I was more than a little disappointed when I realized I’d be in Chicago about 10 days before the grand opening of the Poetry Foundation’s newly built headquarters in Chicago this weekend, June 25-26. With my newfound knowledge of downtown Chicago and how to take the El to get around, I could have found it easily. Of course, it wouldn’t have been all that great a visit with Diamondqueen and the Hooligans in tow, but at least I could look around and know first-hand what it’s like.
Of course, I couldn’t have gotten tickets to anything anyhow—they were gone in a hurry—so I still would have been salivating over the line-up of poets reading and participating in panels. They include Robert Haas, Sandra Cisneros, Edward Hirsch, Kay Ryan, Billy Collins, and Elizabeth Alexander as well as children’s poets Jack Prelutsky, Mary Ann Hoberman, and J. Patrick Lewis.
If you’re a poet or poetry lover living in or near Chicago, there’s plenty to see and do without a ticket (there are waiting lists for some of the ticketed events; it’s worth a try). You can attend the book signings and tour the building, which alone would be worth the visit. I wish I could be there. Send me a postcard (or leave a comment if you go and let readers know what you think of the new home).