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Topic: Chicago Poetry News: Click On Headlines
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spacer.gif   CONGRATULATIONS TO THE JOMP 20 POETS
Posted by : cj on Saturday, October 22, 2016 - 09:24 PM
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  Chicago Poetry News: Click On Headlines
3063 Reads

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Chicago Poetry Press is pleased to announce the Winners of the 2017 Galactic Poetry Prizes.

In the category of “Best Moon Poem” the winner is: Joanne Blackwelder of Ocean City, NJ, for her poem “Night Walk on the Shore”. Joanne wins $120.00 in celebration of JOMP’s 20th anniversary issue.

In the category of “Best Galactic Poem” the winner is: Dianalee Velie of Newbury, NH, for her poems “DIZZY” and “Questions for Venus When She Dangles the Crescent Moon”. Dianalee also wins $120.00.

I’d also like to list two Honorable Mentions, poems that came “this close” to winning one of the prizes:

Sheila Elliott for her poem “In the Sky, In the Stars, We Seek Stories”

and

David Nekimken for his poem “Circle of Life, Circle of Being”

Below is a complete list of the 54 poets selected to have work included in the upcoming Journal of Modern Poetry 20: The Poetry Writer’s Guide to the Galaxy.


THE JOMP 20 POETS ARE:

Amanda Layman, Joliet, IL
Beverly M. Collins, Burbank, CA
Candace Armstrong, Murphysboro, IL
Carolyn Clark, Newfield, NY
Catharine J. Jones, Evanston, IL
David Marcus, Streamwood, IL
David Nekimken, Chicago, IL
Deborah Nodler Rosen, Glencoe, IL
Dianalee Velie, Newbury, NH
Diane O'Neill, Chicago, IL
Donal Mahoney, Belleville, IL
Gene Fendt, Kearney, NE
Hazel Clayton Harrison, Altadena, CA
Irfanulla Shariff, South Elgin, IL
Iris Orpi, Chicago, IL
Itala Langmar, Kenilworth, IL
Jeff Rogers, Los Angeles, CA
Jennifer Dotson, Highland Park, IL
Joan Krieger Hoffman, Los Angeles CA
Joanne Blackwelder, Ocean City, NJ
Joe Glaser, Chicago, IL
Joseph Witt, Altadena, CA
John Laue, La Selva Beach, CA
Joseph Kuhn Carey, Glencoe, IL
Katherine Derengowski, San Marcos, CA
Laura Lee, Lombard, IL
Linda Leedy Schneider, Grand Rapids, MI
Linda Wallin, Palatine, IL
Lynn Veach Sadler, Burlington, NC
Margaret Dubay Mikus, Lake Forest, IL
Marian Kaplun Shapiro, Lexington, MA
Marilyn Peretti, Glen Ellyn, IL
Mary Jo Balistreri, Waukesha, WI
Mary Langer Thompson, Apple Valley, CA
Michael P Wright, Highwood, IL
Nancy J Heggem, Palatine, IL
Nancy Lind, Pasadena, CA
Norma Mahns, Oak Grove, MO
Peter Halliday, Arlington Heights, IL
Peter Rodenby, Northumberland, England
Radomir Vojtech Luza, North Hollywood, CA
Ricardo Lira Acuña, Los Angeles, CA
Richard King Perkins II, Crystal Lake, IL
RPMuha, Valparaiso, IN
Samuel Griffin, Westmont, IL
Sheila Elliott, Oak Park, IL
Stephen Colley, Altadena, CA
Taunja Thomson, Cold Spring, KY
Thelma T. Reyna, Pasadena, CA
Tim Callahan, Altadena, CA
Tony Peyser, Altadena, CA
Tracie Renee Amirante Padal, Palatine, IL
Tricia Marcella Cimera, St. Charles, IL
Wilda Morris, Bolingbrook, IL




THE FOLLOWING IS AN ARCHIVE OF THE JOMP 20 GUIDELINES



Dear Poets,

At long last, the wait is finally over. Chicago Poetry Press is pleased to announce a brand new open call for submissions of poetry, for the twentieth, that’s right TWENTIETH volume of Journal of Modern Poetry. In 2017, we will launch poetry into the final frontier and poetry will go where no poetry has gone before. My Dear Poets, get out your telescopes and fuel your rockets to prepare yourselves for JOMP 20: The Poetry Writer’s Guide to the Galaxy, an extraterrestrial themed issue of JOMP that is scheduled for blast off in the spring of 2017.

JOMP 20: The Poetry Writer’s Guide to the Galaxy will be released at the Chicago Poetry Press table during the Chicago Public Library's annual Poetry Fest from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 29, 2017, at the Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State Street. This all-day event will also include keynote speaker Juan Felipe Herrera as well as workshops, performances, readings, and other exhibitors.

Chicago Poetry Press is still seeking “Galactic” poetry (whatever that means to you). First we will launch poetry to the moon. As a matter of fact, there will be an entire chapter in JOMP 20 dedicated to poetry about the moon. So get out your best moon poems, whether they be about a full moon, a lunar eclipse, the rising tides, a romantic pie in the sky, the moon landing, the man in the moon, the moon cycles—even if your poem is about a werewolf barking at the moon, I want to see it!

Next, prepare to journey beyond the moon. I want to see your “galactic” poetry. Do you have poetry about Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, or Neptune? I bet you have a poem about Pluto! How about the moons of other planets? Do you have poetry about the sun, the stars or the constellations, about outer space, inner space, about space travel, time travel, about alien life, the speed of light, or about astrology or astronomy? Other topics might include black holes, comets, meteors or meteorites, and just about anything in the universe that you can imagine. If it's out there and you have written about it, send it to me.


ENTER TO WIN ONE OF TWO $120.00 CASH PRIZES


In honor of our twentieth issue anniversary, this time around, I will be selecting two poems out of all the submissions to receive the GALACTIC POETRY PRIZE. The authors of the winning poems will each receive $120. One poem will be selected for each of these two categories:

*Best Moon Poem will receive publication and a $120 cash prize.

*Best Galactic Poem (other than a moon poem) will also receive publication and a $120 cash prize.



Your Guide to the Poetic Galaxy


--Journal of Modern Poetry (JOMP) is celebrating its big TWO OH with a volume of poetry that is guaranteed to be “out of this world.” I am seeking to showcase some of the best poetry written today, whether it is traditional or experimental. All form, style and length will be considered from published as well as previously unpublished poets. Your poem can address the theme of the galaxy directly or it may take a more abstract approach. If you feel your work touches upon the theme in any way, I want to see it.

--Does your entry donation guarantee that you will be published in JOMP 20? No. Your entry donation is considered a subscription to JOMP 20 and an entry into the contest. You will receive a copy of The Poetry Writer’s Guide to the Galaxy whether or not your work is accepted for publication. However, as usual, I will attempt to include as much work as possible so that the anthology represents a wide diversity of voices.

--All poets 18 years old or older will be given equal consideration. You do not have to be from Chicago to submit to Chicago Poetry Press. In the past I have published poets from all around the country as well as the world.

--What kind of poetry has a chance? All types. I'm looking for quality work. The best way to get a sense of what writing I have honored in the past is to purchase one of Chicago Poetry Press' publications, all of which I have edited (see buttons to the upper right of this page for ordering information). The only way you won’t have a chance at getting published is if you don’t submit your work.

--Please send only original work written by you. Poetry (or short works of prose) must be primarily in the English language. Previously published work is okay for consideration into JOMP 20 (please cite previous publications and make sure copyright has reverted back to you).

--Poets may submit up to five poems for consideration. I highly encourage all poets to send more than one entry if you have it, in order to increase your odds.

--You may update your entry prior to the final deadline. What does this mean? It means if you have rewritten your poem, or if you have a new poem that you want to add to your submission, you can send me an update to your file at no additional cost as long as I get it before the final deadline. This is something unique to JOMP. It gives you a lot of flexibility to tweak your submission as the final deadline approaches. I want the submission I have from you to be the strongest submission possible, so I will work with you if you feel the need to improve it along the way.

To clarify: once your submission donation has been received, a file will be created for you. You may add or subtract poems from your file, or send updated or rewritten work, at any point, all the way up until the final deadline. Once the final deadline has expired, whatever is in your file will be considered your final submission and no alterations may be made after that point.

--If at any time it is determined that enough submissions have been received to sustain the publication, ChicagoPoetry.com reserves the right to halt this open call. This means that priority will be given to early submissions, so it's wise not to wait until the last minute to create your contest file. Traditionally, as I review the work periodically throughout the submission process, certain poems tend to be pre-selected and certain running themes begin to emerge. Last minute submissions would then be expected to fit in with what has already been selected, making it harder for last minute submissions to make the cut. This is why it is highly encouraged that you make your submissions as early as possible. Remember, you can always tweak your submission any time before the final deadline if you've rewritten your work or have a new poem to add.

OKAY. IT'S TIME TO LAUNCH YOUR POETRY FOR POSSIBLE PUBLICATION.


To submit to The Poetry Writer’s Guide to the Galaxy anthology, first use PayPal to contribute your $20 entry donation, which entitles you to a copy of the book, shipping included, whether you are selected for publication or not, as well as entry into the Galactic Poetry Contest.


Once you have subscribed with your entry donation, a file will be created for you and you will have until the final deadline to submit up to five of your best poems (review the theme above) to Publisher@ChicagoPoetry.com.

The best way to submit your poetry is as an attachment in Microsoft Word or Works (no pdfs please) with all your poetry included in one SINGLE document (not five separate documents please). Use a standard black font and do not attach any images. Please include a cover letter introducing yourself, as well as a three or four sentence biography, and include all necessary contact information. (Please, even if you have submitted in the past, include your short biography so that I don’t have to go searching for it. Thank you.) Make sure your current mailing address is included especially if it is different than the one associated with your PayPal account if you have one. Updates will occasionally be sent to you by email so make sure I have your current email address.

DEADLINE: The FINAL DEADLINE HAS EXPIRED. WE ARE NO LONGER ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS FOR THIS PROJECT..


If you have any questions do not be shy. Contact me at Publisher@ChicagoPoetry.com and I will personally reply back with any clarifications.

Journal of Modern Poetry Volume 20 promises to blast off yet another chapter in Chicago Poetry Press' tradition of publishing the freshest and highest quality poetry. I hope you are as excited about this as I am, and I can't wait to read your submissions.

Yours in poetry,



CJ Laity
Editor, Journal of Modern Poetry
Chicago Poetry Press



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spacer.gif   POETRY OF PROTEST: NOW AVAILABLE
Posted by : cj on Tuesday, December 01, 2015 - 04:00 PM
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  Chicago Poetry News: Click On Headlines
8265 Reads

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POETRY OF PROTEST IS HERE

Chicago Poetry Press is proud to announce the release of Journal of Modern Poetry Volume 19: Poetry of Protest, a 94 page book featuring 54 poems written by 41 poets, with a full color glossy cover.

JOMP 19 will be available for purchase on Amazon.com as well as through several online bookstores, and will also be available at the Poetry Festival on April 30 at Harold Washington Library. You can use the link provided below to order a discounted copy directly through ChicagoPoetry.com.

The Journal of Modern Poetry 19 features poetry written by Beverly M. Collins, Casey Derengowski, Christopher Leadway (aka, Ken Brown), David Nekimken, Deborah Nodler Rosen, Deborah Stoker, Diane O'Neill, Donal Mahoney, Gerda Govine Ituarte, Iris Orpi, Itala Langmar, Jeff Rogers, Jennifer Dotson, Jennifer May, Jim Davis, Joan Krieger Hoffman, John Gordon, Joseph Glaser, Joseph Schlesinger, Judith MK Kaufman, Kathy Lundy Derengowski, Linda Leedy Schneider, Margaret Dubay Mikus, Marian Kaplun Shapiro, Marilyn Peretti, Mary Jo Balistreri, Mary Langer Thompson, S.M. Kozubek, Michael P Wright, Nancy Heggem, Nancy Lind, Pamela Borovich, Peter Rodenby, Robin Lily Goldberg, Tamara Tabel, Thelma T. Reyna, Tobin Fraley, Tracie Renee Amirante Padal, Tricia Marcella Cimera, Trudy Leong, and Wilda Morris.

This is a very important issue of JOMP. It touches upon many contemporary themes and will serve as a testimony to these times of protest that we live in. Get your copy for $12 and get free shipping by using THIS LINK.



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spacer.gif   The Official Poets' Guide to Peace
Posted by : cj on Friday, March 20, 2015 - 08:44 PM
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  Chicago Poetry News: Click On Headlines
12233 Reads

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Welcome to PeacePoetry.net.

The Official Poets' Guide to Peace is now available!

Here's your chance to order your copy of The Official Poets' Guide to Peace, and since we know you'll want to share this book with a friend, all orders will be doubled: that's right, you will receive two books for the price of one (does not apply to Amazon.com orders).

CLICK HERE to order your copy through PayPal and your books will be shipped to you free of charge.

The Official Poets' Guide to Peace features the work of forty-seven award winning poets. The poets featured in this fabulous collection are: Amanda Layman, B Diehl, Barbara Bridges Gylland, Candace Armstrong, Candace Kubinec, Carla Eisenberg, Carolyn Clark, Casey Derengowski, Chris Reid, David Nekimken, Deborah Rohde, Deborah Rosen, Donal Mahoney, Duane Christianson, Ellen Savage, Irfanulla Shariff, Iris Orpi, Itala Langmar, Jennifer Kress, JoAnne Blackwelder, John J. Gordon, Josef Venable, Joseph Kuhn Carey, Joseph Glaser, Kate Koten, Kathy Lundy Derengowski, Laura Lee, Linda Leedy Schneider, Lynn Veach Sadler, Mara Adamitz Scrupe, Margaret Dubay Mikus, Marian Kaplun Shapiro, Marilyn Peretti, Mary Jo Balistreri, Mary Langer Thompson, Nancy Heggem, Peter Rodenby, Richard King Perkins II, Robin Lily Goldberg, R.P.Muha, S. M. Kozubek, Susan Beall Summers, Susan Schaefer, Tamara Tabel, Thelma T. Reyna, Tobin Fraley, Tracie Renee Amirante Padal.

The Official Poets' Guide to Peace is the eighteenth publication in the Journal of Modern Poetry series.

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spacer.gif   Angel of Vape: Vape Mania 2
Posted by : cj on Sunday, November 16, 2014 - 09:50 AM
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  Chicago Poetry News: Click On Headlines
9637 Reads

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Here it is, the much anticipated sequel to the highly popular Vape Mania. Prepare yourself for ten times the insanity, ten times the hilarity, ten times the intrigue and, of course, ten times the vaping.

Melvin Provario is back: with a vengeance! Angel of Vape begins right where Vape Mania left off. Join Melvin in this adventure as he tries to exonerate himself to the vaping community while at the same time taking on a ruthless cigarette bootlegging ring.

Vape Mania is the only series in existence with a vaper as the main protagonist, set in an e-cigarette community filled with vaping culture. Can Melvin Provario vape his way out of this mess? Buy Angel of Vape now and find out!

Angel of Vape is not available through Kindle. It's designed to have a physical place on your e-juice shelf. Please support printed literature by purchasing a Vaporacle title today.

Click Here to order Angel of Vape using PayPal.

For orders outside of the U.S.A. please USE THIS LINK

Click Here to order through Amazon.com.


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spacer.gif   NOW ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS FOR SPECIAL "PEACE" ANTHOLOGY
Posted by : cj on Saturday, August 30, 2014 - 02:32 PM
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  Chicago Poetry News: Click On Headlines
7037 Reads

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Journal of Modern Poetry Goes Annual, Updates Guidelines

Deadline for submissions has expired.
Please go to PeacePoetry.net to learn more about this anthology.


JOMP 18: Poets Guide to Peace will be released on Saturday, April 25, 2015,
at the Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State Street.


After a break of a few months to catch my breath, Chicago Poetry Press is now accepting submission of poetry for Journal of Modern Poetry 18 (JOMP 18). Before reading the newly updated guidelines below, allow me to briefly summarize the changes that have been made in the submission process.

Now An Annual

Previously JOMP was a bi-annual publication. Producing two anthologies a year proved a bit too much for me to accomplish alongside the other projects I am working on. So from now on JOMP will be an annual publication, with one larger volume coming out per year. This will give me, as editor, additional time to concentrate on putting out a bigger and better issue, and it will also allow me some much needed rest between issues.

Change To Submission Donation

For years, JOMP has been proud to be perhaps the only project of its kind to actually refund the entry fee to those who have not been selected for publication. As much as I’d love to continue being the hero in this area, the more JOMP grows the more increasingly difficult it is to maintain this policy.

Offering the "money back guarantee" makes it impossible for me to anticipate what kind of funding the project will have when all is said and done. It’s simply impossible to use all the submissions I receive, and during the last issue I had to return nearly a third of the donations collected, some of which had to be written by check and mailed since the opportunity to return them electronically had expired. So please be aware of the following changes.

The submission donation will from now on be considered a subscription to JOMP. The subscription will guarantee all contributors one issue of the book, whether the contributor is selected for inclusion in the book or not. The donation will be $16, equal to the retail price of the book, and will be non-refundable, but will include free shipping and handling. It’s my opinion that if you don’t like a publication enough to at least buy a copy of it, then why do you want your work published in it anyway? To clarify, although a subscription to JOMP is required before you can submit poetry to JOMP, the subscription in no way guarantees that your work will be selected for publication. As has always been the case, work is selected by its quality and relevance to the project.

Thank you for your understanding and continued support,

CJ Laity
Editor, Journal of Modern Poetry




Now Accepting Submission of Poetry For JOMP 18


Chicago Poetry Press is pleased to announce an open call for submissions for its eighteenth volume of poetry and creative writing: JOMP 18: The Official Poets’ Guide To Peace. This themed issue of JOMP is scheduled to be released in April of 2015, right in time to celebrate National Poetry Month.

Chicago Poetry Press is seeking poetry on the theme of “Peace” (whatever that means to you). Although I will happily consider poetry of a political nature, I’m not necessarily looking for political poetry, nor preachy poetry that believes it has all the answers. Instead, I want to know: What does peace mean to you? How do you find peace? I'm looking for poetry that will make the audience for this book feel a sense of peace when reading it.

Some suggestions of topics that may fit into this theme include poems about nature, gardening, friends and family, images of beauty, spirituality, laughter, happiness, charity, empathy, peaceful protest, good food, being in love, wildlife, travel, rest and relaxation, hobbies, perhaps even death after suffering. There is no restriction to the topics that may fall under the category of “Peace”. If you feel your poetry emits a sense of peace in any way, shape or form, I want to see it. The goal is that by combining multiple views on what brings peace, that the collection as a whole will find some common ground and serve as a poetic guide to the nature of peace itself.

More Information and Guidelines

--Journal of Modern Poetry is once again seeking to showcase some of the best poetry written today, whether it is traditional or experimental. All form, style and length will be considered from published as well as previously unpublished poets. Your poem doesn't necessarily have to take the theme of "Peace" literally; in fact, the word "peace" doesn't even need to appear in your poem. If you believe your work will make someone feel peace when it is read, please submit it.

--Your entry donation is considered a subscription to JOMP 18. You will receive a copy of the book after its publication, whether your work is accepted for publication or not.

--All poets 18 years old or older will be given equal consideration.

--What kind of poetry has a chance? All types. I'm just looking for quality work. The best way to get a sense of what writing I have honored in the past is to purchase one of Chicago Poetry Press' publications, all of which I have edited (see buttons to the upper right of this page for ordering information). Otherwise, just submit if you believe in your work.

--Please send only original work written by you. Poetry must be primarily in the English language. Previously published work is okay for consideration into JOMP 18 (please cite previous publications and make sure copyright has reverted back to you)..

--Poets may submit up to five poems for consideration.

--You may update your entry prior to the final deadline. What does this mean? It means if you have rewritten your poem, or if you have a new poem that you want to add to your submission, you can send me an update to your file at no additional cost as long as I get it before the final deadline. Whatever I have in your file at the expiration of the final deadline is what will be submitted for possible publication. This gives you a lot of flexibility to tweak your submission as the final deadline approaches and it gives priority to those who submit early.

--If at any time it is determined that enough submissions have been received to sustain the publication, ChicagoPoetry.com reserves the right to halt this open call. This means that priority will be given to early submissions, so it's wise not to wait until the last minute to submit. Let me explain further. As I review the work periodically throughout the submission process, certain poems tend to be pre-selected and certain running themes begin to emerge. Last minute submissions would then be expected to fit in with what has already been selected, making it much harder for last minute submissions to make the cut. This is why it is highly encouraged that you make your submissions as early as possible. Remember, you can always tweak your submission any time before the final deadline if you've rewritten your work or have a new poem to add.

IT'S TIME TO SUBMIT YOUR POETRY FOR POSSIBLE PUBLICATION.


To submit to The Official Poets’ Guide To Peace, you must be subscribed to receive this year's volume of JOMP.

BEFORE SUBMITTING YOUR POETRY:

CLICK HERE

to donate $16 through PayPal and receive a subscription to JOMP 18. You will receive a copy of the anthology after publication whether or not you have been selected for publication.

Once you have subscribed, you have until the final deadline to submit up to five of your best poems (review the theme above) to Publisher@ChicagoPoetry.com.

The best way to submit your poetry is as an attachment in Microsoft Word or Works (no pdfs please) with all your poetry included in one SINGLE document (not five separate documents please). Use a standard black font and do not attach images. Please include a cover letter introducing yourself and include all your contact information.

SUBMISSION PERIOD: The submission period will be from September 1, 2014 to March 10, 2015.

Deadline for submissions has expired.

JOMP 18: Poets Guide to Peace will be released on Saturday, April 25, 2015,
at the Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State Street.


Once again, please be aware that priority is given to early submissions. As I review the work periodically throughout the submission process, certain poems tend to be pre-selected and certain running themes begin to emerge. Last minute submissions would then be expected to fit in with what has already been selected, making it much harder for last minute submissions to make the cut. This is why it is highly encouraged that you make your submissions as early as possible. Remember, you can always tweak your submission any time before the final deadline if you've rewritten your work or have a new poem to add.

If you have any questions do not be shy. Contact me at Publisher@ChicagoPoetry.com and I will personally reply back with any clarifications.

Journal of Modern Poetry Volume 18 promises to be the beginning of yet another era in Chicago Poetry Press' tradition of publishing the freshest and highest quality poetry. I hope you are as excited about this as I am, and I can't wait to read your submissions.

Yours in poetry,

CJ Laity
Editor, Journal of Modern Poetry
Chicago Poetry Press
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spacer.gif   Journal of Modern Poetry 17 Now Available
Posted by : cj on Saturday, August 30, 2014 - 02:15 PM
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  Chicago Poetry News: Click On Headlines
14103 Reads


Note: Click Here to learn about Journal of Modern Poetry 17 (JOMP 17).

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spacer.gif   Vape Mania by Melvin Provario (Vaporacle Publishing)
Posted by : cj on Friday, February 14, 2014 - 04:43 PM
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  Chicago Poetry News: Click On Headlines
13289 Reads

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Chicago Poetry Press is proud to handle distribution services to Vaporacle Press to help get the word out about their premier publication, Vape Mania by Melvin Provario.

This insanely funny parody that is "inspired by true events" takes an unflinching look at the fledgling electronic cigarette culture, in a first-person story that makes Reefer Madness look like Sunday mass.

Billed as a memoir written by a man caught in the "seedy world of vaping addiction," this no holds barred satire also includes tongue-in-cheek pro-tobacco commentary by the ridiculously titled "Institute for the Preservation of the Institution of Cigarettes," a representation of "Big Tobacco" that is to Vape Mania what the Tyrell Corporation is to Blade Runner.

Nobody is spared the narrative's often anti-pc cynicism, as the narrator desperately goes through the motions of getting his "e-cig fix."

Click Here to purchase Vape Mania through PayPal.

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spacer.gif   Postcards from Poland, by Joseph Kuhn Carey
Posted by : cj on Saturday, February 08, 2014 - 09:11 AM
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  Chicago Poetry News: Click On Headlines
21805 Reads

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Click Here to order your copy of Postcards from Poland and get free shipping.

--2013 Journal of Modern Poetry Book Award Selection.
--2016 Colorado Independent Publishers Association Awards, Finalist/Merit Award Winner,
“Travel” Category (August, 2016)
--2016 Beverly Hills Book Awards, Finalist, “Travel” Category (June, 2016)
--2016 Reader’s Favorite Book Awards, Finalist, “Inspirational Poetry” Category
(September, 2016)
--2016 Shelf Unbound Best Indie Book Awards, Runner Up, (November, 2016)
--2016 Pacific Book Awards, First Place, Poetry Category”
--2015 New Apple Book Awards For Excellence in Independent Publishing—
Winner, “Travel” category (February, 2016)
--Florida Writers Association Royal Palm Literary Award, Medalist (Winner),
“Travel” category (October, 2015)
--Journal of Modern Poetry Book Award Winner (Fall, 2013)
(Award Prize—Publication by Chicago Poetry Press, February, 2014)
--25th Annual Midwest Book Awards, Finalist, “Travel” category (April, 2015)
(Three travel books were picked as finalists)
--London Book Festival, Honorable Mention, “Poetry” category (January, 2016)
--Royal Dragonfly Book Awards, 2nd Place, “Travel” category,
& Honorable Mention, “Poetry” Category (November, 2015)
--Amsterdam Book Festival, Runner Up, “Travel” category (2014)
--Southern California Book Festival, Runner Up, “Wild Card” category (2014)
--Paris Book Festival, Honorable Mention, “Poetry” category (2014)
--San Francisco Book Festival, Honorable Mention, “Poetry” category (2014)
--Great Midwest Book Festival, Honorable Mention, “Poetry” category (2014)

About this book of impressive poems: There is something poignantly beautiful in the lovely lines that come off the page to reach into the heart and mind. Always there on the edge of aware. Joe Carey's "Postcards from Poland" also has something of that loving slant of insight always there in a mind at peace with the time and place. His award winning book of 41 postcard poems reveal what Joe Carey cares about: the language and rhythm of truth.

Ken Nordine, Legendary “Word-Jazz” Originator

Chicago Poetry Press is pleased to announce the release of Postcards from Poland, written by Joseph Kuhn Carey of Glencoe, IL, a Journal of Modern Poetry Book Award Selection. The poems in Mr. Carey's manuscript were composed over three years after the author took an inspiring journey with his family to the Polish cities of Krakow & Zakopane. The "artistic travel-log" nature of the poems present the sights, sounds and colorful events occurring in and around these two mysterious, gorgeous and overlooked cities, which are home to ancient castles, fantastic museums, breath-taking churches, soaring cable-car rides, astonishing mountains, and amazing nightclubs set deep in medieval cellars, as well as nearby horrific and powerfully enlightening WWII death camp locations. The author Joe Carey says: "There is something essential and important in these two cities for the older and younger Polish generations. For the older generation, Krakow and Zakopane represent things that survived WWII intact and largely untouched—while to the younger generation, the two cities represent the vibrant, energetic and robust side of Polish life."

Joseph Kuhn Carey is the recipient of an American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP)/Deems Taylor Award for music-related writing (for articles written about jazz artist/composers Carla Bley, Charlie Haden and Anthony Braxton) and a Grammy-voting member of The Recording Academy. He’s published a chapbook of poetry (“Bulk-Rate”) and a book on jazz (“Big Noise From Notre Dame: A History of The Collegiate Jazz Festival,” University of Notre Dame Press) and has released two “Loose Caboose Band” CDs of original children’s songs with his brother, Bill, entitled “The Caboose is Loose” and “Mighty Big Broom,” the latter of which garnered two first-round Grammy nominations in 2008 (both recordings, and all of the individual songs, are available on iTunes, CDbaby.com and Amazon.com). He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Notre Dame, a Master of Fine Arts (in Creative Writing) degree from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a Master of Science in Mass Communication degree from Boston University. He’s traveled the country interviewing bakers for Bakery Magazine, written about jazz & blues artists for Down Beat, JazzTimes and The Boston Globe, and his poems have been selected in the Journal of Modern Poetry’s JOMP 15 and JOMP 16 Poetry Contests, the Writer’s Digest 7th Annual Poetry Awards Contest & 80th Annual Writing Competition, Highland Park Poetry’s 2013 “Poetry That Moves” & 2013 “Poetry Challenge” contests and the Evanston Public Library’s 2013 35th Annual Jo-Anne Hirschfield Memorial Poetry Awards. When not scribbling poems, stories and songs on all available scraps of paper to read to his wife and sons over dinner, he runs a successful multi-state property management business.

Here is a buoyant and bountiful love letter to Krakow, with a receptive spirit for everything from Szarlotka and clopping horses, to salt mines, to McDonalds-in-the-catacombs. Joe Carey has made poetry without cynicism or bad temper (though with a touch of irony here and there), always curious and open to the “outdoor swagger” of the land and to “what’s going on inside". A pleasure to read.

Janet Burroway, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-Nominated Novelist, Poet, Playwright and Children’s Book Author


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spacer.gif   Journal of Modern Poetry volume 16
Posted by : cj on Monday, October 28, 2013 - 06:56 PM
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Chicago Poetry Press is pleased to announce that JOMP 16 is now available featuring 64 poets.

Click Here to order JOMP 16 and get free shipping!

The JOMP 16 poets are:

Albert DeGenova, Amanda Layman, Andrew Rafalski, Anna Middleton, Annie Grizzle, Beatriz Badikian-Gartler, Carol Muehleman, Cassandra Ledbetter, Catharine J. Jones, Charu Gandhi, Cordell M. Miles Jr., Curt Vevang, David Nekimken, Donal Mahoney, Donna Pecore, Ellen Savage, Gail Vescovi, George Korolog, Itala Langmar, James L. Merriner, Jamie Perry, Jennifer Dotson, Jim Davis, JoAnne Blackwelder, John J. Gordon, Josef Venable, Joseph Glaser, Joseph Kuhn Carey, Joseph Schlesinger, Judith MK Tepfer, Kritish Rajbhandari, Linda Benninghoff, Linda Leedy Schneider, Lois Barr, Lynn Sadler, Marcia Pradzinski, Margaret Dubay Mikus, Marian Kaplun Shapiro, Marianne Schaefer, Marilyn Peretti, Marissa Brawn, Mary Chapman, Mary Jo Balistreri, Mary Langer Thompson, Michael Schwartz, Nancy Heggem, Pamela Larson, Peter Rodenby, Rebecca Mullen, René Ostberg, Richard Ilnicki, Robin Goldberg, Ryan Peter Muha, Sharon Warner, Sheila A Donovan, Tamara Tabel, Terri M. O'Hara, Terry Loncaric, Thelma T. Reyna, Timothy E. Doyle, Tinamaria Penn, Tobin Fraley, Trudy Leong, and Wilda Morris

JOMP 16 was released at the Chicago Book Expo on November 24.

Cover art by Divya Rajan.

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spacer.gif   The JOMP Book Awards
Posted by : cj on Friday, June 14, 2013 - 05:22 PM
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CHICAGO POETRY PRESS IS PRESENTLY REORGANIZING ITS GUIDELINES FOR ACCEPTING BOOK MANUSCRIPTS FOR POSSIBLE PUBLICATION. PLEASE DO NOT SUBMIT ANY BOOK MANUSCRIPTS AT THIS TIME.

THE JOURNAL OF MODERN POETRY BOOK AWARDS

Chicago Poetry Press is presently reviewing full length manuscripts of poetry for consideration into the Journal of Modern Poetry Book Awards. The winning poet will receive a three year publishing contract through Chicago Poetry Press, which will publish the winning manuscript in a perfect bound edition with a full color cover to be sold at ChicagoPoetry.com, Amazon.com and elsewhere.

The winning poet will receive ten complimentary copies of the book and will receive a $2.50 per book author royalty on books sold at the anticipated cover price of $12. The winning poet will also be entitled to purchase additional copies of the book at half the cover price to be resold at the poets' discretion at readings or at other events in whatever way author sees fit.

If you would like to review one of the JOMP Book Award titles, please take a look at CleverGretel.net.

The following are the guidelines and some suggestions for submission:
Note: Click Here to read the JOMP Book Award Guidelines.

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spacer.gif   The Huge 2013 Poetry Cram Schedule of Events
Posted by : cj on Monday, May 20, 2013 - 02:04 PM
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On Wednesday, June 5, at 7 PM, the Chopin Theater at 1543 W. Division Street will host Poetry Cram, a marathon reading by 56 poets in celebration of the release of Journal of Modern Poetry Volume 15 (JOMP 15). The event will be MC'ed by Chicago poet CJ Laity. You can get a complimentary ticket to the event by clicking here for a pdf file. For directions to the theater and information about parking click here. For detailed information about the featured poets as well as other poets featured in JOMP 15, please click here.

The following is the program schedule for the big Poetry Cram.
Note: Click Here for the complete schedule for the MASSIVE Chopin Theater event.

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spacer.gif   JOMP 15 Is Finally Here!
Posted by : cj on Wednesday, May 08, 2013 - 12:07 PM
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CLICK HERE TO ORDER YOUR COPY OF JOMP 15 AND GET FREE SHIPPING


Chicago Poetry Press is pleased to announce the winners of the the JOMP 15 Awards.

The 2013 Contemporary American Poetry Prizes:
(Click on the name to view a pdf copy of the winning poem.)

Grand Prize: Annie Grizzle, for "America is I" (pg. 31)
Silver Prize: Tamara Tabel, for "Arbeit Macht Frei, Dachau 2012" (pg. 24)
Bronze Prize: Mayi Ojisua, for "Tortured Gray" (pg. 69)

The 2013 CAPP Honorable Mentions:
(Please purchase a copy of JOMP 15 to read these and dozens of other poems.)

Barbara Kreader Skalinder, for "Uncontained" (pg. 139)
Charlotte Hart, for "Quills" (pg. 84)
James Merriner, for "Resurrection" (pg. 57)
Gail Goepfert, for "Beckoning" (pg. 58)
Robin Goldberg, for "Rituals" (pg. 86)

The 2013 Poet Laureate of Rhyme Award:
(Click on the name to view a pdf copy of the winning poem.)

Michael Schwartz, Poet Laureate of Rhyme, for "No One But Me" (pg. 127)

Poet Laureate of Rhyme Honorable Mentions:
(Please purchase a copy of JOMP 15 to read these and dozens of other poems.)

Adam Gottlieb, for "Word-of-the-Day Rhyming Exercise #?" (pg. 125)
Amanda Layman, for "Parallel Outlets" (pg. 130)
Carol Muehleman, for "The Plastic Couch" (pg. 38)
Curtis Vevang, for "Where Have All the Rhymesters Gone" (pg. 117)

JOMP 15 Book Awards:

Jennifer Dotson, for her manuscript "Clever Gretel"
Available now through CleverGretel.net

Donna Pecore, for her manuscript "Bindle Stick"
Available now through BindleStickPoetry.com

The following poets submitted manuscripts that have been chosen as "Runners-Up"
and will receive automatic re-entry into the JOMP 16 Book Contest,
to take place in the fall of 2013:

Annie Grizzle, Beatriz Badikian, Carol Kanter, Itala Langmar with James L. Merriner,
Gail Goepfert, Jasminum McMullen, Sheila A. Donovan, and Terri M. O'Hara.

Click Here to learn about all 77 poets who were selected for inclusion in JOMP 15.

Order your copy of JOMP 15 and get free shipping.

Note: Click Here for the entire, detailed list of JOMP 15 Poets.

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spacer.gif   National Poetry Month Panel Discussion at Chicago Public Library
Posted by : cj on Wednesday, March 27, 2013 - 01:26 PM
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MAKING A NAME: THE ART OF PROMOTING POETRY
Saturday, April 27, 11:30 AM
Harold Washington Library, 400 S. State St., Multipurpose Room B


If you read your poem and no one is around to hear it, is it really a poem? If you want to make a name, it's not enough just to write poetry—you need to get your poetry into the hands and the ears of the public. The Chicago poetry scene is a window of opportunity offering a variety of ways to promote your poetry. Whether it is print or online publishing, the poetry slam, the open mic scene or being on the air, there is something for every motivated poet to take advantage of here in Chicago.

Moderator CJ Laity, who has twenty-five years of experience promoting poetry himself, brings together four of the top experts in their respective fields for a lively, informative panel discussion: Emily Calvo is a founding member of Chicago Slam Works and has been a core planning committee member for the National Poetry Slam; Gregorio Gomez is host of Monday nights at Weeds, Chicago's longest running venue dedicated primarily to open mic. poetry; Chicago poet, educator, activist and radio chat show host, Mario is the host of News From the Service Entrance on WHPK 88.5FM (whpk.org); and Victor David Giron is the publisher, editor-in-chief and publicist for one of today's leading Chicago-area publishers, Curbside Splendor.

(Please see the update regarding the panelists below.)

Please join us for the definitive discussion about the secrets of promoting your poetry. A question and answer session will follow. Click Here for the full Poetry Fest schedule of events.



UPDATE ABOUT THE PANELISTS

The Panelists

Emily Thorton Calvo is a freelance Chicago writer, poet and artist who is a founding board member of Chicago Slam Works, has served as marketing / public relations director for the National Poetry Slam and has served as a poet-in-residence through the Poetry Center of Chicago's educational program. As a painter, Calvo has incorporated her poetry into watercolor paintings, which have been exhibited at August House Gallery and at Around the Coyote. Besides appearing in publications such as Colere, After Hours, and Oyez Review, Calvo has been reading her work at many of Chicago's galleries, libraries and festivals, as well as in France, since she first performed in a poetry slam in 1993.

Over the past decades Gregorio Gomez has been the Managing Director of the Latino Chicago Theater Company and executive director for the work of filmmaker Juan A. Ramirez. He has collaborated with Flamenco guitarist Don Tómas De Utrera and has been a featured poet at countless venues along with countless other poets including Carlos Cortes, Luis Rodriguez and Patricia Smith. Gomez has appeared for panel discussions, symposiums, conferences, and art exhibits and he also has been widely published. Gregorio Gomez is best known as the host of Chicago's longest running venue dedicated primarily to open mic. poetry, Monday Night at Weeds, 1555 N. Dayton.

Chicago poet, educator, activist and radio chat show host, Mario has been performing in the Chicagoland area and the US for over 20 years. He currently hosts News From the Service Entrance on WHPK 88.5FM/ whpk.org / iTunes. Mario has written essays for Chicago's public radio affiliate WBEZ, appeared on Voice of America, provided Election Night 2008 analysis for BBC Devon, and has performed his poetry at DePaul University, University of Chicago, Traffic Series at Steppenwolf Theater, Museum of Contemporary Art, United Nations Dialogue Among Civilizations, Old Town School of Folk Music, Art Institute of Chicago and the Chicago Cultural Center.

Sitting in for Victor David Giron today is Jacob S. Knabb, the Senior Editor (focusing on book acquisition, event planning and editorial) of Curbside Splendor Publishing, which publishes stories and poems online, makes books, presents poetry and fiction readings and cohosts the Pop Up Book Fair with the Chicago Writer’s House. Knabb is also Senior Editor of Curbside's imprint Another Chicago Magazine. His own writing has been published in Another Chicago Magazine, The Collagist, KneeJerk, Everyday Genius, THE2NDHAND and in many other publications.

The Moderator

CJ Laity is publisher of Chicago Poetry Press at ChicagoPoetry.com and has been organizing and promoting poetry readings in Chicago for 25 years. Laity currently serves as editor for JOMP (Journal of Modern Poetry) at PoetryAward.org


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spacer.gif   Now Available: Clever Gretel, by Jennifer Dotson
Posted by : cj on Saturday, March 23, 2013 - 01:30 PM
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Clever Gretel by Jennifer Dotson
8.5" x 8.5", 96 pages
Chicago Poetry Press
$12.00, ISBN-13: 978-0615769646


Chicago Poetry Press is pleased to announce the release of Jennifer Dotson's wonderful new book, Clever Gretel, the first Journal of Modern Poetry Book Award Selection.

Chicago Poetry Press is offering copies of Clever Gretel for its cover price of $12 with $2.99 shipping (within the United States), when ordered directly through the publisher via PayPal (allow a week for delivery).

Click Here to order your copy of Clever Gretel.

Click Here to order more than one copy with free shipping.

Click Here to have your copy shipped outside of the United States.

You can also pick up your copy of Clever Gretel at an upcoming event:

On Saturday, April 27, Chicago Poetry Press held the Official Book Release Event for Clever Gretel at Harold Washington Library, 400 S. State Street, during the annual Poetry Fest that included a Clever Gretel book signing in the main lobby. Other Poetry Fest highlights included a panel discussion moderated by Chicago Poetry Press publisher CJ Laity and a reading by Campbell McGrath.

On Sunday, July 7, Jennifer Dotson appeared for a book signing at the Pop Up Book Fair at the Empty Bottle in Chicago.

Wednesday, October 2, 7 PM. Clever Gretel Reading and Book Signing. Glenview Public Library, 1930 Glenview Road, Glenview, IL 60025

COMING: Coming March, 2014, join Chicago Poetry Press authors Jennifer Dotson and Donna Pecore for the 3rd Saturday Coffeehouse in Oak Park.

Copies of Clever Gretel are also available for purchase at Women & Children First, 5233 N. Clark St., Chicago.

PRAISE FOR CLEVER GRETEL

Click Here to open a pdf file and read an article about Jennifer Dotson written by Greg Shapiro for The North Shore Weekend.

There's much to like here, from the cracked music of the title through your deft expressions of form to your cagey litany of postmodern cultural icons encountered in crazy places. Mythic and mundane meet in these poems in meaningful and often hilarious ways.

Kevin Stein, Poet Laureate of Illinois

"In Clever Gretel, Jennifer Dotson’s poems transform the straw of everyday womanhood to that which glows with the luminosity of simple truth. Utilizing a playful sense of the magically real, she sleuths for meaning-- in misplaced glasses, in the chipped veneer of Art Deco dressers, in the empty jar of celery salt, in her nightmare “plummet into space.” As a reader I peered through the window of Jennifer's words into the grace of family life and her 'fortune shone on me.'"

Maureen Tolman Flannery, author of Ancestors in the Landscape

"Clever Gretel explores life's loves, losses, anxieties and joys in a voice sagacious yet candid enough to discuss acne over a latte. Even Dotson's forays into the worlds of mythology and superheroes stay grounded in the contemporary problems of junk mail and low-carb diets. In one poem the speaker says of the Muse, 'I don't remember what she looks like'-- but you will certainly find her here in this refreshing debut."

Tania Runyan, author of Delicious Air (Finishing Line Press).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jennifer Dotson received her B.A. in English Literature & Theatre Arts from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and her M.F.A. in Drama from the University of Virginia. She is the founder and program coordinator for HighlandParkPoetry.org. She leads creative writing and memoir classes for the District 113 Continuing Education Program at Highland Park High School.



Chicago Poetry Press supports the continued production of books that are made out of paper and that are read from a page; this is why Clever Gretel is not currently available as an e-book. Chicago Poetry Press promises to publish quality poetry, beautifully published and reasonably priced.

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spacer.gif   Urban Sandbox Joins Forces With Hairpin Arts Center In Logan Square
Posted by : cj on Friday, December 14, 2012 - 01:47 AM
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This is an archived article. Location for Urban Sandbox may have changed since first publication. Check Urban Sandbox on facebook to keep up with their activities.

On Thursday, December 13, 2012, the popular open mic. performance poetry series Urban Sandbox closed its ninth season with a showcase of talented Chicago poets as well as a preview of its new venue at Hairpin Arts Center on the second floor of 2800 N. Milwaukee in Logan Square. Hairpin is a big, bright, beautiful space with wonderful acoustics. It looks like the Urban Sandbox collective has made a fantastic partnership with Hairpin's Voice of the City Program, guaranteeing an exciting tenth season for the long running series.

Urban Sandbox is an all-ages (emphasis on all-ages) showcase of poetry, hip-hop free verse, music and all combinations thereof. For the last decade it has bounced around from home to home, never losing its steam even while losing some of its venues.

On the first night in their new venue, there was an impressive open mic. featuring nearly a dozen top notch poets and musicians. After the open mic., the collective featured Lamar Jorden, who appears in the documentary film Louder Than a Bomb. Lamar carried with him a positive message in his poetry as well as in his songs, and that was inspiring and refreshing. Following Lamar came the self-described Emo group Everything's Alright, a four person band with harmonious vocals and songs so addictive I couldn't help humming them to myself long after the show was over.

The 2013 Urban Sandbox season begins with a ten year anniversary celebration to take place at 7:30 PM on Valentines Day, and then the show will continue on the 2nd Thursday of the month from 9 to 11 PM (sign up begins at 8:30). At five bucks, it's a real bargain, and did I mention it's all-ages?
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Note: If you're on the homepage, click here for some photos of the open mic. poets.

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spacer.gif   Wide Range Of Poetic Voices Appeared For Poetry Scene Bash
Posted by : cj on Thursday, October 04, 2012 - 11:47 AM
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On Wednesday, October 24, at 7 PM, the Chicago Poetry Scene converged for a one night only performance at the Viaduct Theater, 3111 N. Western Ave, to celebrate the release of Journal of Modern Poetry, the fourteenth edition in the Poetry Cram series. Some of the most talented as well as lettered poets in Illinois read samples of their work in this prestigious event. The event was free and open to the public.
Note: Click Here to learn more about the poets who were showcased at this, the biggest poetry event of the year.

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spacer.gif   Chicago Poet Jacob Saenz Wins Ruth Lilly Fellowship
Posted by : cj on Friday, August 31, 2012 - 12:50 PM
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Local poet Jacob Saenz has received a $15,000 scholarship through the 2012 Ruth Lilly Fellowship sponsored by The Poetry Foundation and Poetry Magazine. Among the largest awards offered to aspiring poets in the United States, the $15,000 scholarship prize is intended to encourage the further study and writing of poetry and is open to U.S. poets between 21 and 31 years of age. Saenz's winning manuscript was one of five selected by Poetry Magazine editors from more than 1,000 submissions.

Jacob Saenz was born in Chicago and raised in Cicero, Illinois. He earned his BA from Columbia College Chicago. Saenz received the Letras Latinas Residency Fellowship in 2011, currently serves as an associate editor for RHINO, and works at a library. He has published poems in Apparatus Magazine, Columbia Poetry Review, Great River Review, Poetry, RHINO, and other journals. Saenz's work will be featured in Poetry Magazine’s November issue and on www.poetryfoundation.org.


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spacer.gif   Chicago Post Office Dedicates New Poetry Stamps
Posted by : cj on Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - 02:44 PM
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Postal employees to read work of Gwendolyn Brooks, Sylvia Plath, e.e.cummings
and other major poets during Chicago Public Library’s Poetry Fest.


There has always been poetry in the mail – love letters, greeting cards, and verses submitted to magazines for publication. Now, there’s poetry on the mail, as the U.S. Postal Service recognizes the enduring work and influence of ten major American poets. The Chicago Post Office will hold a local dedication of the “Twentieth-Century Poets” stamp sheet Sat., April 28 during the Chicago Public Library’s Poetry Fest, at the Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State St., in the Video Theater beginning at 12 noon. The sheet of 45-cent First-Class Forever stamps, which went on sale April 21, honors Elizabeth Bishop, Joseph Brodsky, Gwendolyn Brooks, E. E. Cummings, Robert Hayden, Denise Levertov, Sylvia Plath, Theodore Roethke, Wallace Stevens, and William Carlos Williams. Chicago postal employees – including several with extensive local performing and writing credits – will read selections from the featured poets. Each stamp features a photograph of one of the 10 poets. Text on the back of the stamp sheet includes an excerpt from one poem by each poet


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spacer.gif   National Poetry Month: 2012 Chicago Public Library Poetry Fest
Posted by : cj on Monday, March 26, 2012 - 06:12 PM
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10299 Reads


Note: ChicagoPoetry.com has the advance scoop on the line up for the 13th annual Poetry Fest at Harold Washington Library. Click here for the scoop.

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spacer.gif   It's A Drag: Lee Groban, author of longest poem, 3/20/1947 - 12/9/2011
Posted by : cj on Sunday, December 11, 2011 - 11:52 AM
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Chicago Poetry is saddened to have to report that poet Lee Groban, 64, died at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, December 9. Mr. Groban was very ill for the last two months struggling with congestive heart failure and emphysema and recently had a pacemaker installed surgically. On Thursday his kidneys began to fail. He was with friends when his heart stopped; he died quickly without suffering.

Lee held a Bachelors Degree in Russian Language Studies and a Masters Degree in Library Sciences, and much of Lee's work is inspired by his avid interest in ancient ancestries and the cultures which surrounded them. Lee has been an integral part of the Chicago art community for more than three decades. If you have attended art events and street festivals in Chicago, you have seen Lee Groban, who also appeared for ChicagoPoetry.com sponsored events on several occasions (click here to listen to one of his performances). But, of course, Lee Groban is best known for The Cure for Insomnia, a 4,080-page poem that was turned into the 1987 film of the same title that was officially declared the world's longest movie by the Guinness Book of World Records. Running three days and fifteen hours in length, the film consists of Lee reading his poem spliced with occasional clips from heavy metal and pornographic videos. It was first played in its entirety at The School of the Art Institute in Chicago, from January 31 to February 3, 1987, in one continuous showing. In addition to his writing career, Lee Groban was also an accomplished visual artist and had been a featured artist in Pulp Magazine, the Chicago Reader, the Globe, and New City.

There will be a Celebration of Lee Groban's Life and Work on Sunday, December 18, 2011 from 1 to 4 at the Packer Schopf Gallery, 942 W. Lake St., Chicago, IL 60607. Friends and family are encouraged to bring their stories about Lee, as well as artistic, written or musical tributes, and to dress in Lee’s style if you wish. If you would like to make a presentation during the event, please email dickolson@comcast.net and cc dgo@esoplaw.com to allocate time. Lee's family asks that donations go to the endowment fund of the Circle Pines Center, 8650 Mullen Road, in Delton, Michigan, 49046.

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spacer.gif   The Poetry Slam Celebrates 25 Years With Battle Of The Sexes
Posted by : cj on Sunday, July 31, 2011 - 08:22 PM
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11120 Reads


Note: Oh no, you didn't miss the Poetry Slam Anniversary Party at Metro, did you? Really? Why? Well, luckily I was there and took some photos. Check them out!

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spacer.gif   Poetry Slam Celebrates 25 Years With Big Event
Posted by : cj on Sunday, June 12, 2011 - 02:24 PM
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With poetry slams sparking inspiration and excitement around the globe—from Singapore to Germany to Madagascar—most Chicagoans are proudly aware that this international phenomena began right here in their city. For those who aren’t aware, and those who are, Chicago Slam Works is lighting the candles on a Birthday Extravaganza that will burn this blockbuster milestone into all minds and hearts with a blow-out night of poetry performances. The Poetry Slam 25th Birthday Extravaganza hosted by slam originator Marc K. Smith will ring, spit, and set Cabaret Metro, 3730 North Clark in Chicago, IL, ablaze on Saturday, July 30 at 8 p.m.

The show features Slam Champions Patricia Smith, Regie O. Gibson, Adam Gottlieb (featured in the film Louder than a Bomb) and a pack of slammers from around the world including Word Alert, an innovative slam team from Frankfort, Germany, as well as special tribute performances by Chicago’s Speak Easy Ensemble. More information and tickets purchases are available through ChicagoSlamWorks.com or the Metro’s box office.

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spacer.gif   Cafe Mestizo Keeps Poetry Open Mic Tradition Alive
Posted by : cj on Monday, April 18, 2011 - 10:26 AM
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9311 Reads


Note: Once a month (usually on the third Saturday) Vito Carli hosts a poetry open mic with featured poets at Cafe Mestizo in Pilsen. Here is the scoop!

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spacer.gif   Chicago Public Library Poetry Fest April 30, 2011
Posted by : cj on Tuesday, February 22, 2011 - 09:19 AM
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7153 Reads

CLICK HERE TO LEARN ABOUT THE 2012 POETRY FEST
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Note: ChicagoPoetry.com has the scoop on the upcoming Poetry Fest at Harold Washington Library. CLICK HERE.

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spacer.gif   Man Charged In Frieda Stein Fenster Murder
Posted by : cj on Tuesday, February 08, 2011 - 07:26 PM
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Back in December of 1983, during my first year as a Writing Major at Columbia College, I was taking a journalism class and I had to write a human interest story. I chose a 77 year old woman named Frieda Stein Fenster as my subject, because she owned a used bookstore and magic shop that I liked to hang out in a few blocks from the Wabash campus. I talked with Frieda extensively, recording our conversations on cassette tape in order to write my article. During the winter break, only days after I turned my assignment in, I was back with my family in Aurora, IL, and I was watching television and there was the story of Frieda's murder. By the time I returned to school, Frieda's six story brick building and everything inside it was already torn down, hauled away and turned into a parking lot. That was my first experience of the often cold nature of big city life. I was so affected by it, that I even sponsored a poetry contest called the Frieda Stein Fenster Memorial Award from 2003 through 2007.

Today, February 8, 2011, 27 years later, a man who is already serving a life sentence for sexual assault has been charged with Frieda's murder after DNA linked him to the crime. I don't want to taint this wonderful woman's memory with the grisly details of this poor woman's rape and murder or repeat the ugly comments the alleged perpetrated made when charged with the crime. Instead, let me tell you a little bit about Frieda Stein Fenster.

When I met Frieda, she was looking forward to the 100th anniversary of Stein's Books, established by her father Max Stein, who was brought to Chicago from Germany when he was ten years old. Max's father opened a cigar and magazine shop, which Max eventually took over and turned into a publishing house and paperback outlet that published 50 titles--including the infamous "Abe Lincoln Jokes"-- through the 20s and 30s as well as collectible postcards. The bookstore was first at 521 S. State but moved across the street to 526 S. State in 1954. The new building was previously occupied by a magician named Howard Thurston and Max bought the rights to Thurston's magic books and turned part of his bookstore into a novelty shop. Frieda lived in downtown Chicago all of her life, where she roller skated and sold Mexican jumping beans in the window of her father's bookstore. She went to high school in Hyde Park, and attended the University of Chicago as well as Northwestern. Frieda had a chance to work on a dictionary at Northwestern but passed it up to take over her family's business so that her parents could travel. These are some of the things that Frieda told me during our conversations 27 years ago.

--CJ Laity

More from Tribune ** More from CBS.

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spacer.gif   Evanston Haikufest To Inspire Poets To Publish
Posted by : cj on Monday, January 24, 2011 - 08:09 PM
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Note: Learn about a Haiku Fest coming to Evanston this May 7.

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spacer.gif   Chicago Poetry Scene Mourns Loss Of Kent Foreman
Posted by : cj on Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - 05:27 PM
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Only yesterday, Monday, November 29, the Guild Complex sent out the unfortunate email letting everyone know that the venue that has been hosting their Palabra Pura reading series, Decima Musa, was closing down and that the reading series would be temporarily suspended until they find a new location. At the bottom of that email was this link to their website where you can listen to excerpts from "Living History,” a tribute to Chicago poet Kent Foreman that they held on August 24 at the Jazz Showcase, when about a hundred people came out in the afternoon to hear readings by Regie Gibson, Roger Bonair-Agard, Marty McConnell as well as a lengthy set by Foreman himself. That performance would prove to be one of Kent Foreman’s last. Today, as if to seal the deal on a year that has witnessed the loss of one Chicago poet after another, Kent Foreman’s Facebook page is swarming with messages from loved ones saying their goodbyes, where Patricia Smith writes “Loving and missing you” and suggests Chicago should be renamed after him and Tyehimba Jess wishes him “peace.” After a year of battling lung cancer, Kent Foreman has passed away.

The poetry audio project reVerse calls Kent Foreman “a beat generation poet who helped pioneer the Chicago performance poetry scene.” In his long career as a poet, he performed onstage with the likes of Maya Angelou and Amiri Baraka, was mentored by Oscar Brown, Jr., and has been a mentor to an entire generation of performance poets. Online, his work can be found here at e-poets as well as on YouTube performing for Words That Kill and HBO’s Def Poetry Jam. In June 2002, over one-hundred poets joined ChicagoPoetry.com in a boycott of a local arts festival after vendors associated with the festival slung racial slurs at Kent Foreman as he read his award winning poem Chicago on an outdoor stage in Wicker Park. As a result of the boycott, Kent’s photo appeared in a full page article in the Chicago Reader and also in a half page article in the Sun-Times, where they published the first 25 lines of his poem to show their support.

Kent Foreman’s gritty Chicago style of spoken-word poetry lives on in the work of the poets who he mentored, who have in turn passed the baton on to a new generation of performance poets. Presently, there is probably nowhere else where you are more likely to enjoy samples of Foremanesque poetry than at the Guild Complex’s presentation of Tour Guides, that opens this weekend at Chicago Center for the Performing Arts. If you would like to honor Foreman's legacy by supporting Tour Guides, click here to learn more about it.

Rest In Peace, Statesman, as your words live on.

--CJ Laity

**Memorial for Kent Foreman, Sun, January 16, 2011, 2:00pm – 4:30pm, Little Black Pearl, 1060 E. 47th St

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spacer.gif   Is This The Dawning Of The Age Of . . . Muzzle?
Posted by : cj on Sunday, October 17, 2010 - 07:46 PM
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5427 Reads

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I admit there are very few online zines that I read every month in their entirety. It’s not that they aren’t worthy of my attention; it’s just that I publish my own online thing and I just don’t have an hour or two a day to keep up with the plethora of other online publications that are available. As a matter of fact, so much of my life’s energy is invested in the online poetry world, that when I want to relax, the last thing I want to do is sit at a computer and read poetry. I much prefer to watch a film and not think about poetry for a few hours. But along came Muzzle and now I’m hooked. I’m sure I will be reading every issue from now on, religiously.

Muzzle is simply a good read, but for me it also brings on a sense of nostalgia, because it reminds me so much of what I was doing fifteen to twenty years ago when I was devoted to the print publication, the Letter eX Poetry Newsmagazine. I’m certain this is not Muzzle’s intention, because the editors, staff members, featured poets and guest reviewers probably have never even heard of Letter eX, or if they have it is only in legend since they were probably just finishing up grade school at the height of Letter eX’s Chicago reign. But the straight forward, often cynical flavor of the reviews in Issue 2 of Muzzle reminds me of the daring venture of a handful of Chicago poets during what is often referred to as the “golden age” of the Chicago poetry scene (1990 thru 1995), when words that were written in Letter eX often shook up the entire scene and could make or break a poet if that poet allowed them to. Don’t get me wrong, Muzzle is not a carbon copy of Letter eX. For one thing, Letter eX didn’t publish poetry at all; it only reviewed poetry books and performances while reporting news, and yes, even gossip, about the poetry scene. Also, Muzzle is intentionally focusing on the performance poetry scene, effectively taking the foot of any person who claims performance poetry can't stand up on the page and firmly putting said foot in said person’s mouth, where as Letter eX ruthlessly showed no allegiance to any sect of the poetry scene, often harshly criticizing the slam and even members of its own staff. Muzzle exists in three sections: the “Poetry” section (no doubt the strongest of the sections and the reason Muzzle really exists), a nicely done “Art” section, and the soon to be notorious “Reviews and Interviews” section. It is undeniably the unique product of it’s eleven staff members' cooperation, led by Editor in Chief Stevie Edwards (photo).

Nevertheless, when I read through Muzzle, especially the reviews section, I get this intoxicating sense of déjà vu. I feel a little giddy as the positive, though risky and even vulnerable energy behind this new online zine brings back a flood of memories. Letter eX was important and it certainly had its day. I’m convinced Muzzle will have it’s own history of significance to come. Perhaps Muzzle's day is dawning.

Here is a link to Issue #2. Check it out and see what you think.

--CJ Laity

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spacer.gif   A Peek at Idris Goodwin's These Are The Breaks
Posted by : cj on Thursday, October 07, 2010 - 10:58 AM
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On Saturday, October 23, 2010, from 6 to 8 PM, Chicago Urban Arts, 2229 South Halsted, will host a celebration for NEA award-winning playwright, HBO Def Poet, and critically acclaimed “indie” rapper Idris Goodwin's first book, a collection of prose, poetry and essays called These Are The Breaks (Write Bloody Publishing), which is described as "the literary mixtape of our cacophonous times." Although the book isn't scheduled to "hit the shelves" until March 2011, Goodwin has decided to share the work with Chicago, and he will have advance copies for sale at this prestigious event. Also on the program will be playwright Tanya Saracho and Lamar Jorden of the critically acclaimed documentary Louder Than A Bomb. There will be a $5 suggested donation but nobody will be turned away and students get in free.

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spacer.gif   "Write From The Heartland" Midwest Poetry Therapy Conference
Posted by : cj on Tuesday, September 14, 2010 - 01:22 PM
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On the weekend of October 1 thru 3, the Midwest members of The National Association of Poetry Therapy will be hosting a conference called "Write From The Heartland" at The Cenacle Conference and Retreat Center, 513 West Fullerton Parkway, Chicago. It will be the goal of the conference participants to network and build up membership for NAPT while reaping a wealth of creative kinship and learning. All are invited to register and attend this unique and valuable learning experience.

The conference includes a dinner and meet and greet on Friday evening from 6 to 8:30 PM. Saturday's schedule includes: breakfast and introduction from 8 to 9:15 AM; an event called “Creative Arts Therapies in the Midwest: Expression and Communication from the Heart.” with Plenary Speaker, Susan Imus, Chair, Dance / Movement Therapy from Columbia College from 9:15 to 10:15 AM; a workshop called "Heartache Inn" with Jennifer Bosveld from 10:30 until noon, in which attendees will read from and discuss published works, and write in response to those works to begin to build a foundation for their healing sanctuary, followed by a lunch; then an experiential and didactic workshop called “Writing Therapy: Expressing the Psyche Through Creative Writing & Bibliotherapy" with Jerilyn Miripol from 1:30 to 3 PM, in which participants will work with the writing therapy techniques in small groups; followed by a workshop called "Poetry, Memoir & the Self" led by Charlie Rossiter from 3:15 to 5:30 PM followed by dinner; and then from 7 to 8:30 PM Haki Madhubuti (photo) will speak about how poetry has informed his life.

Sunday's schedule includes: breakfast followed by a Town Hall Meeting about "Works In Progress," focusing on ways to build a strong professional network among like-minded professionals, with co-facilitators Nessa McCasey and Catherine Conway from 8 to 10:15 AM; a workshop called "Creating Grief Landscapes" (a healing journey for people coping with dementia, care-giving & loss.) with Joy Cornelius-Klein from 10:30 until noon; lunch followed by a trip to the Lincoln Park Zoo where a workshop called "Animals as teachers, healers and guides for the soul" will be held until 4:30 PM; followed by a night at the Green Mill to relax and enjoy the Uptown Poetry Slam.

Registration for Write From The Heartland is $220 or $100 per day for Saturday or Sunday. You can register by clicking here or by contacting Catherine Conway at 630-220-8682 or by email at poemsheal(at)sbcglobal(dot)net.

Update: You may attend the Haki Madhubuti reading for free. Email poemsheal(at)sbcglobal(dot)net to reserve your free seat.

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spacer.gif   Cool September Chicago Poetry News (Updated Sept 5)
Posted by : cj on Wednesday, September 01, 2010 - 05:34 PM
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Hey Chicago poetry fans, now that the weather promises to cool down it's about time for some cool Chicago poetry news. And you know if the real ChicagoPoetry recommends it, it's cooler than cool.

Click here to listen to "Women In Print" on WBEZ Chicago Amplified as performed at Woman Made Gallery.

Vox Ferus After Dark is a dynamic writing 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 includes analysis, critique, and development of new writing. All are welcome, but pre-registration is required as space is limited. Workshops take place in various locations, usually on the 2nd and 4th Friday of each month, and are facilitated by Marty McConnell and occasional guest poets. Donations are requested, on a pay-what-you-will basis. To RSVP or for more information, please email voxferus (at) gmail (dot) com. The next workshop is on Friday, September 10.

Poetry falling from the sky? How cool. Click here to learn about a Chilean poetry bomb.

Winning money is cool. Try to win $1000 by clicking here.

New poetry venue alert! Pressure Billiards and Cafe, at 6318 North Clark St, is launching an open mic every third Thursday, welcoming poetry, short stories, musicians and comedians, with a focus on supporting the poets and writers of Chicago with a safe, fun environment to perform in. It starts around 8:30 PM, with no cover. They will operate in two rounds with one to two poems per performance, so poets will have the opportunity to perform up to four poems throughout the evening. Pretty cool, huh?

The Good Evening Reading Series presents Holly Amos and Nate Slawson on Friday, September 17, with open mic, from 7 to 8 PM, at Mess Hall, 6932 N. Glenwood Ave, BYOB.

The FINAL Real Talk show to happen at someone's house at 4520 N Monticello Ave will take place on Friday, September 17 from 7 PM until Midnight, featuring Krista Frankling, The Gringo Choir and Angela Davis Fegan. It's $5 at the door and you must be 18 or over. Psst. There will be an open mic.

Vito Carli will be hosting his second event at Café Mestizo, 1738 W. 18th Street on Saturday, September 18 from 6 to 8 PM, this time featuring Tom Roby and Jenene Ravesloot with an open mic.

Also on Saturday, September 18, at 7:30 PM, Women & Children First at 5233 N. Clark St. will present Sappho's Salon: A Provocative Night of Lesbian Diversions featuring Nikki Patin, Sissy Van Dyke, and DJ SpinNikki; There is a $7-$10 sliding scale donation that includes food and wine. Other upcoming W&CF events include: Wednesday, September 24, at 7:30 PM, "two authors whose latest releases cleverly and inventively ponder the banality of contemporary American life," Danielle Dutton (S P R A W L) and Kate Zambreno (O Fallen Angel); and Thursday, September 30, 7:30 PM, "Ordinary Women: Extraordinary Heroines - A New Paradigm for the Modern Heroin" (a reading sponsored by that cool website She Writes) featuring Audrey Niffenegger, Zoe Zolbrod, Teri Coyne, and others.

The After Hours Magazine 10th Anniversary Contributors Open Mic will happen on Wednesday, September 22 from 7:30 to 9:30 PM at Cafe Ballou, 939 N. Western Ave. Free and open to the public.

Also on Wednesday, September 22, the place to be from 6 to 8 PM is the Bezazian Branch Library, 1226 W. Ainslie, for the release reading of "This City Bus" edition of Journal of Ordinary Thought. Come out to hear Chicago writers read their personal narratives on reflection, communication and change. Free copies of "This City Bus" will be available.

On Friday, October 1, there will be an AREA #10 Release Party at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E Washington. Click here to learn about all the coolness AREA Chicago has to offer.

Heads up. One of the coolest art galleries in Chicago, Woman Made Gallery, 685 North Milwaukee Ave, will be hosting a poetry reading called "Myths, She-roes and Revolutionaries" featuring Jenny Priego, Ching-In Chen, Maureen Flannery, Susan Slaviero and Kristine Uyeda on Sunday, October 3, from 1 to 3 PM.

The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, 5811 South Ellis Avenue, presents poetry and fiction readings for the fall 2010 exhibition season, including (all events at 2 PM in Swift Hall Room 106 directly east of the gallery): poetry by Joanna Fuhrman and Suzanne Buffam on Sunday, November 14; poetry by Kim Rosenfield and Karen Weiser on Sunday, November 21; fiction by Alissa Nutting on Sunday, December 5; and fiction by Bhanu Kapil on Sunday, December 12.

Oh, by the way, I'm not going to do a Poetry Cram at Cafe Ballou in September, because the second Saturday falls on September 11 so instead I'm going to offer a moment of silence in honor of all the victims of the wars that resulted from what a handful of uncool idiots did.

Cool? Cool.

CJ Laity
Note: Click here to listen to "Women In Print" on WBEZ Chicago Amplified as performed at Woman Made Gallery.

Vox Ferus After Dark is a dynamic writing 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 includes analysis, critique, and development of new writing. All are welcome, but pre-registration is required as space is limited. Workshops take place in various locations, usually on the 2nd and 4th Friday of each month, and are facilitated by Marty McConnell and occasional guest poets. Donations are requested, on a pay-what-you-will basis. To RSVP or for more information, please email voxferus (at) gmail (dot) com. The next workshop is on Friday, September 10.

Poetry falling from the sky? How cool. Click here to learn about a Chilean poetry bomb.

Winning money is cool. Try to win $1000 by clicking here.

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spacer.gif   Ron Offen, Publisher of Free Lunch, 1930 - 2010
Posted by : cj on Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - 10:38 AM
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This year the Chicago Poetry News has often read more like an obituary column. We have lost so many wonderful poets in 2010. Effie Mihopoulos, Carolyn Rodgers, Gertrude Rubin, Dred Sista Ren, Prince Akbar, just to name a few. Today I am saddened to have to report that Ron Offen, longtime editor of Free Lunch, has passed away. The following is the announcement from his wife, Beverly.
Note: Click here.

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spacer.gif   BEACH POETS TO CONCLUDE SEASON WITH TWO SHOWS
Posted by : cj on Friday, August 06, 2010 - 12:34 PM
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For twenty years Cathleen Schandelmeier has been hosting poetry at Chicago's beaches on Sunday afternoons. Currently the events happen at 4 PM at Loyola Beach, which is up north near Morse, at Greenleaf and the Lake. Everyone is invited to sit around the graffiti covered poetry tent to listen to the open mic poets and featured guests.

Beach poets ends its twentieth season with two exciting upcoming events. On Sunday, August 8, there will be a tribute to Effie Mihopoulos, featuring Dan Cleary, Cynthia Gallaher and Carlos Cumpian. Everyone is invited to share a poem or memory in honor of Effie. And then on Sunday, August 15, the Beach Poets will celebrate its twentieth run with the last beach hurrah of 2010.
Note: Click Here for more beach photos.

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spacer.gif   DRED SISTA REN TRANSCENDS
Posted by : cj on Wednesday, August 04, 2010 - 12:10 PM
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On July 13 Chicago poet Dred Sista Ren passed away. Dred had much love for me and I for her. She appeared in many of my shows (click for video) and was also published in one of my publications. I am saddened by this great loss. I learned of this from a post by Mario that was made over two weeks ago at the e-poets facebook page. I hope in Dred's memory we can all work together to overcome the walls that are between us. Poets are invited to express words for Dred on Saturday, July 31, 2 to 4 PM, Beverly Woods Banquet Hall 11532 S. Western Ave.

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spacer.gif   Gertrude Rubin, Beloved Poet, 1921 - 2010
Posted by : cj on Wednesday, July 28, 2010 - 07:59 AM
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Beloved Chicago poet, writer, civil rights activist and author of The Passover Poems, Gertrude Rubin passed away on Saturday, July 24, 2010, at the age of 89. Rubin was one of the first contributors to ChicagoPoetry.com, submitting eleven poems for publication in the year 2000 that are archived here. Rubin was a member of the Poets Club of Chicago and the Poets and Patrons group. Gert was also the aunt of David Rubin, original founder and host of the Cafe Aloha poetry series.

Funeral Services will be held on Wednesday, July 28, at 2 PM, at The Piser Chapel, 9200 N. Skokie Blvd. (at Church St.) in Skokie (847-679-4740) and at Interment Memorial Park Cemetery, Skokie. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions made to Beth Emet Synagogue, 1224 W. Dempster St., Evanston, IL 60202 would be appreciated.

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spacer.gif   Chicago's Classic Poetry News Review
Posted by : cj on Sunday, July 25, 2010 - 12:59 PM
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Hey Poetry Gang, here is some poetry news that you can actually use!

There is lots of poetry news brewing for and about the youngest generation of poets in Chicago and ChicagoPoetry.com is joining in the movement. Cram Volume 9 features work by four students from Joseph E. Gary Elementary School. You can pick up a free copy of Cram 9 at the Printers Ball or at the big release reading at Cafe Ballou, 939 N. Western Ave, on Saturday, August 14, 7 PM. The release is free and all ages.

The new management at the Poetry Center of Chicago is really making some waves. I hear they may start up the free members workshops soon. Also, they now have the complete Hands on Stanzas anthology of young poets published online! Click here to check it out.

The National Council for Teachers of English (NCTE) Excellence in Poetry Committee recently named Mary Ann Hoberman and Linda Winston's anthology, The Tree That Time Built a Celebration of Nature Science and Imagination (Sourcebooks, with audio CD; juvenile poetry), one of the best poetry books published in 2009, and an excellent resource for the classroom. You can order it by clicking here.

In other poetry scene news, the first issue of MUZZLE is now online. MUZZLE publishes poetry, art, comics, interviews, book reviews, and performance reviews, and is particularly interested in collaborative and multi-media pieces for the next issue. Learn about all the fun by clicking here. And in a related story, I've been hearing a lot of good things about the Vox Ferus After Dark Workshops. Click here to learn about them straight from the source.

Learn how to enter the RHINO 2011 Founders Prize by clicking here.

Learn about Tim Hunt's book, Redneck Yoga, by clicking here.

Check this out! The Second Annual Cradle of American Haiku Festival will happen from Friday, September 10 to Sunday, September 12, at Foundry Books, 105 Commerce St., in Mineral Point, Wisconsin. The festival will include several workshops and presentations on the form and art of Japanese poetic forms, readings of haiku, and Japanese art. This year’s theme is “Remembering Robert Spiess—His Life and Work.” Spiess was a longtime haikuist and author, and former editor of “Modern Haiku,” an international journal of haiku and haiku studies. The cost of the festival is $30 which includes workshops, all activities, reception, and picnic. For more information, with a schedule of events and lodging options, contact Charlotte Digregorio, Midwest Regional Coordinator, The Haiku Society of America, at email cvpress@yahoo.com or by phone at 847-881-2664.

Finally, I was so busy this summer helping to organize a boycott of the world's biggest polluter that I didn't even notice this year's New City Top 50 list. The performance poetry scene is especially ignored in it this year, but for what it is worth, a list about authors and their books sponsored by a free rag that the lit community is otherwise oblivious to during the other 51 weeks of the year, it is a much better list than we've seen in previous years. I think this might have been the first time a critic, Roger Ebert, received the number one spot. See what you think by clicking here. Perhaps the performance poetry scene ought to start up its own Top 50 list, hmm?

Don't forget. If you want even more Chicago poetry information at your fingertips, you can always use our direct link to the original or should I say "classic" Chicago Poetry Calendar -- ChicagoPoetryCalendar.com -- where you will get poetry news that you can actually use.

Signing out for now, peace and much love,

CJ Laity

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spacer.gif   Hot Summer Chicago Poetry News
Posted by : cj on Friday, July 16, 2010 - 12:42 PM
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spacer.gif   Chicago Poetry Special News Alerts
Posted by : cj on Thursday, July 08, 2010 - 01:24 PM
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Hey Chicago poetry fans, here's some more July news for ya.

ChicagoPoetry.com will have two representatives passing out free copies of Cram 9 at The Printers Ball. Look for Donna Pecore and Donna Kiser at the Ball to get your free copy of Cram.

The Next Objectivists is a free, open-to-the-public poetry workshop dedicated to the study & reproduction of the "outsidereal". They take this term from the “Black Mountain” poet Edward Dorn and their name from the second generation modernist poets associated with The Objectivist Press. They seek the poetry of the multitude, the poetry that tears away from the rule of singularity proposed by elites. Participants at the upcoming meetings are asked to bring a poem by someone else about a dream or dreaming and an account, in any genre or medium, of a dream they remember. You will discuss these poems, swamp dreams, and write together. All meetings begin promptly at 7 PM at the Mess Hall, 6932 North Glenwood Avenue, less than a block from the Morse Street Red Line station. Upcoming dates include July 22, August 12 and 26, and September 9 and 23.

Click here to read a review of Simone Muench's new book, Orange Crush.

Highland Park Poetry says be sure to visit the Muses' Gallery by clicking here to see the results of their 2010 Funny Poetry Contest.

Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation (MAAF) kicks-off July with the opening of the poetry-themed online exhibition On Both Sides of Our Door available on the Mid Atlantic Artist Registry site July 1. The exhibition features works by Linda Blaskey, Emari DiGiogrio, Barbara Goldberg, Kathleen Hellen, Louise Kennelly, Joshua Poteat, and Pat Valdata. Click here to check it out.

It's a big year at the Tennessee Williams / New Orleans Literary Festival as they get ready to celebrate their 25th anniversary and the 100th birthday of Tennessee Williams. They are excited to announce their first ever poetry contest, with Louisiana Poet Laureate Darrell Bourque as judge. The prize is a thousand dollars, a VIP pass worth $500, publication and a featured reading. Click here to learn how to enter.

Until next time, peace and take care,

--CJ Laity


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spacer.gif   July Chicago Poetry Events
Posted by : cj on Monday, June 28, 2010 - 02:46 PM
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Beach Poets hosted by Cathleen Schandelmeier happens every Sunday through August 15 at Loyola Beach, Greeleaf and the lake, from 4 to 6 PM. This year is their 20 year anniversary. Some recommended dates include July 4 with Dina Stuart, July 18 with Paul Ryan, July 25 with Andrea Change, and a tribute to Effie Mihopolous on August 8.

The first floor of the Chicago Cultural Center has been transformed into the Chicago Publishers Gallery & Café and recently it nearly doubled in size, adding many themed nooks. Twenty-five Chicago publishers were added during the expansion, and the Gallery now features banner art and letterpress designs by Chicago artists. The Publishers Gallery is now accepting proposals for readings and book events. They are looking for events that showcase Chicago’s vibrant publishing and literary world for the Cultural Center’s audience—and that creatively use the Chicago Publishers Gallery & Café as a setting. Please be sure to visit the Gallery before submitting your proposal if you have not already. Events that are chosen will receive free space, marketing, and promotional support. If you would like to be considered for one of four quarterly slots, please send a one-page description of your event to danielle.chapman@cityofchicago.org by August 9, 2010.

Congratulations go out to Tristan Silverman, this year's Guild Complex Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mic Award recipient. The big bout at the Chopin Theatre also featured Lucia Blinn, Billy Tuggle, Sharrieff Muhammad, Robin Fine, Shontay Luna and a bunch of other poets.

Bill Allegrezza is currently reading work for the next issue of Moria, so if you have anything to send, go ahead and send it to wallegrezza@gmail.com. He's interested in poetry, vispo, poetry films, reviews, and essays.

Check the Method is a summer spoken word camp led by Kevin Coval that will bring together some of the premier young writers from across Chicago and the Chicago-land area. This year there will be 2 weeks of camp. One week (July12-16) will be downtown in the Art Institute's new Modern Wing and the second week (July 26-30) will be at the historic Southside Community Arts Center. Guest faculty this year includes: Roger Bonair-Agard, Quraysh Ali Lansana, Krista Franklin, and Robbie Q. Telfer. Check the Method is open to writers age 15-21. Writers should have previous experience writing and performing poetry. For more information and to learn how to register click here for a pdf file.

The next Night of Sight and Sound with Lethal Poetry is Saturday, July 31, at Beat Kitchen, 2100 West Belmont Ave. Get your tickets by clicking here.

Heads up. Chicago's new poetry and spoken word festival, Outspoken, will take place from noon until 10 PM on September 25 at The Art Institute Auditorium. Want to participate? Please send your inquiries to outspokenfestival@gmail.com

--CJ Laity

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spacer.gif   Guild Complex: B.Y.O.P. (Bring Your Own People)
Posted by : cj on Thursday, May 27, 2010 - 09:53 AM
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4876 Reads


Note: On Wednesday, May 26, the Guild Literary Complex held an event called Bring Your Own People at the California Clipper, and ChicagoPoetry.com was there to cover the event. Click here for the story.

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spacer.gif   More May Chicago Poetry Events
Posted by : cj on Tuesday, May 11, 2010 - 10:58 AM
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3409 Reads



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spacer.gif   Chicago Poetry SPRINGS Into Action
Posted by : cj on Monday, May 10, 2010 - 01:36 PM
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3979 Reads



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spacer.gif   Sam Hamill Reads For Unity Temple in Oak Park
Posted by : cj on Sunday, April 18, 2010 - 12:29 PM
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4189 Reads


Note: ChicagoPoetry.com was in Oak Park to cover the big Sam Hamill event. Here's the story.

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spacer.gif   Brookfield Zoo's Great Bear Wilderness: A Poetry Venue
Posted by : cj on Saturday, April 10, 2010 - 12:44 PM
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4946 Reads


Note: You are invited to a special poetry event at Brookfield Zoo. Click Here to order tickets.

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spacer.gif   2011 National Poetry Month Events In Chicago
Posted by : cj on Sunday, March 14, 2010 - 02:42 PM
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7993 Reads


Note: Here it is, the complete schedule of 2011 National Poetry Month Events in Chicago and the suburbs.

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spacer.gif   National Women's History Month: Chicago Poetry Style
Posted by : cj on Friday, March 12, 2010 - 08:58 PM
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4105 Reads



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spacer.gif   Open Call For Poets And Poetry
Posted by : cj on Thursday, February 25, 2010 - 04:45 PM
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3588 Reads


Note: ChicagoPoetry.com is seeking poets and poetry for three 2010 events. Click Here.

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spacer.gif   Chicago Poetry Opportunities
Posted by : cj on Tuesday, February 23, 2010 - 11:30 AM
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4444 Reads


Note: Click here for a bunch of great poetry information.

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spacer.gif   What I Think About Chicago Poets
Posted by : cj on Saturday, February 20, 2010 - 04:50 PM
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3408 Reads



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spacer.gif   Louder Than A Bomb 2010: Tenth Annual Youth Poetry Festival
Posted by : cj on Saturday, February 20, 2010 - 03:24 PM
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4041 Reads



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spacer.gif   Chicago Poetry Special Announcements
Posted by : cj on Saturday, February 06, 2010 - 12:27 PM
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3622 Reads



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spacer.gif   Poetry Spots In Chicago
Posted by : cj on Friday, February 05, 2010 - 04:05 PM
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4357 Reads



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spacer.gif   Chicago Poetry Event Announcements
Posted by : cj on Tuesday, January 19, 2010 - 01:20 PM
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3823 Reads



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spacer.gif   New Poetry Cram Series To Be Held Every 2nd Saturday
Posted by : cj on Sunday, January 17, 2010 - 04:14 PM
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3480 Reads


Note: ChicagoPoetry.com is temporarily putting its plans for a first Friday poetry series on the back burner. Instead, we will be sponsoring a monthly poetry Cram at Cafe Ballou, 939 N. Western Ave, on the 2nd Saturday of every month at 6 PM. Click Here for some images from the first Ballou Poetry Cram.

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spacer.gif   Effie Mihopoulos Passes Away: Two Memorials Planned
Posted by : cj on Thursday, January 14, 2010 - 10:47 PM
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5707 Reads

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What can be said about Effie Mihopoulos? I am really at a loss for words. Carlos Cumpian has called her a "pioneer." Other poets have called her a legend. Many poets have called her a mentor and a friend. Recently, Effie became ill. In December, her longtime friend Rhonda Farrins brought her to Swedish Covenant Hospital, where Effie was found to have breast cancer. In January, Effie was transferred to a Hospice at Weiss Memorial, where she passed away on January 14, 2010. Before she died, she was visited by dozens of her friends, who sat by her side and told her how important she was to them. Effie Mihopoulos graduated from Northeastern Illinois University with a Master's Degree in English in 1974. Her imprint "Ommation Press" published many Chicago poets over the years. Her book of poetry "The Moon Cycle" was produced as a play and Effie worked as a interviewer on WZRD for many years. She was also the Theater Coordinator for the Bucktown Arts Fest and the Performance Art reviewer for Examiner.com. Yet mentioning these few things is like throwing a pebble into the ocean. Seriously. No amount of words can express how instrumental Effie Mihopoulos has been to the Chicago Poetry Scene. She has been active in Chicago's performance arts and poetry scene for decades and it would take volumes to list all of her accomplishments. She will truly be missed.

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spacer.gif   Upcoming Performance Poetry Events
Posted by : cj on Wednesday, January 13, 2010 - 12:56 PM
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3437 Reads



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spacer.gif   JJ Jameson Parole Denied: Norman Porter "Not Suitable For Supervision"
Posted by : cj on Tuesday, January 12, 2010 - 08:15 PM
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5450 Reads


Note: Norman Porter will be eligible for parole again in five years. Click here for the story.

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spacer.gif   Chicago Poetry News Report
Posted by : cj on Saturday, January 09, 2010 - 03:22 PM
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5695 Reads

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Hello poets. I have lots-a cool poetry news to report today.

The big developing story for 2010 is that poetry will be coming to the Brookfield Zoo. The Language of Conservation will include 35 pieces of poetry—full length, stanzas, and one liners—carved in stone, etched in glass, and placed on plaques throughout Great Bear Wilderness, a new exhibit set to open in the spring. As part of the Language of Conservation, there will be various readings by top name poets throughout the year. The overall point of the project is to use poetry to inspire conservation and empathy for nature. There will be an opening reception in late May. The project is funded through Poets House of New York and a three-year grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The plan is to "permanently infuse poetry with the zoo, showing our guests that poetry is an accessible art form and encouraging poets to think of Brookfield Zoo as a venue and support network." Keep your eye on ChicagoPoetry.com for more exclusive scoops on this exciting development.
Note: Click Here for a lot more Chicago Poetry News.

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spacer.gif   POET PRINCE (JUS RHYMZ) AKBAR KILLED BY CALUMET CITY POLICE
Posted by : cj on Tuesday, January 05, 2010 - 07:01 PM
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8352 Reads


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Note: Click Here to read the tragic story of a spoken-word artist taken down by trigger happy cops.

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spacer.gif   RUTH LILLY DIES: POETRY FOUNDATION UNDER INVESTIGATION
Posted by : cj on Thursday, December 31, 2009 - 01:00 PM
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8945 Reads


Note: ChicagoPoetry News Flash: the non-profit Poetry Foundation is under investigation by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office, after Madigan received complaints from former board members concerning the alleged "mishandling of its millions." Click Here for the REWRITTEN STORY. **Updated 01/02/10

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spacer.gif   January 8: First, no wait, Second Friday at St. Paul's Cathedral
Posted by : cj on Wednesday, December 30, 2009 - 01:05 PM
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3709 Reads



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spacer.gif   Guild Complex Names Kimberly Dixon Its New Managing Director
Posted by : cj on Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - 12:13 AM
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4409 Reads


Note: ChicagoPoetry welcomes Kimberly Dixon to the Guild Complex.

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spacer.gif   Chicago Poetry eX-Out: News and Events
Posted by : cj on Sunday, December 13, 2009 - 03:50 PM
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3493 Reads



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spacer.gif   Never Ending Chicago Poetry News
Posted by : cj on Wednesday, December 09, 2009 - 02:00 PM
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3844 Reads



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spacer.gif   Holiday smARTshow at Flat Iron Building
Posted by : cj on Tuesday, December 08, 2009 - 01:44 PM
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3181 Reads



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spacer.gif   December 9: The Guild Complex Award Ceremony and 20 Year Anniversary
Posted by : cj on Tuesday, December 01, 2009 - 12:15 PM
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3393 Reads



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spacer.gif   Cram 7: Poetry Of Celebration Now Available
Posted by : cj on Saturday, November 28, 2009 - 03:26 PM
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3427 Reads



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spacer.gif   Donna Pecore Wins Cram 7 Editor's Choice Award
Posted by : cj on Thursday, November 26, 2009 - 01:37 PM
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4597 Reads

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Photo by Kelsey WrightChicago poet Donna Pecore has won the $100 Cram 7 Editor's Choice Award for her poem "HumBug". Donna holds a B.A. from Columbia College and was also the winner of the first Alma Stuckey Award. She is the author of several chapbooks, is one of the editors of Word Curves, and she has been a featured poet at Hull House, Beach Poets, Elbowing Off The Stage, The Printers Ball and at several other events.

Donna Pecore is among the 20 poets who have been selected to have work included in Cram 7: Poetry of Celebration, to be released at the Chicago Poetry Love-In on Friday, December 4, 7 PM, at Cafe Ballou, 939 N. Western Ave. Everyone can pick up a free copy of Cram 7 at the event. For a complete list of Cram 7 poets, click here.

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spacer.gif   December 2: Rec Room Presents "Death Of Print" at Black Rock
Posted by : cj on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 - 12:01 PM
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3572 Reads



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spacer.gif   Chicago Poetry Email Blast
Posted by : cj on Sunday, November 22, 2009 - 10:04 PM
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3498 Reads


Note: Here's the scoop on Kansas City Writers at Latte on Lincoln, Chielo Zone Eze at Northeastern, Highland Park Poetry Thanksgiving, Ellen Wadey's Bon Voyage Parrty, and Brewed Awakening in Westmont

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spacer.gif   2009 National Book Award Winner For Poetry
Posted by : cj on Thursday, November 19, 2009 - 12:43 AM
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4789 Reads


Note: The winner of the 2009 National Book Award for Poetry has been announced: CLICK HERE for the scoop from Chicago Poetry.

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spacer.gif   First Friday Poetry Returns on December 4
Posted by : cj on Sunday, November 15, 2009 - 01:23 PM
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3740 Reads



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spacer.gif   Free Lunch Poetry To End After Ron Offen Hospitalized
Posted by : cj on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 05:37 PM
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6368 Reads


Note: Issue #42 will be the last issue of Free Lunch.

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spacer.gif   November 20 and 22: Rhino Reads and Workshop
Posted by : cj on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 12:00 PM
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3533 Reads



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spacer.gif   November 21 and 22: Open Books Grand Opening
Posted by : cj on Tuesday, November 03, 2009 - 03:24 PM
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3059 Reads



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spacer.gif   November 18: Palabra Pura at Decima Musa: Rita María Martínez and Luis Tubens
Posted by : cj on Wednesday, October 28, 2009 - 12:10 AM
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4301 Reads



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spacer.gif   Kimberly Johnson and Jay Hopler Tour Illinois
Posted by : cj on Saturday, October 24, 2009 - 03:12 PM
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3892 Reads



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spacer.gif   Chicago Poet Kevin Coval Banned From Jewish Conference
Posted by : cj on Friday, October 23, 2009 - 12:34 PM
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4347 Reads


Note: After learning that, what he deemed to be, "protest poetry" would be included in the conference, a neo-conservative, right wing pundit named Michael Goldfart spouted off at the blog The Weekly Standard, calling Kevin Coval's poetry reading an "anti-Israel poetry slam" . . .

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spacer.gif   Poetry News You Can Use
Posted by : cj on Thursday, October 22, 2009 - 11:56 AM
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3933 Reads


Note: Click here for the news on 350 Poems, Shakespeare's Monkey, Jason Sturner, Brewed Poetry, Next Objectivists, and Funny Ha Ha

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spacer.gif   The Whistler on Milwaukee Avenue Presents Orange Alert
Posted by : cj on Sunday, October 18, 2009 - 08:52 PM
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4717 Reads


Note: I checked out the Orange Alert reading at the Whistler on October 18. Here's the scoop from ChicagoPoetry.com.

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spacer.gif   2009 National Book Award Finalists For Poetry
Posted by : cj on Thursday, October 15, 2009 - 03:05 PM
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3583 Reads


Note: In 2009, 193 publishers submitted 1,129 books for the 2009 National Book Awards. The judges for poetry were Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, A. Van Jordan, Cole Swensen, and Kevin Young. The Winners will be announced on Wednesday, November 18. The five finalists for the 2009 National Book Award for Poetry have been announced as follows . . .

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spacer.gif   JOB OPENING: GUILD COMPLEX
Posted by : cj on Friday, September 11, 2009 - 11:03 AM
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3555 Reads


Note: The Guild Complex is seeking a Managing Director.

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spacer.gif   FIFTY-THREE POETS PULERVIZE PREVIOUS CRAM RECORD
Posted by : cj on Sunday, April 26, 2009 - 08:39 AM
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7334 Reads


Note: Fifty-three poets appearing during a 150 minute show? Now that's what we call a Poetry Cram. Here is the story. NOW WITH AUDIO OF THE FIRST TWO HOURS OF THE CRAM!!!

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spacer.gif   NATIONAL POETRY MONTH EVENTS HOSTED BY CJ LAITY
Posted by : cj on Sunday, March 22, 2009 - 02:10 PM
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5160 Reads


Note: April is National Poetry Month. ChicagoPoetry.com is proud to sponsor three great events in celebration.

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spacer.gif   Chicago's First Friday Poetry Reading Series Hosted By CJ Laity
Posted by : cj on Saturday, March 07, 2009 - 01:02 PM
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5488 Reads


Note: CJ Laity's first Friday poetry show, Chicago Poetry Love-In, continues at Loose Leaf Tea Loft with March Poetry Madness. Here is the scoop.

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spacer.gif   TUESDAY POETRY OPEN MIC AT LOOSE LEAF
Posted by : cj on Tuesday, February 10, 2009 - 11:02 PM
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5586 Reads


Note: High Tea With The Poetry Princess, a new Tuesday night poetry open mic, is here.

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spacer.gif   LISA ALVARADO: FEMINIST LATINA, SOUL OF CHICAGO
Posted by : cj on Sunday, September 21, 2008 - 07:12 PM
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7344 Reads


Note: CJ Laity heads out to Pilsen to check out Lisa Alvarado's book release party at Decima Musa. Here is the story.

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spacer.gif   FREAK STORM SHUTS DOWN BOOK FAIR, SHOWCASE GOES ON
Posted by : cj on Monday, June 09, 2008 - 11:39 AM
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6484 Reads


Note: On Sunday, June 8, a freak storm slammed the Printers Row Book Fair, shutting it down for several hours and causing most of the poetry events to be cancelled. However, ChicagoPoetry.com's event went on. Here is the report.

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spacer.gif   MY TOPIC, MYOPIC, CAN'T STOP IT
Posted by : cj on Sunday, March 23, 2008 - 09:25 PM
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7526 Reads


Note: CJ Laity takes a trip out to Myopic Books to report on their Sunday night get together. Click Here for the full report.

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spacer.gif   PALABRA PURA PUMPS ENERGY INTO POETRY SCENE
Posted by : cj on Thursday, March 20, 2008 - 09:08 AM
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5196 Reads


Note: CJ Laity takes a trip to Humboldt Park to check out the Guild Complex's Palabra Pura series.



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spacer.gif   THE TRUTH ABOUT SMALL PRESS MONTH
Posted by : cj on Wednesday, March 05, 2008 - 02:58 PM
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4155 Reads


Note: Matthias Regan of Rubba Ducky Press adds his two cents to the Small Press Month debate.

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spacer.gif   BROOKFIELD ZOO POETRY CONTEST
Posted by : cj on Monday, February 04, 2008 - 12:43 PM
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4147 Reads



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spacer.gif   THE STATE OF THE CHICAGO POETRY SCENE ADDRESS
Posted by : cj on Saturday, December 15, 2007 - 01:04 PM
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4851 Reads


Note: CJ Laity gives his annual State of the Chicago Poetry Scene address. Click Here for a transcript of the speech.

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spacer.gif   DANNY'S TAVERN READING SERIES WALKS THE WALK
Posted by : cj on Wednesday, December 12, 2007 - 10:33 PM
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8027 Reads


Note: ChicagoPoetry.com visits Danny's Tavern in Bucktown for the final poetry reading of the 2007 reading series. Here is Laity's full report.

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spacer.gif   CHICAGO POETS CELEBRATE THE CITY VISIBLE
Posted by : cj on Friday, November 30, 2007 - 05:45 PM
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5351 Reads


Note: ChicagoPoetry.com takes a trip to Romeoville to check out the City Visible reading at Lewis University.

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spacer.gif   HELEN SHAIBLE SONNET CONTEST
Posted by : cj on Monday, November 26, 2007 - 07:12 PM
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9876 Reads

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HELEN SCHAIBLE
SHAKESPEAREAN/PETRARCHAN
SONNET CONTEST

Open to all. Submit only one entry of either a Shakespearean or Petrarchan sonnet. The entry must be original and unpublished.

Submit 2 copies, typed double-spaced, on standard 8½” X 11" paper with name and address on one copy in the upper right corner, but no ID on second copy.

First Prize $50.00. Second Prize $35.00. Third prize $15.00.
Three Honorable Mentions Unranked
Three Special Recognitions Unranked

There is no fee. Winners will be notified by November 1, 2008. The poet keeps all rights. No entries will be returned. Enclose a SASE for the winner's list. All rules printed here. Rules do not change from year to year, but the chairperson may, so check the latest listings in e.g., chicagopoetry.com, illinoispoets.org, poetsandpatrons.net, Poet’s Market, or Writer’s Market.

Mail entries, postmarked by
September 1, 2008
to

Tom Roby, Apt. 2304
1130 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60605


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spacer.gif   Chicago Poetry TV
Posted by : cj on Thursday, November 01, 2007 - 04:47 PM
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4628 Reads



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spacer.gif   POET NIKKI GIOVANNI STOOD UP TO VIRGINIA TECH KILLER
Posted by : cj on Wednesday, April 18, 2007 - 06:41 PM
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15661 Reads


Note: The Virginia Tech mass murderer was a student in Nikki Giovanni's poetry class. Giovanni said his "tirade" of poetry was "invasive" and a "personal violation." Here is the story.

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spacer.gif   WINNERS OF THE 2007 FRIEDA STEIN FENSTER AWARDS ANNOUNCED
Posted by : cj on Sunday, April 15, 2007 - 07:12 PM
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9747 Reads


Note: Here are the winners of the Fourth Annual Frieda Stein Fenster Awards for Poetry, sponsored by ChicagoPoetry.com.

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spacer.gif   ARCHIVE: THE AMAZING 2006 CHICAGO POETRY FEST LINE UP
Posted by : cj on Sunday, July 02, 2006 - 12:29 PM
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15906 Reads


Note: Click Here for the complete 2006 Chicago Poetry Fest line up. This year's poetry fest will feature over 50 poets at two separate venues. Mark your calendars for the last weekend of August and help us celebrate the art of poetry.

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spacer.gif   WINNERS OF THE 2006 FRIEDA STEIN FENSTER AWARDS ANNOUNCED
Posted by : cj on Sunday, April 09, 2006 - 04:51 PM
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5658 Reads


Note: The winners of the 2006 Frieda Stein Fenster Memorial Awards for Poetry, sponsored by ChicagoPoetry.com, have been announced

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spacer.gif   MARC BAMUTHI JOSEPH'S WORD BECOMES FLESH: INCLUDES SHORT REVIEW
Posted by : cj on Wednesday, February 01, 2006 - 05:31 PM
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4176 Reads


Note: The Museum of Contemprary Art is offering ChicagoPoetry.com readers a discount on this weekend's performance of MARC BAMUTHI JOSEPH: WORD BECOMES FLESH. All You have to do is say "Chicago Poetry" at the boxoffice and you will get in for $10 (which is $12 off the $22 ticket price). Here are the details to this offer.

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spacer.gif   SIMONE MUENCH CELEBRATES RELEASE OF NEW BOOK
Posted by : cj on Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - 05:18 PM
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5548 Reads


Note: Here is the scoop on Lampblack and Ash.

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spacer.gif   POETRY FLASH: ROBERT KARIMI SCORES FELLOWSHIP
Posted by : cj on Wednesday, January 18, 2006 - 11:29 AM
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3891 Reads


Note: Here's the scoop on Karimi's Illinois Arts Council Award.

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spacer.gif   POETRY FLASH: JARED SMITH CELEBRATES RELEASE OF NEW BOOK
Posted by : cj on Wednesday, November 09, 2005 - 10:51 AM
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5701 Reads


Note: Here is the scoop on Jared Smith's new book.

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spacer.gif   THE LITERARY GANGS OF CHICAGO
Posted by : cj on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 10:10 PM
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5525 Reads


Note: Letter eX reports on the new literary series at the Museum of Contemporary Art:
Click Here for the full story.

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spacer.gif   Archive: Northwestern University Kicks Off Writers’ Conference
Posted by : cj on Wednesday, July 13, 2005 - 05:20 PM
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4245 Reads


Note: Northwestern University is pleased to present Art and Craft: the Northwestern Summer Writer's Conference July 22-24 on the Chicago lakefront campus.

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spacer.gif   LEGENDARY POET OSCAR BROWN, JR. PASSES AWAY
Posted by : cj on Tuesday, June 21, 2005 - 05:47 PM
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3635 Reads


Note: Chicago-born, world renowned poet and playwright, Oscar Brown, Jr. has passed away at age 78.

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spacer.gif   SUMMER BEGINS WITH SOME EXCITING POETRY EVENTS
Posted by : cj on Thursday, June 09, 2005 - 09:37 AM
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4186 Reads


Note: Here is the scoop on a new poetic theatre performance called Silva, The Red Rover Series, The Hyde Park Poetry Fest, and Elise Paschen.

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spacer.gif   ChicagoPoetry.com Press Releases 2005 Chapbook Title
Posted by : cj on Sunday, May 01, 2005 - 09:57 AM
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3735 Reads


Note: ChicagoPoetry.com is proud to present its 2005 Solidarity Series seclection, Dancing With the Ancestors by Kwame Lynn Pitts. Click here for details.

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spacer.gif   POST-MODERN POETRY SUFFERS GREAT LOSS
Posted by : cj on Tuesday, April 05, 2005 - 11:34 AM
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6454 Reads


Note: Robert Creeley has passed away. Here are the details, as well as announcements from The Discreet Series and The Columbia College Chicago Citywide Undergraduate Poetry Festival.

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spacer.gif   Open Call: Illinois Emerging Writer’s Competition
Posted by : cj on Monday, April 04, 2005 - 01:32 PM
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4707 Reads


Note: The first annual “Illinois Emerging Writer’s Competition” sponsored by the Illinois Secretary of State’s Center for the Book was announced at the 2005 Illinois Book Fair on March 5, 2005. This competition is opened to all Illinois residents who are 18 years of age or older. Prizes include cash and publication. Here is the scoop from Letter eX, Chicago's most trusted poetry news source.

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spacer.gif   WINNERS OF 2005 FRIEDA STEIN FENSTER AWARD ANNOUNCED
Posted by : cj on Thursday, March 31, 2005 - 08:58 AM
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5755 Reads


Note: The winners of the 2005 Frieda Stein Fenster Memorial Award for Poetry, sponsored by ChicagoPoetry.com, have been announced.

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spacer.gif   ARCHIVE: 2005 JURIED READING POETS SELECTED (UPDATED WITH MORE NEWS)
Posted by : cj on Saturday, March 26, 2005 - 09:40 AM
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4524 Reads


Note: Here is the scoop about Luis Rodriguez, the 2005 Juried Reading, Saint Xavier University, a Kevin Stein reading at Columbia College, a DvA special event, and a Puddin'head Press book release party. Poetry life goes on.

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spacer.gif   A COMPLEX MISSION: KEEPING A LITERARY LEGACY ALIVE
Posted by : cj on Saturday, March 05, 2005 - 10:12 AM
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4534 Reads


Note: Here is a reprint of the popular Third Coast Press article about the Guild Complex.

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spacer.gif   POETRY THERAPISTS CONFER IN THE MIDWEST
Posted by : cj on Monday, February 21, 2005 - 02:08 PM
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4356 Reads


Note: The 25th Annual Conference of the National Association for Poetry Therapy is in St. Louis May 4-8, 2005. Click on the headline for the details.

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spacer.gif   BIG BRIDGE COMES OUT WITH BIG ISSUE
Posted by : The Author on Friday, February 18, 2005 - 05:09 PM
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4988 Reads


Note: Anne Waldman, Shin Yu Pai, Kristy Bowen and Larry O. Dean are among the local authors featured in Big Bridge. Chicago's very own Larry Sawyer is a contributing editor. Here is the scoop.

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spacer.gif   RACHEL JAMISON WEBSTER DELIVERS KNOCK-OUT DEBUT AT QUIMBY'S
Posted by : cj on Sunday, February 13, 2005 - 11:25 AM
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4560 Reads

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Oyez Review Release Issue No. 32 At Quimby'sRoosevelt University's Oyez Review celebrated the release of issue 32 on Saturday, February 12, at Quimby's Bookstore, 1854 W. North Avenue. Chairs were set up in the back of the store and a good crowd huddled in. The featured artist for the event was Rachel Jamison Webster, who delivered a remarkably powerful entrance into Chicago's poetry scene. Her poetry contained a rich, local flavor, touching upon such themes as Ukrainian Village elderly and a kids ride in Lincoln Park. Spending twenty minutes on this post-Arthur Miller Saturday to hear Rachel read was worth the el trip to Wicker Park. Quimby's gets some top names to read, including Tony FitzPatrick, who recently celebrated the release of his new book at the alternative bookstore.

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spacer.gif   CHICAGO SAYS GOODBYE TO A GUY FROM ALBANY
Posted by : cj on Wednesday, February 02, 2005 - 12:39 AM
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4211 Reads


Note: Tom Nattell of 3 Guys From Albany, who has performed at such Chicago venues as Weeds, The Green Mill, and Coffee Chicago, has passed away. Click the headline.

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spacer.gif   THE VERSE IS YET TO COME
Posted by : cj on Wednesday, February 02, 2005 - 12:03 AM
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5219 Reads


Note: Click on the headline for a reprint of the popular Third Coast Press article. Emily Calvo, Jose Bono, Charlie Newman, Jim Coppoc, Steven Schroeder, Michael Burke, and Arthur Holland, Sr. speak out about the re-selection of George W. Bush.

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spacer.gif   CHICAGO SAYS FAREWELL TO CARLOS CORTEZ
Posted by : cj on Saturday, January 22, 2005 - 04:42 PM
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14124 Reads


Note: One of Chicago's most beloved poets, Carlos Cortez, has passed away. Click on the headline for the story, an obituary by Carlos Cumpian, a rememberance by Frank Varela, thoughts by Jose Bono, and a place to post your own thoughts.

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spacer.gif   OPEN CALL FOR FICTION WRITERS: STUART DYBEK TO JUDGE CONTEST
Posted by : cj on Thursday, January 20, 2005 - 02:50 PM
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4014 Reads


Note: The Guild Complex is announcing a fiction contest, and Stuart Dybek will be the judge. Click on the headline for all the details.

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spacer.gif   GREEN MILL MAKES BID TO TAKE BACK SLAM TITLE
Posted by : cj on Sunday, December 05, 2004 - 09:50 PM
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3946 Reads

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In Search of the Poetry Slam Shuffle

After years of failing at its own game, the Uptown Poetry Slam is getting major league serious about its attempt to take back the National Poetry Slam title in 2005. They are planning to use the momentum of a book release party (which will be catered, free and open to the public) to launch a series of aggressive poetry bouts, in a bid to find the strongest team of poets that exists in Chicago.

On Sunday, October 3, from 2 PM until 5 PM, the Green Mill (birthplace of the Poetry Slam) will be hosting the official book release party for "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Slam Poetry" (Penguin / Alpha Press), written by Marc K. Smith. A few ChicagoPoetry.com fans got a sneak-preview of this book at the 2004 Chicago Poetry Fest, and now everyone can come on out for a special afternoon party for the official release of this major American title.

With more than two-thousand live performances to his credit, in such diverse venues as nightclubs, concert halls, libraries, universities, on city streets, even on top of freakin' hot dog stands, Marc K. Smith (otherwise known as the SlamPapi) still hangs on to his Chicago roots with an unyielding passion. He continues to personally hosts the Uptown Poetry Slam every Sunday night. Now, it appears that the father of Slam poetics has grown sick and tired of Chicago's dismal attempts to compete in the annual National Poetry Slam, and he's looking for some no-holds-barred poets to help win one for the Home Team. His new book is just the guide to help those who are serious about doing this for Chicago.

Smith's new book is a "how-to" bible, accompanied by two audio CDs. The book and CDs cover the roots of Slam poetry, the impact the Slam has had on modern day poetry, the future of the Slam, tips on how to Slam, inspirations to help you write and perform Slam poetry, and tools for organizing your own Poetry Slam. It will serve as a great reference for anyone who is also serious about making the 2005 Team Chicago one that can go all the way.

During the special afternoon party at the Mill, Smith will also present the first ever "Slam Jeopardy." Up to fifteen contestants will compete in a trivia contest based upon the new book, and the winners will stick around for a special evening face-off. The afternoon party is free and open to the public, and there will be refreshments provided by Susan O'Connell Catering and music by Strange Brothers plus One. The evening Slam that will follow starts at 7 PM; there will be the standard $6 cover for that one. The Green Mill is located at 4802 N. Broadway.

Probably the weirdest fact concerning the recent 2004 National Poetry Slam, was that a team from the Green Mill not only failed to make it to the finals, but didn't even represent in St. Louis at all.

Well, if Smith has his way, all that is about to change. It looks like this year, the Green Mill is getting a little more serious about shooting for the title in next year's National Poetry Slam, which will be happening in Albuquerque, New Mexico, August 2005. Smith is already beginning the process of seeking the most powerful team of four Chicago performance poets, with the "Team Chicago Slam Tournament" that is scheduled to begin on Sunday, September 26.

An open call has been sent out for poets to participate in preliminary bouts. Each bout will feature eight contestants; five of them may request reserved spots, three of the spots will only be made available on a first come first served basis to those who show up on the night of the bout. There will be one winner each month, all the way through May of 2005. Poets may reserve a spot by signing up at the Green Mill on any Sunday night during a slam, or by contacting the slam founder personally at his email address: SlamPapi@SlamPapi.com. With limited bouts, not everyone who wants one will get the reserved spots, so it would be wise to include your poetry bio. and also a letter explaining why you think you belong on the team. Members of the previous Green Mill slam teams are not eligible. That's right, the Green Mill is looking for a fresh team with some powerful new voices. They are looking for strong writing by poets who have an energetic performance style. This will be a great opportunity for the new crowd of performance poets to get into the action.

Winners of each preliminary bout will get (count it) twenty-five bucks. Whew. But more importantly, they will get the opportunity to compete in the semi-final bouts, held in June, 2005. The judges for all the bouts will consist of pre-selected as well as randomly chosen people.

Do you want to help Chicago take back the National Poetry Slam title? Well, it's about time. Here are the dates for the preliminary bouts, all of them Sundays: (2004) September 26, October 24, November 28, (2005) January 23, February 27, March 27, April 24 and May 22. If you lose in your first attempt, you may enter once again and give it another try, but if you lose twice, that's it kiddo. You will need at least three poems (no longer than three minutes each) to compete in the preliminary bouts.

Now, let's say you win. Well then, you go on to the semi-final bouts, which will be held in 2005 on June 5, 12, 19 and 26. There will be up to four poets competing in each semi-final bout. The two high scoring poets from each bout will go onto the Finals during a special show on July 10. And the winners of that slam will then go on to The National Poetry Slam in August.

Sounds tough? You bet it is. Better get your best work together and practice performing it at your local poetry venues, before you show for your bout. Get busy. Help win one for the Home Team.

--C. J. Laity, reporting the poetry news for ya'.

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spacer.gif   WINNERS OF 2004 READERS' CHOICE AWARDS ANNOUNCED
Posted by : cj on Sunday, December 05, 2004 - 09:40 PM
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3810 Reads

Kim BerezWell, the deadline has passed and all the votes have been counted three times to confirm the winners in the 2004 ChicagoPoetry.com Readers' Choice Awards. Poems by thirteen Chicago artists were published in Letter eX for o­ne month, and our readers were allowed to vote to see which poet would receive the award of $200. We received a total of 256 votes, about two-thirds by e-mail, and another third by snail mail. It became apparent early in the contest that poems by two poets were being favored by our readership, and o­n any given day I could not keep track of which of these two poets were in the lead, the votes were coming in so fast. But it is o­nly the final count that matters, and the final count is: Kim Berez wins first place and gets the $200. She will receive her award certificate and will read her poetry at the Chicago Poetry Fest. Kim received a total of 62 votes. Erika Mikkalo wins a very close second place. She will receive her honorable mention certificate and she will read her poetry at the Chicago Poetry Fest. Erika received a total of 59 votes. The third place honorable mention goes to Kathy Kubik, who is invited to read o­ne of her poems in the Chicago Poetry Fest. She received a total of 28 votes. Click Here to review all the poems, which will be permanently archived in the Poetry section



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spacer.gif   THE COOK COUNTY BLAME GAME
Posted by : cj on Sunday, December 05, 2004 - 09:20 PM
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Note: On October 17, 2003, Chicago Poet Felice Lichaw and five others died during a mysterious fire in the Cook County Administration Building in Chicago's Loop. Although there has been a lot of finger pointing, nobody is willing to take any blame.

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spacer.gif   DESPITE DISAPPOINTING TURNOUT, PUBLIC LIBRARY POETRY FEST GOES ON
Posted by : cj on Sunday, December 05, 2004 - 09:18 PM
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4336 Reads

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Juried Reading Winners Take The Stage At The Public Library Poetry Fest During the Chicago Public Library's 5th Annual Poetry Fest at the Harold Washington Library on Saturday, April 17, it was announced that Chicago Poet Kristy Bowen was the recipient of the first place prize in the Poetry Center of Chicago's 10th Annual Juried Reading. Kristy's poem "Narrowing" was published in a chapbook, along with poetry by the other seven finalists, and she received $1000. Kristy holds an M.A. in English Literature from DePaul University, and her book The Archaeologist's Daughter is forthcoming from Moon Journal Press. National Poetry Month has been a big month for Kristy Bowen, who also appeared for ChicagoPoetry.com at the Guild Complex presentation of Chicago Poetry Uncensored, during which she received an honorable mention in the 1st Annual Frieda Stein Fenster Memorial Award. She was personally selected by Campbell McGrath to receive the Juried Reading prize.

The other winners in the Juried Reading were: Jason Bredle, who won $500 for 2nd place; Joanne Diaz, who won $250 for 3rd place; Kirsty Odelius, who received $50 and an honorable mention; Charlie Clark, Lorraine Harrell, Daniel B. Johnson and Kiki Petrosino, who each received $50 as finalists.

Chicago Poetry-Scene Heavyweight Ken Clarke Says Hello To ChicagoPoetry.comThe Juried Reading was one part of a day full of poetry readings, workshops and panel discussions, during a festival full of talented poets, but lacking in audience (and you can't blame that on the weather). Haki Madhubuti and Quraysh Ali Lansana started the day with readings of their new work. Haki read from Run Toward Fear which included excerpts from the forty steps to being a poet, including such gems as "marry someone with a job," and "read more poetry than you write." Quraysh read from his new book They Shall Run. It was very enlightening to hear Quraysh read his new poems in the thick dialect they are written in, as it is quite honestly one tough book to absorb for anyone unfamiliar with the specifics of Harriet Tubman. The poems were also enhanced by some history during his introductions to them.

Juried Reading Judge Simone Muench Reads During Richard Fammeree's Presentation of reVerse LIVEIn one of the library's multipurpose rooms, the editors of The Spoken Word Revolution, Mark Eleveld and Slampapi Marc Smith, were joined by Chicago Poet Tara Betts during a panel discussion about the Poetry Slam. Smith immediately abandoned his post at the panel table and took a seat within the audience as the discussion began. Though Smith's relaxed attitude was refreshing, and though his promise of a book due in June titled The Complete Idiot's Guide To The Poetry Slam was certainly news, and though the event offered a pretty effective argument for the merits of the Slam style of performance poetry--it would have been nice if an alternative viewpoint had been allowed into the panel. Because only pro-slam voices were allowed to sit on the panel, the hour was not so much a discussion, as it was a sales pitch for the $25 book.

The day also included some events that I missed, as they happened simultaneously, such as a feature by the Chicago Poetry Project, the Young Chicago Authors' Louder Than A Bomb event, a presentation by the Snow City Arts Foundation, and a performance poetry workshop held by Tara Betts. In the main lobby, small presses were showcased and were allowed to sell their books, including Bridge Magazine, Non-Fit Press, Puddin'head Press, A Small Garlic Press, Third World Press, among others.

Mark Strand Was One Of The Headliners During The Poetry FestAfter the Juried Reading in the main auditorium, just as the day's unbelievably low turnout for the under-publicized Poetry Fest was finally beginning to thicken, the audience was unfortunately subjected to yet another of Richard Fammeree's mish-mashes of poetry and music. I thought it was disappointing that the poetry fest didn't have enough faith in the spoken-word alone to headline some poetry giants a cappella to close off this event, without mixing in a couple more songs by Linnaeus, blasting techno-music so loud that you couldn't even hear Ken Clarke's poem, giving Mark Strand all of about seven minutes on stage (a fraction of what the flutist was allowed), and promising a performance by Elise Paschen without delivering it. But the reVerse Live climax did include some finely executed performances by Simone Muench, Marvin Tate, and Sherill Lamb, making it all worth while.

--C. J. Laity
Reporting the poetry news for ya'.

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spacer.gif   BIRTH--BASED ON AN INTERVIEW WITH QURAYSH ALI LANSANA
Posted by : cj on Sunday, December 05, 2004 - 09:07 PM
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10476 Reads


Note: C. J. Laity explores the life of Chicago Poet Quraysh Ali Lansana in this story based on an interview with the poet.

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spacer.gif   INTERVIEW WITH THE VERSIFIER: THE JOHN SINCLAIR CHRONICLES
Posted by : cj on Sunday, December 05, 2004 - 07:16 PM
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7037 Reads


Note: John Sinclair has been in the public limelight for over thirty years. He has been a poet, a political activist, a Blues Scholar, and a radio DJ. He first gained notoriety in the late '60s when he founded the white panther party.

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spacer.gif   SENSELESS TRAGEDY STRIKES THE AMERICAN POETRY SCENE
Posted by : cj on Sunday, December 05, 2004 - 07:10 PM
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13870 Reads



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spacer.gif   TOP STORY OF 2003: POETS AGAINST THE WAR
Posted by : cj on Sunday, December 05, 2004 - 07:05 PM
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4431 Reads

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FIRST LADY LAURA BUSH CENSORS UNCLE SAM (AND 1900 OTHER AMERICAN POETS)



Listen To The Chicago PAW Reading At PoetryPoetry ** Chicago PAW Photo Gallery ** Bush Reads Poetry

British Police Create A Poetry RoadblockStory Updated March 3: 15,000 Poems To Congress: At noon on March 5th on Capitol Hill, three of America’s preeminent living poets (representing an extraordinary cross section of distinguished poets) presented approximately 15,000 anti-war poems to members of Congress. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) hosted the event with other members of the Progressive Caucus including Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) and Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA). The poems were presented by Pulitzer prize winner and Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets W.S. Merwin, Pulitzer prize winner Jorie Graham, author and poet Terry Tempest Williams and founding editor of Copper Canyon Press Sam Hamill.

Back in Chicago, a second Poets Against the War reading was held on Wednesday, March 5, 2003, 7-10 pm at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Unity Temple at the corner of Lake and Kenilworth in downtown Oak Park. This one was co-sponsored by PoetryPoetry.com and the Unity Temple Unitarian Universalist Congregation. Charlie Rossiter was be the host of the evening. An audio recording of the reading was made to be posted on PoetryPoetry.com.


Chicago Poets Against The War Prepare To Wage Peace At The Launching PadReport from the February 12 reading: As Sam Hamill's anthology of 5,000 anti-war poems was once again turned away at the gates of the White House on Wednesday, February 12 commenced as Poets Against The War Day in America. While much of the country fearfully duct taped plastic over their windows and hid in their homes expecting the consequences of George Bush's personal crusade to knock on their door, thousands of brave American heros refused to be silenced and ignored wintery weather to attend over 160 poetry readings across the United States. ChicagoPoetry.com (in conjunction with MOST and PoetryPoetry.com) participated by sponsoring an all star poetry reading, featuring over 25 talented poets from across the State of Illinois (photo by Maggie Rubin); the reading was broadcast live on the internet and the entire reading was recorded for the feature on PoetryPoetry.com.

Billy CollinsWe were not alone in our refusal to be silenced. The United States incumbent Poet Laureate, Billy Collins, has joined the Poetry Against the War (PAW) Movement started by Sam Hamill, and has publicly declared his opposition to war, saying he finds it increasingly difficult to keep politics out of his official job as literary advocate. Collins does not have a history of political activism, but he nevertheless defended a group of anti-war poets who last week were censored when first lady Laura Bush cancelled a symposium for fear that peace poetry would be recited in the White House. "If political protest is urgent, I don't think it needs to wait for an appropriate scene and setting and should be as disruptive as it wants to be," Collins said to The Associated Press. "I have tried to keep the West Wing and the East Wing of the White House as separate as possible because I support what Mrs. Bush has done for the causes of literacy and reading. But as this country is being pushed into a violent confrontation, I find it increasingly difficult to maintain that separation." A spokeswoman for the Library of Congress, which appointed Collins poet laureate, said that "Mr. Collins is free to express his own opinions on any subject." Other poets are joining the PAW project as well. South Dakota's poet laureate, David Allen Evans, said "I'm not speaking as a representative of the state, I'm speaking as a poet and private individual. I know it's an ambivalent situation and I hesitated to contribute to the (PAW) project, but I felt that I needed to say I wanted peace instead of war." New Jersey poet laureate Amiri Baraka said he plans to send a statement to Hamill, possibly a poem about impeaching President Bush. "I see it as part of my job. The main task right now is stopping the war," said Baraka.

clickIt all started when Pushcart Prize winning poet Sam Hamill (the author of 13 volumes of verse and a self-described conscientious objector) was scheduled to attend a symposium titled "Poetry and the American Voice" at the White House, by special invitation from the First Lady, Laura Bush. Oops. Having recently been personally "nauseated" by George Bush's proposed "Shock and Awe" attack on Iraq, Hamill decided to use this once in a lifetime opportunity to reconstitute a Poets Against the War Movement, much like the one organized to speak out against the war in Vietnam. So he sent an open letter by e-mail to a few poets, asking them to speak up for the conscience of America and to make February 12 (the scheduled date for the symposium) a day of Poetry Against the War instead. He suggested the poets send him some anti-war poetry, and in return he promised to compile an anthology of their work, which he intended to have delivered to Laura Bush on the afternoon of February 12. But the e-mail quickly turned into a chain letter which spread across the world like wildfire. In four days, Sam Hamill received over 1900 submissions, including work by Hayden Carruth, Yusef Komunyakaa, Philip Levine, Grace Paley, Adrienne Rich, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and W.S. Merwin (who wrote "an incredible indictment of Bush"). Despite joyful, tearful, 18-hour days 60-year-old Hamill has been putting in, attempting to organize the submissions, it seems the White House has another plan for his anthology: Laura Bush's garbage can.

Catching wind of what was going on, First Lady Laura Bush attempted to silence these 1900 poets by indefinitely "postponing" The White House Symposium (which would have celebrated the notably political poets Langston Hughes and Walt Whitman), her official reason being because "some invited guests wanted to turn what is intended to be a literary event into a political forum." Mrs. Bush was obviously unaware that Walt Whitman once described the White House as "bought, sold...and filled with prostitutes" and throughout Langston Hughes' life he was visciously harassed by the FBI and by Joseph McCarthy. Hamill's defense to Laura Bush's reasoning is that "People have felt silenced, and we are providing a platform for poets to speak together." Former Poet Laureate Stanley Kunitz responded to the events leading up to the cancellation by saying, "I think there was a general feeling that the current administration is not really a friend of the poetic community and that its program of attacking Iraq is contrary to the humanitarian position that is at the centre of the poetic impulse." Pulitzer Prize-winner Philip Levine, citing White House "lying" and "Orwellian euphemisms," said the event was cancelled before he could even turn down his invitation.

German Poets Brave A Snow Storm To Protest In MunichHamill (a Zen Buddhist who ran for the California State Assembly in 1968 on an anti-war, socialist ticket) reminds the poetry community of the irony of the situation: "We closed the Bush poetry symposium on Whitman by 'politicizing literature.'" He goes on to say, in the newspaper The Globe And Mail: "These people wouldn't let Walt Whitman within a mile of the White House -- the good gay gray poet! I don't believe anybody there has ever read Whitman." In the Australian newspaper the Sydney Morning Herald (which called poetry the "first casualty of the war"), Todd Swift, the editor of the e-book 100 Poets Against the War, said: "The idea that you could have a non-political event celebrating the work of Walt Whitman...is absurd." In the St. Petersburg Times Chicago Poet Li-Young Lee said "It's impossible for poetry not to be political... The way I understand poetry, all poems are antiwar poems. I can be talking about potato chips or flowers, anything, but the underlying order of a poem, regardless of its subject, proposes universal harmony." Lee, who recently was featured at Chicago's St. Gregory Church, goes on to say, "What's so strange is that Laura Bush doesn't want these poets to use the forum for politics, but her negating them is itself a political act."

Most poets have expressed disappointment in Laura Bush's fear of peace poetry. For example, Connecticut's poet laureate, Marilyn Nelson, criticized the White House for trying to silence the voice of American artists. Nelson said she was looking forward to going to the White House, and she even commissioned a silk scarf with peace signs on it to wear to the affair. And former Poet Laureate Rita Dove, who declined her invitation to the White House, released a statement which read: "The abrupt cancellation of the symposium by the White House confirms my suspicion that the Bush administration is not interested in poetry when it refuses to remain in the ivory tower, and that this White House does not wish to open its doors to an 'American Voice' that does not echo the administration's misguided policies." Other poets have more radical views. At the Reuters website, Lawrence Ferlinghetti said the idea of inviting a group of poets to the White House as the administration prepares for war was naive in the first place. "The poet by definition is the bearer of freedom and love, and," Ferlinghetti points out, "by definition he has to be an enemy of the state and everything the state does, and one of its primary activities, which is war."

In the Seattle Times, Kevin Price, assistant professor of political science at the University of Washington, said of the incident, "Mini-showdowns over things like the poetry conference are a manifestation of the larger divisions in the political system."

More about "Uncle Sam" Hamill: Sam Hamill is the Founding Editor of Copper Canyon Press, a nonprofit publisher of poetry founded in 1972, which has published such poets as Pablo Neruda and Carolyn Kizer. Hamill is also the author of two dozen volumes translated from ancient Greek, Latin, Estonian, Japanese, and Chinese. Hamill taught in prisons for fourteen years, in artist-in-residency programs for twenty years, and has worked extensively with battered women and children. He has been the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Lila Wallace-Readers Digest Fund, the U.S.-Japan Friendship Commission, and two Washington Governor's Arts Awards. Click here to watch videos of Hamill reading his translations.

--Story ByC. J. Laity


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spacer.gif   THE ROUGH WATERS OF TWO RIVERS
Posted by : cj on Sunday, December 05, 2004 - 06:53 PM
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  Chicago Poetry News: Click On Headlines
8262 Reads

.
(The following is the complete, unedited "author's version" of the "Two-Rivers Tape" transcript. It appears here uncensored, and contains some language not intended for those under the age of 17. Although based on a true story, all incriminating statements are pure fiction and some of the incidents described have been fictionalized. Don't drink and drive.)

E. Donald Two Rivers passed away on December 27, 2008. Click Here.

-------------------

THE ROUGH WATERS OF TWO RIVERS
Story by C. J. Laity


-------------------

"Racism my friend?" Eddy said, as Sergio splashed two more shots of Jose Cuervo into our glasses. "It's for people who are narrow. The sight of a sweetly fleshed thigh, regardless of color, removes all thoughts of hate, unless of course you be a rapist. But my daddy said to me, 'Don't you never let a little color come between you and a good time. Remember where you come from and you'll do just fine.'" We clicked our shot glasses together and toasted sweetly fleshed thighs and then we dumped the brown juice down our throats. "Come on," he said, "I know where we can shoot some pool."

I pulled out my wallet, but Sergio shouted at me, "Get the fuck outta here! That's Eddy Two-Rivers. You think I'm going to charge a famous poet for drinkin' with me?"

-------------------

That night was suppose to be a "men's night out" with notable Chicago poets Marvin Tate, Tom Mladic, Gregorio Gomez, the old Native American poet E. Donald Two-Rivers (Eddy) and myself. We were all suppose to meet at Weeds and then go from there for a night of drinking and debauchery. I picked up Eddy in my car, and, as we arrived at Weeds, we soon realized it would be only the two of us. Gregorio was nowhere to be found, and a call to Marvin revealed he was staying home with his wife (though we suspected an orgy was more likely than not), and since Tom was to have arrived with Marvin, well, that was that.

Earlier, I was telling my girlfriend how Eddy, one of the kindest, gentlest of men on the face of the earth, is, however, a totally bitter, angry drunk. He ends up talking a bunch of shit when he's trashed, but then he denies it all later when he sobers up. So, before I left to pick Eddy up, I got the bright idea to bring along a cd burner and some extra disks and batteries, all with the capability of recording up to twelve hours of audio. I kept the recorder running in my jacket pocket throughout the entire evening, thinking it might be funny to whip it out at some later date when Eddy claimed he didn't say this or that. The evening took a few wrong turns, and the things Eddy told me that night had an unexpected, personal flavor to them, so I never mentioned to him the fact that I had it all documented.

Most of the audio I captured turned out to be nothing but completely inaudible bar noises, but there were a few long segments during which my device managed to pick up quite clearly Eddy's voice on that night. The following is a word for word transcription of that audio. I've taken the liberty to add, from memory, a few details and descriptions, in order to accurately recreate these moments.

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Note: CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE EDDIE TWO-RIVERS STORY

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