Chicago Poetry, Industrial and Post-Industrial | Newberry

Chicago Poetry, Industrial and Post-Industrial

Led by Bill Savage. Seven sessions. 6 - 7:30 pm
Thursday, September 24, 2020
Thursdays, September 24 - November 5


As a precaution to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, the Adult Education Seminars Program’s Fall 2020 term will continue to be held virtually. Virtual seminars meet via Zoom video conference and use email and Google Drive folders to share resources and communicate with instructors and participants. For more information about the Newberry’s virtual seminars and these tools, including a Zoom tutorial, please see our Virtual Seminars FAQ page. If you have questions about online learning, please feel free to reach out to

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Seminar Description

At its industrial height, the social and physical landscape of Chicago was thought to be beyond (or beneath) poetry. Carl Sandburg and Gwendolyn Brooks demonstrated otherwise. Now, the post-industrial city has its own poets, including Eve Ewing and Kevin Coval. This seminar will examine the Chicago poetic tradition, especially its depictions of home, work, and play.

Seven sessions. Registration – $220

Lifelong Chicagoan Bill Savage has taught Chicago literature, history, and culture at Northwestern University and the Newberry since 1992.

Materials List


  • Carl Sandburg, Chicago Poems. Any edition.

  • Gwendolyn Brooks, Selected Poems. Harper, 2006. ISBN: 978-0060882969.

  • Nate Marshall, Wild Hundreds. University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015. ISBN: 978-0-8229-6383-7.

  • José Olivarez, Citizen Illegal. Haymarket Books, 2018. ISBN: 978-1-60846-954-3.

  • Kevin Coval, Everything Must Go. Haymarket Books, 2019. ISBN: 978-1-64259-026-5.

  • Kevin Coval, A People’s History of Chicago. Haymarket Books, 2017. ISBN: 978-1-60846-671-9 1919.

  • Eve L Ewing, 1919: Poems. Haymarket Books, 2019. ISBN: 978-1-60846-602-3.

  • Nelson Algren, Chicago: City on the Make. University of Chicago Press, 2011. ISBN: 978-0-226-01386-2.

First Reading:

  • There is no reading assignment for the first session of this seminar.

Registration Information

Online registration opens at 9 am (CDT) on Tuesday, September 1st.

Please note: Due to COVID-19, the Adult Education Seminars staff is working remotely and will be unable to process registration over the phone. For more information about registration, including a guide to online registration, see our Registration Information page. Questions? Please contact seminars program staff via email at

We offer a 10% discount to members, seniors, and students.

This seminar is part of the Newberry’s Adult Education Seminars Program. Learn more about registering for a seminar, program policies, or teaching a seminar.