Readings & Events

Reading Series

The Poetry Center's Annual Reading Series is the first and best poetry series of its kind in the city of Chicago. In 1973 William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg gave the first official reading for the Poetry Center in the basement of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. Today, 35 years later, the Annual Reading Series has presented uninterrupted monthly readings by Pulitzer Prize winners, U.S. Poets Laureate, as well as emerging poets and young writers at the beginning of their careers.

The Poetry Center strives to uphold the tradition of its founders by continuing to bring the very finest in poetic talent to Chicago, by challenging the conventional boundaries of poetic form with innovative, visionary artists, and by promoting Chicago's rich literary scene through collaborations with some of the city's foremost institutions and outstanding independent presses.

Find out what the Poetry Center has to offer you in this season's Reading Series.


Past Reading Series Poets

M. Eliza Abegunde
Diane Ackerman
Isabel Allende
Yehuda Amichai
Michael Ananaia
Talvikki Ansel
Craig Arnold
John Ashbery
Margaret Atwood
Russell Banks
Amiri Baraka
Jim Barnes
Saul Bellow
Ted Berrigan
Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge
Baxter Black
Claire Bloom
Robert Bly
Eavan Boland
Kristy Bowen
Joseph Brodsky
Gwendolyn Brooks
Rosellen Brown
Jenny A. Burkholder
William Burroughs
Frederick Busch
Ana Castillo
Bogdana Carpenter
John Carpenter
Paul Carroll
John Cheever
Maxine Chernoff
Lucille Clifton
Joel Craig
Michael Crichton
Sandra Cisneros
Andrei Codrescu
J.M. Coetzee
Billy Collins
Billy Corgan
Nina Corwin
Robert Creeley
Deborah Bolda Cummins
Bruce Cutler
Traci Dant
James Dickey
John Dickson
Stephen Dobyns
Mark Doty
Rita Dove
Alan Dugan
Denise Duhamel
Stuart Dybek
Kenward Elmslie
Luciano Erba
Clayton Eshleman
Martín Espada
Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Jules Feiffer
Calvin Forbes
Kent Foreman
Leon Forrest
Carolyn Forché
Richard Fammerée
Carlos Fuentes
Tess Gallagher
Reginald Gibbons
Reggie Gibson
Allen Ginsberg
Eugene Gloria
Louise Glück
Albert Goldbarth
Mary Gordon
Jorie Graham
Arielle Greenberg
Jennifer Grotz
Thom Gunn
Kimiko Hanh
Donald Hall
Jane Hamilton
Misty Harper
Janice N. Harrington
Duriel Harris
Larry Heinemann
Zbigniew Herbert
Anselm Hollo
Garrett Hongo
Paul Hoover
Jean Howard
Frieda Hughes
Ted Hughes
Lynda Hull
David Ignatow
Denis Johnson
Allison Joseph
Donald Justice
Garrison Keillor
Briget Pegeen Kelly
Maxine Hong Kingston
Galway Kinnell
Mary Kinzie
Carolyn Kizer
Etheridge Knight
Bill Knott
Kenneth Koch
Ted Kooser
Yusef Komunyakaa
Maxine Kumin
Stanley Kunitz
Art Lange
Quraysh Ali Lansana
James Laughlin
Li-Young Lee
Doris Lessing
Denise Levertov
Philip Levine
Larry Levis
Stanley Lombardo
Thomas Lux
Thomas Lynch
Haki Madhubuti
John Mann
Joe Mantegna
Maria McCray
Campbell McGrath
Heather McHugh
Patricia McMillen
David Meltzer
W.S. Merwin
James Merrill
Adam Mickiewicz
Czeslaw Milosz
N. Scott Momady
Simone Muench
Lisel Mueller
Paul Muldoon
Gloria Naylor
John Fredrick Nims
Naomi Shihab Nye
Kristy Odelius
Sharon Olds
P.J. O'Rourke
Alice Ostricker
Ron Padgett
Grace Paley
Elise Paschen
Ed Paschke
Linda Pastan
Molly Peacock
Walker Percy
Mark Perlberg
Marjorie Perloff
Katha Pollit
Patricia Powell
Jack Prelutsky
Dan Beachy-Quick
Alice Randall
Tom Raworth
Srikanth Reddy
Adrienne Rich
Paulette Roeske
Alane Rollings
Michael Rothenberg
A. LaVonne Brown Ruoff
Kay Ryan
Michael Ryan
Cin Salach
Sonia Sanchez
James Schevill
Lore Segal
Agha Shahid Ali
Charles Simic
W.D. Snodgrass
Gary Soto
Sahara Sunday Spain
Stephen Spender
William Stafford
Mark Strand
Peter Streckfus
Gerald Stern
Mark Strand
Lucien Stryk
Arthur Sze
James Tate
Marvin Tate
Studs Terkel
John Updike
Katrina Vandenberg
Mona Van Duyn
Helen Vendler
Derek Walcott
Anne Waldman
Lucinda Williams
Miller Williams
Christian Wiman
Scott Woldman
Rebecca Wolff
Charles Wright
Franz Wright
John Yau
Dean Young
Kevin Young
Adam Zagajewski
Andrew Zawacki