2017 Event

Saturday, March 25, 2017
McLean County Arts Center
601 N. East St.
Downtown Bloomington

The salon program will feature renowned local and regional artists for an afternoon of poetry, conversation, music, and visual art. The salon program will feature readings by Chicago-based poet Daniel Borzutzky and special guest poet/performer Duriel E. Harris for the Illinois launch of No Dictionary of a Living Tongue. Highlighting the legacy of Illinois Poet Laureate Brooks, the event will also launch Downstate Legacies’ release of Elizabeth Hatmaker’s Infrastructures and will feature a sound art exhibition and musical selections by DJ 1st Mind and actor/composer Duane Boutte.

Special Guests

Daniel Borzutzky
National Book Award Winner, author of The Performance of Becoming Human

Duriel E. Harris
winner of the Nightboat Poetry Prize for No Dictionary of a Living Tongue

Downstate Legacies Presents Elizabeth Hatmaker’s Infrastructures
Elizabeth Hatmaker

Sound Art Exhibition
DJ 1st Mind

Duane Boutte

About the Gwendolyn Brooks Centennial

The year 2017 marks the centennial of the birth of Gwendolyn Brooks, a formidable literary figure and a lifelong chronicler of Black life in America who expressed Black experiences in America with her artistic, courageous, and politically charged poetry and prose.

Gwendolyn Brooks was the first Black author to win the Pulitzer Prize and served as what is now the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. She was appointed Poet Laureate of Illinois in 1968, a position held until her death. The author of numerous collections of poetry and prose—including A Street in Bronzeville, Annie Allen, The Bean Eaters, Maud Martha,We Real Cool, and Report from Part One—Gwendolyn Brooks claims an irrefutable place in our literary canon.

@Salon 2017—Gwendolyn Brooks Centennial
Schedule of Events 


    Doug Johnson, McLean County Arts Center
    Duriel E. Harris, ISU

I  Musical Selections 12.20p

     Duane Boutté presents Gina Cleveland, Marixa Ford & Daija Nealy
     On “The Last Quatrain of the Ballad of Emmett Till”

II  Work in Progress 12.45p

      Michelle C. Wright experimental memoir from “The Laundry Tub Contortionist”

III   Downstate Legacies Presents 1.30p

    A Tribute to Elizabeth Hatmaker: Readings from Infrastructures

Open Gallery 2p -3.15

    Sound Art & Obsidian Digital Showcase w DJ 1st Mind

IV Work in Progress 3.15p

     Sanam Shahmiri poetry “Your Body is a Battleground”

V  Reading
s 4p

     Duriel E. Harris, Daniel Borzutzky

How to get there?

Public Transit? Take the Green A from the Mulberry St. – Campus Religious Center stop (runs every 15 minutes) to Downtown Bloomington; get off at Center St and Walnut St, and walk south on N Center St. toward W Walnut Street. Turn left on W Locust Street, and then right onto N East Street. The McLean County Arts Center will be on your left.

Driving? Park in any Cultural District lot!

For more information on the day of the event
call the McLean County Arts Center at 309.829.0011

@Salon Special Thanks 2017

Brigid Ackerman, Joe Amato, Julia Andersen, Alison Bailey, Steven Barcus, Brian Beam, Christopher Breu, Kirsten Bridgemen, Becca Chase, Ricardo Cortez Cruz, Christopher De Santis, Ryan Denham, Erin Durban-Albrecht, Ryan (and Gawyn) Edel, Kass Fleisher, Ky Ford, Deb Fox, Joann Goetzinger, Alfonso Gosálbez, Gabriel Gudding, Steve Halle, Rachel Kay Hatch, Claire Hedden, Sherrie Howe, Doug Johnson, Susan Kalter, Laura Kennedy, Hannah Kroonblawd, Bridget Langdon, Libby Lind, Sarah Lyons, Anya Malley, R. C. McBride, Jeanne Merkle, Jonah Mixon-Webster, Eric Pitman, Scott Rankin, Paula Ressler, Sanam Shahmiri, Benjamin Sutton, Danielle Sutton, Janis Swanton, Amy Tellor, Amish Trivedi, Jade Urban, Teigha Van, Tessy Ward, Claire Weinzierl, and Tracy Widergren.

With abiding gratitude to:

Eric Shellito and Artezen Design, the English Department’s Publications Unit at Illinois State University, Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora, the Illinois State University Women’s and Gender Studies Program, the Illinois State University Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, the National Endowment for the Arts, the McLean County Arts Center, and the Illinois Arts Council Agency, a state agency, for their generous support.