Illinois

On December 11, 2003, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich named Kevin Stein the state’s fourth poet laureate, following Howard Austin, Carl Sandburg, and Gwendolyn Brooks. Stein has published eight poetry collections and chapbooks, three scholarly books, and two poetry anthologies.

upcoming events

datesort ascending
Apr 29 2017
11th Annual Rootabaga Slam

Doors open at 8:30 p.m. Slam begins at 9 p.m. 11th Annual Rootabaga Poetry Slam, hosted by Mark K. (Slampapi) Smith, founder/creator of the International Poetry Slam movement. The Rootabaga Poetry Slam is a unique form of performance poetry competition open to all ages. Smith brings a regional slam competition to Galesburg and the Festival. Top “slammers” from across the Midwest are expected to come and compete for cash prizes totaling $350. First place $200, second place $100, third place $50. There is no entry fee to compete. Admission is free. However, a freewill offering will be accepted, with refreshments provided. An all-ages event, but a cash bar is available. This event is sponsored by The Big Read, Carl Sandburg Historic Site Association and Carl Sandburg College.

9:30pm
156 E. Main St.
61401 Galesburg, Illinois
Apr 15 2017
Dance & Poetry Workshop

This poetry month, we are celebrating with a workshop and reading! Join the Poetry Center of Chicago as we pair up with Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble for a poetry and dance workshop! Writing exercises will be lead by Ana Castillo and CK Kubasta and movement leaders are Sara Maslanka and Scott Dare. The workshop will culminate in a reading by the leaders and participants and will follow with a preview of "Ethereal Abandonment," an upcoming show at Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble.

Ana Castillo (June 15, 1953-) is a celebrated and distinguished poet, novelist, short story writer, essayist, editor, playwright, translator and independent scholar. Castillo was born and raised in Chicago. She has contributed to periodicals and on-line venues (Salon and Oxygen) and national magazines including More and the Sunday New York Times. Castillo’s writings have been the subject of numerous scholarly investigations and publications. Among her award winning, best selling titles: novels include So Far From God, The Guardians and Peel My Love like an Onion, among other poetry: I Ask the Impossible. Her novel, Sapogonia was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. She has been profiled and interviewed on National Public Radio and the History Channel and was a radio-essayist with NPR in Chicago.  She is editor of La Tolteca, an arts and literary ‘zine dedicated to the advancement of a world without borders and censorship and on the advisory board of the new American Writers Museum in D.C. In 2014, she held the Lund-Gil Endowed Chair at Dominican University, River Forest, IL and served on the faculty with Bread Loaf Summer Program (Middlebury Collge) in 2015 and 2016. She also held the first Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz Endowed Chair at DePaul University, The Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Visiting Scholar post at M.I.T. and was the Poet-in-Residence at Westminster College in Utah in 2012, among other teaching posts throughout her extensive career. She holds an M.A. from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D., University of Bremen, Germany in American Studies and a honorary doctorate from Colby College. She received an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation for her first novel,The Mixquiahuala Letters. Her other awards include a Carl Sandburg Award, a Mountains and Plains Booksellers Award, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts in fiction and poetry. She was also awarded a 1998 Sor Juana Achiecement Award by the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum in Chicago. Dr. Castillo’s So Far From God and Loverboys are two titles on the banned book list controversy with the TUSD in Arizona. She is a recipient of the American Studies Association Gloria Anzaldúa Prize to an independent scholar.

C. Kubasta is the author of the chapbooks, A Lovely Box and &s, and a full-length collection, All Beautiful & Useless (BlazeVOX, 2015). Her next book, Of Covenants, is forthcoming from Whitepoint Press in 2017. She is active with the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, and serves as Assistant Poetry editor with Brain Mill Press. She thinks poetry, like humor, porn, & horror, should be a body genre. Find her at www.ckubasta.com.

Bring your notebook!

1:00pm
1650 W Foster Ave
60640 Chicago , Illinois
Apr 08 2017
Slam Cabaret

The Slam Cabaret is an open mic show and everyone is invited to get on stage and show off their poetry and performance skills.

Slam Poetry founder Marc Smith will serve as the Slam Cabaret's host and ringmaster. Smith will also perform his own work as well, and he'll be joined by special guest poets direct from The Green Mill in Chicago's Uptown Neighborhood, the home of slam poetry in Chicago since 1986.

The Slam Cabaret will be held from 7-9 p.m. at Henry's Double K in Mount Carroll. It is sponsored by the Mount Carroll District Library, with support through a Community Arts Programming Grant from The Freeport Art Museum and Henry's Double K.

Tickets for the Slam Cabaret are $7.50 per person, and are available in advance from the Mount Carroll District Library. Admission is free for students and performers. The slam poetry event will benefit future library community programming.

7:30pm
834 South Jackson Street
61053 Mount Carroll, Illinois

recent & featured listings

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Colony The Ragdale Foundation Illinois
Writing Program Art Institute of Chicago Illinois
Writing Program Columbia College, Chicago Illinois
Writing Program Illinois State University Illinois
Writing Program Illinois Wesleyan University Illinois
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Writing Program Midwest Writer's Workshop Illinois
Writing Program University of Illinois Illinois
Writing Program University of Illinois at Chicago Illinois
Landmark The Carl Sandburg Cottage Illinois

poems

poem
"Give me some light!" cries Hamlet's
uncle midway through the murder
of Gonzago. "Light! Light!" cry scattering
courtesans. Here, as in Denmark,
it's dark at four, and even the moon
shines with only half a heart.

The ornaments go down into the box:
the silver spaniel, My Darling
on its collar, from
poem

     To the Williamson Brothers

High noon. White sun flashes on the Michigan Avenue asphalt. Drum of hoofs and whirr of motors. Women trapsing along in flimsy clothes catching play of sun-fire to their skin and eyes.

Inside the playhouse are movies from under the sea. From the heat of pavements

poem
				       for Ted Berrigan & Alice Notley

the bridges of Chicago
are not the bridges of Paris
or the bridges of Amsterdam
except they are a definition
almost no one bothers to define
like life full of surprises
in what now looks to be the oldest
modern American city
o apparition of the movie version