Blue Hour 2022-2023

The Chicago Poetry Center presents BLUE HOUR, a free, public monthly in-person reading series and generative writing workshop. 

Each event takes place at Haymarket House (800 W. Buena) and features two readers from Chicago and beyond, preceded by a limited-space workshop that includes a guided generative writing practice.

2022-2023 Season Schedule:

  • September 21: Faylita Hicks and Hila Ratzabi
    (register for the workshop here and the reading here)
  • October 19: Willie X. Lin and Dipika Mukherjee
    (co-sponsored by Kundiman Midwest)
  • November 16: Carlos Cumpián and Jennifer Scappettone
  • January 17: Kemi Alabi and Jessica Walsh
  • February 15: Natasha Mijares and D. Santina Ruiz
  • March 15: Kien Lam and Danni Quintos
    (co-sponsored by Kundiman Midwest)
  • April 19: Maya Pindyck and Julian Randall
  • May 17: CM Burroughs and Eugenia Leigh
Accessibility note: Haymarket House is fully wheelchair-accessible, and all readings include professional ASL interpretation. Please email with any questions. If you will be using the ramp, email so that we can make sure that door is unlocked for your use.


The in-person Blue Hour generative writing workshop begins promptly at 6 p.m., ends at 7 p.m., and is designed for writers and poetry fans of all levels. Each workshop includes discussion of a poem by one of the night’s featured readers, followed by guided individual writing using an exploratory prompt that draws on themes from the poem. Registration is required, and the workshop is sliding scale with a suggested donation of $10.


The Blue Hour reading features a brief lottery-style open mic followed by readings by two poets from Chicago and beyond. Pre-registration is free and recommended. The event begins at 7:30, followed by community gathering time.


Haymarket House is a community space in the heart of Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood committed to uplifting the work of writers, artists, thinkers, activists, and educators who are committed to all struggles for a better world. The space is fully wheelchair-accessible, masks are currently required for all indoor events, and the space is equipped with a professional air filtration system. In addition, there will be an ASL interpreter for the reading portion of the night. Please direct any accessibility or safety questions to

Learn more about the series and history here. 



“Writing poetry makes me feel like I can see myself, like I can see my reflection, but not in a mirror, in the world. I write and I know I can be reflected.”
-Oscar S.

“Writing poetry makes me feel free.”
-Buenda D.

“Writing poetry is like your best friend.”
-Jessica M.