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dateline: Chicago, March 2006

e-poets' coverage of the language arts for this month...

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&NOW: the Lake Forest Lit' Festival explores language, fine arts, and new genres

Beginning 5 April 2006, &NOW embarks for new aesthetic territories, where the language arts bleed into the fine arts, and new genres arise. Quoting the original site, "This three day festival will celebrate contemporary aesthetic practice in its most inventive forms: writing, visual, and multimedia art that is aware of its own institutional and extra-institutional history, that is as much about its form and materials—about language—as about subject matter. Such practices provide ways to express the world 200 years after Ivanhoe, 100 years after Freud, 50 years after Picasso, Elvis, and Faulkner, and 10 years after the birth of www...."

Shelley Jackson will speak on the evening of 5 April. Her outstanding collection of fiction, The Melancholy of Anatamy, was reviewed here in 2002. The festival has a strong interdisciplinary tone, speaking to aural literacy through sound poetry (Olivia Block, Lou Mallozzi, et al.) and poetry video (Mary Russell, Gerard Wozek, Kurt Heintz) panels. Other discussions and presentations will consider the creative and critical implications of new media, e-lit', and performance. Stephanie Strickland, Cris Mazza, Christian TeBordo, and Steve Tomasula are just a few of the people presenting at &NOW.

The full &NOW program is available online at the official website. Lake Forest College is located at 555 N. Sheridan Rd., Lake Forest IL 60045. Phone 847-234-3100.

Louder Than a Bomb 2006

Teen poetry slams are nothing new. Movement to institutionalize them in secondary schools has been visible for years, first widely seen on public television in David Yanofsky's documentary Poetic License (released through ITVS). The mainstreaming of slam and hiphop poetry is particularly helped by commercial television, such as Russell Simmon's Def Poetry. Even FX Network's Black.White shows kids embracing poetry as an incidental part of life. And teen slams make coffee conversation in teachers' lounges at the beginning of the school year when evangelistic faculty members return with stories of that year's National Poetry Slam.

Mainstream perceptions, however, place slam in the domain of adults at 21-and-over venues. It's in the saloons. It's in night clubs. Slam has been there since its origins, and that's fine. Or, well... maybe if you're an adult. Liquor licenses have denied the broad recognition of what young writers can do with some ink, some great ideas, and some stage time. Until lately.

Today, the gravity of slam poetry is shifting thanks to one local institution. Louder Than a Bomb (LTaB) is an annual teen poetry slam that began in Chicago with very local, urban roots. Instigated by Young Chicago Authors, who are still the main producing organization for LTaB, this teen slam first reached out to fellow writers in Chicago's high schools. As the positive rep' spread, near suburbs began dispatching teams. Attendees of early LTaB events could hear the difference between city and suburb poets not only in the tone of the poetry, but in the quality of its performance, too. The kids in town definitely had the upper hand.

That aural distinction between "town" and "country" is dissolving. LTaB is maturing, and the climate of performance poetry among young writers is evolving in sync with hiphop's own evolution and dispersion across race, class, heritage, and geographic origins. So where hiphop goes, so does LTaB... but with a twist. LTaB is built upon a character of respect and acceptance that disallows hate language, sexism, and homophobia. This is part of the premise of being in LTaB from the beginning; teachers, coaches, and student poets can tell you about it directly. The "F" word, the "N" word, and many other trappings of commercial hiphop don't have a place in LTaB. There's a spirit of magnanimity, and it serves the kids well, since it allows voices to emerge that would otherwise not be heard because they could be beaten down in adolescent shame.

In many ways, LTaB embodies the concept of a huge speech contest, merely applied to hiphop poetry using slam rules. A couple teachers joked with me between bouts how it felt like the forensics competitions they knew from their own high school days, only a lot more fun. I had to agree. If LTaB were around in my youth, I'd have been writing more, and better, and sooner, too. My only misgiving about the event was in matters of representation or, perhaps, the matter of one team's representation in the presence of their faculty leader. I wanted to speak to the kids as individuals, but their teacher kept jumping into the conversation to represent them instead. The kids never had a chance to respond to my questions directly, even though on stage they seemed entirely eloquent.

That particular interaction reminded me of a Cub Scout Pinewood Derby scene from my own fourth grade. I earnestly whittled my own toy wooden race car, using my Cub Scout knife. When I convened with the other Scouts, I saw that many of their cars were professionally milled on power tools by their fathers, then laquered to a high gloss. I felt outclassed even though I did all my own work, which I knew was on par with what the other boys would have carved on their own. So I worried at LTaB that some of what I saw might not be the students' experiences, but the teachers channeling their language and action through the students, something close to a "stage mom" complex. Is such high gloss so broadly possible on so much language from so many young poets? I'm wary, but I'm also hoping (earnestly) so. Anyway...

I had the privilege to judge one round at LTaB, by the invitation of MC Kevin Coval. It was held mid-day Sunday, 5 March, at Columbia College. Four teams competed, as was typical in these rounds. Teams in my judging round were from Morgan Park High School, Whitney Young Academy, Lincoln Park High School, and the Noble Street Community Center. Noble Street had quite an entourage, and they made a great cheering section. But all poets from all teams were received warmly and enthusiastically -- again, emblematic of the magnanimity at LTaB. There were two individual competitors as well, since they were not backed up by any team.

In the round I judged, the craft of the poets was on equal footing with what one would have heard at any adults-only slam. Voices were diverse, fairly individuated, full, and often astonishingly mature. For example, irony was mastered and used effectively, and it figured prominently into one Whitney Young student's piece; she earned high scores. Another student (I believe from Morgan Park) swung words in hiphop format, but essentially did a queer "read" (as in "to read your beads") of the whole audience as verse. The kid was definitely out of the closet, and self-proclaimed. But his blend of hiphop and queer culture was completely new, and thus his poem declared him an author of new culture. Contrast this to the irony-free quality that slam often has in the US among adults, or the queer bashing that's unfortunately common in pop hiphop, and one begins to figure that these young poets have taken up a much fuller toolkit of literary and cultural devices than their elders.

Tim Stafford and Dan Sullivan
Tim Stafford and Dan Sullivan draw lots to pick the next poet in the faculty/coach poetry slam, 5 March 2006, at Louder Than a Bomb, Columbia College Chicago. Ordinarily slams are the domain of adults, but Sullivan also MC's a youth-friendly slam venue, Urban Sandbox, that convenes monthly. Sullivan is himself a teacher. Stafford and Sullivan are featured this month at Molly Malone's; see the Chicago section of this column.

But generally, the elders at LTaB were not lacking either. An exhibition slam on the afternoon of 5 March showcased the many teachers, faculty advisors, and workshop leaders among the competing teams. I would judge that most of these writers would compete successfully in general slams, too. It was a nice undoing of the old phrase, "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach." Following the model of Kevin Coval, teacher and poet and organizer of LTaB, they have become a league of journeymen poets, set to mentor the next generation.

Funders for LTaB are a blue-chip who's-who of philanthropic organizations. So LTaB has definitely "arrived." But beyond that, a potential sea change in slam itself is not hyperbole after one weighs artistic participation. LTaB has grown into an event that rivals the adult (US) National Poetry Slam in scale. This year, over 400 young writer/performers participated. Attendees were drawn from all around Chicago's immediate region, but the region is now extended -- conspicuously so -- to include poets from as far as Madison, Wisconsin.

There are urban voices in LTaB as there always have been, but the cultural scope and qualities of those voices are broadening with the geographic breadth. LTaB is still not a national event but a regional one. Still, one can only conclude that, with such numbers and vigorous creative output, participation in slam among teens in our region is demonstrably higher than among adults. Slam and hiphop will certainly grow from all this activity, and the time is near when the kids will want the torch passed to them by their elders. Many deserve to carry it today.

Louder Than a Bomb finals will be 12 March at Cabaret Metro. For full details on LTaB, click to Tickets to the slam finals are available at the Metro Store, 3730 N. Clark St. (Wrigleyville), Chicago.

- Kurt Heintz

2nd New York Round Table Writers' Conference, coming in April

The second installment of the New York Round Table Writers’ Conference occurs 28-29 April, 2006. If features a first-rate lineup of confirmed speakers. In addition, there are several just-for-fun events scheduled in between sixteen (count ‘em, sixteen) panels, including a cocktail party, a gala dinner featuring keynote speaker Jonathan Ames, and a special performance presented by Bowery Poetry Club.

Attracting writers of all levels from beginner to seasoned professional, the New York Round Table Writers' Conference provides access to the nation's leading literary figures, including editors, agents, publicists, reviewers, bestselling authors and publishers, speaking on the business and career of writing. The conference is in a unique position, being located in New York, the literary capital of the United States, to bring publishing professionals together to discuss the promises and pitfalls of the writing life.

  • Authors scheduled to speak include Jonathan Ames (Wake Up, Sir!), Sean Wilsey (Oh, The Glory of It All), Kevin Baker (Strivers Row), Greg Godek (1001 Ways to Be Romantic), Relentless Aaron (To Live & Die In Harlem).
  • Focus on Children’s Literature featuring authors Bennett Madison, Paul Dubois Jacobs and Eric Suben and author/illustrator David Ezra Stein
  • Special poetry performance sponsored by Bowery Poetry Club
  • Organizations confirmed to take part include CBS 2, FOX 5, Time Magazine, The New York Times, Random House, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Viking Press, Trident Media Group, iUniverse, The Smoking, New York Daily News, Village Voice, National Writers Union, Gotham Writers’ Workshop,, Black Issues Book Review, James Fitzgerald Agency,, Black Book, GQ, Poets & Writers, Hannacroix Creek Press,, Fence, Rattapallax Press, Hudson Valley Writers Center, Riverhead Books, Ecco Press, New, PMA Literary and Film Management, Writers House, n+1, Open City, NYU Summer Publishing Institute and Pace University MS in Publishing Program.

The Round Table is sponsored by the Small Press Center, and will be held at the historic General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen Library at 20 West 44th Street in Midtown Manhattan on Friday and Saturday, April 28-29, 2006. Prices for the conference are a very reasonable $325 for two days and $225 for one day. Writers interested in scheduling a one-on-one meeting with a literary agent must submit samples of their work and an additional $50 fee by 31 March, 2006. For additional information and to register, visit or call 212-764-7021. Out-of-town attendees may consult the conference web site for a list of recommended hotels.

Anida Yoeu Esguerra on regional tours this spring

Anida Esguerra is touring her own brand of interdisciplinary performance poetry this spring. Here are two events where you can see her work in person.

Friday, 10 March, 2006 - Auburn, Alabama

Auburn University, Goodwin Recital Hall at 6:00 PM
Performance Feature with ill-Literacy

Wednesday, 29 March, 2006 - Urbana, Illinois
University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign)

Performance and Workshop as part of APIA Awareness Month
Free workshops and performances.

  • Workshop: Writing Ourselves into Existence
    2:30-4:00 PM at Asian American Cultural Center
    1210 W. Nevada Street, Urbana, IL 61801

  • Performance: "On the Cusp of Phoenix Rising"
    multimedia spoken word performance
    7:00 PM at Illini Union Courtyard Café
    1401 W. Greet Street, Urbana, IL 61801
  • Meet & Greet Reception
    9:30 PM at the Asian American Cultural Center
  • Sponsored by: The Illini Union Board- Asian American Programs, Asian American Artists Collective, and the Asian American Awareness Month Planning Committee
  • For more details contact Lynn Tran.

"Eadon's Place": call for audio poetry suitable for webcast

Producers Linda DiFeterici and Keith Roach announce "Eadon's Place", a new streaming audio vehicle for freeform webradio, welcoming of performance poetry. They've put out a call for original poetry CDs and audiopoetry content:

  • Any/all subjects and styles
  • Poetry and spokenword, 24/7
  • Conversations and News
  • Buy buttons linked to Amazon and CDBaby
  • Broadcast is uncensored

Mail CDs to:
DiFeterici-Roach Enterprises
P.O. Box 309
Paulsboro, NJ 08066

All submissions must have contact info (name, email, phone, address), album titles, artists' name and track titles. Single tracks must also include a release or copyright date. E-mail singles in mp3, wma or wav format to: or click to hear the program.

LA's Highways experiments with slam scoring; returns to old way for April '06 fest

At Highways Performance Space last year, the organizers combined the traditional slam voting with judges voting secretly in the categories of performance, writing and originality. The person who took second with the audiences took first overall when the scores were combined. The person who was first with the audience took a very close second. There was an element of surprise which the organizers liked but audiences weren't clear on our process and there was some grumbling. So this year, Highways is returning to the regular slam rules, to create some legitimacy. The prize is a solo show at our performance space.

From L.A.'s best slam poets vying for a coveted prize to a midnight show featuring erotic and love poetry and the serving of aphrodisiacs, Highways Performance Space returns in style with "In The Beginning Was The Word (2)", a 3-day festival featuring many of L.A.'s top performance poets, on Thursday through Saturday, April 6, 7, & 8th, 2006. "In The Beginning Was The Word" is curated by LeVan D. Hawkins.

Night One - Thursday, April 6, 2006 - 8:30 p.m. - REPRESENT 2006 - Slam poets compete for the opportunity to present a show at Highways, one of the country's premiere performance spaces. "A show at Highways is a great opportunity. Mollie Angelheart, last year's winner presents her show on Friday."

Night Two - Friday, April 7, 2006 - 8:30 p.m. - COMMON GROUND - Fresh from a 26 city college tour, Highways 2005 Slam Champion Mollie Angelheart (seen on HBO's Russell Simmons presents DEF Poetry) claims her prize with a 2-woman poetry show. Poetic cohort Miss Natalie joins her as they explore the oneness of humanity in the midst of our separateness. One's white. One's black. One's younger. One's older. Together, they meet on Common Ground.

Tickets are $10 for April 6th's poetry slam, $15 each for the remaining shows or $40 for a three-day festival pass. Reservations can be made at 310-315-1459. Highways Performance Space is located at 1651 18th Street in Santa Monica, within the 18th Street Arts Center. There is a parking lot and street parking available.


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See The Voice:
Visible Verse 2006 calls for videos

Pacific Cinémathèque and curator Heather Haley have opened a call for videopoems 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.

Reel to Real for March 2006

Reel To Real, Seattle's monthly reading series featuring poetry video, is at On the House, 1205 E. Pike St., Seattle. The program returns on the second Wednesday of every month. This month at 7:30 PM on 8 March: Amanda Kelly, Claudia Mauro, Linden Ontjes and video poetry by George Aguilar. For more info, click to the Seattle Poetry Festival.

Amanda Kelly lives in Seattle's Central District with her five children. A graduate of Salem State College in Massachusetts and former participant in the Bennington College Summer Writers program, Kelly has had poetry published in Cranky, Arnazella, Howl and Soundings East. She was awarded the Marcia Doehner Award for Poetry from Peter Davison at the Marblehead Festival of Arts. She is currently working on starting a business, feeding her kids and writing a poem or two.

Claudia Mauro is the founder and director of Whit Press. She is the recipient of two Seattle Arts Commission Awards, a Hedgebrook Fellowship, Whiteley Center Fellowship and Jack Straw Writers Fellowship. She has published two collections of poetry, Stealing Fire (Whiteaker, 1996) and Reading the River (Whiteaker, 1999). Both collections were nominated for Lambda Book Awards. Claudia is also a commercially licensed pilot, and has flown extensively in support of private and public environmental projects in Alaska.

Linden Ontjes has published her poetry in Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, Nimrod, The Louisville Review, The Exquisite Corpse, Poetry Daily, The Comstock Review, RE:AL, Atlanta Review and many other journals. She is a founding member of StetSet, the Poetry Editor of the Seattle Review, and serves on the boards of Eleventh Hour Productions and Whit Press. Linden's other theatrical credits include: The National Grilled Cheese Poetry Booth at the 2005 Seattle Poetry Festival; Mr. Gigi's Press-On Nail Salon at The Red Zone; and Waltz of the Mobile Food Vehicles with the LA Cacophony Society and the avant-classical trio Fat & Fucked Up at FAR BAZZAR.

George Aguilar is San Francisco's well-known and respected curator of videopoetry (a.k.a. "cin(e)poetry" in the local Bay Area language), a contributor to diverse past festivals such as the Vancouver Videopoem Festival (2000), and a recognized critic in the poetry video genre.

The 3rd ZEBRA Poetry Film Award:
call for entries

"On your marks, get set, go!" (Or possibly, "On your Euros, get set, go!") But seriously, Zebra is the biggest of poetry video showcase in the world. And this is the call for entries.

"So entertaining that even people who think poetry is the absolute pits can't help but fall under the spell of this event", is what the Berliner Zeitung wrote about the last Zebra Poetry Film Award. It was an enormous success: over 800 films came from 57 countries, a sign that the poetry film is enjoying growing popularity worldwide.

Apply now! Together with interfilm berlin the Literaturwerkstatt Berlin is now calling for submissions for the 3rd Zebra Poetry Film Award. The deadline for receiving entries is 15 June 2006. From 11 to 14 October 2006 an international jury will decide the winner of the 3rd Zebra Poetry Film Award, whose total prize money amounts to 10,000 euros. The registration form and rules of entry are at:

The Zebra Poetry Film Award has established itself as the largest forum for the international poetry film and offers filmmakers from around the world the opportunity to exchange ideas and define positions. The Zebra Poetry Film Award offers a platform for a dynamic genre within the short film, a genre which has developed into an independent art form somewhere between literature, film and new media. Various special programs, an international colloquium and a comprehensive retrospective complete the 3rd Zebra Poetry Film Award.

The ZEBRA Poetry Film Award is a project of the Literaturwerkstatt Berlin together with interfilm berlin, and gratefully acknowledges the financial assistance of the Kulturstiftung des Bundes (German Federal Cultural Foundation) and the Goethe Institute. For more information, call (Berlin) telephone: [+49. 30] 48 52 45-24 Fax: [+49. 30] 48 52 45-30. Or e-mail:, or click into,, or

Mobile Exposure: call for original videos

Mobile Exposure, presented by Microcinema International, has a call for video artworks that closes 31 March. Mobile Exposure is:

  • An international touring exhibition of moving image art made by and for mobile devices
  • Curators: Patrick Lichty and Microcinema International
  • Judges: Addictive TV (United Kingdom)
  • Excerpts to premiere at San Francisco International Film Festival
  • Deadline: Received by March 31, 2006
  • Screenings: worldwide
  • Grand Prize: Panasonic AG-DVX100A 1/3" 3-CCD 24P/30P/60i DV Cinema Camera
  • Fees: US$5
  • More information write:

Mobile Exposure 2006 (moving images made by mobile devices)
Mobile Exposure 2006 Video Ringtone Festival (on-line/on-mobile device)

Mobile phones, PDA's, i-pods, and other hand-held devices have already gained widespread acceptance as tools to capture as well as experience music and photographs. Now these devices are being further designed and equipped with video capabilities - both for viewing as well as capturing. What are the potentials of the handheld device as a cinematic tool for expression, activism, experimentation, and exhibition? With the recent announcement of the i-pod video device and the Emmy Awards creation of a new mobile film category, the advancement of this medium is now a foregone conclusion...the train has left the station that is for sure, but on what track is it heading?

How will viewing images on the small screen change our perception of the moving image arts? How will the moving image arts change to present works on a hand-held device? These are some of the questions that Mobile Exposure 2006 hopes to address.

Mobile Exposure 2006 is looking for works that address mobile culture and/or are made WITH or to be EXHIBITED ON mobile/handheld devices. Our criteria are very broad; reflect on the mobile and locative through the medium or the concept. We encourage hybrid works as well (for example: imagery made with hand-helds and then post produced, mixed with sound in a classic filmmaking procedure).

The Mobile Exposure 2006 handheld moving image program is an exploration of the potentials of mobile video and culture. Practitioners are invited to submit all genres of work, less than 15 minutes in length. Video Ringtones should be 2 minutes or less in length.

Independent Exposure is looking for two types of works: 1.) Made for viewing on a mobile device and 2.) Made WITH a mobile device for viewing on the big screen (or little screen too if possible).

We are looking for works made using cell phones, obsolete video cameras, wrist cams, toy (NON-vhs/dv/hi-8) video cameras, PDA's, and even small cameras that create mpg moving images. Please do not send any material using conventional video cameras unless it specifically relates to mobile culture. For films destined FOR the small screens of hand-held devices, any method of filmmaking is acceptable.

Full details for submitting works is online at Materials must arrive by 31 March 2006 at the address below:

Independent Exposure 2006
c/o Microcinema International
1528 Sul Ross
Houston, TX 77006
FAX: +1-509-351-1530


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Rhino at 30: release & readings
on 2 April

RHINO, the 30-year-old little magazine with a big horn, celebrates the release of RHINO 2006 with a reading at the Evanston Arts Center, the elegant Sheridan Road landmark. Scheduled readers include Kristy Bowen, Marc Frazier, Geoffrey Forsythe, Paul Martinez, Ellen McKnight, Daniel Johnson and Jacob Saenz.

Sunday, 2 April 2006, from 2:30 to 3:30 PM, at the Evanston Arts Center, 2603 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL. Phone 847-475-5300 or click to The event is free.

After Hours, issue 12 release party


After Hours magazine, issue 12
After Hours magazine issue 12 is available now.

Al DeGenova and Pat Hertel, editors of After Hours, announce the release of issue 12 of their ongoing journal of regionally- and nationally-significant writers. After Hours is now well-established as an insider's view of poetry from the Chicago area, carrying many of the best local writers and writer/performers in and around Chicago. Contributors to #12 will have the opportunity to read first at the release. Contributors who cannot make the party will receive their contributor's copy of Issue #12 by mail. All contributors will receive one complimentary drink ticket!

Sunday, 5 March, 2006, from 4:00 to 6:00 PM. Open mic reading by After Hours contributors begins at 4:30 PM. At the Red Lion Pub, upstairs at 2446 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago (DePaul neighborhood).

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, please post them to the same address above. Court Green's reading period concludes on 1 May.

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


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7 April at DvA Gallery: Corwin, George, Puican & Heintz

Each month, Charlie Newman hosts a curated reading at DvA Gallery. No open mic. Just four featured readers doing what they do (and like) best. This month's feature has four noted Chicagoans, starting with Nina Corwin who invited the other three to read with her on this feature.

Mike Puican was a member of the 1996 Chicago Slam Team. He has had his poetry published in the US and in Canada in journals such as: Michigan Quarterly Review, Crab Orchard Review, Another Chicago Magazine, The Bloomsbury Review, Spoon River Review and Malahat Review. He won the 2004 Tia Chucha Press Chapbook Contest for his chapbook, 30 Seconds. He was a finalist for the 2006 May Swenson Poetry Book Award at the University of Utah. In 1970, Mike hitchhiked from his small home town in Pennsylvania to Chicago after hearing Jerry Rubin of the Chicago 7 speak. Jerry invited everyone in the audience to come to Chicago and join the revolution. Mike has been here ever since.

Alice George lives in Evanston, Illinois, where she attends to her poetry karma by co-editing RHINO magazine. She also teaches poetry to kids as artist-in-residence in area schools. Recent and forthcoming publications include work in Bellingham Review, Sentence, Court Green, Diagram, New Orleans Review and Soft Skull Press' anthology on collaborative poetry, where she appears in the cooly titled volume Saints of Hysteria with co-conspirator Cecilia Pinto. Alice was awarded an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship for Poetry in 2005.

Nina Corwin is a social worker and the author of one collection of poetry, Conversations With Friendly Demons and Tainted Saints (Puddin'head Press, 1999, 2004) and co-editor of Inhabiting the Body: A Collection of Poetry and Art By Women (Moon Journal Press, 2002). Co-host of the River Oak Art reading series, she has performed her own work extensively around the country. In addition she has collaborated with musicians including the CUBE contemporary music ensemble and the Serendipity Percussion Ensemble. Her published work appears in such publications as Spoon River, Nimrod, Poetry East, Cider Press, Lullwater and Evansville Reviews, as well as the anthologies Visiting Frost (University of Iowa Press, 2005) and Poetic Voices Without Borders (Gival Press). She has received awards from the Illionois Arts Council and the Illinois State Poetry Society.

Kurt Heintz is a new media artist and the only writer in Chicago who can trace his roots to the origins of both slam poetry and electronic literature in this city. As an advocate of aural literacy, he believes you can (and should) learn to read with your ears. In alimentary roles, Heintz has created video for the performance poetry of Quraysh Ali Lansana, Patricia Smith, Cin Salach, and Dave Awl. He is anthologized in Rude Trip (Edition406 Press, Hamburg, 2005), and Short Fuse (Rattapallax, 2003). Heintz has spoken on performance poetry, new media, and related subjects at the University of Iowa, Columbia College, SUNY/Buffalo, NIU/DeKalb, the Pacific Cinematheque (Vancouver), and the Gene Siskel Film Center (Chicago). He also edits this very website.

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

Red Rover #7: poetry origami
31 March

The Red Rover Series {readings that play with reading} will hold its seventh event in March. Each event is designed as a reading experiment with participation by local, national, and international writers and artists. Experiment #7, "Poetry Origami," will feature visiting poet Catherine Daly presenting and inviting others to create a series of projects involving scissors, paper, glue, staples, wire, texts written by women, reference materials, and propaganda from the dollar store.

Catherine Daly and origami poetry
Red Rover feature Catherine Daly, and a closeup of one example of poetry origami from her series Paper Craft ("flower")

Catherine Daly has been writing for 22 years. She is the author of DaDaDa (Salt Publishing, 2003), Locket (Tupelo Press, 2005) and the forthcoming Secret Kitty (Ahadada), Paper Craft (Moria eBooks), To Delite and Instruct (blue lion), and Chanteuse/Cantatric (factoryschool). Catherine played red rover on an asphalt church parking lot "playground" and also in an ice rink variation. As a boy, her father was a drummer in the Shannon Rovers. After living in Illinois, France, Florida, Connecticut, India, Massachusetts, and New York, she now lives in Los Angeles. She will also be touring around the midwest and presenting her work in: Milwaukee (Woodland Pattern Book Center on April 1), Madison (A Room of One's Own Bookstore on April 2), Lake Forest (&Now Festival from April 5-7), and Chicago (Myopic Books on April 9). More info is on the author's website.

8:00 PM Friday, 31 March at SpareRoom, 2416 W. North Avenue, Chicago. (Humboldt Park/west Bucktown). Phone 773-645-1853 or click to for more info. Suggested donation at this event: $3. The Red Rover Series is curated at the SpareRoom by local writers Amina Cain and Jennifer Karmin. In June, the series will host Experiment #8.

source: Red Rover Series

Rhino's Last Friday series in Evanston, 31 March

Rhino Magazine's new "Last Friday" monthly reading series is packing a local Evanston café, and is building a great community of poetry lovers and makers. Full details are posted on Rhino's events page.

Friday, 31 March 2006, at Cafe Exress South, 500 Main Street, Evanston, IL. Poetry reading and open mike sponsored by Rhino Magazine. Approximate schedule: 6:30 PM - Teen poets read original work; 7:00 PM - open mic; 7:30 PM - featured readers Tony Trigilio and Frank Matagrano. All ages.

Columbia College: Hayes & Seibles
on 29 March

Terrance Hayes is the author of Hip Logic (Penguin 2002) and Muscular Music (Tia Chucha Press, 1999) and has been a recipient of many honors including a Whiting Writers Award, the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, a National Poetry Series selection, a Pushcart Prize, a Best American Poetry selection, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. Wind in a Box, his third collection, is forthcoming from Penguin in 2006. He is an Associate Professor of English at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Tim Seibles was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1955. He is the author of several books of poems including Hurdy-Gurdy, Hammerlock and, most recently, Buffalo Head Solos -- each published by the Cleveland State University Poetry Center Press. He is a former National Endowment for the Arts fellow and has been a writing fellow at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center in Massachusetts. He also received an Open Voice Award from the 63rd Street Y in New York City. His work has been featured in anthologies such as Humor Me, Role Call, Outsiders, and The Poets’ Grimm. He has been a workshop leader for Cave Canem-- a retreat for African American writers-- and for the Zora Neale Hurston-Richard Wright Foundation. He lives in Norfolk, Virginia, where he is a member of Old Dominion University’s English Department and MFA in Writing faculty.

Wednesday, 29 March 2006, at 5:30 PM, on the campus of Columbia College Chicago, Collins Hall, 624 South Michigan, room 602. This reading is free and open to the public. Presented by the Poetry/Writing Center, Columbia College department of English.

Discrete Series: Hillman, Sims & Hawley, on 24 March

The Discrete Series will be featuring its second event this month, a reading by three very talented poets traveling in from California, Wisconsin and Nebraska. They are Brenda Hillman, Laura Sims and Anthony Hawley respectively. Discrete is especially pleased to be hosting a rare appearance by Brenda Hillman, whose work has been called eclectic, mercurial, sensuous, and luminescent. It will be interesting to hear the ways her work has influenced the work of our other two readers, Laura Sims and Anthony Hawley, younger writers whose work has begun to enjoy wider recognition in the past year.

Brenda Hillman was born in Tucson, Arizona in 1951. After receiving her B.A. at Pomona College, she attended the University of Iowa, where she received her M.F.A. in 1976. She serves on the faculty of Saint Mary's College in Moraga, California, where she teaches in the undergraduate and graduate programs; she is also a member of the permanent faculties of Napa Valley Writers' Conference and of Squaw Valley Community of Writers. Her seven collections of poetry -- White Dress (1985), Fortress (1989), Death Tractates (1992), Bright Existence (1993), Loose Sugar (1997) and Cascadia (2001), Pieces of Air in the Epic (2005)-- are from Wesleyan University Press; she has also written three chapbooks, Coffee, 3 A.M. (Penumbra Press, 1982 ), Autumn Sojourn (Em Press, 1995), and The Firecage (a+bend press, 2000). Hillman has edited an edition of Emily Dickinson's poetry for Shambhala Publications, and, with Patricia Dienstfrey, has co-edited The Grand Permisson: New Writings on Poetics and Motherhood (2003). Among the awards Hillman has received are Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. She resides in the San Francisco Bay Area; she is married and has a daughter.

Laura Sims's first book of poetry, Practice, Restraint, recipient of the 2005 Fence Books Alberta Prize, was published in November. She was recently awarded a JUSFC / NEA Creative Artist Exchange Fellowship to spend six months in Japan in 2006. She has published two chapbooks: Bank Book (Answer Tag Press) and Paperback Book (3rd Bed), and her poems have appeared in the journals First Intensity, 26, How2, 6X6, and 3rd Bed, among others. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin, where she teaches creative writing and composition.

Born in 1977, Anthony Hawley grew up in New England and was educated at Columbia University. He is the author of the chapbooks Afield (Ugly Duckling Presse) and Vocative (Phylum Press), and his poems have appeared in various publications including The Canary, Denver Quarterly, The New Republic, The Paris Review, 26, and Volt. He currently lives in Nebraska with his wife and daughter and is on the faculty of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.. *The Concerto Form* is his first full-length collection

The Discrete Series presents poets Brenda Hillman, Laura Sims and Anthony Hawley, Friday, 24 March, 7:00 PM, at The Spareroom, 2416 W. North Avenue $5 suggested donation. The Discrete Series is an approximately monthly event presenting local and national writers reading from their work. For more information about this or upcoming events, phone 312-945-3136, or visit

Tianguis for March: Teatro Luna, More than Poetry, and Celebrando La Mujer

Monday, 20 March at 7:00 PM
Proyecto Latina presents More than Poetry, featureing Teatro Lunas Tanya Saracho. Presented as part of the monthly open mic on the third Monday of every month. Tanya Saracho is the co-founder and co-artistic director for Teatro Luna: Chicago's All-Latina Theater Ensemble and a Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists. Proyecto Latina takes place the third Monday of every month. Its an open mic so everything's game: Poetry, spoken word, music, monologues, shorts y en el idioma que prefieras. And if you're too shy to get on stage come and be one of the lucky spectators. To learn more about Tanya and Teatro Luna visit

Wednesday, 22 March 22 from 7:00 to 10:00 PM
Coffeehouse and poetry event featuring: Demetria Martinez author of Confessions of a Berlitz-Tape Chicana and Mother Tongue Fundraiser: Seminary Consortium for Urban Pastoral Education. Suggested donation: $20

Friday, 23 March from 7:00 to 9:00 PM
Homenaje a la Mujer / A Tribute to Woman - open mic fundraiser: Youth for Change. $3 donation.

Saturday, 26 March at 3:00 PM
Celebrando el mes de la mujer

Celebrating National Women's History Month... An afternoon to observe and celebrate las mujeres. An open mic will set the stage for our featured author Maria A. Beltran-Vocal. She reads from her recently published chapbook Troublemaker: Peleonera Poems. Maria A. Beltran-Vocal was born in Michoacán, Mexico. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Modern Languages at DePaul University in Chicago.

Cafe Mestizo / Tianguis is at 1646 W. 18th Street, Chicago (Pilsen/Little Village), one block west of Ashland Avenue, and a few steps away from the 18th street CTA Blue Line stop. Click through to the Tianguis site.

Wordslingers, 19 March: Colón & Devilhorse

Esteban Colón and Oz Devilhorse are Michael Watson's special guests on the latest edition of Wordslingers, where, "The words we live are not for the meek." On the first and third Sundays of every month, Watson presents poets with a little fire and brimstone, a little studio soundscaping, and a lot of soul, served with a side of hearty conversation.

Listen to the stream live within broadcast range of WLUW at 88.7-FM from 8:00 to 9:00 PM, Sunday 19 March 2006. Or hear it online at You may also catch archived programd at where you can preview forthcoming guest or consider a slot on the show for yourself or a poet whom you respect.

Poetry Center presents Ted Kooser on 15 March; announces performance/open mic series at Holiday Club

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 are on sale via Ticketweb.

Then join the Poetry Center on Thursday, 6 April at 8:00 PM for the first Lip open-mic at The Holiday Club ($5). Mary Fons and Joel Chmara will host. The Holiday Club is located at 4000 N Sheridan in Uptown. Andy Buck is April's featured poet and Lucy Anderton is the local spotlight poet.

Andy Buck is a three-time member of the Austin Poetry Slam team. He appeared on HBO's "Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry Jam," represented Austin at the Individual World Poetry Slam, and coached Austin's national team in 2005. He holds two degrees in Communications and English from The University of Texas at Austin.

Lucy Anderton is the 2005 and 2006 resident writer for the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts' program in Auvilar, France. She received her MFA in Poetry from Warren Wilson College, and was a Wicker Park team member at the National Poetry Slam in 2000-02. Her work has recently appeared in the Iowa Review and AGNI Online.

For more Poetry Center activity, click to the Powell's Bookstore series, convening this month on 16 March, featuring Meg Barboza and Elizabeth Graettinger, with Robyn Schiff. Or click to the Hands on Stanzas blog, to track activity in the Poetry Center's youth writing project.

source: Poetry Center of Chicago


Molly Malone's on 13 March:
Tim Stafford & Dan Sullivan

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 March, hear Tim Stafford and Dan "Sully" Sullivan.

Stafford and Sullivan individually secured spots on the 2004 Mental Graffiti National Slam Team. Then, when they began working on collaborative poems, something clicked. The spoken word duo "Death From Below" has been rocking stages ever since, including Def Poetry on HBO. You can check them out in the Speak'Easy Ensemble directed by Marc Smith or the Mental Graffiti Open Mic & Poetry Slam.

Dan "Sully" Sullivan is the co-founder/sponsor of the Oak Park/River Forest High School Spoken Word/Poetry Club. Dan was the recipient of the 2002 Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mic Poetry Award, is the 2003 &2004 Wicker Park Poetry Slam Champion, a member of the 2003 Chicago New Word Series slam team, and appeared on Russell Simmons' Def Poetry Jam on HBO. He has been published in The Columbia Poetry Review, the 2004 National Poetry Slam Anthology. He released the independent chapbook &CD "Transit" and a CD fittingly titled "Thug Poetry" recorded alongside his partner in crime Tim Stafford.

Tim Stafford has been a featured performer at the Urban Sandbox, Bevi Amo, the Ethio Cafe, and Mental Graffiti where he was selected as a member of their 2004 slam team.

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.

Danny's Reading Series: Stebelton & Timmons on 15 March

Chuck Stebelton works as Literary Program Manager at Woodland Pattern Book Center, a non-profit arts organization in Milwaukee, and co-curates the Myopic Poetry Series at Myopic Books in Chicago. He is the author of Circulation Flowers (Tougher Disguises, 2005) and Precious, an Answer Tag chapbook. Newer work appears in recent issues of Antennae, Jubilat, LVNG, Verse, Boog City, Unpleasant Event Schedule, Milk Magazine, and Chain. He recently collaborated with the artist Cindy Loehr on Revival, "a cathedral of flame with a pre-recorded oration inside."

Susie Timmons became a poet in New York City, in the east village, in the mid 1970's. She left there in 1991, a veteran of many scenes. After moving eleven times, she arrived in Chicago to pursue graduate studies in invertebrate paleontology at the University of Chicago, neglecting poetry to do so. She now considers this neglect as a dramatic error in judgment and begs the muse daily for forgiveness. After having moved three more times, from Hyde Park, to Wrigleyville, to Lincoln Square, she will be leaving Chicago in May, for NY, something she is sad about, because she really loves Chicago with all her heart and soul. A mimeo book, Hog Wild, was published by Frontward books in 1978. A book entitled "Locked from the Outside" was published in 1990 by Chicago's Yellow Press. Her work has appeared in many journals and anthologies.She is currently at work on a series of manuscripts which variously: document her state of mind in the course of her travels; deconstruct the works of Sylvia Plath; and attempt to approach the core nature of the Child Ballads.

This month's event is Wednesday, 15 March at 7:30 PM, featuring Susan Timmons and Chuck Stebelton. It all happens 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 on Wednesday, 5 April: Joshua Clover and Franklin Bruno.

Myopic Series for March 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). Upcoming guests include:

  • 5 March - Elizabeth Crane hosted by Adam Levin
  • 12 March - Jules Boykoff & Bill Marsh
  • 19 March - Kristy Odelius & Kristy Bowen
  • 26 March - Sterling Plumpp & Garin Cycholl
  • 2 April - TBA Fiction with Adam Levin
  • 9 April - Geoff Bouvier & Catherine Daly

Jules Boykoff's first full-length collection of poems —Once Upon a Neoliberal Rocket Badge— is forthcoming from Edge Books. He is the author of the multi-media poetry chapbook Philosophical Investigations Inna Neo-Con Roots-Dub Styley (Interrupting Cow Press, 2004) and Exit, a collaborative chapbook with Kaia Sand (The Tangent Press 2002). He lives in Portland, Oregon where he teaches political science at Pacific University.

Bill Marsh does intelligent design work for Factory School, in particular the "Heretical Texts" political poetry series and the web gallery "Backlight," which includes his online collection of work, "b_theater." Bill has recently woken up in Chicago, his hometown, after a bad dream in which he found himself living and teaching in San Diego. Bill's books include "Tao Drops, I Change," a collection of postmodern wisdom poems co-authored with Steve Carll, and the forthcoming "Plagiarism: Alchemy and Remedy in Higher Education," to be published by SUNY this year. He teaches a course on visual communication and technology at Roosevelt University and spends the rest of his time renovating houses, with his partner Octavia and two kids, in Ottawa, Illinois.

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

Homolatté for March 2006

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

  • 15 March: Lisa Grayson (words) / Sue Jeffers (music)
  • 22 March: Marcus Waller / The Nancys
  • 28 March: Lars von Keitz hosts monthly OUTmusic outLOUD
  • 5 April: Rose Tully / Diva Emery

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 March 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 March: Chris Green
  • 14 March: "Tennessee" Mary Fons
  • 21 March: Omniphonic - Tom & Lem Roby
  • 28 March: Francesco Levato
  • 4 April: Jan Bottiglieri
  • 11 April: Shelley Nation

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 residency applications close 15 April

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


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links we like

Some links into the arts online, served with a twist...

UBUweb is back, and has a whole lot of historical films online, video art, and intellectualy whatnot that you can watch... Local writer Tony Trigilio keeps kicking the language in new directions at Shimmy, a blog... the Neo-Futurists are doing a series of solo shows this winter, which you can preview...

Video tech heads (and video art heads, too) will relish a trip to Iceland with Woody and Steina Vasulka... Skip into Industry of the Ordinary, if you have a head for performing arts...

And last, but certainly not least, we've just added a chapter to the Book of Voices for Dave Awl... It's the most elaborate chapter to date, featuring recordings collected over nearly 6 years of the artist's career... Enjoy!

Thank you for reading our monthly newswire! And why not help us keep it supplied with news, announcements, leads, commentary, and positive buzz? Your leads keep the good karma going.

- Kurt Heintz, founder
e-poets network, Chicago

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