Public Poetry - Featured Poets

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Public Poetry Spring Series 2019

April 6, May 4 and June 1, 2019 | 2 PM
Oak Forest Neighborhood Library
Meet our featured poets!

Saturday, April 6, 2019 | 2 PM
Location: Oak Forest Neighborhood Library

Daniel Carrington
Some called it colony collapse or fall dwindle, / decried the problem, likened it to Roanoke, / still stung by that famed, cryptic word—CROATOAN. / It spoke of dread unknowns or, worse yet, anomie.  / I mean, it’s one thing to vanish, quite another / to split for better weather; to cash out early, 

From: Fall Dwindle

Sam Gwynn 
I am a part of all that I have met. / /  I saw the Mona Lisa and the Teamsters / At different times, but a continuum / Exists between them and is what I am, / The work of mediocrities and masters / Whose paths criss-cross like cracks in ancient plaster

From: History and I

Carrie Kornacki
This ebony woman is high cheekbones, hollow eyes, / skin, heat-waxed obsidian. Still and straight, she sits in her smear / of inertia – a wood splitting rue, kinetic crackling, a warren / of what is trapped inside. / / In her fingers she holds a piece of hunger, that craving.

From: Hunger

Jasminne Mendez
iii. / en el batey se mueren haitianos / waiting for clean water & light / / while 3 ft sugar babies wield /
4 ft machetes for 5ft wedding cakes–– / / across our borders––stateless hands / crystallize in the light of the sun, & / citizens without a country wrap white /gauze around bloodied fingers

From: The Price of Sugar

Saturday, May 4, 2019 | 2 PM
Location: Oak Forest Neighborhood Library

Chris Flakus
During those nights of ragged breaths / I lived on cigarettes and wine / on books without pages / on records pressed from ashes / /and I dug through piles of flesh in search of a home / or the idea of a home / which when all is said and done / is precisely the same thing

From: Mannequins

Gabrielle Langley
In the dead of Winter / I will spend / the very last of my Money / / on roses / the color of 
twilight and ashes. / / My hands will hang / like withered lilies / fingers slowly placing / / the small silver coins / into someone else’s palm. / In the damp wind / / my skin / will turn translucent

From: L’ancienne

Laura Peña
I want to burn / The chair / The couch / The dining room / The bedrooms / The clothes / The porcelain figurines / And all the paintings too / But especially the chair / Where I sit across from you / And try to get you to see / How you’re burying yourself alive / Under these things

From: Chair on Fire

Ebony Stewart
My name is not convenient / / it is the forgotten child stolen from historical value / A burden to the grief that haunts you / Before my name could be full and brave / it was lynched and barbequed skeptical / my name has been raped branded and whipped

From: Young, Gifted & Black

Saturday, June 1, 2019 | 2 PM
Location: Oak Forest Neighborhood Library

Miah Arnold
If there’s a heaven, I'll bet it's been short / kimchi awhile, now. And Bloody Marys, soup / from the Vietnam, the decades gone diner we / strode through a blizzard to find, once, when  / I was ten. You were hungry. A hungry woman, and / greedy, and generous, and so determined I know heaven 

From: Birth Ode

Charlie Clark
Whoever did this must be / kin to that matador I saw / booed out of the arena for not / basking longer in the task. / Why else would your snout / be sewn in that hasty, ragged / line and set off-center? / Your eyes are two wool holes / with nail heads for pupils. 

From: Elegy to a Black Bear Head Poorly Stuffed and Mounted 

Sophia Emille
To this immigrant family, America costs about / $94,500 which can only buy you / So many pieces of paper, dated and marked / By people who will never see your face, kahit minsan / Hindi makikita ang mga pinagdaanan ng pamilya mo, / Before you realize that even paper expires.

From: Passport

Billie Hill
You won’t answer my calls / You won’t pick me up when I fall / / So I ask myself / Is this some mesmeric delusion making an intrusion upon my consciousness? / Where my hopes, / Stored in chests / Dressed in pearls, padlocks, and possibilities / Pray like angels waiting for wings

From: angels


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