LIT 50: WHO REALLY BOOKS IN CHICAGO 2011
Board President, The Poetry Center
After a rocky couple of years—leadership changes, space constraints and something about a recession?—things are looking up for The Poetry Center. With a new space in the Chicago Cultural Center and climbing membership, the organization can focus on returning to its Ginsberg-era roots. According to Arica Hilton, that means striving “to promote poetry every way we possible can,” whether it’s bringing poets-in-residence into the public schools through “Hands on Stanzas” or managing a calendar of public readings. With the board managing what she calls “the curatorial side of things,” the art-dealer-cum-poetry crusader is determined to keep the center thriving, both artistically and fiscally. Partially supported by the sale of their trademark broadsides—top-tier paintings paired with topnotch poems—they’re taking full advantage of the new digs to host new workshops, adding programs like the upcoming “Write to Work” (designed to support the recently unemployed) to their standing roster of events and classes.