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The Deerfield Public Library Podcast

Thoughtful, in-depth conversations with authors of all genres and other notable people from Chicagoland and around the world. A monthly program from the Deerfield Public Library in Deerfield, IL, hosted by Dylan Zavagno. Our archives include episodes from the Library's John Cotton Dana Award-winning series, The Fight to Integrate Deerfield: 60 Year Reflection; our Pride Month series, Queer Poem-a-Day; and our local history audio tours.
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Jun 28, 2024

Day 20: Mary Jo Bang reads her poem “Mary Jo in the Time of Sappho.” We are honored to be the original publication of this poem.

Mary Jo Bang is the author of nine books of poems—including A Film in Which I Play Everyone, which was nominated for a Lammy Award, A Doll for Throwing, and Elegy, which received the National Book Critics Circle Award. She has published translations of Dante’s Inferno, illustrated by Henrik Drescher, and Purgatorio. Her translation of Paradiso is forthcoming from Graywolf Press in 2025. She is also the translator of Colonies of Paradise: Poems by Matthias Göritz and co-translator, with Yuki Tanaka, of A Kiss for the Absolute: Selected Poems of Shuzo Takiguchi, forthcoming in 2024 from the Princeton University Press Lockert Poetry in Translation Series. She teaches at Washington University in St. Louis.

Text of today’s poem and more details about our program can be found at: deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/

Find books from participating poets in our library's catalog

Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language. 

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and professor Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for this fourth year of our series is from the second movement of the “Geistinger Sonata,” Piano Sonata No. 2 in C sharp minor, by Ethel Smyth, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by generous donations from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library and the Deerfield Fine Arts Commission.

 

Jun 27, 2024

Day 19: Armen Davoudian reads his poem “Saffron,” from his new collection The Palace of Forty Pillars, also published in The Atlantic (2024). 

Armen Davoudian is the author of the poetry collection THE PALACE OF FORTY PILLARS (Tin House) and the translator, from Persian, of HOPSCOTCH by Fatemeh Shams (Ugly Duckling Presse). He grew up in Isfahan, Iran, and is a PhD candidate in English at Stanford University.

Text of today’s poem and more details about our program can be found at: deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/

Find books from participating poets in our library's catalog

Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language. 

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and professor Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for this fourth year of our series is from the second movement of the “Geistinger Sonata,” Piano Sonata No. 2 in C sharp minor, by Ethel Smyth, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by generous donations from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library and the Deerfield Fine Arts Commission.

 

Jun 26, 2024

Day 18: Esther Lin reads her poem "Praise the Scaffold in Rouen Cathedral.” We are honored to be the first publication of this poem. 

Esther Lin was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and lived in the United States as an undocumented immigrant for 21 years. Her forthcoming book _Cold Thief Place_ is the winner of the 2023 Alice James Award. She has been a Writing Fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown and a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. She co-organizes the Undocupoets, which promotes the work of undocumented poets and raises consciousness about the structural barriers that they face in the literary community. 

Text of today’s poem and more details about our program can be found at: deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/

Find books from participating poets in our library's catalog

Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language. 

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and professor Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for this fourth year of our series is from the second movement of the “Geistinger Sonata,” Piano Sonata No. 2 in C sharp minor, by Ethel Smyth, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by generous donations from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library and the Deerfield Fine Arts Commission.

 

Jun 25, 2024

Day 17:  Sebastian Merrill reads his poem “To My Ghost :: Float” from his book GHOST :: SEEDS (Texas Review Press, 2022). 

Sebastian Merrill’s debut collection GHOST :: SEEDS was selected by Kimiko Hahn as the winner of the 2022 X. J. Kennedy Poetry Prize, published by Texas Review Press in November 2023. A winner of the 2024 Stonewall Honor Book - Barbara Gittings Literature Award from the American Library Association, GHOST :: SEEDS was also selected by Ellen Doré Watson as the winner of the 2022 Levis Prize for Poetry from Friends of Writers. Sebastian’s poetry has appeared in The Common, Four Way Review, Diode Poetry Journal, wildness, and elsewhere. He holds an MFA in Poetry from Warren Wilson College and a BA from Wellesley College. 

Text of today’s poem and more details about our program can be found at: deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/

Find books from participating poets in our library's catalog

Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language. 

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and professor Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for this fourth year of our series is from the second movement of the “Geistinger Sonata,” Piano Sonata No. 2 in C sharp minor, by Ethel Smyth, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by generous donations from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library and the Deerfield Fine Arts Commission.

 

Jun 24, 2024

Day 16: Matthew Gellman reads his poem “Beforelight,” originally published in Passages North, 2018. 

Matthew Gellman is the author of a chapbook, Night Logic, which was selected by Denise Duhamel as the winner of Tupelo Press' 2021 Snowbound Chapbook Award. His first book, Beforelight, was selected by Tina Chang as the winner of the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize and is forthcoming from BOA Editions. Matthew has received awards and honors from the National Endowment for the Arts, Brooklyn Poets, the Adroit Journal's Djanikian Scholars Program, the Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts, the New York State Summer Writers Institute and the Academy of American Poets. His poems have appeared in Poetry Northwest, Gulf Coast, Narrative, The Common, the Missouri Review, Indiana Review, Ninth Letter, Lambda Literary's Poetry Spotlight, and other publications. He lives in New York, where he teaches at Hunter College and Fordham University.

Text of today’s poem and more details about our program can be found at: deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/

Find books from participating poets in our library's catalog

Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language.

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and professor Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for this fourth year of our series is from the second movement of the “Geistinger Sonata,” Piano Sonata No. 2 in C sharp minor, by Ethel Smyth, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by generous donations from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library and the Deerfield Fine Arts Commission.

Jun 21, 2024

Day 15: Cindy Juyoung Ok reads her poem “Claim.” They originally published the poem in Conjunctions Issue 75 (Fall 2020). 

Cindy Juyoung Ok is the author of Ward Toward from the Yale Series of Younger Poets and an assistant English professor at the University of California Davis. 

Text of today’s poem and more details about our program can be found at: deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/

Find books from participating poets in our library's catalog

Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language.

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and professor Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for this fourth year of our series is from the second movement of the “Geistinger Sonata,” Piano Sonata No. 2 in C sharp minor, by Ethel Smyth, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by generous donations from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library and the Deerfield Fine Arts Commission.

Jun 20, 2024

Day 14: Yinlin Zhao reads its poem “The Mpreg Poem.” We are honored to be the poem’s first publication.

Yinlin Zhao (he/it/go for it, truly) is a writer/student out on the East Coast and on the world wide web. All the stuff it makes is probably about robots, bugs, or a secret third thing. His work has been published in warning lines literary, Hominum Journal, The Dawn Review, and antinarrative, and has been recognized by Scholastic. Its website, which has a bunch of his creations, is https://braveyoungcowboys.neocities.org/

Text of today’s poem and more details about our program can be found at: deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/

Find books from participating poets in our library's catalog

Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language. 

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and professor Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for this fourth year of our series is from the second movement of the “Geistinger Sonata,” Piano Sonata No. 2 in C sharp minor, by Ethel Smyth, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by generous donations from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library and the Deerfield Fine Arts Commission.

 

Jun 19, 2024

Day 13: Séamus Isaac Fey reads his poem “Edwin says I deserve to be loved with precision” which appears in their new collection decompose (Not a Cult Media, 2024). 

Séamus Isaac Fey (he/they) is a Trans writer living in LA. Currently, he is the poetry editor at Hooligan Magazine, and co creative director at Rock Pocket Productions. His debut poetry collection, decompose, is out with Not a Cult Media. His work has appeared in American Poetry Review, Poet Lore, The Offing, Sonora Review, and others. He loves to beat his friends at Mario Party. Find him online @sfeycreates.

Text of today’s poem and more details about our program can be found at: deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/

Find books from participating poets in our library's catalog

Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language.

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and professor Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for this fourth year of our series is from the second movement of the “Geistinger Sonata,” Piano Sonata No. 2 in C sharp minor, by Ethel Smyth, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by generous donations from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library and the Deerfield Fine Arts Commission.

Jun 18, 2024

Day 12: Fatimah Asghar reads their poem “The Ocean is Trynna Fuck,” originally published in the American Poetry Review, 2023. 

Fatimah Asghar is an artist who spans across different genres and themes. They have been featured in various outlets such as TIME, NPR, Teen Vogue and the Forbes 30 Under 30 List. They are the author of If They Come For Us  and When We Were Sister, which was longlisted for the National Book Award and won the Carol Shield’s Prize. Along with Safia Elhillo they co-edited an anthology for Muslim people who are also women, trans, gender non-conforming, and/ or queer, Halal If You Hear Me. They are the writer and co-creator of the Emmy-nominated Brown Girls, and wrote and directed the short films Got Game and Retrieval. They are also a writer and co-producer on Ms. Marvel on Disney +, and wrote Episode 5, Time and Again, which was listed as one of the best TV episodes of 2022 in the New York Times and Hollywood Reporter.  

Text of today’s poem and more details about our program can be found at: deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/

Find books from participating poets in our library's catalog

Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language. 

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and professor Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for this fourth year of our series is from the second movement of the “Geistinger Sonata,” Piano Sonata No. 2 in C sharp minor, by Ethel Smyth, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by generous donations from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library and the Deerfield Fine Arts Commission.

 

Jun 17, 2024

Day 11: Joshua Garcia reads “Epistle (Deluge)” which first appeared in New South and appears in his new collection Pentimento.

Joshua Garcia is the author of Pentimento (Black Lawrence Press 2024). His poetry has appeared in Ecotone, The Georgia Review, Passages North, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. He holds an MFA from the College of Charleston and has received a Stadler Fellowship from Bucknell University and an Emerge—Surface—Be Fellowship from The Poetry Project. He lives and writes in Brooklyn, New York.

Text of today’s poem and more details about our program can be found at: deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/

Find books from participating poets in our library's catalog

Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language.

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and professor Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for this fourth year of our series is from the second movement of the “Geistinger Sonata,” Piano Sonata No. 2 in C sharp minor, by Ethel Smyth, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by generous donations from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library and the Deerfield Fine Arts Commission.

Jun 14, 2024

Day 10: p. hodges adams reads their poem “pêche d'enfer,” originally published in the New Orleans Review, 2022. 

p. hodges adams is a michigander poet who received their MFA in creative writing from the university of virginia, where they currently teach as a lecturer. their work can be found in cutbank, fourteen poems, december magazine, and elsewhere. hopefully they will turn into a beam of sunlight someday soon.

Text of today’s poem and more details about our program can be found at: deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/

Find books from participating poets in our library's catalog

Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language. 

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and professor Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for this fourth year of our series is from the second movement of the “Geistinger Sonata,” Piano Sonata No. 2 in C sharp minor, by Ethel Smyth, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by generous donations from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library and the Deerfield Fine Arts Commission.

 

Jun 13, 2024

Day 9: Jimin Seo reads his poem “Richard Wakes Up in The Middle of The Night” forthcoming from his book OSSIA (Changes, 2024). 

Jimin Seo was born in Seoul, and immigrated to the US to join his family at the age of eight. He is the author of OSSIA, a winner of The Changes Book Prize. His poems can be found in Action Fokus, The Canary, annulet, Pleiades, mercury firs, and The Bronx Museum. His most recent projects were Poems of Consumption with H. Sinno at the Barbican Centre in London, and a site activation for salazarsequeromedina's Open Pavilion at the 4th Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism.

Text of today’s poem and more details about our program can be found at: deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/

Find books from participating poets in our library's catalog

Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language. 

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and professor Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for this fourth year of our series is from the second movement of the “Geistinger Sonata,” Piano Sonata No. 2 in C sharp minor, by Ethel Smyth, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by generous donations from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library and the Deerfield Fine Arts Commission.

Jun 12, 2024

Day 8: Amelia Ada reads an excerpt from her collection Hard and Glad, forthcoming from DOPAMINE/Semiotext(e) May 2026. 

Amelia Ada is a trans poet and essayist, and she is currently a doctoral candidate in literature and creative writing at the University of Southern California. Her writing has appeared widely in journals, and she is the co-creator and co-host of the podcast You Shouldn't Let Poets Lie To You. She lives in Los Angeles.

Text of today’s poem and more details about our program can be found at: deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/

Find books from participating poets in our library's catalog

Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language.

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and professor Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for this fourth year of our series is from the second movement of the “Geistinger Sonata,” Piano Sonata No. 2 in C sharp minor, by Ethel Smyth, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by generous donations from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library and the Deerfield Fine Arts Commission.

Jun 11, 2024

Day 7: Mark Wunderlich reads his poem “No Horse.” We are honored to be the first publisher of this poem. 

Mark Wunderlich is the author of four collections of poems, the most recent of which is God of Nothingness published by Graywolf Press.  His other collections include The Earth Avails, winner of the Rilke Prize, Voluntary Servitude, and The Anchorage, which received the Lambda Literary Award.  He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Amy Lowell Trust, Civitella Ranieri Foundation, and the Wallace Stegner program at Stanford University.  He serves as Executive Director of the Bennington Writing Seminars graduate writing program, and chairs the Writing Committee at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.  He lives near Catskill, New York.  

Text of today’s poem and more details about our program can be found at: deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/

Find books from participating poets in our library's catalog

Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language. 

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and professor Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for this fourth year of our series is from the second movement of the “Geistinger Sonata,” Piano Sonata No. 2 in C sharp minor, by Ethel Smyth, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by generous donations from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library and the Deerfield Fine Arts Commission

 

Jun 10, 2024

Day 6: Angel Nafis reads her poem “Why R&B First Thing in the Morning, Why R&B Above All,” originally published on The Rumpus in 2015. 

Born in Chicago, Illinois and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Angel Nafis is a writer and the author of BlackGirl Mansion (Red Beard Press/ New School Poetics, 2012). She earned her BA at Hunter College and her MFA in poetry at Warren Wilson College. Her work has appeared in The Academy of American Poets' Poem-a-day, BLACK FUTURES, The Rumpus, Poetry Magazine, Buzzfeed Reader and elsewhere.

Text of today’s poem and more details about our program can be found at: deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/

Find books from participating poets in our library's catalog

Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language. 

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and professor Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for this fourth year of our series is from the second movement of the “Geistinger Sonata,” Piano Sonata No. 2 in C sharp minor, by Ethel Smyth, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by generous donations from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library and the Deerfield Fine Arts Commission

 

Jun 7, 2024

Day 5: Gabrielle Bates reads her poem “Intro to Theater,” which appears in her collection Judas Goat (Tin House, 2023) [and an an earlier version of it appeared in Ploughshares]. 

Gabrielle Bates is the author of Judas Goat (Tin House, 2023), named Electric Lit's top poetry book of the year and an NPR Best Book of 2023. Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, she currently lives in Seattle, where she works for Open Books: A Poem Emporium and co-hosts the podcast The Poet Salon. Website: www.gabriellebat.es 

Text of today’s poem and more details about our program can be found at: deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/

Find books from participating poets in our library's catalog

Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language. 

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and professor Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for this fourth year of our series is from the second movement of the “Geistinger Sonata,” Piano Sonata No. 2 in C sharp minor, by Ethel Smyth, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by generous donations from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library and the Deerfield Fine Arts Commission

 

Jun 6, 2024

Day 4: Richard Siken reads his new poem Cover Story, originally published in Pithead Chapel, which will appear in his forthcoming book I Do Know Some Things (Copper Canyon Press, 2025). 

Richard Siken is a poet, painter, and filmmaker. His book Crush won the 2004 Yale Series of Younger Poets prize, selected by Louise Glück, a Lambda Literary Award, a Thom Gunn Award, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His other books are War of the Foxes (Copper Canyon Press, 2015) and I Do Know Some Things (forthcoming, Copper Canyon Press, 2025). Siken is a recipient of a Pushcart Prize, two Lannan Fellowships, two Arizona Commission on the Arts grants, and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. He lives in Tucson, Arizona.

Text of today’s poem and more details about our program can be found at: deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/

Find books from participating poets in our library's catalog

Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language. 

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and professor Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for this fourth year of our series is from the second movement of the “Geistinger Sonata,” Piano Sonata No. 2 in C sharp minor, by Ethel Smyth, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by generous donations from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library and the Deerfield Fine Arts Commission

Jun 5, 2024

Day 3: Leslie Sainz reads her poem “At the Center of the Story & Utterly Left Out”, originally published in The Common (2023). 

Leslie Sainz is the author of Have You Been Long Enough at Table (Tin House, 2023), a finalist for the 2024 Audre Lorde Award. The daughter of Cuban exiles, her work has appeared in the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day, the Yale Review, Kenyon Review, American Poetry Review, and elsewhere. A three-time National Poetry Series finalist, she’s received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, CantoMundo, and the Stadler Center for Poetry & Literary Arts at Bucknell University. Originally from Miami, she lives in Vermont and works as the managing editor of New England Review.

Text of today’s poem and more details about our program can be found at: deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/

Find books from participating poets in our library's catalog

Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language.

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and professor Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for this fourth year of our series is from the second movement of the “Geistinger Sonata,” Piano Sonata No. 2 in C sharp minor, by Ethel Smyth, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by generous donations from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library and the Deerfield Fine Arts Commission.

Jun 4, 2024

Day 2: Eduardo C. Corral read the title poem of his 2020 collection Guillotine (Graywolf Press). 

Eduardo C. Corral is the son of Mexican immigrants. He’s the author of Guillotine, published by Graywolf Press, and Slow Lightning, which won the 2011 Yale Series of Younger Poets competition. He’s the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Lannan Foundation Literary Fellowship, a Whiting Writers’ Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University. He teaches in the MFA program at North Carolina State University.

Text of today’s poem and more details about our program can be found at: deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/

Find books from participating poets in our library's catalog

Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language. 

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and professor Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for this fourth year of our series is from the second movement of the “Geistinger Sonata,” Piano Sonata No. 2 in C sharp minor, by Ethel Smyth, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by generous donations from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library and the Deerfield Fine Arts Commission

 

Jun 3, 2024

Day 1: jason b. crawford reads their poem “Untitled 1975-86.” We are honored to be the first publication of this poem.

jason b. crawford is a writer born in Washington DC, raised in Lansing, MI. Their debut Full-Length Year of the Unicorn Kidz is out from Sundress Publications. They are a 2023 Lambda Literary Emerging LGBTQ Voices fellow. Their second collection, YEET! is forthcoming from Omnidawn Publishing in 2025. 

Text of today’s poem and more details about our program can be found at: deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/

Find books from participating poets in our library's catalog

Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language. 

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and professor Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for this fourth year of our series is from the second movement of the “Geistinger Sonata,” Piano Sonata No. 2 in C sharp minor, by Ethel Smyth, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by generous donations from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library and the Deerfield Fine Arts Commission

 

May 29, 2024

Queer Poem-a-Day is a unique podcast series for Pride Month, presenting a public archive of poems written and read by contemporary LGBTQIA+ poets. For this fourth year, we are sharing a poem each weekday in June on our podcast and on our website. Enjoy this audio trailer featuring a collage of some of our voices for 2024.

Get episodes of poets reading their poems each weekday starting Monday, June 3, 2024 on the Deerfield Public Library Podcast feed—where we also host interviews with authors of all genres and other notable people from Chicagoland and around the world. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or anywhere you get podcasts. We invite you to check out our archives from year one, year two, and year three’s “Lineage Edition” (or scroll down in the feed!)

Queer Poem-a-Day is founded and co-directed by poet and professor Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Library and host of the Deerfield Public Library Podcast. Music for this fourth year of our series is from the second movement of the “Geistinger Sonata,” Piano Sonata No. 2 in C Sharp Minor by Ethel Smyth, performed by pianist Daniel Baer

We are once again grateful to have received generous support from both the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library and the Deerfield Fine Arts Commission.

Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language.

 

Mar 22, 2024

Marina Shifrin, writer of Pickled Herring, and Bryan Simpson and Taylor Simpson, creators of Creating Things. This conversation was recorded as part of a special live podcast and film screening event we held last month at the Library. The filmmakers—who grew up here in Deerfield—all traveled home to share their films and an illuminating panel discussion with an audience of community members, friends, and family. You’ll hear how Marina, Bryan, and Taylor all reconnected on the film festival circuit, as well as entertaining and deeply felt reflections on the surprising thematic connections between the films, which both center on fathers and the power of translating life into art.  

The documentary Creating Things (2022) was created by brothers Bryan Simpson and Taylor Simpson and uses clips from an interview with their late father, Roger Simpson, in which he shares his personal philosophy of creativity as an artist, creative director, and person. Set to Taylor’s beautiful score, and featuring pieces of art and family mementos, it is a moving exploration of art-making and legacy. 

Creating Things won Best Documentary at the 2023 Pittsburgh Shorts film festival. We are honored to announce that Bryan and Taylor have made Creating Things available to stream for free on their website as of our podcast release, in celebration of their father’s birthday. 

Pickled Herring (2023), written by our guest Marina Shifrin, and directed by and starring Milana Vayntrub, tells the autobiographical story of a woman who has a major accident requiring assistance for her basic needs. Enter her Russian immigrant father, who has ideas of his own on how to help, from finding the best Russian foods or fixing her garage to cultural clashes over family, lifestyle, and art. 

Pickled Herring won Best Narrative Short at the Santa Clara International Film Festival. You can watch the trailer [June ‘24 UPDATE: You can now watch the full film!] of Pickled Herring on Marina’s website.

Marina has written about her father before, including in her book of essays 30 Before 30: How I Made a Mess of My 20s and You Can Too. Listen to our 2019 podcast conversation with Marina on 30 Before 30, or check it out here at the Library. 

Blog post: https://www.deerfieldlibrary.org/deerfield-filmmakers/

We hope you enjoy our 63rd interview episode! Each month (or so), we release an episode featuring a conversation with an author, artist, or other notable guests from Chicagoland or around the world. Learn more about the podcast on our podcast page. You can listen to all of our episodes in the player below or on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or anywhere else you listen to podcasts. We welcome your comments and feedback—please send to podcast@deerfieldlibrary.org.

Feb 15, 2024

The Best That You Can Do (Soft Skull Press, 2024) by our guest Amina Gautier, one of the most prolific and acclaimed short story writers working today. She lives in Chicago.

The Best That You Can Do is a beautiful and wide-ranging collection, made up of what Gautier calls “very short fiction”—most of the 58 stories span only a few pages. This distilled form gives us lyrical explorations of Afro-Puerto Rican identity, the ups and fearful downs of romantic relationships, and political satires and counterfactuals in response to violence against Black bodies, among other concerns.

In this captivating conversation, Gautier also reflects movingly on how cultural forms from classic literature to Gen-X nostalgia both ironically comment on and inspire her characters to action. Explaining the title, she tells us:

“I’m always asking myself with fiction, “how do we get in our own way?” or “when we find ourselves trapped or in an inescapable space, what things can we do to try to claim agency or to try to free ourselves or try to find our way?” which evolved into the [new] collection: what is the best that we can do in any given situation?”

Listen to hear more from a master storyteller responding to her time. 

You can check out books by Amina Gautier through our library, or find out more on her website.

Amina Gautier is the author of the story collections At-Risk (2011), Now We Will Be Happy (2014), and The Loss of All Lost Things (2016). She is the recipient of the Blackwell Prize, the Chicago Public Library Foundation’s 21st Century Award, the International Latino Book Award, the Flannery O’Connor Award, and the Phillis Wheatley Award in Fiction. For her body of work, she received the prestigious PEN/MALAMUD Award for Excellence in the Short Story.

The Best That You Can Do was published as the winner of the inaugural Soft Skull-Kimbilio Publishing Prize. Kimbilio for Black Fiction is a community of writers and scholars committed to developing, empowering, and sustaining fiction writers from the African diaspora and their stories. 

We hope you enjoy our 62nd interview episode! Each month (or so), we release an episode featuring a conversation with an author, artist, or other notable guests from Chicagoland or around the world. Learn more about the podcast on our podcast page. You can listen to all of our episodes in the player below or on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or anywhere else you listen to podcasts. We welcome your comments and feedback—please send to podcast@deerfieldlibrary.org.

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The Deerfield Public Library Podcast is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include Adult Language. 

 

Nov 9, 2023

A conversation with Dr. Jennifer MacLure, Assistant Professor of English at Kent State University, on the occasion of the publication of her book, The Feeling of Letting Die: Necroeconomics and Victorian Fiction (Ohio State University Press, 2023). (Our conversation is also occasioned by our Library’s Classics Book Discussion current tackling of Bleak House, Charles Dickens’ massive 1853 masterpiece!) 

The Feeling of Letting Die looks at how the Victorian novel addresses a knotty problem at the heart of England’s rapidly industrializing society—how does a system that creates so much wealth also intentionally let certain people die in the service of the free market? Dr. MacLure explores the underpinnings of this “necroeconomic” system by looking at how fiction by Harriet Martineau, Elizabeth Gaskell, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, and William Morris can be seen as a “literary laboratory,” as experiments in how the feelings that support and thwart this economic system circulate. 

 It’s both a delightful conversation and about the origins of some of our most pressing issues today—epidemics, workers rights, gender, racism, poverty, charity—and it all builds to an affirmation of the study of literature as an “epistemological tool” for understanding our world today. As Dr. MacLure puts it, the histories of political economy and literature are more intertwined—and weirder—than normally assumed. Whether you are already a fan or not of Victorian literature, this podcast offers an opportunity for thinking anew. 

You can check out The Feeling of Letting Die: Necroeconomics and Victorian Fiction here at the library in our podcast collection. 

We hope you enjoy our 61st interview episode! Each month (or so), we release an episode featuring a conversation with an author, artist, or other notable guests from Chicagoland or around the world. Learn more about the podcast (and our seven years of archives) on our podcast page. You can listen to all of our episodes on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or anywhere else you listen to podcasts. We welcome your comments and feedback—please send to podcast@deerfieldlibrary.org.

You can listen to all of our episodes in the player below.

Jun 30, 2023

For our final day of Queer Poem-a-Day Lineage Edition, we reveal the unknown lineage story of the composer Robert Savage (whose "AIDS Ward Scherzo" is our excerpted music this year) and and his connection to poet John Ashbery. While preparing the music for this year, our pianist Daniel Baer discovered a 1982 piece by Savage "Chaconne," dedicated to John Ashbery. For the last month, while we've been presenting lineage poems, we've also been tracking down the mystery of their connection.  

We want to extend our enormous gratitude to David Kermani, John Ashbery's husband, for his time and sharing his insights. And to Jeffrey Lependorf, Executive Director of The Flow Chart Foundation, to Karin Roffman, Ashbery’s biographer, to academic Andrew Epstein, author of the Locus Solus Blog about the New York School Poets. We also want to point listeners to the work of pianist Marcus Ostermiller, whose performances of and dissertation on Robert Savage have been pioneering in increasing the visibility of this remarkable composer. 

Quotations from texts and interviews by John Ashbery are Copyright © 2019, 2020.

All rights reserved. Used by arrangement with Georges Borchardt, Inc. for the John Ashbery Estate.

deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/ 

Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language. 

Find books from participating poets in our library's catalog

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and teacher Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for this third year of our series is AIDS Ward Scherzo by Robert Savage, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by generous donations from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library and the Deerfield Fine Arts Commission

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