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dateline: Chicago, February 2006

What's happening in literature and new media arts during February 2006...

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Catskill writers series draws national-calibre poets

Laura Moran announced this month a new series of readings in the New York's Catskill region, "First Fridays". This contemporary writers series is held on the first Friday of the month from March through December 2006 and features some of today's most enigmatic, poignant and precise authors who consider performance as important as their craft. Seen on TV, Broadway, and often on the finals stage of the National Poetry Slam Competition, these masters of stage and page will visit for one night along the banks of the Delaware River in upstate New York.

First Fridays also spotlights new Catskill area writers and hosts a short open mic. Each reading is free and open to the public. Moran says that the venue is open to any touring poets happening through the area. Young adult readers/writers especially encouraged to attend.

Featured artists for 2006:

  • March: Corrina Bain (Providence, RI)
  • April: Roger Bonair Agard (NYC) & Mary Greene
  • May: Daniel Solis (Albuquerque, NM) & NaCL Theater
  • June: Marty McConnnell (NYC) & Marcia Nehemiah
  • July: TBA
  • Aug: Taylor Mali (NYC) & Lori Anderson Moseman
  • Sept: Michael Cirelli (NYC) & Tom Lisenbee
  • Oct: Brendan McLeod (Vancouver, BC, Canada)
  • Nov: Jack McCarthy (Seattle, WA) & Gary Whitehead, NYC
  • Dec: Buddy Wakefield (Seattle, WA)

Held monthly at the Western Sullivan Public Library, Tusten-Cochecton Branch, 198 Bridge St., Narrowsburg, NY 12764. (2-1/2 hours from NYC, 1-1/2 hours from Oneonta, Scranton, and Woodstock.) Phone 845-252-3360. Evening programs proceed at 7:30 PM with open mic, 8:00 PM local writer of distinction, and 8:30 PM with the visiting writer.

Louder Than a Bomb for 2006:
prelims 3 thru 6 March

Hiphop, spoken word, urban culture, and flat-out poetry converge in more than critical mass each year at Louder Than a Bomb (LTaB), Chicago's teen poetry slam that operates on a scale bested only by the US National Slams. LTaB is a mass exercise of poetry in very present and present-day vernacular, written and performed by high school students from all over Chicago and nearby towns. Sources say that this year, approximately 400 young poets will convene. LTaB is a slam and language arts workshop vehicle that will span all of the first weekend of March. The finalists for the teen slam will be featured at Cabaret Metro on 12 March.

For full details, click to, founding organizer of LTaB. Tickets to the slam finals on 12 March are available at the Metro Store, 3730 N. Clark St. (Wrigleyville), Chicago. Tickets will also be available at Slam Preliminaries at Hot House and Columbia College Chicago.


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call for original poetry videos

There is an open call for opportunties to screen original poetry videos at the annual conference of the National Association for Poetry Therapy, held in Boston in April 2006. The call is open to all works made since 2003. Videos should be no longer than 10 minutes. Submission deadline is Wednesday, March 8, 2006.

Send DVD or VHS screener, cover letter (including full contact information, exact running time of film and one-sentence bio of director) and SASE for return to Karen vanMeenen, Poetry Video Submission, c/o Afterimage, 31 Prince St., Rochester, NY 14607. Note: Films cannot be returned unless an SASE is supplied with submission.

See The Voice:
Visible Verse 2006 calls for videos

Pacific Cinémathèque and curator Heather Haley are seeking videopoem submissions from around the world for the annual Visible Verse screening and performance poetry celebration. Visible Verse is North America's sustaining venue for the presentation of new and artistically significant videopoetry.

Official guidelines:

  • Visible Verse seeks videopoems, with a 15 minutes maximum duration.
  • Either official language of Canada is acceptable, though if the video is in French, an English-dubbed or-subtitled version is required for consideration. Videos may originate in any part of the world, however.
  • Pieces will be judged on true literary merit. The ideal videopoem is a wedding of word and image, the voice seen as well as heard.
  • Please, do not send documentaries, as they are outside the featured genre.
  • Videopoem producers should provide a brief bio, full name, and contact information in a cover letter. There is no official application form nor entry fee.
  • Submission deadline is 1 September, 2006.

Send, at your own risk, videopoems and poetry films/preview copies (which cannot be returned) in DVD format to: VISIBLE VERSE c/o Pacific Cinémathèque, 200--1131 Howe Street, Vancouver, BC, V6Z 2L7, Canada. Selected artists will be notified by 1 October, 2006 and receive a screening fee. For more information contact Heather Haley at: or by e-mail.

[poètikas] ´06:
Barcelona celebrates poetry

Our grasp of Catalán isn't that good, but we certainly know an opportunity to screen poetry videos when we see it. Barcelona will celebrate a week of poetry from 12 through 18 May 2006, in [poètikas] ´06 ("Barcelona poesía, set dies de poesía a la ciutat"). Artists are invited to send poetry in all forms of new media, poetry video especially.

The proposal and submission deadline is 13 April 2006. Send proposals to the festival in care of Centre Civic Pati Llimona by by e-mail, or by surface mail to the Centre Civic Pati Llimona, Regomir 3, 08002 Barcelona, España.


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The MACHINE reading series

The MACHINE reading series at the University of Pennsylvania's Kelly Writers House, co-sponsored by the Electronic Literature Organization (ELO), announces two programs scheduled for Spring 2006.

Constructing Poets: LOSS GLAZIER and JIM CARPENTER, 15 February at 5:30 PM

Loss Glazier (University of Buffalo) is the author of Digital Poetics: The Making of E-Poetries, numerous digital works, and Anatman, Pumpkin Seed, Algorithm, joins Penn's Jim Carpenter, creator of the Electronic Text Composition system, in a program that will take the Writers House to the limits of computing and poetry. The program will be hosted by poet and critic Charles Bernstein (With Strings, My Way: Speeches and Poems, Republics of Reality: 1975-1995). Co-sponsored by the Penn Creative Writing Program.


Stuart Moulthrop (University of Baltimore) will present/read from early and recent digital works. For more than 15 years, Moulthrop has been writing digital works of literature, including Victory Garden, Hegirascope, Reagan Library, and Pax. One of the most discussed writers from what Robert Coover called the "golden age" of hypertext, Moulthrop continues to innovate. He has developed his electronic writing in HyperCard, Storyspace, HTML, Quicktime VR, and Flash.

Both events are free and open to the public. The Kelly Writers House is located on the Penn campus in Philadelphia, at 3805 Locust Walk. For map and directions, visit the Kelly Writers House website. For additional info, click to the series website and to the ELO.

Ygdrasil for February 2006:
the Spanish issue

The February 2006 issue of Ygdrasil, A Journal of the Poetic Arts Vol XIV No. 154 is now available. The Tenth Spanish issue, featuring "La madre del desierto" by Edith Goel is also available. This month's issue contains contributions by Papa Osmubal, Clifford K. Watkins, Jr., Davide Treame, Ashok Niyogi, Jarod Anderson, and Arun Gaur, with an introduction by Dan Gallik. Tomas Solano contributes Por el 11 de Septiembre, with a translation into English, White Handkerchiefs of September 11 by Julio Hurtado.

Ygdrasil, A Journal of the Poetic Arts is published and edited by Klaus Gerken.


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Court Green goes political for their 2007 issue

Each issue of Court Green features a dossier on a special topic or theme. Occasional or topical poetry is a fraught genre, but we live in fraught times, and understand that poetry can be a way to negotiate our relationship to the current political situation. For issue 4, the editors are accepting submissions of poems that seek to expand the definition or commonly held notions of "political poetry." All styles and subjects welcome, but special consideration will be given to poems that aim to explore and complicate rather than teach or hold forth.

Submissions of political poetry for consideration in the Dossier can be sent through May 1, 2006 to: Editors, Court Green, English Department, Columbia College Chicago, 600 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60605. E-mail submissions are not accepted.

Submissions of poetry for the regular section of the magazine are welcome, in addition to Dossier submissions. If you would like to submit poems for the regular section, our reading period is 1 February through 1 May of each year, to the same address above.

See Court Green's website for more info on the journal.


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Jeff Chang, Kevin Coval bring hiphop poetics back to Wicker Park, 28 February

Join Jeff Chang and Kevin Coval plus special guests for a night of Hip-Hop Poetics, Aesthetics and History hosted by 826 Chi., at 1331 N Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago. The event is Tuesday, 28 February at 7:30 PM. The night will include readings followed by a discussion and question time for the featured artists. Books by Chang and Coval will be available for purchase followed by a signing.

Jeff Chang has been a hip-hop journalist for over a decade. He began working as a hip-hop journalist in 1991 with URB and The Bomb Hip-Hop magazines, and has written for the San Francisco Chronicle, the Village Voice, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Vibe, Spin, The Nation, and Mother Jones, among others. He was a Senior Editor/Director at Russell Simmons', and a founding editor of ColorLines magazine. In 1993, he co-founded and ran the influential hip-hop indie label, SoleSides, now Quannum Projects, helping aunch the careers of DJ Shadow, Blackalicious, Lyrics Born and Lateef the Truth Speaker. He has helped produce over a dozen records, including the "godfathers of gangsta rap", the Watts Prophets. He is the author of the seminal hip-hop history, Can't Stop, Won't Stop, which won The American Book Award in 2005. He is currently editing an anthology entitled Next Elements: The Future Aesthetics of Hip-Hop, due in 2006. Visit for more information.

URB magazine Book Review, February 2006, on Kevin Coval's Slingshots (A Hip-Hop Poetica):

"Hip-hop asks one eternal question / What do you represent?" writes Kevin Coval, and a good portion of his debut book, a collection of poems is dedicated to finding the answer. Coval is best known for poems exploring the unique intersection of the worlds in which he travels: suburban Americana, the burgeoning mid-90's Chicago hip-hop community, his Jewish family and the world-wide Jewish community, particularly in regards to Israel-Palestine relations. He wholeheartedly embraces hip-hop ethics and applies them to every situation, demanding authenticity, questioning authority, and interrogating power structures.
Coval's greatest strength is his rhythmic, beautiful prose, but he's relatable -- and likeable -- for his remarkable honesty and boyish romanticism, his studied understanding of race and class, his unflinching faith in hip-hop culture and over-earnest devotion to heros like KRS-ONE and his willingness to speak truth to power, no matter what the personal cost.

iWPS slam champ Buddy Wakefield at Mental Graffiti

The individual world poetry slam champ for 2004 and 2005 is on his way to Chicago, and Mental Graffiti is a major venue for him. Buddy Wakefield's hometown is Seattle, but his extensive tours have made him familiar to audiences across the US and several other countries, too. See what the audiences and judges have been so enthusiastic about. And while you're at it, vie for the top spot in Mental Graffiti's "world famous" $20 slam on the same stage that evening.

On Monday, 27 February, Buddy Wakefield comes to Mental Graffiti at the Funky Buddha Lounge, 728 W Grand Ave (River West, CTA Blue Line to Grand and Halsted), Chicago. Doors open at 7:30 PM with sign-ups for open mic, and the show starts at 8:00 PM. Cover is $5. This is a 21-and-over venue; bring appropriate ID.

Red Rover, 26 February 2006
Experiment #6: Absences

The Red Rover Series are readings that play with reading. This month's program features: Nathalie Stephens, Jeff Marlin, and "in absentia" Lise Beaudry, kari edwards, Brane Mozetic, and Benny Nemerofksy Ramsay.

NATHALIE STEPHENS writes in English and French, and sometimes neither. Writing l'entre-genre, she is the author of several published works, most recently L'Injure (l'Hexagone, 2004), Paper City (Coach House, 2003), and Je Nathanaël (l'Hexagone, 2003). L'Injure was a finalist for the 2005 Prix Alain-Grandbois and the Prix Trillium (2005); the short fiction, Underground (TROIS, 1999) was a finalist in 2000 for the Grand Prix du Salon du livre de Toronto. Stephens has performed and guest lectured internationally, notably in Barcelona, Norwich, Ljubljana, and New York. She is the recipient of a 2002 Chalmers Arts Fellowship and a 2003 British Centre for Literary Translation Residential Bursary. Some of Stephens's work has been translated into Basque, Bulgarian, and Slovene. She has translated Catherine Mavrikakis and François Turcot into English and Gail Scott and R. M. Vaughan into French. On occasion, she translates herself. She lives between. Stephens has new work forthcoming this year from Coach House (Touch to affliction) and Book Thug (a self translation of Je Nathanaël).

JEFF MARLIN is an artist and graphic designer currently living in Chicago. A prolific painter, his work explores the relationship between the body and the machine through various forms of translation that involve human interference. Most recently, his artwork has been featured on the covers of books for Flood Editions, No Press and LVNG magazine, and is forthcoming for Canada's avant-garde press, Coach House Books.

LISE BEAUDRY's photographic work has been exhibited in several Canadian cities, the U.S., Romania, and France during Les Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie. In 2002, her first video: Le Tourbillon won her the Best Upcoming Toronto Video/Film make at the Inside Out Film Festival as well as the Audience Award at the Dublin Lesbian & Gay Film Festival. This short has now toured to 26 festivals in Canada, the U.S. and Europe. In 2003, she co-founded Alleyjaunt--local art in local garages--a Toronto alternative annual art event transforming the back alley garages surrounding Trinity Bellwoods Park into venues that showcase visual art, installations, performance, film and video.

KARI EDWARDS is a poet, artist and gender activist. edwards is the winner of New Langton Art's Bay Area Award in literature (2002), author of obedience, (Factory School Press, 2005), iduna (O Books, 2003), a day in the life of p. (subpress collective, 2002), a diary of lies - Belladonna #27 (Belladonna Books, 2002), and post/ (pink) (Scarlet Press, 2000). Work can also be found in Scribner's The Best American Poetry (2004), Civil Disobediences: Poetics and Politics in Action (Coffee House Press, 2004), Narrativity: Investigations by Writers (Coach House, 2004), Bisexuality and Transgenderism: InterSEXions of the Others (Hawoth Press, 2004), Experimental Theology, Public Text 0.2. (Seattle Research Institute, 2003), and Blood and Tears: Poems for Matthew Shepard (Painted Leaf Press, 2000).

BRANE MOZETIC is a noted Slovenian poet, fiction writer, essayist, translator, editor, and gay activist. He edited the gay journal Revolver and he has headed the Roza Club, a political group concerned with gay/lesbian issues. At present he is the editor of two literary collections (Aleph and Lambda) and the director of Center for Slovenian Literature. Mozetic has more than a dozen books to his credit, and his books have been translated into English, French German, Italian, Croatian, and Spanish. A volume of his poetry in English translation, Butterflies, was published by Spuyten Duyvil in 2004; his book of short stories, Passion, appeared in 2005 with Talisman Publishers.

BENNY NEMEROFSKY is a Montréal-born artist working predominantly in video, text and sound. Since 2000 his work has brought together song, self-reflexive performance and lyrics from pop music as vehicles for examining the singing voice, the untranslatability of emotions into language and the ways in which emotional expression changes shape when mediated by technology and popular culture. Nemerofsky Ramsay's work has screened in festivals and galleries across Canada, Europe and East Asia and has won prizes at the Hamburg Short Film Festival, the Kasseler Dokumentarfilm- und Videofest and the Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen (all in Germany), the Toronto Inside Out Film and Video Festival as well as First Prize at the Globalica Media Arts Biennale in Wroclaw, Poland. He currently divides his time between Canada and Europe. More info at

7:00 PM, Sunday 26 February at the SpareRoom, 2416 W. North Avenue, Chicago (Humboldt Park/West Bucktown). Suggested donation: $3. Full info from the venue is available at The Red Rover Series is curated by Amina Cain and Jennifer Karmin. Got ideas for reading, instructions, and experiments? Then e-mail the curators. Coming in March, Experiment #7 with Catherine Daly.

the Guild and the Iron Poet:
23 February

It's a fundraiser for the Guild Complex -- but there will be no chicken and peas dinner nor a silent auction. There won't be a raffle in sight. (Doesn't that sound delicious?) We're taking it low key. The $10 door charge will offer you some nibbly treats, some 60s soul music, a Cupid or two to deliver secret messages if you so desire, and -- of course -- wonderful company. Drinks are on your own -- though we've heard there will be a drink special -- possibly something called a flirtini.

It's the Iron Poet on Thursday night. We'll have two poetry teams -- one led by Sarwat Rumi and one led by Elizabeth Dudek -- who will compete for the title of Iron Poet. (Think of Iron Chef -- only with words). But mostly, we'll be gathering great people in support of the little literary organization with the giant heart.

- Ellen Wadey, executive director, Guild Complex

The Guild Complex presents an Iron Poet night, 6:00 to 9:00 PM at the Darkroom, 2210 W Chicago Avenue (Ukrainian Village), Chicago. Reservations recommended. Phone 877-394-5061. For full details, click through to the Guild's website.

Danny's Reading Series: group reading for Legitimate Dangers, 23 February

A release reading for Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century, an anthology edited by Michael Dumanis and Cate Marvin, and published by Sarabande Books. Featuring brief readings by: Arielle Greenberg, Srikanth Reddy, Dan Beachy-Quick, Pimone Triplett, Andrew Feld, Erica Bernheim, and Robyn Schiff. This is a great opportunity to see a wealth of our local talent together. Erica Bernheim, Andrew Feld and Pimone Triplett will also be making their Danny's debut. The editors will also be in attendence.

Arielle Greenberg is the author of two books of poems—Given (Verse, 2002) and My Kafka Century (Action Books, 2005)—and co-editor, with poet Rachel Zucker, of a forthcoming anthology of essays by women poets on mentorship (Wesleyan, 2006). Greenberg teaches at Columbia College in Chicago, where she is Assistant Director of the Poetry Program.

Srikanth (Chicu) Reddy's first collection of poetry, Facts for Visitors, was published by University of California press in 2004, and his poems have appeared in journals such as American Poetry Review, Fence, jubilat, Verse and others. Reddy lives in Chicago, where he is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Chicago.

Dan Beachy-Quick's three books of poems are North True South Bright (Alice James, 2003), Spell (Ahsahta, 2004), and the forthcoming Mulberry (Tupelo, 2006). He lives in Chicago with his wife Kristy and daughter Hana Frances, and is the Associate Chair of the MFA Writing Program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Pimone Triplett's poems have appeared in AGNI, The Paris Review, Triquarterly and other journals. She is the author of—Ruining the Picture (Northwestern University Press, 1998) and The Price of Light (Four Way Books, 2005). She lives in Racine, Wisconsin.

Andrew Feld's first book—Citizen: Poems (Harper Collins, 2004), was a National Poetry Series Selection. His honors include a Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University, the "Discovery"/The Nation Award, and two Pushcart Prizes. Feld is Associate Professor and Writer-in-Residence at Carthage College. He lives in Racine, Wisconsin, with his wife, the poet Pimone Triplett, and their baby Lukas.

Erica Bernheim's poems have appeared in 26, The Black Warrior Review, The Canary, Volt, and other journals. Currently, she teaches literature and creative writing in the Chicago area, and is a PhD candidate in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Robyn Schiff's poems have appeared in Denver Quarterly, Kiosk, Court Green, Verse, and elsewhere. Her debut collection, Worth, was pulished by University of Iowa Press (2002). She is an active Contributing Editor of the poetry journal The Canary. She lives in Chicago with her husband, the poet Nick Twemlow, and she is an Assistant Professor at Northwestern University.

This event is Wednesday, 22 February, 7:30 PM at Danny's Tavern, located at 1951 W. Dickens (Bucktown, near the intersection of Armitage and Damen) Chicago. Danny's is a 21-and-over venue; please bring ID. Phone 773-489-6457. Next month's event is Wednesday, 15 March at 7:30 PM, featuring Susan Timmons and Chuck Stebelton.

Mars aligns with Muse Café
21 February

Ever vigilant and vocal, that revolutionary sister Mars Gamba-Adisa Caulton performs her poetry with The Ways & Means Trio at Muse Café. Hear two sets of poetry and music in one evening. The trio are Joel Wanek -- upright bass and percussion; Jayve Montgomery -- reeds, invented instruments, percussion; and Daniel Godston -- trumpet, percussion, erhu, invented instruments.

Mars Gamba-Adisa Caulton – poetry and music with The Ways & Means Trio, Tuesday, 21 February starting at 8:00 PM. A the Muse Caf´ 817 N. Milwaukee Ave. (East Ukrainian Village), Chicago. Call the venue at 312-850-2233. This event is free and open to the public. For more info, visit to see the venue, for free MP3s and to join Mars's mailing list, and CD Baby for Mars's She Laughs spoken word CD.

at Tianquis: Liz Marino & Teatro Luna

Chicago poet Elizabeth Marino sets the mood with the sensual poetry from her chapbook and memoir, Debris. Following her reading, Tianguis' erotic open mic begins. The prerequisite for participants is that the poetry or shorts narratives are sexy, erotic and romantic. Work shared could be in English and/or Spanish. Saturday, 11 February at 3:00 PM.

The women of Teatro Luna, Tianguis bookstore, and Café Mestizo invite you to join in their exciting new collaborative. They seek outgoing Latina poets and performers for our monthly open mic series. It's an open mic so everything's game: Poetry, spoken word, music, monologues, shorts. En el idioma que prefieras. And if you're too shy to get on stage come anyway. Proyecto Latina takes place the third Monday of every month. The next collective evening is Monday, 20 February, 2006 at 7:00 PM.

All events are at Cafe Mestizo/Tianguis, 1646 W. 18th Street, Chicago (Pilsen/Little Village). Located one block west of Ashland Avenue, and a few steps away from the 18th street CTA Blue Line stop. For more info, phone 312-421-5940 or click to

Myopic Series for February 2006

The Myopic Poetry Series is a weekly gathering for poetry, fiction, and occasional talks, at Myopic Books in Chicago. It happens Sundays at 7:00 PM, at 1564 N. Milwaukee Avenue, 2nd Floor, Chicago (Wicker Park). This month's guests include:

Sunday, 12 February: Gabriel Gudding and Jeff Dorchen

Gabriel Gudding is the author of two books, A Defense of Poetry (Pitt Poetry Series, 2002) and Rhode Island Notebook (Dalkey Archive Press, 2006), the latter being a book of poems, essays, and creative non-fiction written in his car during 25 roundtrips on the highways between Providence, RI and Normal, IL. He works at Illinois State University, where he was hired to teach "experimental" poetry. He is a trained mediator for the university and practices Vipassana meditation in the tradition of Sayagyi U Ba Khin. His work appears in journals such as New American Writing, LIT, Fence, American Poetry Review, Sentence, Jacket, and in such anthologies as Great American Prose Poems: From Poe to the Present (Scribner, 2003), Poetry 30: Thirty-Something Thirty-Something American Poets (Mammoth Books, 2005) and others. He has begun two creative writing programs in prisons and maintains a blog, Conchology.

Jeffrey Dorchen has presented his fiction on stage a few times, most notably at the Double Door, Cabaret Metro, and at the Lunar Cabaret with the historic band Ler Noot Fiesta. His new novelette, “Memoirs of the Unrealistic,” was presented in seven parts on the public affairs program, This Is Hell, where he is a regular commentator. Jeffrey is also a playwright and performer. His work has been produced in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and South Africa. Among the plays he’s written that have premiered in Chicago are “The Problematic Cartoonist,” “Ugly’s First World” (restaged in 1999 in Los Angeles at the Actors’ Gang with award-winning direction by Bill Cusack), and “Birth of a Frenchman” (revived in 1999 at the 25th Annual Grahamstown Arts Festival in South Africa). His play, “The Slow and Painful Death of Sam Shepard,” was produced both in Chicago and, more recently, in 2001, in Los Angeles. He directed music for the Midwest premier of Israeli playwright Joshua Sobol’s “Ghetto,” and co-wrote, with composer Jeff Kowalkowski, an opera adaptation of Katherine Dunn’s cult novel Geek Love, which he also designed, performed in and produced in September 2000. His radio play, “The Cry of the Golden Peacock,” was produced by Ira Glass and heard on the “This American Life” radio program, distributed by Public Radio International, on which he has also appeared several times as a performer.

Sunday, 19 February 19: Gabor Gyukics and Michael Castro

Sunday, 26 February 26: Joseph Donahue and Kerri Sonnenberg

Joseph Donahue lives in Durham, North Carolina and teaches at Duke University. He has published three collections of poetry, most recently Incidental Eclipse, from Talisman House. Of Incidental Eclipse John Ashbery has written, "This sequence confirms Donahue as one of the major American poets of this time." His ongoing long poem Terra Lucida, has appeared in three chapbooks, most recently In This Paradise: Terra Lucida XXI- XL, from Carolina Wren Press. With Edward Foster, he has edited a collection of essays on contemporary American poetry, The World in Space and Time, also from Talisman House.

Kerri Sonnenberg lives in Chicago where she directs the Discrete Reading Series that she founded with Jesse Seldess. She is the author of The Mudra (Litmus Press, 2004) and Practical Art Criticism, a chapbook (Bronze Skull, 2004).

Click to Myopic Books for the full schedule this month and in coming weeks.

Columbia College, 14 February:
Kurt Brown featured reading

Kurt Brown is the author of four poetry collections, FUTURE SHIP (Story Line, 2005), FABLES FROM THE ARK (WordTech, 2003), MORE THINGS IN HEAVEN AND EARTH (Four Way Books, 2002), and RETURN OF THE PRODIGALS (Four Way Books, 1999); five chapbooks, FABLES FROM THE ARK (winner of the Woodland Press Poetry Chapbook Competition, 2002), MAMMAL NEWS (Pudding House, 2000); A VOICE IN THE GARDEN: POEMS OF SANDOR TADJECK (Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center, 1998); RECENSION OF THE BIBLICAL WATCHDOG (Anamnesis, 1997); and THE LANCE AND RITA POEMS (winner of the Sound Post Press competition, 1994); and the editor or co-editor of five anthologies, BLUES FOR BILL, a tribute anthology for the late William Matthews (University of Akron Press, 2005), THE MEASURED WORD: ON POETRY & SCIENCE (University of Georgia Press, 2001), VERSE & UNIVERSE: POEMS ABOUT SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS (Milkweed Editions, 1998), NIGHT OUT: POEMS ABOUT HOTELS, MOTELS, RESTAURANTS & BARS, co-edited with his wife, poet Laure-Anne Bosselaar (Milkweed Editions, 1997), and DRIVE, THEY SAID: POEMS ABOUT AMERICANS AND THEIR CARS (Milkweed Editions, 1994).

Brown is also the founding director of the Aspen Writers' Conference, now in its 29th year, founding director of Writers' Conferences & Centers (a national association of directors) now in its 15th year, past editor of ASPEN ANTHOLOGY and past President of the Aspen Writers' Foundation. He teaches poetry workshops and craft classes at Sarah Lawrence College, and was recently the McEver Visiting Chair in Writing at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Georgia.

Kurt Brown poetry reading, Tuesday, 14 February, 5:30 PM, at Columbia College Concert Hall, 1014 South Michigan Ave., Chicago (South Loop). This event is free and open to the public.

Dykediva benefit for Gay Games:
erotic poetry on 14 January's Erotic Poetry Night is a lusty evening of sexy ladies and their witty writing. Don't stay at home and pout. Put on your sexiest scanties and come be naughty with us! We've got the TALENTED and SEXY Nikki Patin to entertain you with her wicked words, as well as Nomy Lamm, Ana Jae, Claire Christina and Iliana Regan. Plus, we've got an OPEN MIC: sarcastic, anti-valentines, sentimental, we want to hear it all!

Sign up for open mic at 8:30 PM. $1 cupid shots and more! At T's Bar, 5025 N Clark St., Chicago (Andersonville neighborhood). Donation is $5, if you can with proceeds benefitting Chicago's GayGames 2006. Show begins at 9:00 PM. More info at

source: J.T. Newman

Wordslingers on WLUW-FM
5 February

On Sunday, 5 February from 8:00 PM to 9:00 PM, Wordslingers features the works of Kim Berez, Marcelis Wyatt and Alex Mufson. Berez in particular carries a lot of heritage among local writers, having organized many readings and workshops for young people, culminating in regular issues of the "Starwallpaper" journal. For more details, please head on over to and discover why the Words We live Aren't For The Meek!

Tune into 88.7-FM, WLUW, Loyola University's independent community radio for 8:00 PM to 9:00 PM or "listen live" from the WLUW website! Wordslingers is on the air the first and third Sunday evenings of every month throughout the year, Super Bowl games not withstanding.

Molly Malone's on 13 February:
Kelly Norman Ellis

Nina Corwin and Al DeGenova host the monthly readings at Molly Malone's Open Mic, and invite you to one of the most respected poetry venues in suburban Chicago. On Monday, 13 February, hear the widely published poet and educator Kelly Norman Ellis.

Kelly Norman Ellis is an associate professor of English and creative writing at Chicago State University. She is also the associate director of the MFA in Creative Writing program as CSU. She is a poet whose work has appeared in Sisterfire: Black Womanist Fiction and Poetry, Spirit and Flame, Role Call: A Generational Anthology of Social and Political Black Literature and Art, Boomer Girls, Essence Magazine, Obsidian, Calyx, and Cornbread Nation. She is a recipient of the Kentucky Foundation for Women writer's grant and is a Cave Canem fellow. Her first collection of poetry Tougaloo Blues was published by Third World Press in 2003. Dr. Ellis is at work on a new collection entitled The Shoe Cobbler's Daughters. Currently she lives on Chicago's south side with her partner Kevin and their daughter Naomi Zora.

At Molly Malone's Irish Pub, 7652 Madison Street, Forest Park, IL (near west Chicago suburbs). Phone 708-366-8073. Guests are invited to donate, "$5 if you can, $3 if you can't." Poetry and fiction at Molly's is the second Monday of every month. Sign-up begins at 7:00 PM, followed a half-hour later by open mic and featured readings.

Dollar Store Series for January 2006

This month the Dollar Store Series features fiction writer Gretchen Kalwinski, playwright and poet Chris Bower and the hilarious memoirist and hip-hop thinker Mickey Hess (Big Wheel at the Cracker Factory). As always, the show is co-hosted by Jonathan Messinger and comedian Jeremy Sosenko.

Photos of past shows are on flickr site. And, if you'd like, check out the new audio segment on the Dollar Store Series website. Each month, the hosts will upload one story for your listening pleasure.

The Dollar Store Reading Series, featuring Gretchen Kalwinski, Mickey Hess, and Chris Bower. At The Hideout 1354 W. Wabansia (east of Bucktown and the Kennedy Expressway; just off Elston Avenue). Friday, 6 January at 7:00 PM; $1 suggested donation. For more info, click through to the series website.

Poetry Center presents Ted Kooser on 15 March

U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser is the author of ten collections of poetry, including Delights & Shadows, Winter Morning Walks: One Hundred Postcards to Jim Harrison, Weather Central, One World at a Time, and Sure Signs. He also writes fiction and non-fiction books. Local Wonders: Seasons in the Bohemian Alps , won the Nebraska Book Award for Nonfiction in 2003. His honors include two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, a Pushcart Prize, the Stanley Kunitz Prize from Columbia, and a Merit Award from the Nebraska Arts Council. This is Kooser's third reading in as many decades at The Poetry Center. Tickets will go on sale February 15 via Ticketweb.

source: Poetry Center of Chicago

Safe Smiles & PolyRhythmic celebrate Billy Tuggle's 35th!

Is Aquarius in the building!? Billy Tuggle, PolyRhythmic's resident B-Boy vocalist is throwing you a poetry party for his birthday. Guest stars include...

Author, vocalist, educator, activist; PolyRhythmic alumn/ an HBO Def Poet/ 2001 National Poetry Slam competitor.

Author, educator, activist; Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mic Award winner/2000, '01 NPS competitor, and the renowned Nick Fox's wife.

Author, educator, activist, MC; Chicago Public radio contributor/ an HBO Def Poet/ 2001, '02 NPS competitor.

And featuring the birthday boy himself! BILLY TUGGLE plus sounds by PolyRhythmic's own THE HAND.

PolyRhythmic presents Safe Smiles, Tuesday nights at Trace Lounge, 3714 N Clark St. near Cabaret Metro and Wrigley Field, Chicago. The cover charge will be the best $3 that you have ever spent! 7 February at 10:00 PM. A 21-and-over venue. Valid ID required.

DvA Gallery for February 2006

First Fridays at DvA are a curated night of featured readings by some of Chicago's strongest poetry writers and performers. The premise? MC Charlie Newman invite one strong writer, who in turn invites the remaining three writers to join the bill. The result is a poetry revue with a vivid and varigated character, month after month. This month the featured artists are Larry Janowski, Tony Trigilio, Jan Bottiglieri, and Chris Green, performing their 2nd Annual Larry Janowski Birthday Bash.

At DvA Gallery, 2568 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago (DePaul neighborhood). Free admission and free Intelligentsia coffee.

fiction sublime at the Dollar Store Show, on 3 February

Host Jonathan Messinger writes, "On my walk to the train today I was spacing out and I must have been dragging my feet, because I kicked a big ball of dog shit. I didn't step in it, note, just kicked it. It was almost a perfect sphere and of a size between golf and tennis ball. Here's the thing: It rolled quite a bit and with enough velocity as to connect with the heel of the guy walking roughly five feet in front of me. It then skipped up his leg, struck the inside of his knee, and bounced away, leaving little memories along the right calf of his khakis.

I should have yelled to him, "Hey man, there's a ball of shit that just rolled up your leg." But flummoxed and surprised as I was, I went the Andre3000 route and just uttered a few meaningless "Hey uh"s. After a couple more serious attempts to get his attention, he ducked into a coffee shop and there wasn't much I could do. I feel terrible.

"So, to make amends for past grievances, I want to say to you all right now: 'Hey man, there's a ball of shit rolling up your leg and it's called The Dollar Store.' Don't say I didn't warn you."

The Dollar Store Reading Series, featuring Latoya Wolfe, John Beer and James Vickery, first Fridays of the month at The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia Friday, 3 February at 7:00 PM. $1 suggested donation. For more info, click to the series website or dig the cool review posted by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Reflections of Herself

Reflections of Herself is a chilled-out, monthly performance event where you can read, speak, sing, scream, yell, whisper or dance a story, poem, song, or monologue. Organized by the Center on Halsted by and for young women.

Reflections of Herself convenes on Wednesdays from 5:30-8:00 PM. For more information, please contact MC Nikki Patin, at 773-472-6469, ext. 227. The program is located at 2869 N. Lincoln (Lakeview). Reflections of Herself Open Mic is the first Wednesday of every month. The Young Women's Program convenes every Wednesday for young women & women-identified women (13-24), from 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM. MC Nikki says, "Donations are welcome, but you're much more valuable than bring you!"

Homolatté for February 2006

Check out Chicago's weekly LGBT/Q coffeehouse for the latest in queer music and spoken word. This months' schedule for Homolatté includes:

1 February: Sarwat Rumi (words) / Nomi Lamm (music)

8 February: Sharmili Majmudar / Blair

15 February: Bob Rashkow / Lars Von Keitz

22 February: Lars von Keitz hosts monthly LGBT/Q open mic

SARWAT RUMI is a bilingual Bengali American Muslim who works toward social justice as a vigilante poet, teaching artist, and performance activist. Sarwat has co-written and performed in Sisters in the Smoke for Mango Tribe. She also co-wrote, co-produced and acted in Bombs and Butterflies for NYC's Henry Street Settlement. Sarwat's indy features include the Asian American Jazz Festival, Women OutLoud, Voices of Resistance, and the Guild Complex. Sarwat is the author of two chapbooks: the inverted sun, and WAR, and is a vocalist for the experimental music duo, Serpent Feline. Her words can be found in the Wicked Alice Poetry Journal, in the online Living Chapbook, and in the upcoming anthology North American Muslim Women Redefine War, scheduled for release later this year. See also: and

NOMY LAMM began songwriting at age nine, writing musicals at age twelve, and fronting punk bands at age sixteen. Lamm has released two solo albums ("Anthem," 1999 and "Effigy," 2002); co-wrote and co-produced "The Transfused" rock opera with The Need, Emily Stern and Freddie Fagula; toured with Sister Spit, Lynne Breedlove, the Sex Workers Art Show, and "Doctor Frockrocket's Vivifying Reanimatronic Menagerie and Medicine Show." She is a member of the Chicago-based band Tricrotic. She is also a writer and speaks at colleges and universities on topic of gender, sexuality, body image, queerness and disability.

Homolatté queer words and music, weekly on Wednesday evenings at 7:30 PM at Marrakech Expresso, 4747 N Damen Avenue (just south of Lawrence Avenue, Ravenswood neighborhood), Chicago. Phone 773-271-4541. Admission is free, though the host, Scott Free, invites guests to donate $5; all collections go the featured artists and only the artists. Full program listing is available at

The Café for February 2006

MC Charlie Newman rocks the house on Tuesday nights every week at The Café, home to one of Chicago's liveliest poetry open mics. This month's featured readings include:

  • 7 February: Al DeGenova
  • 14 February: Erika Mikkalo
  • 21 February: Tony Trigilio
  • 28 February31: Maureen Flannery
  • 7 March: "Tennessee" Mary Fons

The Café, 5115 N Lincoln Avenue, Chicago (Lincoln Square/Bowmanville neighborhoods). Open mike poetry with featured writer every Tuesday from 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM. For more info on the venue and MC, click through to Unit N or

ESS residencies available; artists to apply in March

Experimental Sound Studio is once again soliciting proposals for its Artists Residency Program (ARP). The application deadline for this year's ARP is 15 April, 2006, but please do not send applications before 1 March.

ESS encourages applications not only from artists already involved in sound (composers, audio artists, musicians, etc.) but also from "non-sonic" artists as well, such as visual artists, choreographers, installaion artists, writers, etc. who have a serious art practice in their fields but wish to explore the possiblities of incorpoating sound into their work.

The Artists Residency Program began in 1999 and since then has facilitated the creation of 31 new works by Chicago-area artists, including sound installations, music compositions, soundtracks for cinema, performance projects, and intermedia works. This year, ESS will support two residencies through the ARP. Application guidelines and forms are available at

CHF: Lawrence Weschler with Ira Glass

The Chicago Humanities Festival is pleased to launch its year-round slate of programs on Tuesday, 7 February, at 6:00 PM, with a free event featuring newly appointed Artistic Director Lawrence Weschler.

In live conversation with Ira Glass, Chicago-based host of NPR’s award-winning This American Life, Weschler introduces his stunning new book, Everything That Rises: A Book of Convergences, published by McSweeney’s Books. Lavishly illustrated, Everything That Rises is a compilation of “uncanny moments of convergence, bizarre associations, eerie rhymes, whispered recollections” by the observant Weschler. Everywhere he looks, its seems, he encounters unlikely alliances and beguiling resonances where the rest of us might see a photograph, logo, or poster. And who better to tease out the hidden meanings and stories behind Weschler’s visual associations than Glass, who recently celebrated the ten-year anniversary of This American Life?

Tuesday, 7 February, 2006 at 6:00 PM, at the Art Institute of Chicago (Fullerton Hall), 111 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago (Loop). Book sales and signing follow the program. The event is free, but reservations are required. For tickets, phone 312-494-9509. More CHF info is at the Festival website.


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links we like

Some links to poetry with a kick...

Poetry Crimes by the Red Room Organisation in Australia, an irreverent but sharp group of writers... Poetry fans who tune into the "Love Jones" end of the dial may want to listen to Vocalized Ink, where there's a whole lot of sweet talk going on, produced by the House of RA... Poet, author, and "all around nice guy" Benjamin Hughes has put together some of his poetry in text and sound for your perusal... And e-poets Group contributor Laura Winton is having a good time with her new Fluffy Singler site. She's also revived her lit' journal, Karawane, online. Go, Laura!

And last, but certainly not least, we've just added some stuff to our own Plain Text section... Fortner Anderson's review of the Red Primer Festival in Ontario, an interview with VJ SOLU on recent activity in video art in Europe and elsewhere, and a rather piquant idea from Jason Davis, on poetry passports that we feel deserves some broad attention... Enjoy!

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e-poets network, Chicago

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