Blue Hour 2023 Winter/Spring Season

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 brief open mic and limited-space workshop that includes a guided generative writing practice.

Winter/Spring 2023 Season Schedule:

  • 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


The 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 includes a brief open mic followed by two featured poets from Chicago and beyond. Pre-registration is free and recommended. The open mic includes five readers drawn lottery-style from a hat that goes out at 7:15. The reading starts promptly at 7:30. Each open mic poet reads one poem or for three minutes, whichever comes first.


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.