For immediate release

Poetry Foundation Announces Fall Event Lineup and New Exhibition

Featuring diverse reading showcases, musical performances, and an Afrofuturist art installation.
August 21, 2018

CHICAGO – The Poetry Foundation, an independent literary organization and publisher of Poetry magazine, unveils its fall lineup of events – more than 30 of which are free – including an Afrofuturist art exhibition, Asian American, Latinx, and MacArthur fellow poet readings, centennial celebrations, musical performances, and more beginning September fifth through December.

“With each new season, we aim to offer diverse and accessible programming that resonates with the literary community and the culturally curious, alike,” said Henry Bienen, Poetry Foundation president. “It’s our mission to connect people with poetry, and events allow visitors to discover and celebrate poetry in a tangible way.”

Poetry comes to life during featured readings  

The Poetry Foundation building in River North features a unique auditorium with room for 125 guests and acoustics optimized for reading without amplification. Fall performances will feature readers from traveling poetry subscriptions to the most recent Emily Dickinson First Book Award winner.

Mathias Svalina kicks off the Chicago installment of his Dream Delivery Service, a poetry subscription for which Svalina writes and hand-delivers personalized poems, with a reading at the Foundation.

Literary showcases explore the diverse world of contemporary poetry: cofounder of Kundiman, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to nurturing Asian American literature, Joseph O. Legaspi reads with fellows Suman Chhabra and Duy Ba Doan. AKRILICA, a co-publishing venture between Noemi Press and Letras Latinas, celebrates Latinx writers with a reading by Carolina Ebeid, Manuel Paul López, and Vanessa Angélica Villarreal.

Kristen Tracy will read from her collection, Half-Hazard, winner of the Poetry Foundation’s 2017 Emily Dickinson First Book Award, along with acclaimed writer Bob Hicok.

In celebration of Poetry Day on October 10, inaugurated by Robert Frost in 1955 and now one of the most distinguished poetry reading series in the country, join us at the Harold Washington Library Center to hear MacArthur Fellowship recipients Linda Bierds, Peter Cole, and Brad Leithauser.

Music meets verse with dynamic performances

Poetry began as an oral tradition, connecting it to music for millennia; the Poetry & Music events series honors this shared history and looks forward to the future.

The beat goes on with a performance by the Fonema Consort, which will investigate the musical potential that lies in the convergence of painting and language.

Soprano Josefien Stoppelenburg and pianist Stephen Alltop return to the Foundation for a journey of music inspired by beloved verse.

In honor of the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, conductor Alexander Platt, the Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago and the Poetry Foundation come together with a performance of Gustav Mahler’s song set Das Knaben Wunderhorn. Author, actor, and veteran Benjamin Busch reads classic and contemporary poems related to war alongside Mahler’s music.

Afrofuturism provides a visually striking exhibition update

The Poetry Foundation Gallery showcases rotating work that connects with poetry, including archival exhibitions, visual art, and special collections from around the world.

This September, poet and collage artist Krista Franklin brings new life to the Gallery space with a “mapping” mural depicting Afrofuturist and AfroSurrealist preoccupations of space travel and mysticism in the black imagination created by layering handmade paper, vintage Ebony and Jet magazine articles, quotes and wall inscriptions. The installation will also feature excerpts from her first book Under the Knife, ahead of its release this fall.

Krista Franklin: “ take root among the stars.” opens to the public on September 28 with extended evening hours, reception, and a reading by Franklin from her new book from 6:00–9:00PM. The exhibition runs through December 21.

Fall hours and event details

These are only a selection of the varied events that the Poetry Foundation offers this season.

For all event listings and details, visit

Except when otherwise noted, all events are free and open to the public on a first come, first served basis at the Poetry Foundation, 61 West Superior Street, Chicago.

In addition, the Poetry Foundation Library, home to a collection of more than 30,000 books of poetry, is open to the public weekdays from 11:00AM-4:00PM and select Saturdays, including September 15, October 20, November 17, and December 15, from 11:00AM-4:00PM.

VISUALS: Building, programming, and/or exhibition Images available upon request.

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. 

Follow the Poetry Foundation and Poetry on Facebook at,  Twitter @PoetryFound and Instagram @PoetryFoundation.

Media Contacts:

Elizabeth O’Connell-Thompson, Media Associate, [email protected], 312.799.8065

Sarah Whitcher, Marketing and Media Director, [email protected], 312.799.8016

Current Issue of Poetry Magazine Current Issue
Contact Us