On June 11, at 2 p.m. in the Dairy Building, Dr. John Hallwas of Western Illinois Universtiy will present a program about poet Carl Sandburg.

A hundred years ago, our state produced what was arguably the first great literary development in America that was not centered on the East Coast: the “Chicago Renaissance.” The most celebrated new poets of this “Chicago Renaissance” were Illinoisans, and they produced the best-known volumes of poetry in our state’s history.Carl Sandburg launched his poetic career with the publication of his powerful collection, Chicago Poems, in 1916. It was a tradition-shattering book, written in free verse and focused substantially on city life.  It revealed the poet’s empathetic identification with the lives of ordinary people, who were often struggling.  He was a witness to harsh, urban realities.

John Hallwas, a literary scholar and teacher, has published editions of Chicago Poems and has spoken in more than 100 Illinois communities. He introduces audiences to the poetry of Sandburg contained in their two famous books published a century ago using a lively lecture-with-readings presentation.  This program is free and open to the public.  It is sponsored by the BHHA and the Illinois Humanities Council.  For more details, please call 309 927-3899 or email bhha@mymctc.net.