Tony Fitzpatrick and Steppenwolf’s Martha Lavey perform The Secret Birds, directed by 16th Street Theater’s Ann Filmer with music composed and performed by Frank Orrall of Poi Dog Pondering and friends.
Poetry Cab Time!
Web Producer Micah Jefferson loves “Vernacular Owl” by Thomas Sayers Ellis. The photo was taken on one of his very first days as Poetry Foundation staff!
Yesterday evening: anticipation building for the featured performance of The Secret Birds
Stop by the Foundation (61 W. Superior, Mon-Fri, 11-4) for a free pin, and keep an eye on your dashboard for photos from the play and reception!
"So, I’m David Baker. And this is my friend Gregory Uhlman. He has a band. I get to be with a band!"
The event began with semi-improvisatory interplay between Baker and guitarist Gregory Uhlmann. Next, the full quintet and David Baker performed the premiere of “Scavenger Loop,” Baker’s pastoral elegy. The evening ended with Baker sitting to listen to River Song Quintet perform a six-movement song cycle composed using Baker’s poems as libretto.
Vocalist Alina Roitstein told the crowd before that six-movement cycle began: “A lot of times as musicians you can set poetry as inspiration, but its rare to actually get to work with one.”
From left to right, River Song Quintet is Lauren Baba (Viola, Violin), Andrew Rowan (Cornet), Harrison Kirk (Trombone), Alina Roitstein (Voice), and Gregory Uhlmann (Guitar), who composed the pieces in Thursday’s set.
Left to right in the group photo are Dave Gecic, Stella Radulescu, Steve Young, Derrick Williams, Krista Cobbs, Donna Pecore, Jeanette A. Jordan, and Elizabeth Burke-Dain
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 Katharine 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.
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.