“How can the world be so / like a spine” – Magnetic Poem and ExquisiteCorpse from Printers Row Lit Fest 2015

We had such great time at Printers Row this year! Our magnetic poetry board was a hit and so was our exquisite corpse, rendered for eternity below!




I’ve made everything ready for the poetry apocalypse,

and I’m wearing black leather shoes.


Five book bags, ten hats. So I can tell the story

of whomever I choose.


So much to carry, each with its own epistle of homage;

so much to fear with shadows tall


as the skyline. How can the world be so

like a spine? Stand tall and be


proud of who you are.

The bouncer named Rome has returned to his hometown


of Akron

where the girls don’t need to tuck it in. Where that’s a sin.


But where untucking might unleash even more

when consequences are in store. I knew the baby would be cold,


but we needed to go.

So I left him and bought a one-way


ticket to Barcelona. The sky

tasted like almonds. And everywhere I went,


the moment seemed to follow. As I wrote,

the sun passed, leaving only my shadow


and a breeze of words I could never write down,

on my tongue, swallowed.


Things I’ve always wanted to feel and record onto a page.

We do not really need pictures


to tell a story; words are masterful. Glide me a drink,

I said, seeking, if nothing else,


simple refreshment. But sometimes images can bolster

the poetry: story luck, storyland.


You can’t judge a rhino by its horns; there’s more

to evolution than protrusions in threes.


But the Rhino had friends on the way; they’d soon arrive

and take everyone


to Botswana, Barcelona, Berlin. Ineffable as a chalk drawing,

whose concepts weep


at the onset of rain. And the White Sox lost

6-4 after leading 4-0. Turns out


the secret to evolution is things in fours. You see me

as your easy beast,


feeling sad and unhappy as you hope me to be. But control

this piece of meat and use her for your


fleshy feast. I may not be your typical

model size, but God said I’m


his prize. Pardon me if I’m not sociable to your feet;

I’ll keep being me

Check out more of our Printers Row #PRLF15 photos here – and see you next year!

RHINO Reads! with open mic and featured readers Colleen O’Connor and Kyle Churney – Friday, 6-26-15


kyle c

Open Mike        6:00 pm – 6:30 pm

Featured Readers        6:45 pm – 7:30 pm

Brothers K

500 Main St.



Colleen O’Connor received her MFA in nonfiction from Columbia College Chicago. Her work has appeared in Pank, Columbia Poetry Review and Another Chicago Magazine and she is the managing editor of Switchback Books. 

Kyle Churney‘s poems appear or will appear in The JournalSalt HillSubtropics, and other publications. He received a 2014 Literary Award from the Illinois Arts Council for his poem “Desert Ghazal,” which originally appeared in RHINO, and his essays are published in the Chicago Tribune Printers Row Journal. A recipient of a fellowship from the MacDowell Colony, he lives in Chicago.

Poetry Forum Workshop with Anthony Madrid – Sunday 6-28-15



Evanston Public Library Church & Orrington map 1:30-4:30 — ROOM 108 – Small Meeting Room

ANTHONY MADRID lives in Chicago. His poems have appeared in Best American Poetry 2013, Boston ReviewFenceLana TurnerLIT, and Poetry. His first book is called I AYOUR SLAVE NOW DWHAT I SAY (Canarium Books, 2012).

Topic:   The secret rhyme rule book of the ancient rhymers, fully explained. Along with some juicy bits as to what’s in it for you.

Drop in, have poems critiqued, and participate in an ongoing discussion of poetry and poetics. Sessions are free* and no registration is required.

Bring 15 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.