For immediate release

Celebrate the 3rd Annual Chicago Poetry Block Party

A festival of poetry, music, art, and community.
June 19, 2018

CHICAGO – On Saturday, July 28, the Poetry Foundation, Crescendo Literary, and the Austin Town Hall host the 3rd annual Chicago Poetry Block Party. Between 3:00 and 8:00 PM at Austin Town Hall (5620 W. Lake Street), guests of all ages can join in the fun. Poetry, creativity, and literature come alive with writing workshops, visual art activities, poetry readings, games, and musical performances.

The Chicago Poetry Block Party features musical performances from Tasha, Brandon Markell Holmes, avery r. young, and the CPBP House Band. Award-winning poet Danez Smith and other poets from across the U.S. will perform their work. An open mic will allow a chance for participants to take the stage.

The Chicago Poetry Block Party is the culmination of a three-day-long poetry Incubator held July 25-27, presented by the Poetry Foundation and Crescendo Literary. Through workshops and talks, the Incubator brings together a large group of emerging poets from around the country who engage with community through their poetry. Faculty Tyehimba Jess and Kay Ulanday Barrett share their expertise, teaching Incubator poet participants to enhance their practices and community work.  

“The Chicago Poetry Block Party brings poetry onto the streets every summer. It’s a great place to experience the immediacy and vibrancy of the art form, and it’s why the festival is a perfect collaboration for the Poetry Foundation,” said Henry Bienen, President of the Poetry Foundation. “This event creates a space for connection between poets, artists, and families to celebrate and create together.”

Eve Ewing, Director of Crescendo Literary, says, “We're so excited to host the Chicago Poetry Block Party on the West Side this year. As always, our goal is to have a poetry event that's open to everyone-- hardcore poetry lovers as well as people who just want to enjoy a fun Chicago festival. We've worked hard to offer something for everyone."

Tebrena Howard, Supervisor of the Austin Town Hall, added, “We're excited to be hosting this party in Austin. There is a vibrant community of artists and poets already here and partnering with these organizations adds loft and scope to these voices.”

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

About Crescendo Literary 
A collaboration between poets Eve Ewing and Nate Marshall, Crescendo Literary creates and curates events, works of art, and educational resources grounded in the belief that 1) artists can, should, and must be accountable to the communities from which they emerge, and 2) communities, in turn, are strengthened by the meaningful presence of excellent art. For more information, please visit crescendoliterary.com

About Austin Town Hall 
Located in the Austin community, Austin Town Hall Park and Cultural Center is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and covers 3.17 acres. The park features a fieldhouse with an indoor swimming pool, two kitchens, a gymnasium, a performance theater/auditorium and a fitness center. Outside, the park offers a basketball court and children’s playground. 

Majestic in design, the Austin Town Hall Park and Cultural Center was once the town hall of the Village of Cicero, Illinois. Today, the space is used for park activities including a variety of dance, music and theater classes, music production and more. 

Media contacts:

Emily Hanhart, Communications and Marketing
ehanhart@poetryfoundation.org, 312.799.8003

Amy Christenson, Media Relations Associate 
amy@christensongray.com, 312.209.9531

For questions about participating in the Poetry Incubator and the Chicago Poetry Block Party, contact:
Ydalmi Noriega, ynoriega@poetryfoundation.org, 312.799.8008

Follow the Poetry Foundation and Poetry magazine on Facebook at facebook.com/poetryfoundation or on Twitter @PoetryFound.

POETRY FOUNDATION | 61 West Superior Street | Chicago, IL 60654 | 312.787.7070

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