Escaping the comfortable confines of the Associated Writing Programs’ annual meeting, five American poets go rogue to read their work in the more sharply stimulating environs of Quimby’s. Collectively, these writers represent a truly American mosaic of sensibility and sentiment perfectly suited to the tough streets of Chicago.
Mitchell L. H. Douglas is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis. His poems have appeared in Callaloo, Crab Orchard Review, Ninth Letter and the anthologies The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South and Zoland Poetry No. 2 among others. A Cave Canem fellow and cofounder of the Affrilachian Poets, his debut collection, Cooling Board: A Long-Playing Poem (Red Hen Press, 2009) was nominated for a 2010 NAACP Image Award in the Outstanding Literary Work-Poetry category and a 2010 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. His second poetry collection \blak\ \al-f? bet\, winner of the 2011 Lexi Rudnitsky/Editor’s Choice Award, is forthcoming from Persea Books.
Jessica Farquhar is the Assistant Director of Creative Writing at Purdue, where she teaches and learns. Recently, her poems have appeared in The Lumberyard, New Madrid, and ABZ.
Laura A. Lionello was born and raised in the Chicagoland area. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English literature from DePaul University. From 1999 to 2005, she lived in various cities in Colorado and California, working, not working, writing poetry, and talking about writing more poetry. While in Santa Monica, she co-hosted the weekly open mic Really Big Show (2003-2005). She and her co-host published two anthologies to feature works by the talented artists in the area. Laura’s poetry has appeared in numerous publications, both in print and online. Her poem “All Empty” earned first prize for poetry in the Tallahassee Writers Association 2008 Penumbra Poetry & Haiku contest. Her first collection of poems, Panic Kit, was published by Weak Creature Press in 2011. Laura lives in Chicago with her husband, Wayne.
Al Maginnes is the author of six poetry collections, most recently Ghost Alphabet (White Pine Press 2008) which won the 2007 White Pine Poetry Prize, Dry Glass Blues (Pudding House Press 2007), a single long poem published as a chapbook, and Film History (Word Tech Editions 2005). A former recipient of a fellowship from the North Carolina Arts Council, his poems appear widely. He lives with his family in Raleigh, North Carolina and teaches composition, literature and creative writing at Wake Technical Community College.
Brett Eugene Ralph spent the better part of his youth in Louisville, Kentucky, playing football and singing in punk rock bands. His work has appeared in publications such as Field, Conduit, Willow Springs, and The American Poetry Review, and his poems have been anthologized in The McSweeney’s Book of Poets Picking Poets and The Stiffest of the Corpse: An Exquisite Corpse Reader. Black Sabbatical, his first full-length collection, was published in 2009 by Sarabande Books. The debut album by Brett Eugene Ralph’s Kentucky Chrome Revue, a revolving country rock ensemble, is available from Noise Pollution. Filmmaker Harmony Korine calls Ralph “a true beast of a man with insight and beauty to spare” while musician Will Oldham has described Ralph’s work as “sustaining, inspiring, even rescuing.”
Saturday, March 3, 7:00 p.m.