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Olzmann, Matthew 2022

Wednesday, January 19, 2022
Blue Hour Reading Series with Andy Sia and Matthew Olzmann


Look at it now! It rockets upward, almost vertical,
beginning in his backyard, puncturing
the cloud cover, and everyone speculates
where it will end. It will end
where all ambitions end: in the ether,
where the body ceases, and a story continues.

– Matthew Olzmann, “Build, Now, a Monument”

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Watch Matthew Olzmann’s 2022 reading at the Chicago Poetry Center:

Watch Matthew Olzmann read one of his poems here:

On Earth, when my wife is sleeping,
I like to look out at the sky.
I like to watch TV shows about supernovas,
and contemplate things that are endless
like the heavens and, maybe, love.

– Matthew Olzmann, “Astronomers Locate a New Planet”

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Read Matthew Olzmann’s interview with Four Way Review:

INTERVIEW WITH Matthew Olzmann

Matthew Olzmann’s latest collection, Constellation Route, is out now from Alice James. He has published two previous collections, Contradictions in the Design and Mezzanines, and he has received fe…

More info on Matthew Olzmann⇒

Ojeda-Sague, Gabriel 2019

Friday, May 17, 2019
Six Points Reading Series with Davon Clark and Gabriel Ojeda-Sague
Pilsen Community Books

these realizations I keep having
as I get older are becoming tiring
as they consistently remind me
of my poor shape
the subtle lilt in your speech
wood and felt slammed against timpani

              – Gabriel Ojeda-Sague, “On Moss”

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Watch Gabriel Ojeda-Sague read from his poetry collection Losing Miami:

You pass a finger between
one tattoo and another,
find that I cannot make amends
with every copper thread between my ears.

              – Gabriel Ojeda-Sague, “Obsessions”

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More info on Gabriel Ojeda-Sague⇒

Olivarez, José 2018

Friday, May 18, 2018
Poets in Space with Alex Dimitrov
Dearborn Observatory


 Jesus has a tattoo of La Virgen De Guadalupe
covering his back. turns out he’s your cousin
Jesus from the block. turns out he gets reincarnated
every day & no one on Earth cares all that much. 

– José Olivarez, “A Mexican Dreams of Heaven”

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Listen to José Olivarez talk to poets Danez Smith and Franny Choi on the VS Podcast:

José Olivarez vs. Grownups – VS | Poetry Foundation

Poet, educator, and Young Chicago Authors Marketing Director José Olivarez explores adulting and gives some podcast-veteran advice to Danez and Franny.

all my people fold into a $2 crunchwrap supreme. the white woman
means lucky to be here and not mexico. my dad sings por tu
maldito amor & i’m sure he sings to america.

– José Olivarez, “I Walk Into Every Room and Yell Where the Mexicans At”

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Read this interview with José Olivarez from Chicago Creatives:

José Olivarez’s New Book ‘Citizen Illegal’ Is An Economic Crisis Book Of Poems.

Citizen Illegal is a book of poems that are meant to show and give voice to the ghosts and joys that haunt Mexican life.

my monsters, coyotes in the
chase, look almost human
in the sterile office light.
my monsters say they just
want to be friends.

– José Olivarez, “my therapist says make friends with your monsters”

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Watch José Olivarez read some of his work:

More info on José Olivarez⇒

Opal, Anthony 2015

Thursday, July 9, 2015
with Maggie Smith
Chicago Cultural Center


you have lipstick on your collar I say
to my father the priest that’s just the Blood
of Christ my son he replies by and by
(the milky thigh of Mary in my mind)

– Anthony Opal, “Sonnet”

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Read this interview with Anthony Opal from The Conversant:

dear god-and-a-half dear action painter
dear compassionate sloth and hammerhead
shark who willingly gave up the hammer

– Anthony Opal, “Action”

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More info on Anthony Opal⇒

Olds, Sharon


I want to go
up to them there in the late May sunlight and say it,
her hungry pretty face turning to me
her pitiful beautiful untouched body,
his arrogant handsome face turning to me,
his pitiful beautiful untouched body,
but I don’t do it. I want to live.

– Sharon Olds, “I Go Back to May 1937”

Listen to Sharon Olds’ reading for the Poetry Center of Chicago:

Read this interview with Sharon Olds from BOMB Magazine:

Watch Sharon Olds’ TEDx talk:

The Poetry of the in-between | Sharon Olds | TEDxMet

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More info on Sharon Olds⇒

Ostriker, Alicia


Like a photon, like a shower
Of yellow flames–
She believes if she could only catch up

-Alicia Ostriker, “A Young Woman, A Tree”

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Listen to Alicia Ostriker’s reading for the Poetry Center of Chicago:

Check out this 2010 interview with Alicia Ostriker about her process of writing “Daffodils”:

Alicia Ostriker

Alicia Ostriker’s thirteenth collection of poems, the Book of Seventy , won the 2009 National Jewish Book Award for Poetry. Her 1980 anti-wa…

Some claim the origin of song
was a war cry
some say it was a rhyme
telling the farmers when to plant and reap
don’t they know the first song was a lullaby
pulled from a mother’s sleep
said the old woman

– Alicia Ostriker, “Song”

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Watch this short NYS Writers Institute video of Alicia Ostriker on being a poet:

Alicia Suskin Ostriker at the NYS Writers Institute in 2015

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Osman, Ladan 2014

Thursday, September 11, 2014
with Amira Hanafi
Saturday, April 9, 2016
with Fatimah Asghar and Roger Reeves
Tea Project at Links Hall


Tonight is a drunk man,
his dirty shirt.
There is no couple chatting by the recycling bins,
offering to help me unload my plastics.

– Ladan Osman, “Tonight”

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Listen to Ladan Osman, with Amira Hanafi, read for the Chicago Poetry Center:

I can’t tell why I think the dried corncobs
in the gravel and the mattress under the tree
were not put here by children who bite so fast
they leave rows of kernels.

– Ladan Osman, “Gnats”

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Watch an interview with Ladan Osman:

More info on Ladan Osman⇒

Odelius, Kristy 2005

Wednesday, February 9, 2005
with Joel Craig and Srikanth Reddy

know why they despise vibrato.
Hovering suddenly above the alley,
into the open dumpster they fly
sucking Slurpees singing “I lick
the wind’s behind”…

– Kristy Odelius, “The virgins of Chicago”

Broadside of “The virgins of Chicago” by Kristy Odelius

Buy this broadside⇒

Buy a signed copy of this broadside⇒

Buy this broadside in a series with Joel Craig and Srikanth Reddy⇒

And when the reds arrive moving as if toward a name
Or a distant cabana, zero in on a shelter
As a generation glides with ignorance and grace

– Kristy Odelius, “Cardio/sky”

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Watch Kristy Odelius read some of her work:

Kristy Odelius

Rabbit Light Movies Episode #13 Summer 2011 Filmed March 1st 2011 in Wicker Park, Chicago

More info on Kristy Odelius⇒