The Chicago Poetry Block Party

The Chicago Poetry Block Party is an event premised on a simple idea: poetry is for everybody. The CPBP takes the "poetry festival" out of a university or a conference center and places it squarely on a city block. The free, all-ages event features live performances from engaging poets, musicians, dancers, and DJs, free workshops from talented professional poets, activities designed to be welcoming for all audiences, an open mic, free book and journal giveaways, and a collection of community resources--everything from voter registration to tax preparation for low-income families. Designed in the tradition of great outdoor Chicago summer gatherings like the Blues Fest or Taste of Chicago, the CPBP offers something for the hardcore poetry fan and the poetry newbie alike. 

The Chicago Poetry Block Party is a project of Crescendo Literary (which is co-directed by, and entirely comprised of, Eve Ewing and Nate Marshall) and the Poetry Foundation. The 2017 event is presented in partnership with the National Museum of Mexican Art. 

Photos by Sarah-Ji Rhee