Back to course listing 11-14, 14-16, 16-19

EMC Twilights – Workshop & Reading with Peter Kahn and Three Young Poet Laureates from Chicago

Three Youth Poet Laureates from the United States will lead a combination workshop, discussion and poetry reading focused on how to best engage young people in reading and writing poetry.

Chicago Spoken Word Educator, Peter Kahn, will moderate.


University of Chicago graduate Natalie Richardson is the Education & Outreach Fellow at Theaster Gates’ Rebuild Foundation. She brings poetry, literary arts and community programming to the South Side of Chicago where arts curriculum and extracurricular activities in schools have been decimated. She was a mentor for Aspen Institute Ideas Festival Youth Arts Seminar, has taught workshops in Chicago Public Schools, and while a senior in college, received a grant from the Davis Projects for Peace and the Dalai Llama Fellows to create and test an original idea for building peace. As a result, she co-founded a grassroots arts initiative project on Chicago’s south side to bring free arts programming to community spaces in underserved neighbourhoods. Natalie is one of four inaugural students selected for Northwestern University’s joint MFA in Creative Writing/MA in English program, with faculty including Pulitzer Prize winner, and former National Poet Laureate, Natasha Trethewey, National Book Award finalist Reg Gibbons and PEN Hemingway Book Prize winner Chris Abani. In high school, Natalie won the prestigious Poetry Society of America’s national high school competition, was a Foyles Young Poet Award commended poet and was awarded the National Student Poet Award for the Midwest, the highest award for American high school writers, by Scholastic and The President’s Committee on the Arts & The Humanities for which she travelled to the White House to meet the Obamas. Her work has been published in Poetry magazine and in Arts & Letters, and she recently was selected as a 2018 Luminarts Fellow in Creative Writing.

A two-time commended poet in the Foyles Young Poet Award, Kara Jackson is the new Youth Poet Laureate of Chicago. She won the literary award at the 2018 Louder Than a Bomb finals selected by National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize finalist Patricia Smith. Kara was a member of the University of Pennsylvania’s Adroit Magazine  Mentorship Program; was selected three times to the extremely competitive Louder Than a Bomb 'Bomb Squad'; won the Brown University Book Award; and is a multiple awardee of the Scholastic Arts and Writing Award. She was a semi-finalist in Nimrod International Journal’s Pablo Neruda Prize in Poetry and was selected by Pulitzer Prize winner Tyehimba Jess as runner-up in the Frontier Poetry’s Award for New Poets. It should be noted that Kara competed against adults in both of these latter competitions. Kara had an essay published in Poetry magazine making her one of the youngest prose writers in the 106-year-history of the prestigious journal.

Former Youth Poet Laureate of Chicago, Patricia Frazier was named second-ever National Youth Poet Laureate, where one of her projects will be to team with Free Write Arts & Literacy to do writing workshops in juvenile detention centres. Patricia lived in an infamous housing project on the South Side of Chicago when she was a young girl and often writes about Chicago’s inequalities. She has been featured on PBS television, ABC news and National Public Radio, and in the Chicago TribuneChicago Magazine and Vogue.  Her poem ‘I am Windy City’ is to be featured in Northwestern University Press's forthcoming Book The End of Chiraq. Her first collection – Graphite – comes out in September with Haymarket Books.

This is an EMC/Chartered College network event. 

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