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Chicago Literary Hall of Fame Events
Chicago Literary Hall of Fame Events


Diego Báez, Jacob Saenz, and Pablo E. Ramirez: Public Reading and Signing

Thursday, February 29, 2024
6 p.m. Central Time

Independence Branch, Chicago Public Library
Meeting Room
4024 N. Elston Ave.
Chicago, IL 60618

Chicago writer, educator, and abolitionist Diego Báez will launch his debut poetry collection, Yaguareté White, with a reading that includes fellow poets Jacob Saenz and Pablo E. Ramirez. In Yaguareté White (University of Arizona Press), English, Spanish, and Guaraní encounter each other with humor and insight through the elusive yet potent figure of the jaguar.

Báez was a finalist for The Georgia Poetry Prize and a semi-finalist for the Berkshire Prize for Poetry. A recipient of fellowships from CantoMundo, the Surge Institute, the Poetry Foundation Incubator for Community-Engaged Poets, and DreamYard’s Rad(ical) Poetry Consortium, Diego has served on the boards of the National Book Critics Circle, the International David Foster Wallace Society, and Families Together Cooperative Nursery School. His poems have previously appeared or are forthcoming in Freeman's, Poetry Northwest, and Latino Poetry: A New Anthology. Essays and other non-fiction have been published in The Georgia Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, and Los Angeles Review of Books. Diego teaches poetry, English composition, and first-year seminars at the City Colleges, where he is an Assistant Professor of Multidisciplinary Studies.

Jacob was born in Chicago and raised in Cicero, Illinois. He earned a BA in creative writing from Columbia College in Chicago. His first collection of poetry, Throwing the Crown (Copper Canyon Press, 2018), was awarded the 2018 American Poetry Review/Honickman First Book Prize. He has been an editor at Columbia Poetry Review and an associate editor at RHINO. He works as an acquisitions assistant at the Columbia College library and has read his poetry at a number of Chicago venues. A CantoMundo fellow, Jacob has also been the recipient of a Letras Latinas Residency Fellowship and a Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship.

Pablo shares his poetic exploration of 21st century Chicago's ethnic and working-class heritage neighborhood of Pilsen. Pocho Love: Pilsen Heart Beats To Chicago Streets is soaked in colorful imagery forming a powerful collage of tattoo, wall murals, pop culture and Chicano graphics. This debut collection is written in English and some Spanish.In addition to being a visual artist and poet, Pablo is an activist and curator for cultural events in the Pilsen community. 

The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame is an official partner in this exciting event. The reading is free and open to the public. Guests will have an opportunity to read their own poems in a short open mic reading at the conclusion of the featured program. 

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