For Immediate Release

Poetry Foundation Announces Fall 2013 Programming

Events include concerts, theater, visual art, readings and more

August 22, 2013

CHICAGO —The Poetry Foundation’s fall 2013 events season begins Wednesday, September 11, with a performance of composer Benjamin Britten’s music as inspired by the work of W.H. Auden and Edith Sitwell. Other highlights include a staged reading of Sarah Ruhl’s Dear Elizabeth, which centers on the decades-long correspondence of Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Bishop; a presentation of Robert Pinsky’s PoemJazz for our 59th annual Poetry Day; an exhibition of art inspired by the life and poetry of Emily Dickinson; and poetry readings with Nikky Finney, Anne Carson, Eduardo C. Corral and others. By featuring concerts, visual art readings and more, our robust fall 2013 season emphasizes poetry’s seamless implications across disciplines and cultures with artists whose work engages powerfully with poetry.

The fall 2013 season is also the first for Robert Polito, the new president of the Poetry Foundation. The poet and scholar most recently served as director of creative writing at the New School, a position he held since 1992. He has published both poetry and scholarly works, and his interest in images and words extends from crime novels and film noir to Manny Farber’s paintings and the music of the Kinks, Bob Dylan and the Pogues. Please join us in welcoming him.

More information about our fall events, most of which are free, is available at poetryfoundation.org/programs/events. Images are available upon request.

Poetry Foundation Fall 2013 Events

Poetry & Music
Poetic Muses: Britten, Auden and Sitwell
Wednesday, September 11, 7 pm
Poetry Foundation
Free admission

A limited number of advance tickets are available at cwfestival2013.eventbrite.com; open seating is available on the night of the performance on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago opens its 2013 Collaborative Works festival with a salon concert focusing on Benjamin Britten’s rich relationships with the poets W.H. Auden and Edith Sitwell and on their impact on his artistry and life. The evening will feature performances of Britten’s work inspired by Auden and Sitwell, including a complete performance of The Heart of the Matter, designed as a showcase for Sitwell and her poetry at the 1956 Aldeburgh Festival. Featured performers in this salon are soprano Kiera Duffy, pianist and CAIC executive director Shannon McGinnis, and tenor and CAIC artistic director Nicholas Phan. Refreshments will be served.

Co-sponsored by the Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago and the University of Chicago Presents

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Poetry on Stage
Dear Elizabeth by Sarah Ruhl
Wednesday, September 18, 7 pm
Thursday, September 19, 7 pm
Poetry Foundation
Free admission

Mary Beth Fisher stars in the Chicago premiere of Dear Elizabeth, a play in letters that follows the beautiful and bittersweet friendship between two of poetry’s greatest literary treasures, Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Bishop. “Something about these two minds overlapping was incandescent to me,” comments Ruhl, a Wilmette native, MacArthur Fellow and acclaimed playwright. Polly Noonan directs this staged reading.

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Poetry off the Shelf
The WRITE CLUB: Poetry Versus…
Wednesday, September 25, 7 pm
Poetry Foundation
Free admission

The WRITE CLUB is bare-knuckled literature. Two writers argue two opposing ideas, and each has seven minutes, no more, to throw their best punches. Writers compete for cash, which goes to a charity of their choosing, and the audience picks the winners. Hosted by Ian Belknap, and featuring a rotating lineup of Chicago’s most audacious and fearsome writers and performers, all of the bouts in this Write Club will involve poetry in some way—page contesting stage, perhaps, or free against form, or maybe prose vs. verse. Brace yourselves and help pick the winners.

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Poetry Day
PoemJazz
with Robert Pinsky and Laurence Hobgood
Thursday, October 10, 6 pm
Cindy Pritzker Auditorium
Harold Washington Library Center
400 South State Street
Free admission; doors open at 5 pm

The 59th annual Poetry Day is a presentation of PoemJazz, Robert Pinsky’s innovative dialogue between poetry and music. PoemJazz intertwines language and instrument, emphasizing the physical and melodic qualities of voice, as well as the way jazz improvisation can sometimes seem to speak. The result is an organic new whole of sound and sense. A book and CD signing follows. Robert Pinsky served an unprecedented three terms as U.S. Poet Laureate from 1997 to 2000. During his tenure he established the Favorite Poem Project, a program that movingly explored poetry’s place in American lives.

Inaugurated by Robert Frost in 1955, Poetry Day is one of the oldest and most distinguished reading series in the country. Past readers have included T.S. Eliot, Marianne Moore, Robert Lowell, Elizabeth Bishop, W.H. Auden, Gwendolyn Brooks, Robert Hass and Derek Walcott.

Co-sponsored with the Chicago Public Library

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Poetry off the Shelf
Bejan Matur
Wednesday, October 16, 7 pm
Poetry Foundation
Free admission

Bejan Matur is a Turkish poet, author and columnist. Her first book, Rüzgar Dolu Konaklar (Winds Howl Through the Mansions), won several literary prizes and was followed by two more books in 2002, Ayın Büyüttüğü Oğullar (The Sons Reared by the Moon) and Onun Çölünde (In His Desert). Her poetry has been translated into 24 languages. In 2011, she wrote a long poem called “İnfinity Watchman” for Reflection on Islamic Art, which was published by Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation. Since 2005, Matur has worked as a journalist, regularly publishing articles and op-ed pieces about Kurdish politics, Armenian news and culture, prison literature and women’s issues. Matur is a former director of DKSV (Diyarbakır Cultural Art Foundation) and has worked with displaced children and women.

Co-sponsored with Amnesty International

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Chicago Architecture Foundation
Open House Chicago
Saturday, October 19, 9 am–5 pm
Sunday, October 20, 9 am–5 pm
Poetry Foundation
Free admission

The Poetry Foundation will once again take part in the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s Open House Chicago, a free public event that offers behind-the-scenes access to more than 150 buildings across the city and suburbs. Visitors to the building will have an opportunity to explore the building and learn about its design.

Co-sponsored with the Chicago Architecture Foundation

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Poetry off the Shelf
On Images, Words and Experience:
Ann Hamilton, Srikanth Reddy and Jessica Stockholder
Thursday, October 17, 7 pm
Poetry Foundation
Free admission

Ann Hamilton, an artist internationally recognized for her large-scale multimedia sensory installations, shares thoughts on language in her work, followed by conversation with artist Jessica Stockholder and poet Srikanth Reddy.

Co-sponsored with the Department of Visual Arts, University of Chicago

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Poetry off the Shelf
Orlando Ricardo Menes and Dan Vera
Thursday, October 24, 7 pm
Poetry Foundation
Free admission

Celebrate the inaugural winner and judge of the Letras Latinas/Red Hen Poetry Prize. Judge Orlando Ricardo Menes directs the creative writing program at the University of Notre Dame. His third full-length collection, Fetish, won the 2012 Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry and was published in 2013 by the University of Nebraska Press. Winner Dan Vera is a writer, editor and literary historian in Washington, D.C. In addition to his winning volume, Speaking Wiri Wiri, he is the author of The Space Between Our Danger and Delight (Beothuk Books, 2008). A book signing and reception follow.

Co-sponsored with Letras Latinas, Red Hen Press, the Ragdale Foundation and the Guild Literary Complex

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Poetry off the Shelf
Nikky Finney
Wednesday, October 30, 7 pm
Poetry Foundation
Free admission

Nikky Finney writes powerful poems of active witness on topics ranging from Hurricane Katrina to Rosa Parks to the career path of Condoleezza Rice. A co-founder of the Affrilachian Poets, she holds the John H. Bennett Jr. Chair of Southern Letters and Creative Writing at the University of South Carolina. She is editor of the anthology The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South and the author of a short story collection, Heartwood. Her fourth collection of poetry, Head Off & Split, won the National Book Award.

Co-sponsored with Northwestern University Press

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Poetry off the Shelf
Anne Carson
Saturday, November 2, 11 am
Cindy Pritzker Auditorium
Harold Washington Library Center
Tickets: $10 for general public; $5 for Chicago Humanities Festival members. On sale September 3 for members and September 17 for non-members. Visit chicagohumanities.org or call the CHF box office at 312.494.9509.

Readers have long been smitten with Anne Carson’s inventiveness. A genre-defying poet and fiction writer, her work is often informed by her training as a classicist. Carson’s work includes Autobiography of Red, which reimagines the myth of Geryon and Herakles in modern times; Glass, Irony, and God, a raw, beautiful contemplation on the end of a love; Nox, an illustrated epitaph exploring her brother’s death; and this year’s red >doc, a sequel to Autobiography of Red, returning us to the world of her mythic red-winged monster.

Co-sponsored with the Chicago Humanities Festival

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Poetry off the Shelf
Sijo Poetry with David McCann
Saturday, November 16, 3 pm
Poetry Foundation
Free admission

David McCann returns to discuss the popular Korean lyric in a workshop format, including students who entered the Sejong Cultural Society’s annual sijo contest. Like Japanese haiku, sijo has a rich history, but its larger form makes room for narrative turns and emotions. McCann teaches at Harvard and is the author of four books of poetry, including Urban Temple: Sijo Twisted and Straight, published in Korean translation by Ch’angbi Publishers in Seoul last year. A reception featuring traditional Korean food follows.

Co-sponsored with the Sejong Cultural Society

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Poetry off the Shelf
Eduardo C. Corral, Carmen Giménez Smith, Sheryl Luna and Deborah Paredez
Thursday, December 5, 7 pm
Poetry Foundation
Free admission

Inspired by Cave Canem and Kundiman, CantoMundo is a national collective for Latina/o poets. Carmen Giménez Smith is the author of four poetry collections—Milk and Filth, Goodbye, Flicker, The City She Was and Odalisque in Pieces. Sheryl Luna received the Andres Montoya Prize for her first collection, Pity the Drowned Horses. Eduardo C. Corral won the 2011 Yale Younger Poets Prize for Slow Lightning. He is the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award, a Ruth Lilly Fellowship and an NEA fellowship. Deborah Paredez is the author of This Side of Skin and the critical study, Selenidad: Selena, Latinos, and the Performance of Memory. She is the co-founder of CantoMundo.

Co-sponsored with CantoMundo, Letras Latinas, and the Guild Literary Complex


POETRY FOUNDATION LIBRARY

Hours: Monday–Friday, 11 am – 4 pm

Poemtime
Wednesdays at 10 am
The Poetry Foundation Library welcomes children ages three to five to a weekly storytime event that introduces poetry through fun, interactive readings and games. Admission is granted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Field Trips
The Library hosts free field trips for schoolchildren. To learn more or arrange a visit, please contact library@poetryfoundation.org.

Library Book Club
All experience levels are welcome to a monthly book group moderated by library staff. In 2013, the library will ask individuals from varied backgrounds to select a title that has been meaningful to them. 

POETRY FOUNDATION GALLERY

Hours: Monday through Friday, 11 am – 4 pm

Simonides: what remains
September 6–30, 2013
This exhibition showcases poet Robert Crawford’s translations of poetic fragments by the ancient Greek poet Simonides, tiny texts that have lasted thousands of years which remember those fallen in battle. The texts are accompanied by photographer Norman McBeath’s striking black-and-white images. The exhibition is loaned to the Poetry Foundation by the Special Collections Division of the University of St Andrews Library, in association with the Scottish Poetry Library. 

Forever– is Composed of Nows
Artworks Inspired by Emily Dickinson
October–November 2013

Emily Dickinson’s mythic reclusiveness and haunting, elliptical poems have captured the imaginations of artists since they first appeared in print. This exhibition will showcase the work of contemporary artists inspired by her poetry and biography.

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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 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.

POETRY FOUNDATION | 61 West Superior Street | Chicago, IL 60654 | 312.787.7070
Media contacts:
Elizabeth Burke-Dain, eburkedain@poetryfoundation.org, 312,799.8016;
Kristin Gecan, kgecan@poetryfoundation.org, 312.799.8065

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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