Time out! But I’m not abandoning poetry—I’m only moving for a moment to another aspect of the life of poetry. Two important poetry events in Chicago are coming up in May and June.
On May 14 the Guild Literary Complex is presenting a tribute to Sterling Plumpp (it’s Guild’s annual benefit event). Plumpp was born in Mississippi, left that state for college, served in the army, eventually came to Chicago, and taught for many years at the University of Illinois - Chicago, before retiring not too long ago. He is one of the most original of American poets, and has developed the unique style of his poems through a deep, lifelong interrelationship between language and music—namely, both the blues and bebop. (In fact, he wrote several blues lyrics for the late Willie Kent.)
The author of numerous volumes, Plumpp has a recent poem in TriQuarterly:
Also at TriQuarterly is a very full interview: http://triquarterly.org/interviews/interview-sterling-plumpp
Then on June 7 the American Writers Museum Foundation, Third World Press and the Guild Literary Complex will present the first annual Brooksday—a celebration of the work of Gwendolyn Brooks (1917-2000) on her birthday. It will be a continuous reading of her work from 9 a.m. till 7:30 p.m. at the Cultural Center in downtown Chicago (at the corner of Michigan Ave. and Randolph St. (Enter from Randolph St.) If you live in or near Chicago, I hope you’ll want to come to one or both. For information about both, go to http://guildcomplex.org/
You’ll see buttons on the left for both these events.
Also, check out http://www.americanwritersmuseum.org/
(Back to poetry writing, in the next post.)