For Immediate Release

Spring 2010 Events Schedule Released

Literary series replete with performances, readings

January 7, 2010

CHICAGO—The Poetry Foundation announces a diverse and exciting series of events for Spring 2010. Along with a series of poetry readings, the Poetry Foundation continues to explore Modernism in tandem with the Art Institute of Chicago and the Goodman Theatre, and poetry takes the stage in illuminating tragic and comedic plays. Noteworthy events include a reading by Nobel Prize winner Derek Walcott, a look at the avant-garde writers who shaped Modernism, and a performance of Seamus Heaney’s version of Sophocles’ The Cure at Troy.

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Thursday, February 4, 6PM
Poetry Off the Shelf: Rae Armantrout

Film Row Cinema
Columbia College
1104 South Wabash Avenue, 8th Floor
Free admission

Rae Armantrout is a professor of writing in the literature department at the University of California at San Diego. She is the author of 10 books of poetry, including Versed (Wesleyan, 2009), a finalist for the National Book Award, and Next Life (Wesleyan, 2007), which was selected by Publishers Weekly as one of the best poetry books of 2007.

Co-sponsored with Columbia College

*****

Thursday, February 4, 6PM
Disturb the Universe: The Avant-Garde and Modernism

Fullerton Hall
Art Institute of Chicago
111 South Michigan Avenue
Free admission

From Guillaume Apollinaire and Gertrude Stein to Bertolt Brecht and Samuel Beckett, avant-garde writers, in synch with Picasso and other artists, charted the future of Modernism as it set off in myriad directions. Goodman Theatre actors present excerpts from prose, plays, and poetry.

Co-sponsored with the Art Institute of Chicago

*****

Sunday, February 21, 7:30PM
Monday, February 22, 7:30PM
Poetry on Stage: Lysistrata

Victory Gardens Studio
2433 North Lincoln Avenue
(773) 871-3000
Tickets $20; $10 for students

Aristophanes’ comic masterpiece Lysistrata was performed in Athens in 411 B.C.E., the 20th year of the bloody Peloponnesian War. In the play the women of Athens, led by Lysistrata, decide that enough is enough: they will deny sex to their husbands until they end the war, a tactic that turns out to be as frustrating to them as to their mates. The Greeks had few language taboos and no problems with phallic imagery. These characteristics add to the startling humor and poignancy of the play, even in our uncensored age. Bernard Sahlins directs a cast of Chicago’s finest actors in a staged reading.

*****

Friday, March 26, 6PM
Poetry Off the Shelf: David Baker

Open Books
213 West Institute Place
Free admission

Few poets writing today are so closely identified with a place as is David Baker, who makes his particular locale—the Midwest—into a mirror for the human experience on a universal level. Baker currently holds the Thomas B. Fordham Chair of Creative Writing at Denison University in Granville, Ohio, where he is a professor of English. He also serves as poetry editor of the Kenyon Review and teaches regularly in the MFA program for writers at Warren Wilson College. His most recent book is Never-Ending Birds (W.W. Norton, 2009).

*****

Thursday, April 1, 6PM
Poetry Off the Shelf: Derek Walcott

Fullerton Hall
Art Institute of Chicago
111 South Michigan Avenue
Free admission

Derek Walcott won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1992, with the Nobel committee citing his work as “a poetic oeuvre of great luminosity, sustained by a historical vision, the outcome of a multicultural commitment.” Since the 1950s Walcott has divided his time between Boston, New York, and his native Saint Lucia. His work resonates with Western canon and island influences, sometimes even shifting between Caribbean patois and English, and often addressing his English and West Indian ancestry. He has published 10 books of poetry, including The Prodigal, The Bounty, and Omeros. His forthcoming collection is White Egrets.

Co-sponsored with the Art Institute of Chicago

*****

Tuesday, April 13, 6PM
Poetry Off the Shelf: Indigo Moor and Cave Canem Fellows

Jazz Showcase
806 South Plymouth Court
Dearborn Station
Free admission

Indigo Moor’s second collection, Through the Stonecutter’s Window, is the inaugural winner of the Cave Canem–Northwestern University Press Poetry Prize. It is a sustained and impressive dialogue with the visual arts, history, the natural world, and the poet’s dreams and nightmares. Always in motion, Moor’s polyrhythmic lines are choreographed to make sense of all that is most elusive in meaning: music, violence, love, anger, and desire. His first book of poetry, Tap-Root, was published in 2006 as part of the Main Street Rags Editors Select Poetry Series. He is a Cave Canem fellow and a graduate member of the Artists Residency Institute for Teaching Artists.

Co-sponsored with Cave Canem and Northwestern University Press

*****

Saturday, April 24, noon
Poetry Off the Shelf: Cornelius Eady

Cindy Pritzker Auditorium
Harold Washington Library Center
400 South State Street
Free admission

Many of Cornelius Eady’s poems contain a musical quality drawn from blues and jazz, and allude to traditional African American hymns as well as to the compositions of modern musicians such as Thelonious Monk and Miles Davis. His published works include Victims of the Latest Dance Craze (1985), winner of the Lamont Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets; The Gathering of My Name (1991), nominated for a Pulitzer Prize; and Brutal Imagination (2001), a National Book Award finalist. Hardheaded Weather: New and Selected Poems appeared in 2008 and was nominated for a NAACP Image Award. In 1996 Eady and poet Toi Derricotte founded Cave Canem, a nonprofit organization that supports emerging African American poets. At present he is an associate professor of English and director of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Notre Dame.

Co-sponsored with the Chicago Public Library

*****

Thursday, May 13, 6PM
Disturb the Universe: American Moderns Abroad and at Home

Fullerton Hall
Art Institute of Chicago
111 South Michigan Avenue
Free admission

American artists such as Marsden Hartley and Georgia O’Keeffe echoed writers who were responding to European innovations by crafting their own landmark contributions to Modernism. This reading, presented by Goodman Theatre actors, features works by T.S. Eliot, Mina Loy, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, E. E. Cummings, William Carlos Williams, and Langston Hughes.

Co-sponsored with the Art Institute of Chicago

*****

Sunday, May 23, 7:30PM
Monday, May 24, 7:30PM
Poetry on Stage: The Cure at Troy by Seamus Heaney

Victory Gardens Studio
2433 North Lincoln Avenue
(773) 871-3000
Tickets $20; $10 for students

The personal and the political collide in Sophocles’ play when the Greeks abandon their wounded comrade, Philoctetes, only to find that they need his bow to bring their long war with the Trojans to an end. Seamus Heaney’s powerful 1991 translation weighs the value of personal integrity against loyalty to one’s community and highlights this ancient tragedy’s provocative resonances with the troubles in Northern Ireland and our own conflict in Iraq. Bernard Sahlins directs a cast of Chicago’s finest actors in a staged reading.

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About the Poetry Foundation
The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine and one of the largest literary organizations in the world, exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience. The Poetry Foundation seeks to be a leader in shaping a receptive climate for poetry by developing new audiences, creating new avenues for delivery, and encouraging new kinds of poetry through innovative literary prizes and programs. For more information, please visit www.poetryfoundation.org.

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