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
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
Apr 05 2017
Poetry Live! A-Town Poetics Celebrates National Poetry Month

In celebration of National Poetry Month, join us for a poetry reading with Aurora's own A-Town Poetics. Poets will read original works.  So come experience poetry--out loud!  A-Town Poetics, based in Aurora, IL, is a group of poets and writers who meet to write together in a supportive environment.  Program sponsored by the Aurora Public Library-Eola Road Branch.  For more information, or to register, please call 630-264-3420.

7:30pm
555 S. Eola Rd.
60504 Aurora, Illinois

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poems

poem

 

The market is made of fire so nothing
Stands, or stands—even in the ideal
City of Pullman, I hear “nigga run,”
One child shouting to another in ruins,
Of ruin and so call out in paradise
To the live bloody skeleton hung softly
As summer in each other to escape
This year’s

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
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