For immediate release

Poetry Foundation Launches Poetry Incubator 
& Chicago Poetry Block Party

Building Community Engagement through Poetry
May 5, 2016


CHICAGO – On July 28-30, 2016, the Poetry Foundation and Crescendo Literary will host a poetry incubator bringing together a group of emerging poets who engage with community through their creative practice. Incubator participants will learn from faculty poets, collaborate, participate in professional development, and build together. This three-day program culminates on Saturday, July 30, with the Chicago Poetry Block Party, a festival of poetry, music, art, and community for audiences of all ages. An official announcement about the Chicago Poetry Block Party will be released in late June.

Over two days of workshops and talks, incubator participants will learn from faculty poets Patricia Smith and Ross Gay, share craft and professional talks, explore best practices, and spend time developing poetry projects based on their own aspirations and perceptions of the needs of their communities.

We encourage poets from across the country who integrate their creative practice with activism and community engagement to find more information about the incubator and apply before June 1, 2016 by visiting

“Providing a space where emerging poets explore community-based issues while sharing their work with nationally recognized poets is an important part of our mission,” said Henry Bienen, president of the Poetry Foundation. “Through this initiative, we hope to mobilize the connection between art and social concerns.”

“We are delighted to offer this chance for poets to join together not only in the name of their craft, but with the goal of more deeply engaging their communities through art,” said Eve Ewing, Co-Founder of Crescendo Literary. “Our goal is to bring the model of an incubator—where people have a chance to develop ideas in collaboration—to poetry, while also introducing the Chicago Poetry Block Party as a new way for people in the city to connect with art and with one another.”

Partnering Organizations:

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

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

Follow the Poetry Foundation and Poetry on Facebook at or on Twitter @PoetryFound.

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

Media contact:
Polly Faust, [email protected], 312.799.8065
Elizabeth Burke-Dain, [email protected], 312.799.8016

For questions about participating in the Poetry Incubator and the Chicago Poetry Block Party contact:
Ydalmi Noriega, [email protected], 312.799.8008

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