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The Midwest Writing Center presents

SPECTRA Poetry Reading Series

SPECTRA will feature innovative & award-winning poets from across the Midwest reading in pairs, with Quad Cities-based poets and writers (often younger and/or up & coming writers). All SPECTRA events will be held at Rozz-Tox (2108 3rd Avenue Rock Island, IL), will be free and open to all ages (donations welcome), and will start at or around 8:00 p.m. The atmosphere will be fun and welcoming, and the poetry will be terrific. ADMISSION IS FREE!


FALL 2013 Schedule:


Saturday, November 9th -- Carrie Olivia Adams, Stephanie Anderson, Joel Craig and Nathan Hoks with special musical guests Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas





The SPECTRA Poetry Reading Series, voted a top 10 reading series in the Midwest by LitBridge, returns to Rozz-Tox on Saturday, November 9th at 8pm for the last reading of the fall season. For this reading, we will be featuring four poets—more than at any previous SPECTRA event—all from in and around Chicago. One of them, Nathan Hoks, was selected for this year’s National Poetry Series by Dean Young, one of the nation’s premiere poetry book competitions.

This fall, SPECTRA will also be including musical performances after the readings, to continue to bridge the gap between creative communities and audiences. For our last musical guest of the season, we are pleased to welcome Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas.

The show will start at 8pm, and will be free & open to the public with a $5 suggested donation to support Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas while they are on tour.

SPECTRA is also accepting submissions from local poets to read at future events. To submit, email up to 3 poems to mwc@midwestwritingcenter.org with the phrase “SPECTRA Submission” in the subject line.

Please contact Ryan Collins at Midwest Writing Center if you are interested in speaking to any of the featured readers, or for more information: (563) 324-1410 | mwc@midwestwritingcenter.org.

SPECTRA will return in the spring of 2013—dates, featured readers & other info TBA. Updates will be available on the MWC website: www.midwestwritingcenter.org.

The 2013 season of SPECTRA manifests thanks to the generous support of the Scott County Regional Authority.

Bios for Adams, Anderson, Craig, Hoks & Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas

Carrie Olivia Adams lives in Chicago, where she is a book publicist for the University of Chicago Press and the poetry editor for Black Ocean. She is the author of Forty-One Jane Doe’s (book and companion DVD, Ahsahta 2013) and Intervening Absence (Ahsahta 2009).

Stephanie Anderson is the author of In the Key of Those Who Can No Longer Organize Their Environments (Horse Less Press) and five chapbooks, including the forthcoming Sentence, Signal, Stain (Greying Ghost Press) and LIGHTBOX (The New Megaphone). Her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in 6x6, The Brooklyn Rail, Denver Quarterly, Lana Turner, POOL, and elsewhere. She lives in Chicago and edits Projective Industries.

Joel Craig is the author of The White House (Green Lantern Press, 2012), and the chapbook Shine Tomorrow (Lost Horse, 2009). His poems have appeared lately in Boston Review, GutCult, A Public Space, TYPO, and Rabbit Light Movies. He co-founded and curates The Danny’s Reading Series and edits poetry for MAKE: A Literary Magazine—where he lives, in Chicago, Illinois.

Nathan Hoks is the author of two books of poetry, Reveilles and The Narrow Circle, which was chosen by Dean Young as a winner of the 2012 National Poetry Series. He has also published a chapbook, Birds Mistaken As Wind, and a translation of Vicente Huidobro’s Arctic Poems. He is currently an editor and letterpress printer for Convulsive Editions, a micro-press that publishes chapbooks and broadsides. He teaches at Columbia College and lives in Chicago with his family.

Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas
Life has a way of letting us know what we’re supposed to do and when we’re supposed to do it. We can distract ourselves, but life is persistent. Jessica Hernandez knows that. She knows that no matter what gets in the way, time won’t stop for anyone. Be it struggles or triumphs, Hernandez is ready for whatever, whenever.

This malleability expresses itself in so many facets of Jessica’s life. The first-generation American grew up in and around Detroit. There are few regions more impressing as the nitty-gritty of Rock City and it left its mark on the 25-year-old artist. Her voice is instantly recognizable. Its strength and soul are matched by an honest vulnerability. Whether she is singing heartfelt words about someone that has left this world too early, or belting out a danceable tune through a big smile, Hernandez is unforgettable… especially with the ultra-talented Deltas behind her.

Never one to adhere to norms or outside pressures, Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas have learned lesson after lesson along their rise as one of Detroit’s favorite bands. They’ve honed their craft in sell-out shows and tours than span the nation. It’s easiest to classify Hernandez by seeing the people that come to every show. All races, all ages, all fans of good music.




Thursday, September 12th -- CM Burroughs, Dora Malech, Jennifer Perrine with musical guests Busted Chandeliers

CM Burroughs has been awarded fellowships and grants from Yaddo, The MacDowell Colony, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Cave Canem Foundation. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in journals including Columbia Poetry Review, Court Green, jubilat, Ploughshares, VOLT, Bat City Review, and Sou’wester. Burroughs is a graduate of Sweet Briar College and the MFA program at the University of Pittsburgh. She is an Assistant Professor of Poetry and Literature at Columbia College of Chicago, and her first book, The Vital System, is available from Tupelo Press.
CM Burroughs has been awarded fellowships and grants from Yaddo, The MacDowell Colony, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Cave Canem Foundation. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in journals including Columbia Poetry Review, Court Green, jubilat, Ploughshares, VOLT, Bat City Review, and Sou’wester. Burroughs is a graduate of Sweet Briar College and the MFA program at the University of Pittsburgh. She is an Assistant Professor of Poetry and Literature at Columbia College of Chicago, and her first book, The Vital System, is available from Tupelo Press.




Dora Malech is the author of two collections of poetry, Say So (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2011) and Shore Ordered Ocean (Waywiser Press, 2009). Her poems have appeared in publications that include The New Yorker and Poetry, and they are forthcoming in the anthology The New Census (Rescue Press, 2013). She has been a Writing Fellow at the Civitella Ranieri Center in Italy, a Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellow, a Visiting Assistant Professor at the Iowa Writers' Workshop, a Distinguished Poet-in-Residence at Saint Mary's College of California, a Teaching-Writing Fellow at Augustana College, and a Visiting Writer in China through the International Writing Program's "Life of Discovery" initiative. She lives in Iowa City, where she directs the Iowa Youth Writing Project, a nonprofit language arts outreach organization.



Jennifer Perrine’s first collection of poems, The Body Is No Machine (New Issues), won the 2008 Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award in Poetry. Her second book, In the Human Zoo (University of Utah Press), received the 2010 Agha Shahid Ali Poetry Prize. In 2014, she will serve as a member of the U.S. Arts and Culture Delegation to Cuba. Perrine teaches in the English department and directs the Women’s and Gender Studies program at Drake University.


with musical guests BUSTED CHANDELIERS




The 2013 season of SPECTRA manifests thanks to the generous support of the Scott County Regional Authority.



                                            PAST SPECTRA CONTRIBUTORS:

Fall 2012

Saturday, September 15th

Adam Fell is the author of I Am Not a Pioneer (H_NGM_N Books, 2011), which won the 2011 Posner Poetry Book Award, and the chapbook Ten Keys to Being a Champion On and Off the Field (H_NGM_N, 2010). He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison & the Iowa Writers’ Workshop & teaches at Edgewood College in Madison, WI, where he also co-curates the Monsters of Poetry reading series.






Matthew Guenette is the author of two collections: Sudden Anthem (Dream Horse Press, 2008), which won the 2007 American Poetry Journal Book Prize, and American Busboy (Editor's Choice, University of Akron Press, 2011), which was inspired by his years busing tables at a vast and horrible warehouse of a seafood restaurant. He has been awarded residencies by the Hessen-Wisconsin Literary Fellowship and Vermont Studio Center. He lives, works, and loses sleep in Madison, WI.



Wednesday, October 10th
Daniela Olszewska is the author of four poetry collections: cloudfang : : cakedirt (Horse Less Press, 2012), Citizen J (Artifice Books, forthcoming 2012), True Confessions of An Escapee From The Capra Facility For Wayward Girls (Spittoon Press, forthcoming 2013), and (w/ Carol Guess) How To Feel Confident With Your Special Talents (Black Lawrence Press, forthcoming 2014). She sits on Switchback Books' Board of Directors & serves as Associate Poetry Editor of H_NGM_N and Another Chicago Magazine.



M. Bartley Seigel is the founding editor of the critically acclaimed literary magazine [PANK]. He lives, writes, and teaches in Houghton, MI, where he is assistant professor of creative writing and diverse literatures at Michigan Technological University. This Is What They Say (Typecast Publishing, 2012) is his first book.



Saturday, November 3rd

Daniel Khalastchi is the author of Manoleria (Tupelo Press, 2011), and his poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in a variety of journals including MAKE Magazine; 1913: A Journal of Forms; jubilat; Forklift, Ohio; Court Green; Denver Quarterly; and iO: A Journal of New American Poetry. Daniel is a co-founder/editor of Rescue Press, and he currently lives in Iowa City where he is the Assistant Director of the University of Iowa’s Undergraduate Certificate in Writing Program.







Blueberry Morningsnow was born in Missoula, Montana in 1977. She grew up in Chatham, Illinois, and then lived in Iowa City, St. Louis, and Chicago. She was in the bands The Star Death and Hroom Hroom in St. Louis. Currently, she lives in Des Moines, IA. She has one son, Finnegan. Recent poems have been published in Thermos and Loaded Bicycle. WHALE IN THE WOODS (Winner of 2012 Rescue Press Black Box Poetry Prize) is her first book.





SPRING 2013:

Wednesday, February 13th LOCAL LOVERS SHOW

By local, we mean anyone in or around the greater Quad City area on 2/13 who has an original poem, song, story, soliloquy, bit, rant, performance art piece, etc. they are willing/burning to share with the one(s) they love & an audience at the enigmatic Rozz-Tox.

By lovers, we mean humans with any relationship with the idea/experience/emotion/harness that you might define as “love”, even if that relationship is love/hate. Have something poetic you want to share with your special lady? Want to sing a song about your love for your line-walking man? Have a hilarious & terrible Valentine’s Day story about love gone wrong? Then we have a stage & a microphone & a welcoming audience ready to love anyone with the courage get up & testify their “love” for the people.



Thursday, March 14th -- Chris Martin, Mary Austin Speaker, Ted Mathys

Chris Martin is the author of American Music (Copper Canyon, 2007) and Becoming Weather (Coffee House Press, 2011). He is also the author of several chapbooks, including How to Write a Mistake-ist Poem (Brave Men, 2011), enough (Ugly Duckling, 2012), and the serially released CHAT (Flying Object, 2012). He is an editor at Futurepoem books, where he curates the response blog Futurepost. He lives in Iowa City with his wife, the poet Mary Austin Speaker, with whom he co-wrote the play, I AM YOU THIS MORNING AND YOU ARE ME TONIGHT.

Mary Austin Speaker is the author of the chapbooks The Bridge (Push Press 2011); 20 Love Poems for 10 Months(Ugly Duckling Presse 2012); a collaborative play, I Am You This Morning You Are Me Tonight, written with her husband, poet Chris Martin; and Ceremony, winner of the 2012 Slope Editions book prize. She co-founded the Triptych poetry reading series in New York City in 2008 and curated the Reading Between A&B series for several years. New poems have recently appeared in epiphany, Boston Review, Iowa Review, Lungfull, New Orleans Review and elsewhere, and her critical work can be found in Pleiades, The Claudius App, and Painted Bride Quarterly. She lives in Iowa City, where she operates a tiny design studio.

Ted Mathys is the author of two books of poetry, Forge and The Spoils, both from Coffee House Press. A new collection, Woodland Pattern, is forthcoming from Coffee House in 2015. The recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts, his work has appeared in American Poetry Review, BOMB, Colorado Review, Conjunctions, Fence, Verse, and elsewhere. Originally from Ohio, he holds a masters degree in international environmental policy from Tufts University, has lived and worked in Hong Kong, Berlin, New Delhi and New York, and is currently pursuing an MFA at the Iowa Writers Workshop. 








Friday, April 5th -- Caryl Pagel, Philip Sorenson, Olivia Cronk


Caryl Pagel is the author of Experiments I Should Like Tried At My Own Death (Factory Hollow Press, 2012). Her poems and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in AGNI, The Iowa Review, The Mississippi Review, They Will Sew The Blue Sail, and notnostrums. She is the co-founder and editor of Rescue Press and a poetry editor at jubilat. She currently lives in Chicago, where she teaches a poetry workshop at Columbia College Chicago.





Philip Sorenson's poems have appeared in a variety of journals, including Hayden's Ferry Review, Asymptote, and Action Yes. He teaches writing and literature at Northeastern Illinois and Loyola Universities. His first book, Of Embodies, an editor's pick for the Blackbox Poetry Prize, was just released by (Rescue Press,2012).







Olivia Cronk teaches creative writing and composition at Northeastern Illinois University. Her poems have appeared in Black Warrior Review, Denver Quarterly, and Jubilat, among others. Her first book, released this past winter, is Skin Horse (Action Books, 2012).











Saturday, April 27 -- BJ Best, Matt Mauch, Shane McCrae

B.J. Best is the author But Our Princess Is in Another Castle (Rose Metal Press), Birds of Wisconsin (New Rivers Press), and State Sonnets (sunnyoutside). He is also the author of three chapbooks from Centennial Press, most recently Drag: Twenty Short Poems about Smoking. He teaches at Carroll University and lives in the Wisconsin countryside with one wife, one son, three cats, and nine video game systems. He asserts he is the only person in the history of the world to have beaten Super Mario Bros.—with an actual Nintendo and television—on a pontoon boat.





Matt Mauch is the author of If You’re Lucky Is a Theory of Mine (Trio House Press), Prayer Book (Lowbrow Press), and the chapbook The Brilliance of the Sparrow (Mondo Bummer). Host of the Great Twin Cities Poetry Read and Maeve’s Sessions readings, and editor of the annual anthology Poetry City, USA, he teaches creative writing at Normandale Community College, and lives in Minneapolis.





Shane McCrae is the author of Mule (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2011), a finalist for the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the PEN Center USA Literary Award, and Blood (Noemi Press, 2013), as well as three chapbooks—most recently, Nonfiction, which won the Black Lawrence Press Black River Chapbook Competition. He work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in The American Poetry Review, Colorado Review, Smartish Pace and elsewhere, and he has received a Whiting Writer’s Award and fellowship from the NEA.






The SPECTRA Poetry Reading Series is manifest thanks to the generous support from the Riverboat Development Authority, the Scott County Regional Authority and the Illinois Art Council.  

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