Get Your Read On!

Get Your Read On!

I’m sitting here rereading Madness, Rack, and Honey by Mary Ruefle, and I have realized two important things.

  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.

Matthew Shenoda

Adrian Matejka

Jan-Henry Gray

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).

Brittany Tomaselli reading at the 33 Reading Series

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).

Will Mackie-Jenkins and I at CPR Release Party. Check out that beard!

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!

Wit Rabbit

Poetry Foundation

Myopic Books

Danny’s Reading Series