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

Apr 18 2018
Poetry Reading: Eloisa Amezcua with special guests Jose Olivarez and Xandria Phillips
Please join us for a poetry reading celebrating Eloisa Amezcua's debut book, From the Inside Quietly, inaugural winner of the Shelterbelt Poetry Prize selected by Ada Limón. Amezcua will be joined by local poets José Olivarez and Xandria Phillips.
Eloisa Amezcua is an Arizona native. Her debut collection, From the Inside Quietly, is the inaugural winner of the Shelterbelt Poetry Prize selected by Ada Limón. A MacDowell fellow, she is the author of three chapbooks and founder/editor-in-chief of The Shallow Ends: A Journal of Poetry. Her poems and translations are published or forthcoming in Poetry Magazine, Kenyon Review, Gulf Coast, and others.
José Olivarez is the son of Mexican immigrants, the co-author of the book of poems Home Court, and the co-host of the poetry podcast, The Poetry Gods. He is a graduate of Harvard University and the Marketing Manager at Young Chicago Authors. A recipient of a 2016 Poets House Emerging Poet Fellowship and a 2015 Bronx Recognizes Its Own award from the Bronx Council on the Arts, his work has been published in The BreakBeat Poets,, Hyperallergic, among other places. He is from Calumet City, IL, and lives in Chicago. His first book, Citizen Illegal, is forthcoming from Haymarket Books.
Xandria Phillips is a poet who hails from rural Ohio but currently lives in Chicago. Xandria received her BA from Oberlin College, where she studied creative writing and Africana Studies. She has received fellowships from Cave Canem and Callaloo. Xandria’s poetry is present or forthcoming in Callaloo, Transition, Nepantla, and elsewhere.
5233 North Clark Street
60640 Chicago, Illinois
Apr 07 2018 to Jul 07 2018
Exhibit Introduces the Relevance of Haiku in Our lives

Capture the moments of your life as an observer of a haiku/art (haiga) exhibit that blends poems with graphic art and Japanese brush stroke paintings. Haiku Author Charlotte Digregorio is holding an exhibit of her work from Saturday, April 7 through Saturday,  July 7 at Moats Gallery, 675 N. North Court, Palatine, IL. Free and open to the public, the exhibit is sponsored by the Northwest Cultural Council of Barrington, IL.

11:10am to 11:13am
675 N. North Court
60067 Palatine, Illinois
Apr 29 2018
The Healing Art of Haiku

Charlotte Digregorio, author of Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All, will be giving a comprehensive presentation on the art of haiku, from 2 to 4 p.m., Sunday, April 29, at Northfield Public Library, 1785 Orchard Lane, Nortfield, IL. It is free and open to the public.

Whatever your personal, educational, or professional background, you can be creative and learn to write and publish haiku!

Written in usually one to four lines, haiku are relevant, intriguing, and can be written on any theme. They allow you to capture your life’s moments, (happy or sad), in affirming and rewarding ways. Therapeutic in our complex and chaotic world, haiku give us peace and hope, and in reading and writing them, we exercise wisdom in heartfelt ways.

Included in the presentation/workshop are: discussion of haiku’s content/style; a brief history of the form; sample poems to review,; writing a haiku,; and publishing tips. Further, haiku journals will be awarded as prizes for the best written haiku in the workshop.

Charlotte Digregorio, author of six award-winning books, including Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All, and a haiku collection, Shadows of Seasons, writes eleven poetic forms, has won forty-six poetry awards, and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.  Her poems have been translated into eight languages; she translates poetry books from Italian into English; and her traveling haiga show (haiku illustrated with art) is featured at libraries, hospitals, corporate centers, and restaurants, and on public transit, among several venues. Four of her reference books have been adopted as supplemental texts and are featured selections of book clubs.  She has given workshops at national writer's conferences; is a writer-in-residence at universities; teaches haiku in the public schools; judges national writers’ contests; and speaks regularly at libraries/chain bookstores. Charlotte hosted a radio poetry program on public broadcasting, and was an executive officer of the Haiku Society of America.  Currently, she is an Ambassador for The Haiku Foundation. She blogs about writing for publication and poetry, and posts The Daily Haiku from global poets at She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Pomona College and The University of Chicago, respectively, and taught languages/literatures and writing at university level for decades.


1785 Orchard Lane
60093 Northfield, Illinois

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(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,   
        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
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