The 59th annual Poetry Day is a presentation of PoemJazz, Robert Pinsky’s innovative dialogue between poetry and music. PoemJazz intertwines language and instrument, emphasizing the physical and melodic qualities of voice, as well as the way jazz improvisation can sometimes seem to speak. The result is an organic new whole of sound and sense. A book and CD signing follows.
Robert Pinsky served an unprecedented three terms as U.S. Poet Laureate from 1997 to 2000. During his tenure he established the Favorite Poem Project, a program that movingly explored poetry’s place in American lives. Among his books are eight award-winning collections of verse, translations of Dante and Milosz, critical works and anthologies. In 2010, Poetry published his libretto to Tod Machover’s groundbreaking opera, Death and the Powers.
Pianist and composer Laurence Hobgood lived in Chicago from 1988 to 2006 working with numerous musicians, most notably vocalist Kurt Elling, with whom he collaborated on six Grammy-nominated recordings for the Blue Note label. The two still perform together at the Green Mill in Chicago.
Inaugurated by Robert Frost in 1955, Poetry Day is one of the oldest and most distinguished poetry reading series in the country, having featured such poets of note as T.S. Eliot, Elizabeth Bishop, Carl Sandburg, W.H. Auden, Anne Sexton, John Ashbery, James Merrill, Adrienne Rich, Gwendolyn Brooks, Rita Dove, Billy Collins, Seamus Heaney, Derek Walcott and Robert Hass.
Co-sponsored with the Chicago Public Library