MIDWEST POETRY READING TOUR, IN (MOSTLY) PHOTOS

MIDWEST POETRY READING TOUR, IN (MOSTLY) PHOTOS


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Almost every Wednesday night after class, two classmates—Abigail Zimmer and Tyler Cain Lacy—and I go to Boiler Room to celebrate the hump of the perpetually arduous week of our final semester in grad school. One of these Wednesdays, Abigail suggested that the three of us go on a spring reading tour to celebrate our near completion of the program. Incidentally, within that same month, each one of us received news that we were going to have a chapbook published. So for Spring Break, the three of us hit the road for Cancun with readings lined up in Minneapolis, Madison, Milwaukee, and concluded the tour with a blowout event of poetry and film here in Chicago. 

In both Minneapolis and Madison, our reading sets were joined by musicians, which added to the dynamism of the performances. Sunday night we read for an intimate crowd at Milwaukee’s legendary Woodland Pattern before visiting some of my favorite joints (I was living in Milwaukee when I applied to the program at Columbia College). We celebrated the closing of the tour by enjoying one of Lula Cafe’s Monday Night Farm Dinners before the reading, where Tyler and I both showed new poem-films we’ve been working on.

Hearing my friends and fellow poets read their work each night, it wasn’t surprising how close and intimate I became with their poems, and how Tuesday, after we’d returned, I found myself missing the moment when Tyler would read “I close my eyes / but the light / peeks / through / I light a cigarette but the light / breaks / loose / this world / is on fire” or hearing Abigail’s “Conversation with a Walking Tree” poems. As I’d imagined, this tour will remain one of the highlights of my graduate experience.

Here’s what it looked like at a glance:

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Abigail Zimmer is the author of the forthcoming chapbook, fearless as I seam (dancing girl press, 2014). She lives in Chicago where she’s the poetry editor for The Lettered Streets Press. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Spork, ILK, Whiskey Island, and The New Megaphone, among others.  Here‘s a sneak peek of fearless as I seam.

Tyler Cain Lacy is a New Mexican living in Chicago, where he is an MFA candidate at Columbia College. He is the author of Reus (PressBoardPress, 2014), and his poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Stolen Island, Sprung Formal, Caliban, and elimae, among others.
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My new chapbook, (i.e., jump), is now out from the new Two Steps Press.

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