Golden Shovel Anthology Reading

Join us May 11th for a celebration of Gwendolyn Brooks. A. Van Jordan, Peter Kahn, and more will be reading poetry inspired by the pulitzer prize winning poet that called Chicago her home.

Co-Presented by Young Chicago Authors.


Toni Asante Lightfoot is native of Washington, DC, where she was president of the African American Writer’s Guild. She moved to Chicago and was the director of writing programs at Young Chicago Authors. She currently consults on curriculum development that integrates the arts and sciences. Lightfoot is also studying acupuncture and herbology. 

Tara Betts is the author of Arc and Hue and the chapbooks 7 x 7: kwansabas and The Greatest!: An Homage to Muhammad Ali. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, Gathering Ground, Bum Rush the Page, Villanelles, both Spoken Word Revolution anthologies, The Break Beat Poets, and Octavia’s Brood. 

Asia Calcagno has had poetry featured in Poetry, Smartish Pace, and Learn Then Burn 2. She has been awarded the Benjamin T. Marshall Poetry Prize and the Charles B. Palmer Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets. Asia is an MFA student at Bennington College. 

A. Van Jordan is the author of four collections: Rise, M-A-C-N-O-L-I-A, Quantum Lyrics, and The Cineaste. Jordan has been awarded a Whiting Writers Award, an Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, and a Pushcart Prize. He is a recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship and a United States Artists Fellowship. He is the Henry Rutgers Presidential Professor at Rutgers University–Newark.

Adam M. Levin is a writer from River Forest, Illinois. He’s a founding member of the University of Wisconsin’s First Wave Learning Community and Young Chicago Authors’ Teaching Artist Corps, as well as the founder of Young Chicago Authors’ Emcee Wreckshop program. He’s a full-time spoken-word educator in the Chicagoland area. 

Peter Kahn is a founding member of the London poetry collective Malika’s Kitchen. A high school teacher at Oak Park/River Forest High School since 1994, Peter was a Featured Speaker at the National Council of Teachers of English annual convention. As a Visiting Fellow at Goldsmiths-University of London, he founded the Spoken Word Education Training Programme. Peter holds an MA in English Education from The Ohio State University and recently earned his MFA in Creative Writing from Fairfield University. 

Marty McConnell lives in Chicago, Illinois, and received her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. Her work has recently appeared in Best American Poetry 2014, Southern Humanities Review, Gulf Coast, and Indiana Review. Her first full-length collection, Wine for a Shotgun, was published in 2012 by EM Press. 

José Olivarez is a poet from Calumet City, Illinois, and the Marketing Manager at Young Chicago Authors. His first book, Home Court, is available at Follow him on twitter at @_joseolivarez. 

Natalie Richardson is a fourth-year student at the University of Chicago, studying cinema and media studies and comparative race and ethnic studies. An alumna of the National Student Poets Program and a recipient of the Seidel Scholar’s Grant, Natalie hopes to combine her love of writing with her interest in film by pursuing a career in screenwriting and directing.

Multidisplinary artist avery r. young is a Cave Canem alum and 3Arts Awardee, whose work has appeared in The BreakBeat Poets and other anthologies. His recent release booker t. soltreyne:a race rekkid is a collection of sound design focusing on race, gender, and sexuality in America.

Event date: 
Thursday, May 11, 2017 - 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Event address: 
1474 N. Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
The Golden Shovel Anthology: New Poems Honoring Gwendolyn Brooks Cover Image
By Peter Kahn (Editor), Ravi Shankar (Editor), Patricia Smith (Editor)
ISBN: 9781682260241
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University of Arkansas Press - January 15th, 2017