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 OCTOBER 20:
- 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://bhoct20.eventbrite.com
- Workshop registration link: https://bhworkshopoct20.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.
A proud native of the South Side of Chicago, MAYDA DEL VALLE appeared on six episodes of HBO’s Def Poetry Jam and was a contributing writer and original cast member of the Tony Award winning Def Poetry Jam on Broadway. She also toured with Norman Lear’s Declare Yourself Spoken Word Tour, a non-profit, non-partisan project created to encourage young voter registration for the 2004 presidential elections. In May of 2009 she was invited to perform at The White House for the President and First Lady. She has been featured in Latina Magazine, The Source, The New York Times and was named by Smithsonian Magazine as one of America’s Young Innovators in the Arts and Sciences. Oprah’s “O” Magazine selected her as one of 20 women for their first ever “O Power List”, a group of visionary women making a mark in business, politics, and the arts.
HANNAH GAMBLE (she/they) is a poet, essayist, screenwriter, and director. Her first book of poems, Your Invitation to a Modest Breakfast, won the National Poetry Series in 2011. In 2014, they received the Ruth Lilly/ Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. Hannah’s second book of poems, The Traditional Feel of the Ballroom, is now available from TrioHousePress. Additionally, Gamble is the writer, director, and executive producer of the Chicago-based webseries Choose Me: An Abortion Story, which was selected for several national and international film festivals, winning several awards including the Award of Excellence for a TV Show from the Montreal Independent Film Festival and a Best Web Series award from the Miami International Film Festival in 2020.
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.