Archive / 1990-1999

RSS feed for this section

Castillo, Ana 1998; 2005

Wednesday, February 11, 1998
with Eugene Redmond
Monday, November 14, 2005
with Carlos Cumpián

Love me as you relish your loneliness,
the anticipation of your death,
mysteries of the flesh, as it tears and mends.

– Ana Castillo, “I Ask The Impossible”

Broadside of “I Ask The Impossible” by Ana Castillo

Buy this broadside⇒

Women don’t riot, not in maquilas in Malaysia, Mexico, or Korea,
not in sweatshops in New York or El Paso.
They don’t revolt
in kitchens, laundries, or nurseries.
Not by the hundreds or thousands, changing
sheets in hotels or in laundries
when scalded by hot water,
not in restaurants where they clean and clean
and clean their hands raw.

– Ana Castillo, “Women Don’t Riot”

Continue reading this poem⇒

Listen to Ana Castillo’s 2005 reading for the Poetry Center of Chicago:

Remembering Revelation I wanted to laugh,
the way a nonbeliever remembers Sunday School
and laughs, which is to say–after flood and rains,
drought and despair,
abrupt invasions,
disease and famine everywhere,
we’re still left dumbfounded
at the persistence of fiction.

– Ana Castillo, “While I Was Gone A War Began”

Continue reading this poem⇒

Listen to Ana Castillo reading her poetry:

More info on Ana Castillo⇒

Carroll, Paul 1986; 1992

Tuesday, June 3, 1986
Thursday, November 12, 1992
Founder of the Poetry Center of Chicago

Were you guys lucky, too, to caddy the light
of freshly-sprinkled fairway delicate and bright as eye of an
Indiana owl
or glitter of fish flickering in the Shedd Aquarium of the

– Paul Carroll, “Ode to an All-American Boyhood”

Continue reading this poem⇒

Listen to Paul Carroll’s 1986 Poetry Center reading:

Our matchbox bedroom in the loft above your
sculpture factory
Turns magical at times
Behind its dark blue Druid door.     Last night,
Inside you, sweetheart,
It felt as if I were coming from the soul itself.

– Paul Carroll, “Valentine”

Continue reading this poem⇒

Audio recording of the Poetry Center Reading Series featuring Billy Collins, Andrei Codrescu, Ron Padgett, Lucille Clifton, Mark Perlberg, Li-Young Lee, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Anne Waldman, Yusuf Komunyakaa, Lisel Mueller, Ted Kooser, Paul Carroll, Jorie Graham, and Paul Hoover.

Buy this audio recording featuring Paul Carroll⇒

My mouth is snow slowly caking that stiff pigeon.
My mouth, the intricately moist machinery of a plant.
I have forgotten if I ever had a mouth.

– Paul Carroll, “My Mouth Quick with Many Bees”

Continue reading this poem⇒

Vintage poster of Bill Berkson, Ted Berrigan, Paul Carroll, Alice Notley, and Peter Kostakis givnig a poetry reading in honor of Frank O'Hara at the Poetry Center of Chicago.

Vintage poster of Bill Berkson, Ted Berrigan, Paul Carroll, Alice Notley, and Peter Kostakis givnig a poetry reading in honor of Frank O’Hara at the Poetry Center of Chicago.

Watch an interview with Paul Carroll:

Conversation with Poet Paul Carroll Part 1 of 4

Uploaded by Bob Boldt on 2010-05-19.

More info on Paul Carroll⇒

Boland, Eavan 1997

Wednesday, March 19, 1997

Six o’clock: the kitchen bulbs which blister
Your dark, your housewives starting to nose
Out each other’s day, the claustrophobia
Of your back gardens varicose
With shrubs, make an ugly sister
Of you suburbia.

– Eavan Boland, “Ode to Suburbia” 

Continue reading this poem⇒

Listen to Eavan Boland’s Poetry Center of Chicago reading:

Read this interview with Eavan Boland from PBS Newshour:

Conversation: Eavan Boland

Jeffrey Brown talks to Irish poet Eavan Boland.


All night the room breathes out its grief.
Exhales through surfaces. The sideboard.
The curtains: the stale air stalled there.
The kiln-fired claws of the china bird.

– Eavan Boland, “Exile! Exile!”

Continue reading this poem⇒

Watch Eavan Boland read and discuss her work on The Writing Life:

Eavan Boland on loss, history and poetry

No Description

More info on Eavan Boland⇒

Berssenbrugge, Mei-Mei 1999

Wednesday, February 24, 1999
with Marilyn Chin and Arthur Sze

The reservoir is trying to freeze over
with an expanding map shaped like an angel
Separated lovers on a coast keep walking
toward each other. Low sun reddens
their faces without heat

 – Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge, “The Reservoir”

Continue reading this poem⇒

Listen to Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge’s 1999 reading for the Poetry Center of Chicago:

Read this interview with Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge from BOMB Magazine:

Working backward in sleep, the
last thing you numbed to is what
wakes you.

– Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge, “Concordance [Working backward in sleep]”

Continue reading this poem⇒

Watch Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge read some of her work at UC Berkeley:

Lunch Poems: Mei-mei Berssenbrugge

Born in Beijing, China, and raised in Massachusetts, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge molds language with seemingly effortless beauty and grace that invites the reader on a journey between worlds. She has published three books of poetry. Tune is as she reads a selection of her poems before a live audience at UC Berkeley.

More info on Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge⇒

Andrews, Tom 1997

Wednesday, October 15, 1997
with Margaret Gibson

October dusk.
Pink scraps of clouds, a plum-colored sky.
The sycamore tree spills a few leaves.
The cold focuses like a lens. . .

– Tom Andrews, “At Burt Lake”

Continue reading this poem⇒

Listen to Tom Andrews’s Poetry Center reading with Margaret Gibson:

Read Tom Andrews’s poem, “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Strangled Moose:”

Tom Andrews Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Strangled Moose

Seven men, a pale woman and a dog Circle the indoor, rubberized track Like strangled moose. Orpheus rolled through his sleep. Eurydice read a popular novel, a period piece Involving a ménage a trois And the strangling of a moose. Dear Mr. Farnsworth, I’m sorry. I swear the black elk looked Like a black moose.

There is a sleep like the long dissolve
of bone into brown dirt. The nurse carries
a paper cup, a syringe of that sleep…

– Tom Andrews, “Codeine Diary”

Continue reading this poem in Tom Andrews’s book, The Hemophiliac’s Motorcycle

More info on Tom Andrews⇒

Allende, Isabel 1994

Tuesday, November 1, 1994

Language is essential to a writer, and language is as personal as blood. I live in California—in English—but I can only write in Spanish. In fact, all the fundamental things in my life happen in Spanish, like scolding my grandchildren, cooking, or making love.

– Isabel Allende, “How I Became A Writer”

Continue reading this essay⇒

Read this interview with Isabel Allende:

Isabel Allende – Interview

I allow the characters to live their own lives in the book. Often I have the feeling that I don’t control them. The story goes in unexpected directions and my job is to write it down, not to force it into my previous ideas.

Watch Isabel Allende give a TED Talk called “Tales of passion:”

More info on Isabel Allende⇒

Isabel Allende is one of the most widely-read authors in the world, having sold more than 74 million books. Born in Peru and raised in Chile, her work, both in English and in Spanish, has been translated into more than forty-two languages. She is the recipient of fifteen honorary doctorates, including one from Harvard University, the PEN Center Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.