For Immediate Release

Poetry Foundation Announces Spring 2012 Programming

Events include movie premieres, theatrical performances, and readings

January 4, 2012

CHICAGO — The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is pleased to present its programming schedule for spring 2012. Highlights include the movie premiere of The Day Carl Sandburg Died; performances celebrating Langston Hughes, Walt Whitman, and Allen Ginsberg; and a reading by poets laureate Philip Levine and Carol Ann Duffy. The season’s diverse schedule includes a range of events, most of which are free. Reserved seating for select events is available at http://poetryfoundation.eventbrite.com.

The Poetry Foundation Library will engage visitors of all ages in a range of activities this spring. The library’s calendar includes specific programs to target toddlers, elementary and high school students, and adults. Full listings of these library programs follow the Poetry Foundation Spring 2012 Events schedule.

 

Poetry Foundation Spring 2012 Events

Poetry on Screen: The Day Carl Sandburg Died
Friday, January 6, 7 pm
Saturday, January 7, 3 pm

Poetry Foundation
61 West Superior Street
Free reservations at http://poetryfoundation.eventbrite.com or by calling (312) 787-7070

The Poetry Foundation hosts the Chicago premiere of Bonesteel Films’ feature-length documentary, The Day Carl Sandburg Died. Honoring the life of American icon Carl Sandburg, the film tells the story of the poet’s work and legacy through a remarkable cast of interviewees, rarely seen archival footage, and modern performances. The film touches on his contributions to poetry, history, journalism, music, and children’s literature while also delving into the complex social and political events that shaped him and his work. Following each screening, Chicago poet and slam founder Marc Smith discusses the film—and the poet—with filmmaker Paul Bonesteel.

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Poetry Presents: Eliza Griswold
Thursday, January 19, 6-9 pm

Poetry Foundation
61 West Superior Street
Free reservations at http://poetryfoundation.eventbrite.com or by calling (312) 787-7070

Eliza Griswold contributes a notebook-style essay to the January 2012 issue of Poetry, telling of her experiences on the island of Lampedusa, the entry point for Libyan refugees crossing the border into Europe. Griswold speaks about what journalists have described as the “human tragedy” of the Lampedusa refugee crisis, examines the difficulty of writing prose or poetry about human crises, discusses her life as a journalist and poet, and reads her own poems. A reception follows.

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Poetry Presents
Four Monologues by Aram Saroyan
Wednesday, January 25, 7:00 PM

Poetry Foundation
61 West Superior Street
Free reservations at http://poetryfoundation.eventbrite.com or by calling (312) 787-7070

Columbia College Chicago professor Brian Shaw directs a student-led staged reading of Aram Saroyan’s Four Monologues. The presentation coincides with the release of a letterpress chapbook edition of Four Monologues created by students in the Book and Paper Arts MFA program. Under the supervision of book designer Clifton Meador, the edition is the first in an annual literary series facilitated by Poetry magazine senior editor Don Share and published by the nonprofit Center for Book and Paper Arts at Columbia College Chicago. Saroyan, a longtime Poetry contributor, will also read from his poems.

Co-sponsored with the Interdisciplinary Arts Department and the Center for Book and Paper Arts at Columbia College Chicago

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Poetry on Stage
Dreamweaver: The Works of Langston Hughes

Friday, February 10, 7 pm
Saturday, February 11, 3 pm
Poetry Foundation
61 West Superior Street
Free reservations at http://poetryfoundation.eventbrite.com or by calling (312) 787-7070

Actor and writer David Mills’s one-person dramatic rendition of Langston Hughes’s poems and short stories features excerpts from the iconic poetry collection Montage of a Dream Deferred as well as blues poems, classic pieces, and lesser-known works.

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Poetry Out Loud: Chicago Regional Finals
Friday, February 17, 10 am

Poetry Foundation
61 West Superior Street
Free reservations at http://poetryfoundation.eventbrite.com or by calling (312) 787-7070

Champions from Chicago high schools recite poems for the chance to represent Illinois at the Poetry Out Loud National Finals in Washington, D.C., in May 2012. Last year 365,000 students around the country participated. More than $100,000 in scholarship awards and school stipends are at stake.

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Poetry on Stage: FJORDS
Thursday, February 23, through Sunday, February 26, 7 pm

Poetry Foundation
61 West Superior Street
Tickets at www.manualcinema.com

A multidisciplinary, multimedia collaborative work by Manual Cinema and the Chicago Q Ensemble, FJORDS imaginatively presents the poetry of Zachary Schomburg. Toeing the line between live scored cinema and performance art, FJORDS features shadow puppetry, live silhouette, video, and manipulated slide projection to create haunting visual renderings of Schomburg’s poems. Accompanied by an original score for string quartet, percussion, and electronics by Manual Cinema composer Kyle Vegter, each presentation of this unique theatrical experience is presented with a reading by Zachary Schomburg.

Presented in collaboration with Manual Cinema and the Chicago Q Ensemble. FJORDS is produced in part by High Concept Laboratories and Black Ocean Press.

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Poetry Presents: Shoot the Canon
Thursday, March 1, 6 pm

Poetry Foundation
61 West Superior Street
Free reservations at http://poetryfoundation.eventbrite.com or by calling (312) 787-7070

Poetry presents poets performing covers of and reading discoveries from the last 100 years of  the magazine, featuring Christian Bök, Peter Gizzi, K. Silem Mohammed, Tracie Morris, Vanessa Place, Sina Queyras, Keith and Rosmarie Waldrop, and others making it new all over again.

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Poetry off the Shelf
Fifth Wednesday Journal
: Illinois Poets Past and Present
Friday, March 2, 5:30–8:30 pm

Poetry Foundation
61 West Superior Street
Free reservations at http://poetryfoundation.eventbrite.com or by calling (312) 787-7070

Contemporary poets Christina Pugh, Susan Hahn, Laurence Lieberman, Ed Roberson, and Kevin Stein read original poetry as well as poetry by famed Illinois poets of the past—Gwendolyn Brooks, Archibald MacLeish, G. E. Murray, Carolyn Rodgers, and Carl Sandburg. A reception, featuring refreshments and live music, will follow the reading.

Co-sponsored with Fifth Wednesday Journal

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Poetry off the Shelf: Carol Ann Duffy and Philip Levine
Friday, March 2, 8:30 pm

International Ballroom North & South
Hilton Chicago Hotel
720 South Michigan Avenue
Free admission on a first come, first served basis

The British and U.S. poets laureate appear together for a rare joint reading and conversation moderated by Poetry senior editor Don Share. Carol Ann Duffy was raised in Staffordshire, in the West Midlands of England, and appointed Britain’s poet laureate in 2009, becoming the first woman to hold the position in its more than 300-year history. Philip Levine was born in Detroit, Michigan, and formed a close connection with the working class that has strongly influenced his poetry. He was appointed U.S. poet laureate in 2011.

Co-sponsored with the Association of Writers and Writing Programs in association with Blue Flower Arts

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Poetry on Stage: The Boho Dance
Saturday, March 10, 7 pm
Sunday, March 11, 3 pm

Poetry Foundation
61 West Superior Street
Free reservations at http://poetryfoundation.eventbrite.com or by calling (312) 787-7070

The Boho Dance imagines a conversation between Walt Whitman and Allen Ginsberg. With poet John Starrs as Whitman and playwright Beau O’Reilly as Ginsberg, comedy and entertainment ensue. The performance takes place with minimal props, and Troy Martin provides musical accompaniment.

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Poetry off the Shelf
Poesía en Abril:
Miguel Barnet and Ana Rossetti
Saturday, April 7, 7 pm

Poetry Foundation
61 West Superior Street
Free reservations at http://poetryfoundation.eventbrite.com or by calling (312) 787-7070

Susurros, or whispers, are the theme of the fifth edition of the Poesía en Abril festival, a celebration of Spanish-language poetry. Miguel Barnet of Cuba and Ana Rossetti of Spain appear as part of this citywide event, bringing their distinct poetic voices to the Poetry Foundation. The evening will include a bilingual reading with translation and performance.

Co-sponsored with contratiempo and DePaul University

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Poetry off the Shelf
Dark Room Collective: Thomas Sayers Ellis, Natasha Trethewey, Kevin Young, Major Jackson, John Keene, Sharan Strange, and Nehassaiu deGannes
Thursday, April 12, 7 pm

Poetry Foundation
61 West Superior Street
Free reservations at http://poetryfoundation.eventbrite.com or by calling (312) 787-7070

Thomas Sayers Ellis and Sharan Strange founded the Dark Room Collective in 1987 in an effort to connect writers. The collective later hosted a celebrated reading series that paired established authors with emerging voices. Collective alumni Natasha Trethewey, Kevin Young, Major Jackson, John Keene, and Nehassaiu deGannes join the founders for a reunion reading.

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Poetry off the Shelf
Poetry & Piano: Averill Curdy, Calvin Forbes, Adam Marks, George McRae, Coya Paz and Roger Reeves
Saturday, April 14, 7 pm

Curtiss Hall
Fine Arts Building
410 South Michigan Avenue
Free reservations at http://poetryfoundation.eventbrite.com or by calling (312) 787-7070

Writers Averill Curdy, Calvin Forbes, Coya Paz, and Roger Reeves and pianists Adam Marks and George McRae inspire one another in an evening of music and poetry.

Co-sponsored with PianoForte Foundation

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Poetry off the Shelf: Les Murray
Saturday, April 28, 2 pm

Cindy Pritzker Auditorium
Harold Washington Library Center
400 South State Street
Free admission on a first come, first served basis

Australian Les Murray grew up on his grandparents’ farm in Bunyah, New South Wales, and returned there with his own family in 1985. The recipient of numerous honors for his poetry, his latest books, both released in 2011, are Taller When Prone: Poems and Killing the Black Dog: A Memoir of Depression. Murray’s work explores the subjects of Australia’s history and landscape. He was formerly the editor of Poetry Australia and is currently the editor of Quadrant magazine.

Co-sponsored with the Chicago Public Library as part of PoetryFest

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Poetry Foundation Library Spring 2012

Toddler Poemtime
Wednesdays, 11 am

The Poetry Foundation Library welcomes children ages 3 to 5 to a weekly storytime event that introduces poetry through fun, interactive readings and games. Admission is granted on a first come, first served basis.

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Elementary Poemtime
January 11, February 8, March 14, April 11, 4–5 pm

The Poetry Foundation Library welcomes students in grades 2 to 4 to a monthly hour of poetry reading featuring age-accessible poetry, crafts, and games. Admission is granted on a first come, first served basis.

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Teen Book Club
January 4, February 1, March 7, April 2, 4–5 pm

Students of all experience levels currently enrolled in grades 9 to 12 are invited to a monthly poetry discussion group. In a conversation moderated by Poetry Foundation youth services assistant David Gilmer, teens discuss well-known classics as well as contemporary work. The Teen Book Club strives to develop and refine each participant’s ability to read, understand, and appreciate poetry. All participants will also engage with the month’s reading and assess its impact on their lives. Space is limited to 15 participants. Please register in advance by emailing library@poetryfoundation.org.

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Library Book Club
February 10, March 16, April 13, 12:30–1:30 pm

All experience levels are welcome to a monthly book group moderated by library staff. In 2012, the library celebrates Poetry’s centennial by discussing a title from a contributor to that month’s issue. In February, the book club discusses Dean Young’s Fall Higher. Space is limited to 15 participants. Please register in advance by emailing library@poetryfoundation.org.  

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About Poetry Magazine
Founded in Chicago by Harriet Monroe in 1912, Poetry is the oldest monthly devoted to verse in the English-speaking world. Monroe’s “Open Door” policy, set forth in Volume 1 of the magazine, remains the most succinct statement of Poetry’s mission: to print the best poetry written today, in whatever style, genre, or approach. The magazine established its reputation early by publishing the first important poems of T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Marianne Moore, Wallace Stevens, H.D., William Carlos Williams, Carl Sandburg, and other now-classic authors. In succeeding decades it has presented—often for the first time—works by virtually every major contemporary poet. In 2011, the magazine was honored with two National Magazine Awards. It celebrates its centennial in 2012.

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 partnerships, prizes, and programs. Opened to the public in June 2011, the Poetry Foundation building in Chicago provides new space for the Foundation’s extensive roster of public programs and events. It also houses a public garden, a library, and an exhibition gallery as well as the offices of the Poetry Foundation and Poetry magazine. For more information, please visit poetryfoundation.org.

About the Poetry Foundation Library
The Midwest's only library dedicated exclusively to poetry, the Poetry Foundation Library exists to promote the reading of poetry in the general public, and to support the editorial needs of all Poetry Foundation programs and staff. Visitors to the library may browse a collection of 30,000 volumes, experience audio and video recordings in private listening booths, and view exhibits of poetry-related materials. In addition to providing public access to its collections in the form of a reading room, the library creates interactive programs to inspire a wider readership for poetry in readers of all ages. The library's collection aims to present the best poetry, in English or in translation, of the modern and contemporary era, as well as including representative selections of the major poetic works of all eras. A children's collection contains a range of titles to engage young readers.

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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