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Apr 23, 2014
Poetry Slam (Grades 7-12)
Tuscola, IL
Apr 24, 2014
SPECTRA Poetry Reading Series
Rock Island, IL
May 08, 2014
Red Hen Press at the Chicago Poetry Foundation
Chicago , IL
May 18, 2014
Joseph Kuhn Carey
Highland Park, IL
Feb 25, 2102
Vito Carli presents Wendy Brown-Baez
Chicago, IL
See all events from IL.


57th Street Books
1301 E. 57th Street
Chicago, IL

Barbara's Bookstore
111 North State Street
Chicago, IL

The Book Stall
811 Elm Street
Winnetka, IL

Booklegger's Used Books
2907 North Broadway
Chicago, IL

The Bookstore
475 North Main Street
Glen Ellyn, IL
(630) 469-2891

Books on First
202 West First Street
Dixon, IL
(815) 285-BOOK
(618) 656-7277

Centuries and Sleuths
7419 West Madison Street
Forest Park, IL
(708) 771-7243

The Newberry Library Bookstore
60 West Walton Street
Chicago, IL

Powell's Bookstores
stores in North/Lakeview
Burnham Park
and Hyde Park
Chicago, IL

Seminary Co-Op
5757 South University
Chicago, IL

Town House Books & Café
105 North 2nd Avenue
St. Charles, IL
(630) 584-8600

Women & Children First Bookstore
5233 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL
(773) 769-9299

Illinois Add to Notebook
Poet Laureate

Kevin Stein

Kevin Stein
In December 2003, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich named Kevin Stein the state's fourth Poet Laureate.

More information on this laureateship >
Featured Poets

Gwendolyn Brooks

Gwendolyn Brooks
Born in 1917, Gwendolyn Brooks was named Poet Laureate for the state of Illinois in 1968. She lived in Chicago until her death in 2000.

Carl Sandburg

Carl Sandburg
Recognized as a member of the Chicago literary renaissance, Carl Sandburg was born in Galesburg, Illinois, on in 1878. An editorial writer for the Chicago Daily News, he established his reputation with Chicago Poems in 1916.

Li-Young Lee

Li-Young Lee
In 1959 Li-Young Lee and his family fled Indonesia to escape anti-Chinese sentiment. The recipient of an American Book Award and a Lannan Literary Award, he lives in Chicago with is wife and two sons.

Other Illinois Poets
Sandra Cisneros
Calvin Forbes
Edward Hirsch
Langston Hughes
Lynda Hull
Archibald MacLeish
Edgar Lee Masters
Josephine Miles
John Frederick Nims
Shel Silverstein
Susan Hahn
Haki R. Madhubuti
Lisel Mueller
John Knoepfle

Literary Organizations & Centers

Gwendolyn Brooks Center for Black Literature and Creative Writing
The Gwendolyn Brooks Center for Black Literature and Creative Writing, founded in 1990 at Chicago State University (CSU), presents the annual Gwendolyn Brooks Black Writers' Conference, Black History Month Video & Film Festival, Women's History Month Lecture & Workshop Series, and National Poetry Festival. The Center publishes an annual literary journal, Warpland: A Journal of Black Literature and Ideas, and houses the International Literary Hall of Fame for Writers' of African Descent.

Highland Park Poetry
This is a newly formed group which seeks to increase awareness of poetry in the community through readings, writing workshops, and public displays. Highland Park Poetry is a good resource for poets in the North Shore area.

Illinois Arts Council
This state agency assists artists, arts organizations and other community organizations that present arts programming by providing financial and technical assistance. Funds are provided annually to the Council by the Illinois State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Illinois State Poetry Society
A member of the National Federation of State Poetry Societies, this membership organization helps poets meet one another and promote their work.

This comprehensive set of links to all things literary in Illinois is hosted by The Unit for Contemporary Literature at Illinois State University in cooperation with the Illinois Arts Council.

Midwest Writing Center
This online site serves as an information gateway to literary events and writing resources throughout eastern Iowa and western Illinois.

The Newberry Library
This independent research library and educational institution offers, in addition to one of the leading collections of books and manuscripts in the world, partnerships with performing and literary arts organizations for performances, readings, exhibits, and lectures.

The Poetry Center of Chicago
This not-for-profit organization was founded in 1973 by Paul Carroll, and The Poetry Center has featured readings by hundreds of poets as well as some prominent novelists in the 30 years since.The Poetry Center also sponsors a poets-in-schools program called Hands On Stanzas, which teaches children to write poetry and encourages literacy.

Poetry Foundation
The Poetry Foundation evolved from the Modern Poetry Association in 2003 after receiving a major contribution from philanthropist Ruth Lily. The president of the Poetry Foundation, John Barr sizes up the Poetry Foundation as "an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience."

Literary Journals & Small Presses

After Hours Press
A biannual forum, showcase and gallery for the voices and visions of Chicago artists. Publishes poetry, fiction, painting, and photography.

Chicago Review
This remarkable journal not only prints new and translated works of literature, but sponsors film screenings, readings, and lectures.

Columbia Poetry Review
Published annually by Columbia College’s English Department, Columbia Poetry Review is a student-edited, nationally distributed literary journal. Recent issues contain the work of poets such as Mónica de la Torre, Denise Duhamel, Kimiko Hahn, Lisa Jarnot, Cate Marvin, Alice Notley, D.A. Powell, Ed Roberson, Brenda Shaughnessy, Jean Valentine, Rosemarie Waldrop and Dean Young, as well as the best student writing and unsolicited work submitted to the review.

Court Green
The nationally distributed poetry magazine that has been featured in Poets and Writers and has placed poems in Best American Poetry.

Crab Orchard Review
Published by the Department of English, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Crab Orchard Review is a biannual journal of creative works featuring new fiction, poetry, literary nonfiction, interviews with authors, and book reviews of small press and university press titles.

East On Central
A journal featuring poetry, prose, and visual art.

Ninth Letter
Named "Best New Literary Journal" in 2005 by the Council of Editors of Learned Journals, Ninth Letter, a journal of art & literature, is produced in association with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Creative Writing MFA program. Though relatively new, the journal has received many awards and recognitions, including selections in the Pushcart Prize, Best American Short Stories, Best New Poets, and Best American Fantasy.

Hotel Amerika
Launched in 2002, Hotel Amerika is firmly established as an exciting venue for both well-known and emerging writers, publishing unique and provocative poetry, fiction and nonfiction. Published twice a year by the Columbia College English Department.

Founded in 1912 by Harriet Monroe, this all poetry monthly has published, "often for the very first time," virtually every major American poet. This magazine hosts the renowned Ruth Lilly Prize and was the wellspring for the groundbreaking Modern Poetry Association.

"The little magazine with the big horn," this annual journal also sponsors readings, conferences, and workshops.

University of Chicago Press
The University of Chicago Press is the largest and one of the oldest of the American university presses. They currently have over 4000 titles in print-including numerous volumes of poetry--and add 250 to 300 new titles each year.

University of Illinois Press
The Press has been the scholarly publishing division of the University since 1918. They currently publish approximately 160 books and 20 journals per year. Their poetry titles are numerous and prestigious.

Illinois Poetfans

Caitlin Montanye Parrish and Brina Rodin
Chicago, Illinois

I work as a caregiver. I've made a friend working with dementia patients. A former poet, Brina is a 94-year-old woman. My employers believed we would have a lot to talk about.
View the complete entry >

Hear selections from an interview with this Poetfan.

Poetic History

Green Mill Cocktail Lounge: Chicago, IL
Considered the birthplace of the slam movement in the U.S., the Green Mill has been a fixture of the slam scene for almost two decades.

Carl Sandburg Cottage: Galesburg, IL
Sandburg's birthplace is now maintained by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. Most of the furnishings once belonged to his family.

The Graves of Poets
In Spoon River Anthology, a collection of monologues from the dead in an Illinois graveyard, Edgar Lee Masters gives living voice to characters who can no longer speak. Though the Spoon River of the title is the name of an actual river in Illinois, the fictional town combines Lewistown, where Masters grew up, and Petersburg, where his grandparents lived—and where the poet is now buried in Oakland Cemetery.

The Bean Eaters by Gwendolyn Brooks
Written during the early years of the Civil Rights movement, during which the Brooks's interest in social issues deepened and found expression in her work.

Poems about Illinois

by Carl Sandburg
Hog Butcher for the World...

In Michael Robins’s class minus one
by Bob Hicok
At the desk where the boy sat, he sees the Chicago River...

Henry Lichenwalner: Living in the Middle
by Dave Etter
Here in Alliance, Illinois...
Featured Poetry Title

In Blue Front, Martha Collins dissects a horrific lynching that occurred in her father's hometown of Cairo, Illinois, when he was a child. In a review in Booklist, Janet St. John writes: "Collins carefully examines the event and its aftermath, especially the effect on her father who later seeks a home in an all-white community. She then extends her thoughtful scrutiny to incorporate newspaper accounts, photographs, personal accounts, and history to expose the way racism permeates all layers of society." Buy the book >
Readings Series, Conferences & Literary Festivals

David R. Collins Writer's Conference
In 1973 David R. Collins founded the Mississippi Valley Writers Conference and continued as its chair until his death in 2001. In 2006 the Board of Directors of the Midwest Writing Center brought back to the Quad-City area this three-day national writing conference.

Chicago Humanities Festival
Since 1990, many of the world's most exciting thinkers have come to Chicago every November for a Festival celebrating ideas in the context of civic life. Co-sponsored by the city's premiere cultural institutions, each Festival brings together novelists, scholars, musicians, archaeologists, historians, artists, performers, playwrights, theologians, poets, architects, policy makers, and others-both established and emerging talents-to offer numerous presentations.

Printer's Row Book Fair
Usually held third weekend in June, this twenty-year-old institution attracts 75,000 visitors with five tented blocks containing more than 170 of the nation's most diverse new, used, and antiquarian booksellers, and six stages with more than 80 free literary programs.

Writing Programs & Colonies

Art Institute of Chicago
The Master of Fine Arts in Writing program is for writers of fiction, poetry, essays, scripts, and creative nonfiction, as well as for artists who work with both image and text and who want to focus on text.

Columbia College, Chicago
Columbia College Chicago has B.A. and M.F.A. programs in Creative Writing-Poetry. The B.A. is the only undergraduate poetry major in the United States. The M.F.A. program is now entering its fifth year. Faculty members include Arielle Greenberg, Tony Trigilio, David Trinidad, and Crystal Williams.

Illinois State University
The Master's in Writing is divided between two sequences, one emphasizing pedagogy, the other, writing. Concentrations within the writing sequences are: technical communications; professional writing; and creative writing.

Illinois Wesleyan University
This undergraduate institution offers a Writing Sequence in writing poetry, fiction, journalism, and essays.Students have the opportunity to work on Still, the campus literary magazine, or The Undergraduate Review, the campus academic journal.IWU has hosted a number of prominent visiting writers over the years, andWriting sequence students attend workshops, readings, and social gatherings with visiting writers.

Knox College
An undergraduate institution, Knox offers a Major in Creative Writing that is widely thought of as one of the premier degrees of its kind.Courses include fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, playwriting, screenwriting, and the possibility for independent study in a variety of fusion forms.

Midwest Writer's Workshop
This thirty-year-old annual summer workshop is held at the Ball State University Alumni Center in Muncie, Indiana.

The Ragdale Foundation
The Ragdale house was built to serve as prominent Chicago architect Howard Van Doren Shaw's summer retreat, 30 miles from downtown Chicago.Writer's residencies are available from a minimum of two weeks to a maximum of two months.

University of Illinois
This distinguished MFA program brings notable writers from across the globe to lecture and read to its students. One journal produced by the program, Accent, also had a long and prestigious history until the early 1990s. In recent years, the program has been associated witih Ninth Letter.

University of Illinois at Chicago
In this, one of the few Ph.Ds in Creative Writing in the country, students entering the program specialize in Creative Writing but share core requirements that bridge specializations in Language, Literacy and Rhetoric, or Literature.

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