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Wong, Jane 2023

Friday, July 14, 2023
Summer Poetry Party featuring Jane Wong
Haymarket House


My grandmother said it was going to be long—as long as you can hold your lineage—depending on how long you can hold your tongue—as long as your tongue can wrap around the pit—of some stolen stone fruit—as long as you can hide your pitter-patter face—glued in sun-split splinters—lengthening shadows as long as your face—longing to be mirrored back—back to your daughter your mother your grandmother—freckle by freckle—furnished forever across—the long loaming haul—

– Jane Wong, “The Long Labors”

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Watch Jane Wong’s 2023 reading at the Chicago Poetry Center:

Jane Wong begins at 49:52 minutes.

Check out Jane Wong’s work in “The Poetics of Haunting in Asian American Poetry,” a digital humanities project:

I was waiting for something
to arrive. I didn’t know what.
Something buoyed, something
sun knocked. I placed my palms
up, little pads of butter, expecting.
All day, nothing. Longer than
that. My hair grew, fell out,
grew. Outside my window, I felt
the flick of a tail in September
wind. A bobcat sauntered across
the grass before me, the black tip
of its tail a pencil I’d like to sharpen.

– Jane Wong, “The Waiting”

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Watch musician Audrey Nuna read Jane Wong’s poem “I Put on My Fur Coat” for The New York Times Style Magazine:

Video: Read T a Poem | Audrey Nuna

The singer and rapper reads the poem “I Put on My Fur Coat” (2021) by Jane Wong.

Visit Jane Wong’s website⇒

Walsh, Jessica 2023

Wednesday, January 18, 2023
Blue Hour Reading Series with Kemi Alabi and Jessica Walsh
Haymarket House


I review email from a tailor who calls me Madame
tells me how to measure myself, since I must,
what a shame how we are reduced, isn’t it,
but surely his corset dress will bring me love
and comfort me through these terrible times.

– Jessica Walsh, “When All This Is Done”

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Watch Jessica Walsh’s 2023 reading with Kemi Alabi at the Chicago Poetry Center:

Jessica Walsh begins at 25:42 minutes.

Read Jessica Walsh’s prose piece “I Am Here to Give You Bad Advice”:

I am Here to Give You Bad Advice – Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets

When I was a junior at a small liberal arts college, I began applying for English Ph.D. programs. (The entire story of why I chose this path was my professor’s statement that “If you get a Ph.D. in English, you’ll probably never get a tenure-track job.

As a child I played near the mill
and breathed deep the pines
loving trees and death of trees,
roots and needles, sawdust, sap.
I saw no border between wild and blade—
holy both.

– Jessica Walsh, “Reliquary”

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Woody, Daniel 2017

Thursday, June 29, 2017
Poetry in the Parks with Ed Roberson
Garfield Park Conservatory


Some people declined, having formed convincing theories,
but the best among us ate quietly our share
and prayed to be forgiven of the hunger. 

              – Daniel Woody, “Chase/Noise/Bite”

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this of course
allows the mountain to sound the sunrise
and uncovers what tangled each of them in the first place

Daniel Woody, “Seek the Whistle”

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Wilson, Keith S. 2017

Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Poetry in the Parks with Kathy Fagan
Humboldt Park


the constellations are full
of dead women, he says. he says
my dress is the coat of a great lion.
i turn like the blood inside
a rose.

              – Keith S. Wilson, “Impression of a Rib”

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Watch Keith S. Wilson read for the Chicago Poetry Center, with Kathy Fagan:

Keith S. Wilson starts reading at 2:06

he asks my girlfriend not if she is white
since even in this light
what we are is obvious
but instead the sheriff offers some western
philosophy: ma’am    he asks
are you here of your own free will

– Keith S. Wilson, “Fieldnotes”

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Woods, Jamila 2016

Saturday, February 6, 2016
with Christopher Soto, Roger Reeves, and Emily Jungmin Yoon


hot to the touch, always sweating
oil from some fruit or nut, conducting
electricity clockwise, 3D printing
my signature over & over again
in new cursive 

– Jamila Woods, “My Afropuffs”

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Read this interview with Jamila Woods from SPIN Magazine:

it just so happens that i am hiding
weapons in my hair, just like the blonde
TSA lady expected. when she stuck her rubber
glove fingers in the thicket, a poem
jumped out and bit off her eyelashes.

– Jamila Woods, “in security or on being touched without permission”

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Watch Jamila Woods’s music video for “Blk Girl Soldier:”

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Wolff, Rebecca 2001

Tuesday, October 30, 2001


Half a day is dead already–
a lady with a baby in the shady graveyard
promenade not quite the idea
but the first idea to be impressed
so firmly– Grace to be born

– Rebecca Wolff, “Eminent Victorians”

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Read this interview with Rebecca Wolff from Poetry Society:

Poet Novelist: An Interview with Rebecca Wolff

Conversations with poets, editors, and artists.

He died before we could honor
him correctly. Candied
impulse through the brain.
Your will subverted

– Rebecca Wolff, “Mamma didn’t raise no fools”

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Watch Rebecca Wolff read two of her poems at the Sue Scott Gallery:

Rebecca Wolff Reads Two Poems from ‘The King’

No Description

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Wilson, Chrissy 2013

Saturday, April 13, 2013


The Lake gets its official name from a misinterpretation of a
Native American word for “edge of the lake,”
but when I see the signs while driving over the mountains
toward its shores, I think of my east coast grandmother,
with pale New England skin
and how she would pronounce it with all her refinement:

– Chrissy Wilson, “Lake Tahoe”

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Read part one of Chrissy Wilson’s story, “The Game Called Catch:”

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Walcott, Derek 1977

Friday, October 7, 1977
Vintage poster of Derek Walcott's reading at the Poetry Center of Chicago on Friday, October 7, 1977.

Vintage poster of Derek Walcott’s reading at the Poetry Center of Chicago on Friday, October 7, 1977.

The dialect of the scrub in the dry season
withers the flow of English. Things burn for days
without translation, with the heat
of the scorched pastures and their skeletal cows.

– Derek Walcott, “from The Prodigal: 11″

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Read this interview with Derek Walcott from the Paris Review:

The Art of Poetry No. 37

Derek Walcott, ca. 2012. Photograph Jorge Mejía Peralta I went to visit Derek Walcott on his home island of St. Lucia in mid-June, 1985. St. Lucia is one of the four Windward Islands in the eastern Caribbean, a small mountainous island that faces the Atlantic Ocean on one side and th…

Then all the nations of birds lifted together
the huge net of the shadows of this earth
in multitudinous dialects, twittering tongues,
stitching and crossing it. They lifted up
the shadows of long pines down trackless slopes,
the shadows of glass-faced towers down evening streets,
the shadow of a frail plant on a city sill–

Derek Walcott, “The Season of Phantasmal Peace”

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Watch Derek Walcott discuss his life and work at Hart House Theater:

Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott on his life and work

English professor, Christian Campbell, interviews Caribbean poet and playwright, Derek Walcott, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1992. Walcott discusses issues of identity, culture, and language in this illuminating conversation, filmed at Hart House Theatre on November 23, 2010.

More info on Derek Walcott⇒

Wright, Charles 2002

Thursday, November 7, 2002

Sun-sliding morning. The doors of the world stand open,
The one up and the one down.
Twice-blessed by their golden handles,
We try them both, but they don’t open, not yet, they don’t open.

– Charles Wright, “Nostalgia III”

Broadside of "Nostalgia III" by Charles Wright with Timothy Straveler.

Broadside of “Nostalgia III” by Charles Wright with Timothy Straveler.

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Buy a signed copy of this broadside⇒

Ancient of Days, old friend, no one believes you’ll come back.
No one believes in his own life anymore.
The moon, like a dead heart, cold and unstartable, hangs by a thread
At the earth’s edge,
Unfaithful at last, splotching the ferns and the pink shrubs.

– Charles Wright, “Stone Canyon Nocturne”

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Watch Charles Wright read his work here:”

Charles Wright Inaugural Reading as Poet Laureate

Charles Wright gives his inaugural reading as the 20th Poet Laureate Consultant to the Library of Congress. Speaker Biography: On June 12th, 2014, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington announced the appointment of Charles Wright as the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry. Charles Wright was born in Pickwick Dam, Tennessee on August 25, 1935.

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Wright, Franz 2004

Tuesday, November 30, 2004


We speak of Heaven who have not yet accomplished
even this, the holiness of things
precisely as they are, and never will

– Franz Wright, “Presience”

Broadside of Franz Wright's poem, "Prescience."

Broadside of Franz Wright’s poem, “Prescience.”

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Listen to Franz Wright’s reading for the Poetry Center of Chicago:

Read this interview with Franz Wright from The New Yorker:

In the Beforelife: Franz Wright

Franz Wright, the author of thirteen books of poetry, talks to The New Yorker’s poetry editor, Alice Quinn, about his new book, his career as a poet, and his relationship with his father, the poet James Wright. Also, three of Wright’s new poems.

Say I had no choice, this weightless finger touched my tongue and told me to, it taught
me; when kinder and more subtle methods failed, it put a gun to my head, a zero
seared coldly in one temple, electrode glued chill to the other

– Franz Wright, “Circle”

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Watch Franz Wright read some of his poetry:

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