International Ballroom South
R143. Gay Regionalism through the Eyes of Appalachia. (Jackson Tucker, Dorothy Allison, Julia Watts, Jeff Mann, Aaron Smith) Many of America's most celebrated writers are regional writers. For the majority of gay writers, which also includes gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender writers, the urban landscape is the common setting for their work, but what does it mean to be gay and Appalachian? Does being both a gay writer and a regional writer hinder or empower the gay writer? Does it give us the ability to specialize in something specific to our experience, or prevent us from reaching a prospective audience?
R170. New England Review 30th Anniversary Reading. (Keith Lee Morris, Shannon Cain, Brock Clarke, Natasha Trethewey, Carl Phillips, Jennifer Grotz) New England Review's anniversary reading highlights the diversity of talent that has characterized this quarterly for thirty years. Literary magazines are often fleeting enterprises, but New England Review has been publishing new and established writers since 1978. Three poets and three fiction writers who have appeared recently in our pages will read from their work. Come hear some of the voices that have distinguished and sustained this publication through the past three decades.
R176. Poetic Responses to AIDS. (Charles Flowers, Ruben Quesada, Eloise Klein Healy, Rafael Campo, Jack Wiler, Michael Broder) Poetic responses to the AIDS experience began to appear in the mid-1980s. Through the 1990s and today, the dialogue between poetry and AIDS has changed its focus. How has the advent of medication and the treatment of AIDS changed perspectives in the 21st century? What contribution does poetry make in recognizing this disease? This panel will discuss how poetic responses to AIDS are evolving and its impact over the past twenty years.
7:00-9:30 pm OFF-SITE
Lambda Literary Foundation Emerging Writers Reception
Location: Gerber-Hart Library and Archives, 1127 W. Granville (adjacent to the red Line "Granville" stop).
Cost: Free, including drinks and hors d'oeuvres
Websites: www.gerberhart.org & www.lambdaliterary.org
Reception and readings by Lambda Emerging Writers Retreat Fellows Kathie Bergquist, Ching-In Chen, Charles Rice-Gonzales, RJ Gibson, Ely Shipley, Griselda Suarez, Ahimsa Timoteo Bodhran, Cole Krawitz, Anne Laughlin and Ruben Quesada. There will be a free copy of the book, A Field Guide to Gay and Lesbian Chicago, given to the first 100 guests.
Friday Feb. 13
F130. Who's Yer Daddy? Gay Poets and the Inherited Present. (Jim Elledge, Mark Bibbins, Peter Covino, David Groff, Brian Teare) All gay poets have heterosexual parents, but the identity of their literary forebears isn't as straightforward. Panelists discuss their major influences, chiefly twentieth-century poets but also concepts, schools, and texts—gay and non-gay alike. Part homage, part exposé, this panel tackles complex questions, such as the ability of gay poets to cultivate an aesthetic without knowing about previous gay poets? And is the gay inheritance simply sensual, and if so, is the straight legacy only its opposite?
International Ballroom South
F157. Graywolf Press Anniversary Reading. (Jeffrey Shotts, Jeffery Renard Allen, Eula Biss, Robert Boswell, Katie Ford, D.A. Powell) As a celebration of thirty-five years of publishing from Graywolf Press, this reading event features the recent works of five dazzling writers of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Introduced by Graywolf director Fiona McCrae and senior editor Jeff Shotts.
International Ballroom North
F175. The Academy of American Poets Presents Mary Jo Bang & Frank Bidart. (Tree Swenson, Mary Jo Bang, Frank Bidart) Readings by Mary Jo Bang and Frank Bidart. Introductions by Tree Swenson.
Boulevard Room A,B,C
F188. A Tribute to a Stranger: Thomas James. (Mark Doty, Rigoberto Gonzalez, Tracy K. Smith, Mark Wunderlich) Thomas James's Letters to a Stranger—published shortly before his suicide and long out of print—has become one of the underground classics of contemporary poetry. This reading by four poets, influenced by this dark and moving master, celebrates the reissuing of Letters to a Stranger in a new edition published by Graywolf Press.
Diode & Anti- Poetry Reading and Reception8:00PM-11:00PM
Location: Curtiss Hall, 10th floor of the Fine Arts Building, 410 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60605
Readers: Bob Hicok, Mary Biddinger, Jake Adam York, Paul Guest, Noah Falck, Joshua Ware, Steven Schroeder, G.C. Waldrep, Patrick Lawler, Lee Ann Roripaugh, Brent Goodman, Adam Clay, Matt Guenette and Ada Limon.
Warren Wilson MFA Gathering
Location: 213 W. Institute PlaceSaturday Feb. 14
Cost: $20 donation
Websites: www.polyphonyhs.com & www.dandarrah.com
Gathering for past/present faculty, alums, current students of Warren Wilson College's MFA Program for Writers. Brought to you by Polyphony H.S., a student-run litmag for high school writers. Music by Dan Darrah. Lightly catered.
S104. Art to Art: Ekphrastic Poetry. (Janee J. Baugher, Cole Swensen, John Yau, Peter Cooley, Ann Hurley) Ekphrasis, defined as the verbal representation of visual representation, has played an important role in literature since Homer. Must ekphrastic poems evoke the visual art that inspired them? Is ekphrasis merely a method of overcoming resistance? As a means of escaping the self? Join this panel of writers who live with art to discuss the aesthetic, psychological, theoretical, and cultural dimensions of ekphrasis, as well as the delights and demands of writing ekphrastically.
8th FloorS144. Bad Poems by Great Poets: Where They Went Awry, What We Can Learn. (Roy Jacobstein, Laura Kasischke, Margaret Rabb, Greg Rappleye, Robert Thomas) Whether our favorite poets are O'Hara or Dickinson, Stevens or Plath, Berryman, Ashbery or Wright, they wrote some poems that are almost parodies of their great poems. We inquire out of an interest in craft, not schadenfreude: how did they write poems so flat, sentimental, boring? Do the bad poems teach us how to read the good? Rather than comparing apples to oranges, we will use these poets as their own control, contrasting to see what makes one of a pair of poems, and only one of them, great.
International Ballroom South
S178. A Celebration of Elizabeth Bishop. (Lloyd Schwartz, Frank Bidart, Joyce Peseroff, David Trinidad, Anne Winters, Suki Kwock Kin) No one wrote more luminous poems than Elizabeth Bishop. Once described by John Ashbery as a writer's writer's writer, Bishop has, since her death, become almost universally regarded as one of the 20th-century's major masters. Six distinguished poets, three of whom were close to Bishop, celebrate her work by reading her poems, lesser-known but remarkable prose, and hilarious, heartbreaking letters from the Library of America's landmark new publication of her collected works.