poetry is everywhere

November 21, 2021

Chicago is home to the Poetry Foundation and the American Writers Museum, so perhaps it should not be surprising to find poets and poetry seeping into every aspect of life in the Windy City. Indeed, at 201 West Madison, downtown, in the heart of Chicago’s Loop, you can self-park in The Poetry Garage.

There, instead of struggling to remember whether your car is parked on 4 or 5, you have Emily Dickinson or W.H. Auden to remind you. Plus, while you’re waiting for the elevator, there’s a poem to read, courtesy of the floor’s official poet.

Built in 1988, with a facade designed by Lucien Lagrange, the self-park structure was rebranded as The Poetry Garage in 2011.

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Thanks to Rick Lupert and The Poetry Superhighway for the heads up!

speaking of poetry libraries

December 17, 2018

The Poetry Foundation Library in Chicago is the Midwest’s only library dedicated to poetry. Visitors to the library may browse a collection of 30,000 volumes, experience audio and video recordings in private listening booths, and view exhibits of poetry-related materials. The library is open weekdays 11:00am–4:00pm (check website for holiday closures).

Currently on view at the Poetry Foundation, in Chicago, is a free interactive poem and poetry exhibit: “On Visiting the Franklin Park Conservatory & Botanical Gardens” by Khaty Xiong. In the exhibit, readers/viewers are invited to respond to Xiong’s poem with lines of their own (pictured). The installation will continue through Friday, September 14, 2018.

Reasons to go to… Chicago

February 23, 2017

American Writers MuseumThe American Writers Museum will open in Chicago on Tuesday, May 16, 2017. The museum’s mission “is to engage the public in celebrating American writers and exploring their influence on our history, our identity, our culture, and our daily lives.”

The museum will have exhibits for adults and children, ongoing programs, classes, a word waterfall and more. The museum’s first online exhibit, Power Of the Word, is an interactive site in which leaders, readers and writers exchange ideas about valuable books.

See more on the American Writers Museum website, Facebook page, on Instagram and Twitter @AmerWriteMuseum.

Poetry Brothel

Tired of those plain old vanilla poetry readings? Take a cue from the Poetry Brothel. It’s a poetry reading, with poets appearing in costume to promote “the creation of character, which for poet and audience functions as disguise and as freeing device, enabling The Poetry Brothel to be a place of uninhibited creative expression in which the poets and clients can be themselves in private.”

Here’s more from the Poetry Brothel Facebook group: “The ‘Madame‘ presents a rotating cast of this city’s finest poets (both men and women) engaged in a night of surreal happenings, literary debauchery and private poetry readings. Here’s how it works: The poets play ‘whores,’ visitors play ‘johns’ (and are also encouraged to attend incognito!) but instead of physical intimacy, the poets offer the intimacy of their poetry by giving private, one-on-one readings in curtained-off areas. All of the resident ‘whores’ are available for private readings at any time during the event (and gratuities are expected!).”

There’s a Poetry Bordello in Chicago, a Poetry Brothel in Los Angeles, another in New Orleans, The Secret Order of the Libertines in Philadelphia, and a new Poetry Brothel has emerged in Kingston, New York. (Alas, a Seattle Poetry Brothel, planned as a fundraiser for Richard Hugo House, was cancelled because one of the participants tried to introduce nudity.) For more on the Chicago group, read Kathleen Rooney’s article, “Pimp My Poem,” on the Poetry Foundation website.
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poetry walk…Chicago

December 26, 2012

Chicago skyline

Chicago bound? The Poetry Foundation invites you to explore the Windy City’s great poetry and poetry greats with a downloadable walking tour, complete with map, artwork, photography and voice recordings. Not bound for Chicago? Take the tour online.

For a list of what’s on tour, view the credits page. Then go to the Chicago Poetry Tour page to start your tour or download.
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Chicago skyline

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