The Chicago Poetry Center presents BLUE HOUR, a free, public monthly online reading series and generative writing workshop hosted and facilitated by Marty McConnell.
Each event features two readers from Chicago and beyond, followed by an optional, limited-space workshop focused on a poem by one of the featured readers and including guided generative writing time.
The name comes from a line by Chicago poet Li-Young Lee, from a section of “The City in Which I Love You”:
in a blue hour
and faraway noise of hammering,
and on a page a poem begun, something
about to be dispersed,
something about to come into being.
EVENT DETAILS FOR APRIL 13:
- Reading (zoom webinar) opens at 6:15 central time, reading begins at 6:30, ends 7:15
- Workshop (zoom room) begins at 7:30 central time, ends at 8:15
- Note that registration is free and you can sign up for one or both portions of the event, but each registration must be completed separately.
- Webinar registration link: https://bhapril.eventbrite.com/
- Workshop registration link: https://bhworkshopapril.eventbrite.com/
ABOUT THE READING:
The Blue Hour reading features readings by two poets from Chicago and beyond, followed by a brief Q&A.
ABOUT THE WORKSHOP:
The Blue Hour generative writing workshop is suitable for writers and poetry fans of all levels. We will discuss a poem by one of the night’s featured readers, then Marty will guide the group through individual writing on an exploratory prompt that draws on themes from the poem.
KEETJE KUIPERS is the author of three collections: Beautiful in the Mouth, winner of the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize; The Keys to the Jail; and All Its Charms, which was a finalist for the Washington State Book Award and includes poems honored by publication in both The Pushcart Prize and Best American Poetry anthologies. Keetje has been a Stegner Fellow, Bread Loaf Fellow, and the Margery Davis Boyden Wilderness Writing Resident. She lives with her wife and children in Missoula where she is Visiting Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Montana, Editor of Poetry Northwest, and a board member at the National Book Critics Circle.
CHARIF SHANAHAN is the author of Trace Evidence: poems (Tin House Books, 2023) and Into Each Room We Enter without Knowing (Crab Orchard Series in Poetry/SIU Press, 2017), which was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry and the Publishing Triangle’s Thom Gunn Award. Shanahan is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship; the Wallace Stegner Fellowship and Jones Lectureship at Stanford University; and a Fulbright Senior Scholar Grant to Morocco, among other awards and recognitions. He is an Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at Northwestern University, where he teaches poetry in the undergraduate and Litowitz MFA+MA graduate creative writing programs.
ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION:
The mission of the Chicago Poetry Center is to connect people with poetry, equitably engage poets with communities, and foster creativity and literacy in schools. We envision a world where poetry catalyzes reflection, connection, and change.
Since the Chicago Poetry Center’s first readings took place at the Museum of Contemporary Art in 1975, the Poetry Center has been a mainstay of Chicago’s cultural scene. Free public readings continue to be offered monthly in virtual and physical formats. Over 325 poets have participated in public readings, and a digital archive of their work is available on the Poetry Center website. The expansive archive also serves as the basis of a digital module for teaching poetry, which was recently developed by the Center’s Executive Director and is available at no cost to teachers.
ABOUT THE HOST:
Marty McConnell is a poet, educator, and healer based in Chicago where she provides vital coaching and consulting services to people and organizations, supporting them in being planful, proactive, and powerful in building the lives and worlds they envision. She is the author of when they say you can’t go home again, what they mean is you were never there, winner of the 2017 Michael Waters Poetry Prize; her first full-length collection, wine for a shotgun, received the Silver Medal in the Independent Publishers Awards and was a finalist for both the Audre Lorde Award and a Lambda Literary Award. YesYes Books recently released her first nonfiction book, Gathering Voices: Creating a Community-Based Poetry Workshop. She is the co-creator and co-editor of underbelly, a web site focused on the art and magic of poetry revision. An MFA graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, her work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including Best American Poetry, Southern Humanities Review, Gulf Coast, and Indiana Review. www.martyoutloud.com
To learn more about the series and history, go here.