Poetry Foundation announces its winter and spring line-up of events and exhibitions

The January 2020 issue of POETRYmagazine, which is the oldest monthly devoted to verse in the English-speaking world. It is published by Poetry Foundation

First issue cover, October 1912

The magazine was founded in 1912 by Harriet Monroe, an author who was then working as an art critic for the Chicago Tribune. She wrote at that time:

“The Open Door will be the policy of this magazine—may the great poet we are looking for never find it shut, or half-shut, against his ample genius! To this end the editors hope to keep free from entangling alliances with any single class or school. They desire to print the best English verse which is being written today, regardless of where, by whom, or under what theory of art it is written. Nor will the magazine promise to limit its editorial comments to one set of opinions.”

In a circular she sent to poets, Monroe said the magazine offered:

“First, a chance to be heard in their own place, without the limitations imposed by the popular magazine. In other words, while the ordinary magazines must minister to a large public little interested in poetry, this magazine will appeal to, and it may be hoped, will develop, a public primarily interested in poetry as an art, as the highest, most complete expression of truth and beauty.”

The magazine first established its online presence in 1998 at poetrymagazine.org and, after a 2003 grant from Ruth Lilly, moved to poetryfoundation.org in 2005.

Publication in Poetry is highly selective and consists of three increasingly critical editorial rounds. With a publication rate of submissions at about 1%, the magazine is “one of the most difficult to get [published in]”.

The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetrymagazine and the home for poetry in Chicago, announces its winter and spring events and exhibitions.

The events began on January 9 with the opening of the new exhibition A.R. Ammons: Watercolors, and are scheduled to run through May. The season includes readings with two former US poets laureate, a peek at a punk musical, and celebrations of collaborative creation.

“We are excited to begin the New Year with programming that celebrates the range of ways people experience and create poetry, ” said Henry Bienen, Poetry Foundation president. “We hope you’ll join us, and make poetry an active part of your plans for 2020.”


A.R. Ammons (1988) copyright by Robert Barker, 1998 / Fair Use

This season features three exhibitions that span several decades and artistic media, two in the Poetry Foundation Gallery and one in partnership with Newberry Library. First in the Poetry Foundation Gallery is A.R. Ammon: Watercolors, featuring the abstract watercolors of one of the 20th century’s most gifted and prolific poets; visitors can learn about the relationship between Ammons’s work in both art forms at the January 9 opening event with scholar Elizabeth Mills; the exhibition runs until April 30.

Jun Fujita cabin at Voyageurs National Park, listed in the National Register of Historic Place / Public Domain

Jun Fujita (1888 – 1963) was a first-generation Japanese-American photojournalist, photographer, silent film actor, and published poet in the United States. He was the first Japanese-American photojournalist. As an American, Fujita lived in Chicago, Illinois and worked for the now defunct newspapers: the Chicago Evening Post, published from 1886 to 1932, and Chicago Daily News, which was published 1876 to 1978. Fujita was the only photographer to document the aftermath of the St. Valentine’s Day massacre. Following his death in 1963, most of his work was donated to the Chicago Historical Society, which later became the Chicago History Museum.

A few blocks away, Jun Fujita: American Visionary is open January 24–March 31 at the Newberry and focuses on the extraordinary accomplishments of poet and photojournalist Jun Fujita. An expanded version of Jun Fujita: Oblivion, first mounted at the Poetry Foundation in 2017, Jun Fujita: American Visionary introduces new materials such as pieces about Chicago’s literary and publishing scene and the era of organized crime, including an Al Capone portrait and letter. Fujita, who regularly published in Poetry, is the photographer behind some of the most iconic images from Chicago history, including photographs of the Eastland disaster, the 1919 race riots, and the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.

Poetry by Winterhouse explores the 12-year collaboration between the Poetry Foundation and the Winterhouse design studio, cofounded by William Drenttel and Jessica Helfand. The exhibition covers April 2005–June 2017, illustrating Winterhouse’s illumination of Poetry’s rich history, the expansion and evolution of the magazine’s visual style, and the progression toward the Foundation’s current Pentagram designs. This spring, design luminaries Michael Bierut and Jessica Helfand visit for a discussion in response to the exhibition, in honor of the late William Drenttel.


Source: Ms. Bradfield’s Amazon page

The connections between poetry and other artistic media extends throughout the season’s events. In January, poet Elizabeth Bradfield and artist Antonia Contro discuss their collaborative work Theorem, published by Chicago’s own Candor Arts. On February 4, the city continues to take center stage with a sneak peek at Verböten, The House Theatre of Chicago’s new musical about a punk band getting ready for a show in 1983, based on the exploits and including the music of Jason Narducy.

There is no shortage of music for all tastes, as later in February Poetry in Russian Music comes to the Poetry Foundation with a performance of work by Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Rachmaninoff, and others who were inspired by Russian poets. Always Already, a composition for voice, fixed electronics, keyboards, and vibraphones by Ben Vida, premieres in March in a performance presented with Lampo. In April, pianist Stephen Alltop and soprano Josefien Stoppelenburg return for a program of poetry by Heinrich Heine, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and e.e. cummings in evocative musical settings.


Poets with varied approaches and interests share their work on the Poetry Foundation stage. Patricia Lockwood, author of the highly acclaimed memoir Priestdaddy and two collections of poetry, reads on February 13. On March 13, poet Matthew Zapruder reads and discusses his work as a writer, translator, and editor.

Later in the season, two former US poets laureate read at the Poetry Foundation: Robert Hass, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Time and Materials, on March 26, and Billy Collins, winner of the Poetry Foundation’s inaugural Mark Twain Poetry Award, on April 16.

Young People’s Poetry Day, the annual celebration for the youngest poetry fans and their families, kicks off National Poetry Month on April 4 with a reading by Carson Ellis, poetry writing activities, crafts, and a poetry scavenger hunt. Teenagers can experience a reading by former National Youth Poet Laureate Patricia Frazier at the teens-only ChiTeen Lit Fest.

Celebrate the poets of tomorrow with two readings by student poets in May, sharing work they’ve written as part of the Chicago Poetry Center programs.


These are only a selection of the varied events that the Poetry Foundation offers this season. For all event listings, details, and advance registration visit poetryfoundation.org/events.

Unless otherwise noted, all events are free and open to the public on a first come, first served basis at the Poetry Foundation, 61 West Superior Street, Chicago, IL.

In addition, the Poetry Foundation Library, home to a collection of more than 30,000 books of poetry, is open to the public weekdays and select Saturdays, including January 18, February 8, March 21, April 18, and May 16, from 11:00 AM–4:00 PM, as well as select evenings, including January 21, February 18, March 17, April 21, May 19, from 4:00 PM–7:00 PM.

This post is complied courtesy of Poetry Foundation, Wikipedia, and Amazon.

About the Poetry Foundation

The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in American culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience. The Poetry Foundation seeks to be a leader in shaping a receptive climate for poetry by developing new audiences, creating new avenues for delivery, and encouraging new kinds of poetry through innovative literary prizes and programs.

Follow the Poetry Foundation and Poetry on Facebook, Twitter @PoetryFound and @Poetrymagazine, and Instagram @PoetryFoundation.

Poetry Rocks the World!

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Your donation HERE helps to fund the ongoing mission of The Poet by Day in support of poets and writers, freedom of artistic expression, and human rights.

Link HERE for Free Human Rights eCourse designed and delivered by United For Human Rights, Making Human Rights a Fact


For Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice

The Poet by Day officially endorses Bernie Sanders for President.

The New New Deal

Link HERE for Bernie’s schedule of events around the country.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders

“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton

Opportunity Knocks for Poets and Writers: Calls for Submissions, Competitions

“Poetry empowers the simplest of lives to confront the most extreme sorrows with courage, and motivates the mightiest of offices to humbly heed lessons in compassion.” Aberjhani, Splendid Literarium: A Treasury of Stories, Aphorisms, Poems, and Essays

ARTEMISpoetry, a publication of Second Light Network of Women Poets, invites submissions to Issue 24 through 28 February 2020. Deadline for artwork is 15 March. Details HERE.

CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL is open for submissions of themed poems and stories. Upcoming themes are: Listen to Your Dreams; Stories about Christmas; Stories about Self-care and Me Time; The Magic of Cats; The Magic of Dogs. Details HERE.

DELMARVA REVIEW submission period for Volume 13 is open for poetry, fiction and flash fiction, creative nonfiction, book reviews, and art through March 31. No submission fees. Details HERE.

GEEK OUT III, Where queer meets geek, is open for submissions of genre fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, comics, scripts, and visual art through March 31. Payment in royalties. Details HERE

SUBTERRANEAN BLUE POETRY is open for submissions of poetry and of articles about poetry or poets. Paying market. Optional submission fee. Details HERE.

SubTERRAIN, Strong Words for a Polite Nation is open for submissions of original fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, essays, and commentary for three publication in 2020. Paying market. Submission fee: $3. Details HERE.


THE MASTERS REVIEW, A Platform for Emerging Writers is open for entrees to its Winter Short Story Award through January 31. Cash award, publication, agency review. Entry fee: $20. Details HERE.

WRITER’S DIGEST Short Short Story Competition deadline has been extended to from January 13 to January 31. Cash awards, publication, trip to the annual conference in New York. Entry fee: $25. Details HERE.

Note: Info on submissions, competitions, and information/education for poets and writers as well as announcements of reader publications are shared regularly on The Poet by Day, Facebook Page. Friend my personal account to share your announcements. 

Poetry Rocks the World!

Jamie DedesAbout / Testimonials / Disclosure / Facebook / Medium Ko-fi

Your donation HERE helps to fund the ongoing mission of The Poet by Day in support of poets and writers, freedom of artistic expression, and human rights.

Link HERE for Free Human Rights eCourse designed and delivered by United For Human Rights, Making Human Rights a Fact


For Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice

The Poet by Day officially endorses Bernie for President.

Link HERE for Bernie’s schedule of events around the country.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders

“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton

The December issue of “The BeZine” will publish later today …

“The BeZine” will be published today as scheduled, but probably rather late in the day. We’ve been running a bit behind, but what a delight in a world gone mad to encounter all the wisdom and compassion in the hearts of our contributors. I get to spend the day with these beautiful souls.

“There is a LIGHT in this world. A healing spirit more powerful than any darkness we may encounter. We sometime lose sight of this force when there is suffering, and too much pain. Then suddenly, the spirit will emerge through the lives of ordinary people who hear a call and answer in extraordinary ways.” Richard Attenborough

Jamie Dedes
The BeZine
Managing and Founding Editor

Poetry Rocks the World!

Jamie DedesAbout / Testimonials / Disclosure / Facebook / Medium Ko-fi

Your donation HERE helps to fund the ongoing mission of The Poet by Day in support of poets and writers, freedom of artistic express, and human rights.

Link HERE for Free Human Rights eCourse designed and delivered by United For Human Rights, Making Human Rights a Fact

“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton

The Road to Zvegona, a poem by Poet-in-Exhile Mbizo Chirasha; Update on Mbizo’s situation; Calls for Submissions to Brave Voices Poetry Journal

See a procession of young mothers chattering their way
From water fountains in grenade torn sandals
And blood laced bras
Decade of Bullets, Mbizo Chirasha

Is fading the memory of its son,
Who for words must ride the night
Fleeing ears that hear thunder on a babies purity guggle,
Zvegona, my homestead,
Ancestors are watching
Elders on a scheming mission
Trading lies with more lies
The road to Zvegona
Your Sideroads sigh
Your song is silent
Only hiccups of mothers greet the sun
Yearning for the return of the bearded child
Who lives on the strings of truth
Truth refused a seat at the council of baboons on the lagoons
Goons settling scores on the assumptions that a boy has a price,
Well, the boy true has a price
But not one you can pay with looted coins
The boy has shaved his hair not his brains
The boy has slipped his boots on and truth has raised its flag
And the spirits of truth sing his Achilles heels on,
So Zvegona, the village of the lucky poet,
Grow thistles and thorns
Feed cattle and goats
The boy has shaved his beard
Ready for a walk back, to shave the land of all pretentious shenanigans
Uprooting the weeds and weevils
Repair the kraal too,
Where roosters shall announce light unto the land,
Currently bent double under the gargantuan weight of lying tongues.
Zvegona, you are my yesterday
Zvegona, you are my tomorrow in whatever form, shape or …….

© 2019, Mbizo Chirasha


Mbizo is still in hiding with irregular access to water, food, computer and Wifi. Nonetheless, he continues working at his mission including  NOTICE FREEDOM VOICES PRIZE  and BRAVE VOICES POETRY JOURNAL and Womawords Literary Press.


The first New Look Brave Voices Poetry Journal will be out by the 15th of December 2019. It is a Christmas gift. Our deadline for articles [and poetry] is the 10th of December 2019. We look  forward to contributions and features with a length of 1500 words. You can send these in the body of mail with photos as attachments. Please include your publishable photos and a fifteen line bio to bravevoicespoetry@gmail.com

Yours creatively ,
Mbizo Chirasha- Brave Voices Poetry Journal Curator

We’ve received letters of support to go in Mbizo’s applications for grants and safe harbor, but the Go-Fund-Me effort is still not to goal, which would provide for the immediate need for pantry staples, computer, and so forth. Without predictable computer access, Mbizo has not yet been able to do his interview with the Canadian radio show, though the offer still stands.

International Human Rights Festival, the entity that sponsored Mbizo’s Go-Fund-Me, has attracted $480 and raised the goal to $750.  They have cut him some partial funding for now.  Meanwhile, folks, I suggest that if enough of us donated the price of one morning latte, we’d make the goal.  What do you say? A whole bunch of tidbits would combine for a whole lot of success. You can make your donation anonymously HERE.

If you are able and interested in helping in any way, you can contact Mbizo directly at: girlchildcreativity@gmail.com

“We remain resilient in the quest for justice, freedom of expression and upholding of human rights through Literary Activism and Artivism. ALUTA CONTINUA.” Mbizo Chirasha

MBIZO CHIRASHA is a recipient of PEN Deutschland Exiled Writer Grant (2017), Literary Arts Projects Curator, Writer in Residence, Blogs Publisher, Arts for Human Rights/Peace Activism Catalyst, Social Media Publicist and Internationally Anthologized Writer, 2017 African Partner of the International Human Rights Arts Festival Exiled in Africa Program in New York. 2017 Grantee of the EU- Horn of Africa Defend Human Rights Defenders Protection Fund. Resident Curator of 100 Thousand Poets for Peace-Zimbabwe, Originator of Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Movement. He has published a collection of poetry, Good Morning President, and co-created another one Whispering Woes of Gangesand Zembezi with Indian poet Sweta Vikram.

Jamie Dedes. I’m a freelance writer, poet, content editor, and blogger. I also manage The BeZine and its associated activities and The Poet by Day jamiededes.com, an info hub for writers meant to encourage good but lesser-known poets, women and minority poets, outsider artists, and artists just finding their voices in maturity. The Poet by Day is dedicated to supporting freedom of artistic expression and human rights and encourages activist poetry.  Email thepoetbyday@gmail.com for permissions, commissions, or assignments.

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Recent and Upcoming in Digital Publications Poets Advocate for Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, How 100,000 Poets Are Fostering Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, YOPP! * The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice, August 11, 2019 / This short story is dedicated to all refugees. That would be one in every 113 people. * Five poems, Spirit of Nature, Opa Anthology of Poetry, 2019 * From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems), July 2019 * Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review, July 2019 * Three poems, Our Poetry Archive, September 2019

“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton