Poetry Forum Workshop Led by Virginia Konchan 10-27-13



Evanston Public Library
Church & Orrington
1:30-4:30 — Room 108

Virginia Konchans poems have appeared in Best New Poets, The Believer, The New Yorker, and The New Republic, her criticism in Workplace:  A Journal for Academic LaborQuarterly Conversation, Barzakh Magazine, and Boston Review, and her fiction inStoryQuarterly and Joyland, among other places.  Co-founder of Matter, a journal of poetry and political commentary, Virginia is pursuing her PhD in the Program for Writers at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

TOPIC:  Political and Class-based Poetics. We will explore the political potential of poetry, using examples from both the elegaic traditions (Paul Celan, Walt Whitman, Anna Akhmatova, Wislawa Syzymborska, and others) as well as contemporary poets writing from the front lines (US soldier-poet Brian Turner’s Here, Bullet) and the post-9/11 landscape (Philip Metres’ abu ghraib arias; Nick Flynn’s The Captain Asks for a Show of Hands). We’ll also be reading poems from Matter, by contemporary poets engaged with issues of human and animal capital, labor rights, and the miasmas of corporate capitalism.  In discussing the neoliberal rift between aesthetics and politics (in contrast to eras when activism and poetry, in and outside the academy, were not at odds), we will be exploring writing prompts based on the idea that the personal has never ceased being political, even in post-lyric poetry, and how conceptual poetry’s rejection of content, and the fetishization of totalized meaning, is also “radical,” in a time when politics equals rhetoric (rigged elections and puppeteering).

Bring 17 or more copies (2 page limit) of a poem you want critiqued.*$5 – $10 donation appreciated.

This project is partially supported by grants from:   Poets & Writers, the Illinois Arts Council and The MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation.



RHINO Reads! Open mic and featured readers Debra Bruce & Matthew Olzmann 10-25-13

Photo by Karen Kring

Photo by Karen Kring


Open Mike        6:00 pm – 6:30 pm

Featured Poets        6:45 pm – 7:30 pm

Brothers K

500 Main St.



Debra Bruce‘s latest book of poetry, Survivors’ Picnic, was published in 2012 by Word Press. She is the author of three previous collections, Pure Daughter, Sudden Hunger, and What Wind Will Do, and her work has been published widely in journals, including The Atlantic, Poetry, and Prairie Schooner. She has been the recipient of many prizes and awards, including from the National Endowment for the Arts, Poetry magazine, and the Chicago Public Library’s Carl Sandburg Award. Debra is a professor emeritus at Northeastern Illinois University.

Matthew Olzmann‘s collection of poems, Mezzanines, received the 2011 Kundiman Prize and was published by Alice James Books. He has been awarded fellowships and scholarships from The Kresge Arts Foundation, Kundiman, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. His poems and stories have appeared or are forthcoming Kenyon Review, New England Review, Hobart, Necessary Fiction, The Southern Review, Gulf Coast, Hyphen Magazine and elsewhere. He is a Visiting Professor of Creative Writing in the undergraduate writing program at Warren Wilson College, and the Co-Editor of The Collagist.