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

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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

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poems

poem
(In Springfield, Illinois)
 
It is portentous, and a thing of state   
That here at midnight, in our little town   
A mourning figure walks, and will not rest,   
Near the old court-house pacing up and down,   
   
Or by his homestead, or in shadowed yards
He lingers where his children used to play,   
Or
poem
Chicago Morning

To Philip Guston

Under a red face, black velvet shyness
Milking an emaciated gaffer. God lies down
Here. Rattling of a shot, heard
From the first row. The president of the United States
And the Director of the FBI stand over
a dead mule. "Yes, it is nice to hear the fountain
With
poem
        Hog Butcher for the World,
        Tool maker, Stacker of Wheat,
        Player with Railroads and the Nation's 
             Freight Handler;
        Stormy, husky, brawling,
        City of the Big Shoulders:

They tell me you are wicked and I believe them, for I have seen your