The Chicago Poetry Center presents BLUE HOUR, a free, public monthly in-person reading series and generative writing workshop hosted and facilitated by Marty McConnell.
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.
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 FEB. 15:
- Workshop (registration required) begins promptly at 6 p.m., ends at 7 p.m.
- Open mic sign-up begins at 7:15.
- Reading (registration recommended) begins at 7:30, followed by community gathering time.
- Reading registration is free; the workshop is sliding scale with a suggested donation of $10.
- Register for the workshop here.
- Get your ticket for the reading here.
- Livestream is available here.
ABOUT THE READING:
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.
ABOUT THE WORKSHOP:
The Blue Hour generative writing workshop is suitable for writers and poetry fans of all levels. We will discuss a poem together, then Marty will guide the group through individual writing on an exploratory prompt that draws on themes from the poem.
Natasha Mijares is an artist, writer, curator, and educator. Her debut collection of poetry, “violent wave,” is forthcoming in 2023. She received her MFA in Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has exhibited at various international and national galleries. Her work has appeared in Gravity of the Thing, Hypertext Review, Calamity, Vinyl Poetry, and more.
Born in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood, D. Santina Ruiz is a queer Boricua creative, a mother, an artist, a writer, and an agitator. Founder, director and curator of the Honeycomb Network, she is also the co-creator and co-founder of Books, Brunch & Botánica, a collaborative project that centers Womxn of Color creatives intentionally from across Chicago communities as facilitators, creatives and leaders. She is a two time Gwendolyn Brooks open mic poetry finalist and a blossoming spiritual herbalist/bruja.
ABOUT THE HOST:
Marty McConnell is a poet, educator, and healer based in Chicago. 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. Her first nonfiction book, Gathering Voices: Creating a Community-Based Poetry Workshop, is available through YesYes Books. 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.
To learn more about the series and history, go here.