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

date
Dec 08 2016
Poetry Reading: Reginald Gibbons and Alan Shapiro

About "Last Lake": In his tenth book of poems, Reginald Gibbons immerses the reader in many different places and moments of intensity, including a lake in the Canadian north, a neighborhood in Chicago, the poet Osip Mandelshtam’s midnight of social cataclysm and imagination, a horse caravan in Texas, and an archeological dig on the steppes near the Volga River. "Last Lake" begins with a cougar and ends with bees; it speaks in two ways—with reminiscence, meditation, and memorial, and with springing leaps of image and thought.

About Reginald Gibbons: Reginald Gibbons is Frances Hooper Professor of Arts and Humanities at Northwestern University. His poetry collections include National Book Award finalist "Creatures of a Day" and "Slow Trains Overhead": Chicago Poems and Stories, the latter also published by the University of Chicago Press.

About "Life Pig": Alan Shapiro’s newest book of poetry is situated at the intersection between private and public history, as well as individual life and the collective life of middle-class America in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Whether writing about an aged and dying parent or remembering incidents from childhood and adolescence, Shapiro attends to the world in ways that are as deeply personal as they are recognizable and freshly social—both timeless and utterly of this particular moment.

About Alan Shapiro: Alan Shapiro has published many books, including "Reel to Reel," a Pulitzer Prize finalist. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he is the William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A new collection of essays, "That Self-Forgetful Perfectly Useless Concentration," is also available this fall from the University of Chicago Press.

6:00pm to 7:30pm
5751 S. Woodlawn Ave.
60637 Chicago, Illinois

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poems

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
        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
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