Open Door!

Location + Time:

On February 18, 2014, I attended the Poetry Foundation’s monthly literary reading series Open Door! On the third Tuesday of every month the Poetry Foundation on 61 W Superior St. invites two professors and two students from Chicago universities to read their work.  The event starts at 7:00pm sharp.

Atmosphere + Feel:

The event took place at the Poetry Foundation on the Near North Side of Chicago. The multi-million dollar building boasts a library and an event hall. The readings happened in the event hall. The hall was very modern with full glass walls looking out into the city. It is a sheek affair and attracts a crowd. It’s also free so for those looking for a cheap night this would be perfect! The night I attended there had to be a least 100 people in attendance. The crowd mostly consisted of students and Poetry Foundation members. Some people were nicely dressed in full suits but there is not a formal dress code. I got to the event ten minutes before 7:00 and it was almost filled up, so get there early! Also don’t be late because the doors will be closed and the event starts at 7:00 on the dot. While a little more formal then other events we have reviewed on LitCity, this event is a great way to see up and coming writers, both students and professors in the city of Chicago.

Performance + Quality

The event featured two professors and two students that those professors believed were exemplary writers. The two professors were Quraysh Ali Lansana of Chicago State University and Lisa Fisherman of Columbia College. The two students were Keith Wilson of Chicago State University and Amy Lipman of Columbia College. All four of these writers were tremendous. Each of the writers were unique with completely differently styles of their own. Quaraysh, Lisa, and Amy mostly focused on poetry while Keith Wilson read an epic poem on Nat Turner. The writer who stole the night though was Quaraysh Ali Lansana. His short but hilariously witty poems are fun but thought provoking. His hysterical poem on the contents of an actual memo handed out to English Professors at CSU had the crowd rolling. Be sure to check out Quaraysh’s work and upcoming book, Wal-Mart Republic. All in all, if you want to see remarkable young writers churning out some really interesting poems, then go to this event. It’s a great way for these students to gain some exposure for their work!


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Jacob Nedza

Jacob Nedza is a Junior at DePaul University. He is studying Secondary Education with a concentration in English. He was born and raised in Chicago, IL. Although aspiring to be a teacher, in his free time Jacob enjoys writing and reading. He loves to listen music and has a pretty fruitful music collection. Currently, Jacob lives in a cozy North side apartment where he is writing a short collection of crime stories.

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