African Diaspora.


Women & Children First Bookstore
5233 N. Clark St.

Women & Children First will be hosting a series of groundbreaking, amazingly talented and legendary lesbian and queer writers. The lesbo-thon kicks off on Friday, Oct. 9 with writer Rebecca Brown, continues on Saturday, Oct. 10 with Sarah Schulman, and winds it's way to Saturday, Oct. 17 when Sappho's Salon & Decibelle present Sister Spit: The Next Generation, featuring Michelle Tea!

Friday, Oct. 9
7:30 p.m.
Rebecca Brown
American Romances: Essays by Rebecca Brown
Special guest: Christine Simokaitis

Rebecca Brown (The Gifts of the Body, The Terrible Girls) has long been considered one of our most inventive and edgy lesbian fiction writers. In this most recent collection of writing, she is at the height of her creative and intuitive powers. In a gonzo mix of pop culture, autobiography, fiction, and literary history, Brown presents Gertrude Stein as presiding over a same-sex religious movement, intersects the lives of the Beach Boy’s Brian Wilson and Nathaniel Hawthorne, and reveals the sex life of H.G. Wells’s invisible man. Despite a mostly playful tone, Brown underscores humor with a serious examination of the ways America has tried and failed to craft and tell its own story. Brown will be joined by Chicago essayist Christine Simokaitis, whose work has appeared in journals “Natural Bridge,” “Alligator Juniper,” amd “Calyx,” and in the anthologies Are We Feeling Better Yet? And Mourning Sickness.

Saturday, Oct. 10
5:30 p.m.
Sarah Schulman
The Mere Future

Sparkling with wit and provocative social commentary, Sarah Schulman’s new novel crosses many genres, including literary fiction, mystery, fantasy, poetry and stand-up comedy. In her dystopian vision, New York has morphed into an idealized version of itself. Rent is cheap, homelessness is over, and everyone works in Marketing. Despite the utopian surface, however, there is a disturbing malaise that infects the population. Meanwhile our heroine and her girlfriend, Nadine, just want to fall in love again, but can’t help noticing that the social packaging may not be recyclable. Schulman (People in Trouble, Rat Bohemia) is one of literature’s most important chroniclers of contemporary queer life. In The Mere Future, she invents a literature that is at once sexy and funny, while openheartedly reflecting the lives we live. We’ll also be celebratingthe release of Schulman’s new book of non-fiction, Ties that Bind: Familial Homophobia and its Consequences.

Saturday, Oct. 17
7:30 p.m.

Sappho’s Salon and Decibelle Present Sister Spit: The Next Generation
Featuring Michelle Tea, Beth Lisick, Ariel Schrag, Rhiannon Argo and more. Special guest DJ SpinNikki.
$10 donation benefits the artists.
This month we collaborate with Decibelle to present a very special Sappho’s Salon featuring the raucous band of van-travelling queer marauders known as Sister Spit. The tour features queer luminary Michelle Tea, literary force Beth Lisick, trans-licious performance artist Ben McCoy, graphic novelist and former L-Word staffer Ariel Shrag, poet Kirya Traber, photographer Sara Seinberg, novelist Rhiannon Argo and special guest Sister Spit veteran Carina Gia Farrero. DJ SpinNikki helms the board before and after the set. Tickets will be available in advance at the store – cash only. Call 773-769-9299 for more information


Wednesday, October 14th
The Danny’s Reading Series
1951 W. Dickens
7:30 PM, 21+

Poetry by Jen Hofer & Patrick Durgin

Jen Hofer’s recent publications include The Route, a collaboration with Patrick Durgin (Atelos, 2008), sexoPUROsexoVELOZ and Septiembre, a translation from Dolores Dorantes by Dolores Dorantes (Counterpath Press and Kenning Editions, 2008), and lip wolf, a translation of Laura Solórzano’s lobo de labio (Action Books, 2007).

Her forthcoming books are from the valley of death (Ponzipo), Laws (Dusie Books), one (Palm Press), and a translation of Guatemalan poet Alan Mills’ Síncopes (Piedra Santa).

She currently teaches at Goddard College, and in the MFA Writing Program at CalArts.

Patrick F. Durgin is the author of Pundits Scribes Pupils (Potes & Poets, 1998), And so on (Texture Press, 1999), Sorter (Duration Press, 2001), Color Music (Cuneiform Press, 2002), Imitation Poems (Atticus / Finch, 2006), and The Route (with Jen Hofer, Atelos, 2007-8). His poetry and critical writings have appeared in numerous small-press periodicals, including 26, Aerial, Aufgabe, Chain, Chicago Review, Crayon, The Poetry Project Newsletter, Rain Taxi Review of Books, and Tinfish. He edited the selected works of Hannah Weiner, Hannah Weiner's Open House, for Kenning Editions, of which he is the founder and publisher.


Chicago Calling at Cafe Ballou


Francesco Levato Declares Print Poetry Publishing "in decline"

I was hanging out with some poets the other day and one of them was bragging about how great he was and then somebody said "Don't be a Levato." This was the third time I've heard the use of the word "Levato" within a similar phrase, such as "He pulled a Levato" or "That's a real Levato." I don't think there is any clear definition of what a "Levato" is, but in general the term has arisen as a joke in the Chicago Poetry Scene as a reference to the current Executive Director of the Poetry Center of Chicago, and can loosely be translated as acting like you are more important than you really are.

Seems Francesco Levato has "pulled a Levato" himself, when he was quoted today on Kristy Bowen's ChicagoPoetry fluff site as saying ". . . the old model of publishing will continue its decline and so (we) are focusing on a more decentralized model." This statement was made in reference to Levato's desire to turn poetry books into credit cards. I'm not sure who the "we" he is referring to is, but I think "they" must have been sleeping over the past decade if they can't see that print poetry publishing is not in decline but it actually has been rapidly growing, perhaps even having gotten out of hand.

There are more print publications and presses today in Chicago than ever before in the Chicago Poetry Scene. The advancement of the home computer, the invention of print on demand, the lower costs of the hardware needed to publish, all have contributed to a skyrocketing print publishing scene, and there is no decline in site. Neither is publishing e-books in pdf format a new concept; in fact, poets have been publishing online e-books ever since pdf was invented.

Nevertheless, the man who should be working hard to pull the Poetry Center of Chicago out of the dumps has instead put on his aluminum foil hat and he has declared for the world that print publishing is on the decline and thus we should support some type of poetry barcode tattooed onto our foreheads. This is the same man who popped onto the scene and immediately announced himself theee "activist poet" and now that Obama is in office he's changed his own title to "new media poet." But of course we should believe whatever this yokel has to say, because (drum roll please) he is EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR. But if you want to talk to someone to learn about "Plastique" poetry, Levato is way too important to do that, so he will send you off to talk to his "public relations spokesperson" (ahem) Lauren (Levato?) Rachel (Webster?).

Of course, it comes as no surprise that his new plastic press' first title is a book (or do we call it a credit card) by (another drum roll) Francesco Levato. Seems Levato has pulled a big time Levato. (And he hasn't shut me up yet!)

--CJ Laity


Poetry Center of Chicago Finally Announces Juried Reading Winners

Poetry Dateline 10/06/09: Six months late, today the Poetry Center of Chicago has finally announced the winners of their Juried Reading Contest. Traditionally the winners have been announced at an actual "Juried Reading" that took place in April (National Poetry Month) during the Chicago Public Library Poetry Fest, but this year the winners have been announced by email.

1st place goes to Lina ramona Vitkauskas; 2nd place to Carrie Oeding; 3rd place to Richard Fox; and the runners up include Stephanie Anderson, Patrick Culliton, Ellen Elder, Rebecca Morgan Frank, Megan Levad and Stephanie Saur.

The Poetry Center plans to wait two more months to hold some type of award ceremony.


Sunday, October 18, 2009
The Whistler
2421 N. Milwaukee Avenue
What To Wear During An Orange Alert
6 to 8 PM
Featuring Larry O. Dean, Micah Lang,
Nathan Graziano, and Simone Muench.

Larry O. Dean was born and raised in Flint, Michigan. He attended the University of Michigan, during which time he won three Hopwood Awards in Creative Writing, an honor shared with fellow poets Robert Hayden, Jane Kenyon, and Frank O'Hara, among others. He is author of numerous chapbooks, including I Am Spam (2004), a series of poems “inspired” by junk email; his poetry has also been internationally anthologized. In addition to writing, he is a singer-songwriter, performing solo as well as with his current band, The Injured Parties; he has released many critically-acclaimed CD’s, including Fables In Slang (2001) with Post Office, and Gentrification Is Theft (2002) with The Me Decade. Dean was a 2004 recipient of the Hands on Stanzas Gwendolyn Brooks Award, presented by the Poetry Center of Chicago.

From “In her debut collection, Three Islands, Micah inhabits the thoughts of three individuals from three different centuries that all have found themselves on islands. You begin by tracing the levels of sanity of the imprisoned Robert Stroud (aka The Birdman of Alcatraz). Alcatraz is the island, but Stoud himself embodies the idea of an island with waves of emotion and uncertainty crashing all around him. What is so compelling about Lang's collection is how she blurs the line between fact and fiction.”

Simone Muench was raised in Benson, Louisiana and Combs, Arkansas. Her first book The Air Lost in Breathing won the Marianne Moore Prize for Poetry (Helicon Nine, 2000), and her second Lampblack & Ash received the Kathryn A. Morton Prize for Poetry (Sarabande, 2005). Her latest chapbooks are Orange Girl (dancing girl press) and Sonoluminescence (with Bill Allegrezza, Dusie Press). Her poems have appeared (or will appear) in Iowa Review, Denver Quarterly, and the anthology The City Visible: Chicago Poetry for the New Century. She is an editor for Sharkforum [] where she presents a “poem of the week” series. She directs the Writing Program at Lewis University, serves on the advisory board for Switchback Books.

Nathan Graziano lives in Manchester, New Hampshire with his wife and two children. He's the author of seven chapbooks of poetry and fiction, a full-length collection of poetry titled Not So Profound and a collection of short stories, Frostbite. His latest work is a collection of poems titled Honey, I'm Home. For more information visit


Wednesday, October 7, 5 PM
Roosevelt University Gage Gallery
18. S. Michigan Ave.
Poet Frank X. Walker
Presented by the Creative Writing Program,
Department of Literature and Languages
and Oyez Review

Frank X Walker is the author of four poetry collections, including "Affrilachia" and " When Winter Come: The Ascension of York". A 2005 recipient of the Lannan Literary Fellowship in Poetry, Walker serves as Writer in Residence and lecturer of English at Northern Kentucky University. This event is free and open to the public. His reading at Roosevelt is cosponsored by the University’s African-American Studies program.


Friday October 9, 7 PM
The Book Cellar
4736-38 North Lincoln Avenue
John Koethe

John Koethe will read from his new book of poetry, Ninety-fifth Street. Koethe has been the recipient of the Kingsley Tufts Award for Falling Water, the Frank O’Hara Award for Domes, the Bernard F. Connors Award. as well as fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. He has received a lifetime achievement award from the Council for Wisconsin Writers.


Monday, October 12, 7:00 PM
Three Peas Art Lounge
75 E 16th St.
Columbia College Faculty Reading
in conjunction with Elbowing off the Stage
Jenny Boully, Sandra Lim, James Shea,
Tony Trigilio & David Trinidad


Monday, October 19, 6:30 p.m.
Columbia College Chicago
Departments of Fiction Writing, English, and Journalism
Creative Nonfiction Week
Presents poet, essayist and novelist Luis Urrea
Columbia Film Row Cinema, 1104 S. Wabash, 8th fl.
(312) 369-7611

Luis Alberto Urrea, 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist for nonfiction and member of the Latino Literature Hall of Fame, is a prolific and acclaimed writer who uses his dual-culture life experiences to explore greater themes of love, loss and triumph.

Born in Tijuana, Mexico to a Mexican father and an American mother, Urrea has published extensively in all the major genres and is currently published by Little, Brown and Company. The critically acclaimed author of 11 books, Urrea is an award-winning poet and essayist. The Devil's Highway, his 2004 non-fiction account of a group of Mexican immigrants lost in the Arizona desert, won the 2004 Lannan Literary Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the Pacific Rim Kiriyama Prize. A national best-seller, The Devil's Highway was also named a best book of the year by the Los Angeles Times, the Miami Herald, the Chicago Tribune, the Kansas City Star and many other publications.

Urrea's first book, Across the Wire, was named a New York Times Notable Book and won the Christopher Award. Urrea also won a 1999 American Book Award for his memoir, Nobody's Son: Notes from an American Life and in 2000, he was voted into the Latino Literature Hall of Fame following the publication of Vatos. His book of short stories, Six Kinds of Sky, was named the 2002 small-press Book of the Year in fiction by the editors of ForeWord magazine. He has also won a Western States Book Award in poetry for The Fever of Being and was in The 1996 Best American Poetry collection.

Urrea's most recent book, The Hummingbird's Daughter, is the culmination of 20 years of research and writing. The historical novel tells the story of Teresa Urrea, sometimes known as The Saint of Cabora and the Mexican Joan of Arc.

Urrea attended the University of California at San Diego, earning an undergraduate degree in writing, and did his graduate studies at the University of Colorado-Boulder.

After serving as a relief worker in Tijuana and a film extra and columnist-editor-cartoonist for several publications, Urrea moved to Boston where he taught expository writing and fiction workshops at Harvard. He has also taught at Massachusetts Bay Community College and the University of Colorado and he was the writer in residence at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette.

Urrea's other titles include By the Lake of Sleeping Children, In Search of Snow, Ghost Sickness and Wandering Time. His writing has won an American Book Award, a Western States Book Award, a Colorado Center for the Book Award and a Christopher Award. The Devil's Highway has been optioned for a film by CDI Producciones.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Chicago Slam Work Presents
The Encyclopedia Show
Series 2, Volume 2: Serial Killers
Chopin Theatre
1543 W. Division
7:30pm - 9:00pm
$6. All ages.

With music, poetry, visual art and spoken word on the topic: Serial Killers.
Featuring (Contributor – Topic):
John Davis (Mental Graffiti Slam) - The Barbie and Ken Killers
King Keith (Louder Than a Bomb Champ) -- Zodiac Killer
Chris Bower (Robert Kennedy Biographer) - Herbert Mullin
D Cochran (Normal Slam) -- Serial Killers of Chicago
Emily Calvo (Chicago Slam Works) -- Monster of Florence
Serial Susie Swanton (Psychopath, Certified) - Special Emissary from the Institute
Jane Cassady (Philadelphia Poetry Slam) -- Victorian London Arsenic Killers
Paul Durica (Pocket Guide to Hell Tours) -- Harold Shipman
Lindsay Hunter (Quickies! Series) -- Marie Noe

Q and A with serial killer expert Helen Morrison author of My Life Among the Serial Killers : Inside the Minds of the World's Most Notorious Murderers.

music by the Ragged Claws (Paul Karner & Kimberly Sutton).

Featuring cast regulars Kurt Heinz ( – Fact Checker; Tim Stafford (HBO Def Poet); Joel Chmara (HBO Def Poet); Mike Slefinger (Actor); Evan Chung (Musician) - House Band Leader "The Encartagans"; and Jilted Emily Rose (Poetry Vet and House Manager) – As Jilted Emily Rose.

"We saw a hole in the Chicago poetry scene that Slam couldn't fill. I think a lot more than be done with the form than just competition." -Robbie Q Telfer in TimeOut Chicago

About Chicago Slam Works:

Chicago Slam Works brings together audiences, poets and arts organizations to promote the quality of oral tradition through well-crafted poetry.


Chicago Book Festival


Tuesday, October 13, 2009
7:30 pm
The Innertown Pub
1935 W Thomas


Kate Duva
Beth Wylder
Ben Tanzer
Richard Thomas
Aaron Plasek
Casey Bye
Amelia Gray
Aaron Burch
Blake Butler
Jac Jemc
Caroline Picard
and Zach Dodson

QUICKIES! is a monthly reading series in Chicago formed to spotlight very short prose.

Our October show will be our second FUNdraiser!

We have twelve amazing readers traveling from four states to join us for this show. Yow!

For only the second time ever, we are asking for handouts. In return, we will give our audience the best reading they have ever seen ever and if they're lucky, a few audience members will win prizes.


Thursday, October 15, 2009
(and every 3rd Thursday)
The Spot
4437 N. Broadway
(Near Wilson Red Line)
Show begins at 7 PM
6:30 - Slam Sign-Up
7:00 - Poetry/Comedy Showcase (Host, Brian Babylon)
8:00 - Slam (Host, Gregory Pickett)
$5 OR free with canned goods donation. 21+

Lethal Poetry Presents WORDS THAT KILL - a comedy & poetry series featuring local, national touring, and award winning comedians and poets, followed by a slam! 2 bouts, 3 judges, 0.0-10.0 scale. Winner gets a prize!

The theme for October is MASQUERADE. Performers and patrons are encouraged to bring props, wear costumes, use theatrics, take on a different identity, and expose their alter egos on stage and in the audience!

Featured Performers:

Emily Rose is a prolific writer and performer. She is a Champion of Green Mill's Women Poetry Slam and has competed and performed nationally. In addition to writing and performing poetry, Emily is a Collective Member of Mental Graffiti, Board Member of Chicago Slam Works, and Chair of Poetry at Bucktown Arts Fest. Her first book of poetry, "Cigarette Love Songs and Nicotine Kisses," was published in 2003.

The Puterbaugh Sisters is a vibrant comedy duo from Chicago. Their high-energy performances are saturated with outdated quirky costumes, props, wigs and layers of make-up. They claim to being regulars at funeral homes, nursing homes, abortion clinics, Grateful Dead shows, family reunions, DUI camps, The Shed Aquarium, and numerous archaeological digs


Thursday, October 1, 7 to 10 PM
MAKE Magazine Issue 8 Release Party
Roots & Culture Gallery
1034 N. Milwaukee, Chicago

poster by Lauren Anderson

MAKE: A Chicago Literary Magazine Issue 8 “This Everyday” Release Party
A celebration of the normal, an exaltation of the banal

$10 suggested donation gets ya…

Copy of the newly re-designed MAKE

• Brief readings from contributors including poems from Rob Schlegel, fiction from Robert Duffer, and nonfiction from Brian Anderson and Emil Ferris

• Complimentary Irish coffee drinks from Metropolis Coffee, Carolan’s and Tullamore Dew; Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer and non-alcoholic refreshments and snacks on hand too

• Music from LeRoy Bach and friends including the Marvin Tate, Nat Ward, and Katie Weigman
• Giveaways while they last, including CDs featuring Marvin Tate and poet Marvin Bell’s poem and song collaboration, Metropolis Coffee products, Bloodshot Records ephemera, and more

• On view at Roots & Culture: Women new work by Craig Doty


Another Upcoming MAKE Events

October 16:
Chicago Artists Month poetry/video project
My Chicago for Your Ljubljanica
featuring Joel Craig, Gregor Podlogar (via live feed),
Kirsten Leenaars, Travis Nichols, and Dean Rank.
6pm sharp at the Hideout
1354 W Wabansia Ave
Chicago, IL 60642-1519
(773) 227-4433

Info from :



Uptown Poetry Slam
Mill Cocktail Lounge
4802 N. Broadway
Sunday, October 11, 2009
7:00pm - 10:00pm
hosted by Marc Smith
featuring Gregory Pickett

Gregory Pickett says: "I guess dreams can come true TWICE! Join me October 11th at the famous Green Mill Cocktail Lounge where I will perform my second feature! The first feature was a dream come true, thank you all who made it out, I would love to see you all again. And if you missed the first one, here's your chance to make it out!

In this feature, I will be performing poetry that has been written as a product of attending the Vox Ferus After Dark Writing workshops.

If you were there last time, then you know PLEASE ARRIVE EARLY. Seating is limited, and there was standing room only last time! I truly hope to see you there!"


About Vox Ferus After Dark:

Vox Ferus After Dark is a structured workshop designed to build a community of writers and performers interested in improving their own craft by investing in and exploring the work of others as well as their own.

Each workshop will include analysis, critique, and development of new writing (2nd Fridays) or practice of performance techniques (4th Fridays.)

All are welcome, but RSVP is required as space is limited.


About Uptown Poetry Slam:

In 1985 a construction worker and poet named Marc Smith (slampapi) started a poetry reading series at a Chicago jazz club, the Get Me High Lounge, looking for a way to breathe life into the open mike poetry format. The series' emphasis on performance laid the groundwork for a style poetry and performance which would eventually be spread across the world. In 1986 Smith approached Dave Jemilo, the owner of the Green Mill (a Chicago jazz club and former haunt of Al Capone), with a plan to host a weekly poetry cabaret on the club's slow Sunday nights. Jemilo welcomed him, and on July 25, the Uptown Poetry Slam was born. Smith drew on baseball and bridge terminology for the name, and instituted the show’s basic structure of an open mike, guest performers, and a competition. The Green Mill evolved into the Mecca for performance poets, and the Uptown Poetry Slam still continues 18 years after its inception.



The word about town is that the Mercury Cafe will be closing in early October. For years local poet Vito Carli has been hosting an open mic. event on the third and last Friday of the month. Although the venue has its problems, such as a poor sound system as well as the owner's insistence that the poets clear out precisely at 9 PM, it still served as a meeting grounds for some talented artists. The Mercury Cafe has also been host to other poetry events, including the 2007 Chicago Poetry Fest.

The closing of the Mercury Cafe is yet another blow to an already imploding Chicago open mic. poetry scene. Recently, Charlie Newman, out of shear disgust over the bickering and in-fighting he was getting caught up in, announced that he was handing over his Tuesday night Cafe readings to Janet Kuypers at the end of the year. One can only wait and see what will come of that, since Kuypers has to travel quite a distance to host the event and her personality is much different than Newman's. Newman also ended his participation in the First Friday poetry series that originated at the DvA Gallery. The short lived Loose Leaf Tea Loft readings also faded away when the establishment was sold and then shut down for two months for remodeling.

Then, in an unexpected move, Ellen Wadey announced that she would also be ending her tenure as Director of the Guild Complex at the end of the year. We are waiting to see who will take her place. Meanwhile, the Poetry Center of Chicago has all but collapsed under the mismanagement of their Executive Director, Francesco Levato, who has yet to even announce the 2009 Juried Winners who were suppose to receive their awards six months ago. Levato's problem is that he has made the Poetry Center all about himself. He's Italian, so he hosts Italian themed poetry readings. He personally gets along with so-and-so, so so-and-so is given the spotlight. He makes poetry films, so the Poetry Center sent him to Berlin to feature in a film festival. Never in the long history of the Poetry Center has its director been so self-serving, and never before has the Poetry Center's prime mission been to turn its Executive Director into an overnight celebrity. As a result, the public has stopped caring about the Poetry Center of Levato, and it has been whittled down to a few poorly attended, esoteric events a year.

Another problem the Chicago Poetry Scene is facing is the aggressive behavior of the Poetry Foundation, which has suddenly established itself as a Chicago organization when in the past Poetry Magazine was known as a national publication that just happened to reside in Chicago. After receiving a mutli-million dollar gift from ailing Ruth Lily, the Poetry Foundation is now putting on free, big name readings all over town, often several times a week. Although this is good for the culture of the city of Chicago, it is not so good for grassroots level poetry organizations that now must compete with free, top name readings taking place on the same nights as theirs. Seems all of a sudden the Poetry Foundation wants to establish itself as representing Chicago Poetry, setting up an online Chicago Poetry Tour, and even taking sides in the local politics when its Printers Ball announced that it was supporting Kristy Bowen's primarily academic ChicagoPoetry blog over the all-inclusive original My thought when that happened was, who died and made Poetry Magazine boss? In many ways, the Poetry Foundation represents the gentrification of the Chicago Poetry Scene.

But the Poetry Foundation has little effect on the open mic. scene, which in general serves a different audience. When I am speaking about the open mic. scene, I am referring to a scene in which I once belonged to that centered around The Cafe in Lincoln Square; I'm not referring to the poetry slam open mic. scene that serves a younger crowd. What has effected my poetry open mic scene has been the bickering that began when JJ Jameson was discovered to be escaped fugitive Norman Porter. A lot of the negative energy came from a few poets, mostly from Shelly Nation and Michael Watson, who seem to be nice people on the surface but who have done some really nasty, destructive things. Shelly Nation was upset when I published an article that did not support the release of Porter from prison; she even hired a lawyer to try to have the article censored. Michael Watson, now her husband, automatically took her side on the issue. Rather than just getting over that, these two have, ever since, been attempting to exact some type of revenge, so that every time some tiny episode of conflict arises, they stir up the masses and blow it all out of proportion. They have done this so consistently and for such a long time and have recruited so many people into their insurgency that they have created a great big hysteria in the poetry scene that came to a head this year with major protests against that called for my head on a platter just because I made a fat joke. Dear Chicago Poetry Scene, the problem is not my fat joke. The problem is the poetry scene has become so damned PC and uptight that we no longer can openly speak our minds without a lynch mob ganging up on us. The problem is, fat joke or not, has for ten years been the prime source of publicity for that open mic. scene, so every blow delivered to it was also a blow to that scene, and every successful attempt to hurt its reputation also hurt the reputation of every poet it has promoted over the years.

So, poets, here we are, with the open mic. scene collapsing around us, and instead of being united so that we can help each other out of this mess and save what's left of our precious movement, we are divided and not even on speaking terms. Why? Because a handful of poets simply could not give it a rest already!

--CJ Laity



The Chicago Calling show at Mercury Cafe
1505 W. Chicago Ave.
Friday, October 2nd , 6-9 PM

You are invited to attend this Chicago Calling Arts Festival event, which includes performances by Chicago-based artists, in collaboration with artists who live outside of Chicago. Performers include:

Vittorio Carli (poetry) and Carolyn Curtis Magri (visual art)

Elizabeth Harper (Chicago) and Faux Paul -- poetry collaboration

Janina Ciezadlo

Rachel Javellana

Leonard De Montbrun (Chicago) and Don Coorough (Arizona) -- poetry collaboration

Sid Yiddish, in collaboration with The Clean Boys

Cathleen Schandelmeier-Bartels in collobaration with the Ugandan artist Sarah

short films by Thomas Realm (from New York) featuring Vittorio Carli and Lee Groban

Lynn Fitzgerald performing poetry with Cuban photography

Josephine Lipuma

other TBA artists

This event is free and open to the public.

The Fourth Annual Chicago Calling Arts Festival (CCAF4) takes place October 1-11, 2009, featuring Chicago-based artists collaborating in performances and projects with artists living in other locations -- both here in the U.S. and abroad. These collaborations will be prepared or improvised, and some performances will involve live feeds between Chicago and elsewhere. CCAF4 venues include: the Claudia Cassidy Theater at the Chicago Cultural Center, The Velvet Lounge, Elastic Sound & Vision Gallery, Church of the Epiphany, WNUR, Mercury Café, WLUW, Myopic Bookstore, and other venues.


Reading by Angela Jackson and Carolyn Rodgers
Start: Wednesday, October 7, 2009 - 7:00pm

Time: 7:00 PM
Cost: Free admission
Location: Southside Community Arts Center,
3831 S, Michigan Ave., Chicago

Please join the Guild Literary Complex and Northwestern University Press as we celebrate the publication of Angela Jackson’s debut novel, Where I Must Go.

The evening will include readings by Carolyn Rodgers and Angela Jackson


Angela Jackson, poet, playwright and fictionist was born July 25, 1951 in Greenville, Mississippi. Her father, George Jackson, Sr. and mother, Angeline Robinson Jackson moved to Chicago where Jackson attended St. Anne's Catholic School. Fascinated with books, Jackson frequented the Kelly Branch Library and admired Chicago's Gwendolyn Brooks. She graduated from Loretto Academy in 1968 with a pre-med scholarship to Northwestern University. In 1977, Jackson received her B.A. degree from Northwestern University and went on to earn her M.A. degree from the University of Chicago.

At Northwestern University, Jackson joined FMO, the black student union. Influenced by artist Jeff Donaldson and visiting poet Margaret Walker, she was invited by Johnson Publishing's Black World magazine editor, Hoyt W. Fuller, to join the Organization for Black American Culture (OBAC), where she stayed as a member for twenty years. At OBAC, Fuller mentored young black writers like Haki Madhubuti (Don L. Lee), Carolyn Rodgers, Sterling Plumpp and others. Jackson was praised as a reader and performer on Chicago's burgeoning black literary scene. First published nationally in Black World in 1971, Jackson's first book of poetry, Voodoo Love Magic was published by Third World Press in 1974. She won the eighth Conrad Kent Rivers Memorial Award in 1973; the Academy of American Poets Award from Northwestern University in 1974; the Illinois Art Council Creative Writing Fellowship in Fiction in 1979; a National Endowment For the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship in Fiction in 1980; the Hoyt W. Fuller Award for Literary Excellence in 1984; the American Book Award in 1985; the DuSable Museum Writers Seminar Poetry Prize in 1984; Pushcart Prize for Poetry in 1989; ETA Gala Award in 1994; Illinois Authors Literary Heritage Award in 1996; six Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards; five for fiction and one for poetry; The Carl Sandburg Award; Chicago Sun-Times Friends of Literature Book of the Year Award; an Illinois Art Council Creative Writing Fellowship in Playwriting in 2000; and in 2002, the Shelley Memorial Award of the Poetry Society of America.

Jackson's published poetic works include: The Greenville Club, 1977 (chapbook); Solo in the Boxcar Third Floor E, 1985; The Man with the White Liver, 1987; Dark Legs and Silk Kisses: The Beatitudes of the Spinners, 1993; and All These Roads Be Luminous: Poems New and Selected, 1997, which was nominated for the National Book Award. Her plays include Witness!, 1970; Shango Diaspora: An African American Myth of Womanhood and Love, 1980; and When the Wind Blows, 1984 (better known as the eta production entitled, Comfort Stew). Jackson is working on Treemont Stone, a novel, Lightfoot: The Crystal Stair, a play and her memoir, Apprenticeship in the House of Cowrie Shells and more poems.

Jackson lives and works in Chicago, Illinois.



Carolyn Rodgers, an African-American writer, poet, and educator, was born on this date in 1945.

Born in Chicago, Carolyn Marie Rodgers attended the University of Illinois in 1960, but transferred to Chicago's Roosevelt University one year later and received her BA in 1965. She began writing as a college freshman. In 1980, she earned a master's degree in English from the University of Chicago. She achieved a national reputation as a writer whose works largely relate to her concern with feminist issues and a particular concern for Black women.

Her poems include "Paper Soul" (1968) and "Songs of a Blackbird" (1969) which hold a strong thematic connection to the ideologies of Black revolutionary thought. Her works also include comments on the roles of women, female identity, and the relationships between mother and daughter. Following the puawblication and success of "Paper Soul," Rodgers was presented with the first Conrad Kent Rivers Memorial Fund Award (1968). After the publication of "Songs of a Blackbird," Rodgers received the Poet Laureate Award from the Society of Midland Authors in 1970. Rodgers also received an award from the National Endowment of the Arts. Two other volumes of her poetry, "The Heart As Ever Green" (1978) and "how I got ovah" (1975) also shed light on these and other feminist issues.

Rodgers met one of her mentors, Hoyt Fuller, while working as a social worker at the YMCA (1963-1966). Rodgers exhibits clarity of expression and a respect for well-crafted language in her work, "how I got ovah: New and Selected Poems" (1975). Her work, "The Heart As Ever Green" (1978), incorporates themes of human dignity, feminism, love, black consciousness, and Christianity. Rodgers has also published short stories such as "Blackbird in a Cage" (1967), "A Statistic, Trying to Make It Home" (1969), and "One Time" (1975).

In her short stories, as in her poetry, the dominating theme is survival, though she interweaves the idea of adaptability and conveys the concomitant message of life's ever-changing avenues for black people whom she sees as her special audience.

During her career she has taught at Columbia College (1968-1969); University of Washington (1970); Malcolm X Community College (1972); Albany State College (1972); and Indiana University (1973). She has also been a book critic for the Chicago Daily News and a columnist for the Milwaukee Courier. In 1967, along with Haki R. Madhubuti, Johari Amini, and Roschell Rich, Rodgers helped found Third World Press, an outlet for African-Amer

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· Lake Claremont
· Lawyers For Arts
· Lisle Library
· Literary Chicago
· Literary Pizazz Radio
· Lit Line
· Links Hall
· Looptopia
· Love Chicago
· Lumpen
· Machine
· Make Magazine
· Manual of Style
· Mayapple Press
· Mayor's Office of Events
· MetroMix
· Mexican Fine Arts
· Midland Authors
· Midwest Literary Fest
· Midwest Zines
· Milk Weed
· Millions
· Moria
· Mule
· Muse Letter
· Naperville Writers
· National Writers Union
· Nelson Algren Committee
· Neofuturists
· Nextbook
· Ninth Letter
· Old Town Folk School
· Open Book
· Osbey Books
· O Sweet Flowery Roses
· Other Voices
· Otium
· Palatine Slam
· Paper and Carriage
· Paper Mustache
· Perpetual Motion
· Plainfield Poetry
· PM Poetry
· Poem Present
· Poetic License
· Poetry Cache
· Poetry Daily
· Poetry Radio
· Poets and Writers
· Poets Kitchen
· Polvo
· Polyphony
· Pudding House
· Punk Planet
· Reconstruction Room
· Redmoon
· Roctober
· Rose Metal
· Room 315
· Rubba Ducky
· Sawbuck
· Scars Publishing
· Screwball
· Second Run
· Seminary Co-op
· Seventen Bishop
· Shark Forum
· Shelter
· Shortpants
· Skeleton News
· Small Happy
· Stop Smiling
· Sourcebooks
· Spareroom
· Spondee
· Stone Jones
· Story Studio
· Story Quarterly
· Street Level
· Teatro Luna
· This Is Grand
· Ticket2Write
· Time Out
· Uncommon Ground
· Unlikely Stories
· UR Chicago
· Venus
· Visions For Chicago
· Wordsfest
· Writers Workspace
· You Are Beautiful
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