Chicago Poetry Block Party
Saturday, July 30th, 2:00 PM–8:00 PM
The Historic Former Wabash YMCA
3700 block of South Wabash Avenue
Poetry Foundation, Crescendo Literary, and The Renaissance Collaborative, Inc host the Chicago Poetry Block Party, a festival of poetry, music, art, and community at the site of the historic Wabash YMCA in Bronzeville. Guests of all ages can participate in workshops, art activities, and much more. The Block Party features musical performances from soulful vocalist Ravyn Lenae, rapper and prison abolitionist Ric Wilson and Avery R. Young who blends phonetics, linguistics, hymns, jazz and hip hop in his work. Award-winning Chicago-based poets Nate Marshall, Eve Ewing, Fatimah Asghar, Sarah Kay and José Olivarez will lead poetry workshops and perform original works. Other performances include DJ Delisa, Happiness Club, DJ Chante, Porsha Olayiwola and more.
This exhibition showcases highlights from the literary archives of Gwendolyn E. Brooks (1917–2000), Illinois Poet Laureate and the first black winner of the Pulitzer Prize. Brooks’s papers include youthful poetry and prose, scrapbooks of pieces she published as a young woman, extensive correspondence with a significant roster of other writers, and manuscript drafts and proofs, especially after she left mainstream publishing to produce her works with black-owned presses.