March 15: Kien Lam and Danni Quintos

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) on the third Wednesday of the month and includes a brief lottery-style open mic and two featured readers from Chicago and beyond, preceded by a generative writing workshop. All readings are also livestreamed!
This month, we are thrilled to partner with Kundiman Midwest to present two stellar featured readers.


  • 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.

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 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.


The Blue Hour limited-space generative writing workshop is suitable for writers and poetry fans of all levels. We will discuss a poem together, then the facilitator will guide the group through individual writing on an exploratory prompt that draws on themes from the poem. This month, our facilitator is the amazing Lisa Low!


Kien Lam is the author of “Extinction Theory,” winner of the 2021 National Poetry Series and published by UGA Press in 2022. He is a Kundiman fellow and received his MFA from Indiana University. He lives in Los Angeles and works in esports and television. He is currently working with Paramount+ and the creators of American Vandal on an esports mockumentary called Players.

Danni Quintos is the author of the poetry collection “Two Brown Dots” (BOA Editions, 2022), chosen by Aimee Nezhukumatathil as winner of the Poulin Prize, and “PYTHON” (Argus House, 2017), an ekphrastic chapbook featuring photography by her sister, Shelli Quintos. She is a Kentuckian, a mom, a knitter, and an Affrilachian Poet. Her work has appeared in Poetry Magazine, Cincinnati Review, Cream City Review, The Margins, Best New Poets 2015, Salon, and elsewhere


To learn more about the series and history, go 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.