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I recently attended the Red Rover Series’ poetry reading in Wicker Park, which was a part of the 100,000 Poets for Change event going on worldwide on September 24th. The event was held in a third floor space on Milwaukee Avenue. One of the biggest reasons I wanted to go was because one of my professors in the program, Tony Trigilio, read at the event.
It was startling for me to go to this reading because it was overtly political and that is not how I tend to view poetry. Many of the things people were saying left me taken aback. I studied economics in college and view the world and its news through that lens, so when I hear opinions that seem to me divorced from what I see as an economic reality, I feel uncomfortable.
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I ended up staying to see my professor and then said hello during the intermission. There I ran into a classmate of mine who introduced me to an independent editor/publisher out of New York at Uphook Press. We chatted a bit about poets and our favorites and it ended up being a worthwhile event.
The biggest takeaway from the event was my friend from the program saying he had been to a reading for three straight nights and was getting a bit “readings’d out” for a bit. Understandable. It reminded me that I barely made it to this event because I reasoned there are always other readings to go to and it’s not some super-special thing for there to be a poetry reading around me. There are readings going on constantly if you look at all. Another advantage of living in a huge city.