I’m sitting here rereading Madness, Rack, and Honey by Mary Ruefle, and I have realized two important things.
- I would never have found this book if it hadn’t been for Columbia College Chicago, and more particularly, MFA graduate Abigail Zimmer, who first introduced me to the book.
- I would never have met Mary Ruefle, or learned about nonflammable disposable cigarette butt cases, if my cohort and I hadn’t had dinner with her last winter.
- Oh and a third one, “Life is one long sentence,” and when you know the rules you get to break them.
In case you missed it above, my cohort and I had dinner with Mary Ruefle last year. Now, I’m generally a humble person, so know when I say this, I’m saying it, because I think it is so cool to meet your idols and get exposure to a diverse range of poets.
A part of Columbia College Chicago’s Creative Writing program is its dedication to bringing writers from across the genres to read at our school. There’s usually about three readings a semester, and check out the photos below of Matthew Shenoda (Interim Chair of the Department) and Adrian Matejka (The Big Smoke) reading at the last event. Oh and Jan-Henry Gray, a first year MFA candidate opening the series. Every reading is opened by an MFA graduate student.
There are many opportunities to attend reading series. At the college alone there is the 33 Reading Series (A reading series I co-curate, which allows all three genres a space to read together and hear fellow graduate student’s work).
Minds of Winter (Which is coming up soon, and is once a year).
The Columbia Poetry Review release party (Board members get to read with other authors published in the journal).
So if you are interested in reading, attending, or even hosting a reading series, CCC has amazing opportunities to do so. In fact, many of our graduates and undergraduates go on to create their own series here in the city: The Swell, The Dollhouse Reading series, and Galactic Pinwheel. I’ll also leave you with my very own abridged list of a larger community of reading series that can be found in Chicago. Check it!