For Immediate Release

Poetry Foundation Releases Winter/Spring Events Schedule

Featured readers include Mary Karr, Nikki Giovanni, and Luis J. Rodriguez

January 5, 2011

CHICAGO — The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is pleased to present the schedule for its Winter/Spring 2011 Literary Series. Highlights include a reading by Mary Karr, presented in partnership with the Art Institute of Chicago and its Seeing Things series, an evening with Luis J. Rodriguez, and an event with Nikki Giovanni at Harold Washington Library. The diverse schedule includes poetry readings as well as art, music, and other performances. Most events are free, but first-come, first served seating does apply.

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Thursday, January 13, 6PM
Poetry Off the Shelf: Seeing Things
Matthea Harvey

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

Poet and critic David Orr has called Matthea Harvey’s poetry “two scoops John Ashbery and a sprinkling of Gertrude Stein.” Harvey’s most recent collection, Modern Life (Graywolf Press, 2007), earned the 2009 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award and was a finalist for the 2007 National Book Critics Circle Award. She teaches poetry at Sarah Lawrence College and is a contributing editor to jubilat, Meatpaper, and BOMB.

Co-sponsored with the Art Institute of Chicago

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Friday, January 21, 6PM
Poetry Off the Shelf: Seeing Things
Czeslaw Milosz’s Luminous Things

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

The late Czeslaw Milosz (winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1980) described the poems in his anthology, A Book of Luminous Things, as “loyal toward reality.” The poems provide the backdrop for an evening of multicultural art. Live music from Yang Wei, a member of the Silk Road Ensemble, complements the evening’s images and poetry.

Co-sponsored with the Art Institute of Chicago

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Thursday, February 17, 6PM
Poetry Off the Shelf: Elizabeth Bishop’s Correspondence with The New Yorker

University of Chicago
Home Room
International House
1414 East 59th Street
Free admission

In celebration of Elizabeth Bishop’s 100th birthday, actors read from the poet’s correspondence with The New Yorker. Bishop’s relationship with the magazine dates back to 1934, when she began submitting work. Many of her early submissions were rejected, but by the time of her death in 1979 they were met with regular acceptance and praise. In their letters, Bishop and her editors discuss professional concerns, like typography and the placement of commas, as well as personal affairs. Joelle Biele, editor of Elizabeth Bishop and The New Yorker: The Complete Correspondence (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2011), provides narration and answers questions.

Co-sponsored with the University of Chicago’s Program in Poetry and Poetics

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Thursday, February 24, 6PM
Poetry Off the Shelf: Edwin Torres

Stage Two
Columbia College
618 South Michigan Avenue, Second Floor
Free admission

Multimedia pioneer Edwin Torres brings us “Performance Poetry in the Age of Language,” a reading beyond text. Torres has been presenting his energetic blend of poetry, performance, music, dance, and visual art since the late 1980s. Born at New York City’s Nuyorican Poets Café, as midwifed by the St. Mark’s Poetry Project, Torres’s unique performance poetry now comes to Chicago. The reading is immediately followed by a reception at Columbia College’s Center for Book and Paper Arts, where his new book, Yes Thing No Thing, will be on display.

Co-sponsored with Poetry, Columbia College English Department, and the Center for Book & Paper Arts

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Wednesday, March 16, 5:30PM
Poetry Off the Shelf: Luis J. Rodriguez

Residents’ Dining Hall
Jane Addams Hull-House Museum
800 South Halsted Street
Call 312.413.5353 for more information, or visit www.hullhousemuseum.org.
Free admission

One of the nation’s leading Chicano writers, Luis J. Rodriguez has also played an influential part in the Chicago poetry scene. The author of Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A., Rodriguez helped found Chicago’s Guild Complex, Tia Chucha Press, and Rock A Mole Productions, and is well known for his work in gang intervention. He has won the Poetry Center Book Award, the PEN Josephine Miles Literary Award, and the Paterson Poetry Book Prize.

Co-sponsored with the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum

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Tuesday, April 5, 6PM
Poetry Off the Shelf: Seeing Things
Mary Karr

Rubloff Auditorium
Art Institute of Chicago
230 South Columbus Drive (after-hours entrance)
Free admission

Award-winning poet and best-selling memoirist Mary Karr has drawn universal acclaim from sources as diverse as The Nation, Vogue, and USA Today. Her latest memoir, Lit, was an immediate bestseller and widely hailed as one of the best books of 2009. Karr is the Jesse Truesdell Peck Professor of Literature at Syracuse University and was the weekly poetry editor for the Washington Post Book World’s “Poet’s Choice” column.

Co-sponsored with the Art Institute of Chicago

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Saturday, April 16, 7PM
Poetry Off the Shelf: Ari Brown, Reginald Gibbons, Mabel Kwan, Christina Pugh, Ed Roberson, and Rachel Jamison Webster

Curtiss Hall
410 South Michigan Avenue
$20; $10 students and seniors
Tickets go on sale to the public March 16; PianoForte members can purchase tickets now by calling 312.291.0291

Chicago poets and musicians present an evening in the arts. Ari Brown, a composer, arranger, and educator who has played with Chuck Berry, B.B. King, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, provides music inspired by the poetry of Christina Pugh and Ed Roberson. Pianist Mabel Kwan connects the words of Reginald Gibbons and Rachel Jamison Webster to her contemporary and exploratory music background. Kwan is a founder of the duo Nothing in Common and a member of Ensemble Dal Niente.

Co-sponsored with PianoForte Foundation

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Saturday, April 30, 2PM
Poetry Off the Shelf: Nikki Giovanni

Cindy Pritzker Auditorium
Harold Washington Library Center
400 South State Street
Free admission; first-come seating begins at 1:30PM

The author of more than 30 books, Nikki Giovanni established her reputation with her debut collection of poetry, Black Feeling, Black Talk (1968). Giovanni’s work has received several NAACP Image Awards, and she has been named one of Oprah Winfrey’s 25 “Living Legends,” as well as Woman of the Year by Mademoiselle, Ladies’ Home Journal, and Ebony. She is a University Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech.

Co-sponsored with the Chicago Public Library as part of PoetryFest, a day of poetry programs beginning at 10AM

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About the Poetry Foundation
The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. It 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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