Chicagoans may have seen Poetry Cabs driving around town.

On a windy April day, PoFo people emerged from the Poetry Foundation building to break for a fun photo shoot with one of the Poetry Taxis. We’ve gone around and asked those staff members for their favorite poems, Poetry issues, or other poetry things on our site and in our building.

For our first staff pick, we have finance and administration associate Dylan Swisher, who reads and draws with kids in our library almost every week during Children’s Poemtime. Dylan, who is sitting in the back seat, loved the Lemony Snicket section, Poetry Not Written For Children That Children Might Nevertheless Enjoy from the September 2013 issue of Poetry and especially recommends Snicket’s footnotes.

Events and logistics manager Ashley Sheehan, in the front seat, had two poems in mind: ‘My pick is this poem by Katherine Coles from our May issue: “Kept in Mind." I also really enjoy this poem from the July 1980 issue of Poetry that felt fitting given the weather: “Seasonal Change” by Diana Ó Hehir.’

Buttons! Posters! Magazines! Temp Tattoos! We are on our way to Bookfort @pitchforkfest w lots of free schwag.

Buttons! Posters! Magazines! Temp Tattoos! We are on our way to Bookfort @pitchforkfest w lots of free schwag.

A Chicago Bird Story:

Chicago artist and bird aficionado Diana Sudyka worked with Tony Fitzpatrick as a master printer at Big Cat Press over a decade ago.

Since then, Sudyka drew the first Printer’s Ball poster, which was printed at Chicago screen-printing press The Bird Machine in 2005 and includes the Poetry Foundation Pegasus mascot and painted the December 2006 and March 2013 Poetry covers.

In addition to working as an illustrator and creating posters for bands including Andrew Bird, Sudyka writes and paints watercolors for her natural history blog The Tiny Aviary, which documents her volunteer work for the Field Museum preparing birds for their collection.

She and Fitzpatrick have lost touch, but they came together in the past few weeks as she hand-lettered this limited-edition poster of Tony Fitzpatrick’s Secret Birds exhibition, which was off-set printed at 3rd-generation Chicago press Jeff Lowetz & Sons.

We love her re-drawing of Eric Gill’s 1932 Pegasus for our logo.

You can pick up a copy of the poster if you subscribe to the magazine at the Book Fort at Pitchfork Music Festival this weekend (come by at 2:30 PM on Saturday for a Poetry reading) or at the performance of the play Secret Birds on July 31 at the Poetry Foundation.

I would always draw. My mother worked third shift at a Pepperidge Farm and she would bring home these long pieces of paper that they would blot the breads on after they came out of the oven.
And she would say, “Tony, make me a picture.”
And because I loved comics, I would draw the picture kind of sequentially. All my characters were some variation of birds.
By the time I got finished drawing the picture, she’d say, “Now, write me the story.” 
Listen to Tony Fitzpatrick tell stories about the birds that inspired his Secret Birds drawings in this multimedia feature.

I would always draw. My mother worked third shift at a Pepperidge Farm and she would bring home these long pieces of paper that they would blot the breads on after they came out of the oven.

And she would say, “Tony, make me a picture.”

And because I loved comics, I would draw the picture kind of sequentially. All my characters were some variation of birds.

By the time I got finished drawing the picture, she’d say, “Now, write me the story.” 

Listen to Tony Fitzpatrick tell stories about the birds that inspired his Secret Birds drawings in this multimedia feature.

After the hard work of install, The Secret Birds: New Drawings by Tony Fitzpatrick is up and open to the public. 

If you’re in Chicago, come to 61 W Superior from 11- 4 Monday to Friday to check it out. If you’re not in Chicago, fly, drive, ride, or bike over before September 12. 

The Day Lou Reed Set Me Free: An Exhibit by Tony Fitzpatrick

You can hear Tony Fitzpatrick talk about the Lou Reed drawings that we posted last week and read the essay that accompanies those drawings in the July/August issue of POETRY

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Parneshia Jones on Carolyn M. Rodgers: “She was one of the first writers who gave me validation to write about me…I can’t even begin to try to make anyone understand what it means to write about yourself and the people around you.”

"Carolyn— she was all woman. And a lot of people had a problem with that. Mainly men."

Parneshia Jones on Carolyn M. Rodgers: “She was one of the first writers who gave me validation to write about me…I can’t even begin to try to make anyone understand what it means to write about yourself and the people around you.”

"Carolyn— she was all woman. And a lot of people had a problem with that. Mainly men."

Calvin Forbes reading “a song in the front yard" by Gwendolyn Brooks:

I grew up in a tight-knit neighborhood and there were certain children that you were not allowed to play with. And I was one of those children that you were not allowed to play with.”

Joy Harjo started out by reading “Coal" when she talked about Audre Lorde at The Voice of Women in American Poetry on June 19, and later told the audience:

"The first time I saw her she read a love poem and when she was done I did something which I’d never done before. I called out ‘Read it again!’ and she did.”

“Does anyone remember read-ins? I guess this is a kind of read-in”
David Trinidad discusses Ann Stanford at The Voice of Women in American Poetry on June 19.
In the audience, from left: Robert Polito, Parneshia Jones, Susan Hahn tucked behind Calvin Forbes, Joy Harjo, and Stuart Dybek

“Does anyone remember read-ins? I guess this is a kind of read-in”

David Trinidad discusses Ann Stanford at The Voice of Women in American Poetry on June 19.

In the audience, from left: Robert Polito, Parneshia Jones, Susan Hahn tucked behind Calvin Forbes, Joy Harjo, and Stuart Dybek