Past Event

On Blackness Re-imagined: A Performance and Conversation with Krista Franklin and Michael Warr

Krista Franklin and Michael Warr will perform poems from their new collections. Franklin’s Study of Love & Black Body is a small collection of poems that deals with ideas of motherhood, the body, cultural and internal conflict and identity from a variety of angles. In The Armageddon of Funk, Warr manages to interconnect a world of opposites. Via “poetic memoir” we encounter the morality of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the revolutionary theories and free love of Black Panthers, the promise of a bourgeois future from bank executives, and more.

Following their performances, Krista and Michael will be in conversation with poet and educator Roger Bonair-Agard “On Blackness Re-imagined.” Join us for this evocative evening of poetry, imagination, and meaning. 

Poet Michael Warr was honored by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association for his new book of poetry The Armageddon of Funk. He is also author of We Are All The Black Boy, and an editor of Power Lines: A Decade of Poetry From Chicago’s Guild Complex, all published by Tia Chucha Press. Other literary awards include the Gwendolyn Brooks Significant Illinois Poets Award, a National Endowment of the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship, and the Ragdale Foundation US – Africa Fellowship. A frequent collaborator with musicians, visual and performing artists, Michael’s poems have been dramatized on stage, depicted on canvas, and set to original music compositions.  His recordings can be found on the CDs A Snake in the Heart: Poems and Music by Chicago Spoken Word Performersnefasha ayer – the space of in between (featuring Meklit Hadero), and at

Krista Franklin is a poet and visual artist from Dayton, OH who lives and works in Chicago. Her poetry and mixed medium collages have been published in lifestyle and literary journals such as Coon Bidness, Copper Nickel, RATTLE, Indiana Review, Ecotone, Clam and Callaloo, and in the anthologies Encyclopedia Vol. II, F-K and Gathering Ground. Her visual art has been featured on the covers of award-winning books, and exhibited nationally in solo and group exhibitions. Franklin is a Cave Canem Fellow, a co-founder of 2nd Sun Salon, a community meeting space for writers, visual and performance artists, musicians and scholars, and a teaching artist for Young Chicago Authors, Neighborhood Writing Alliance, and numerous organizations in the city of Chicago.

Roger Bonair-Agard is a veteran of the spoken-word scene and a two-time National Poetry Slam Champion. His most recent book fo poems is GULLY (Cypher Books, Peepal Treet Press, 2010). Roger moved to the United States from his native Trinidad and Tobago in 1987. His poems explore the intersection between his twenty plus years as an immigrant in America and the Trinidad from which he came. He is the co-founder and Artistic Director of the LouderARTS Project in New York. He has also been Adjunct Professor in the Creative Writing Department at Fordham University. Currently Roger is writer-in-resident with Vision Into Art, and Poet in Residence with Young Chicago Authors. He teaches poetry at the Cook County Temporary Juvenile Detention Center in Chicago, IL.

Co-sponsored by the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum and Neighborhood Writing Alliance.  

This program was made possible in part by the generous support of the Joyce Foundation, improving the quality of life in the Great Lakes Region and across the country.

Free and open to the public. Reserve your spot here. For more information please call 312.422.5580.


If you need a sign interpreter or require other arrangements to fully participate, please call 312.422.5580. For parking locations near the facility, please visit