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Jennie Battles
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Lindsay Home celebrates Poetry Month

Home of famed Springfield poet hosts events for children and adults to explore poetry

SPRINGFIELD – The Vachel Lindsay Home State Historic Site is celebrating National Poetry Month with an array of events that salute the written word in ways both children and adults can enjoy.

Poetry Month begins in April, but one activity is already under way: an art contest for children.

Children in different age groups can illustrate poems by Lindsay. Winners will be chosen based on the originality of their art and how well they interpret the poem. The contest runs from March 17 to April 18. Winners will receive Barnes & Noble gift certificates and copies of Lindsay’s “The Little Turtle” and the “Yellow Book,” a collection of his poems for children.

For details, email the Vachel Lindsay Association at or visit

Next up is a discussion of the work of author Dorothy Allison at 2 p.m. on April 5. Allison is the prize-winning author of “Bastard Out of Carolina” and “Cavedweller,” but no knowledge of her work is required to enjoy this introduction, which will be led by Dr. Tena Helton and Dr. Meagan Cass from the University of Illinois at Springfield.

Allison will be reading at UIS on Friday, April 11.

On April 9, the home joins with the Quiddity literary journal to present poet A.D. Carson, who will read his poetry, talk to visitors and sign books beginning at 5 p.m. Carson released two independent rap albums before deciding to teach and write poetry. He has never lost his hip-hop ties, however, and continues bridging the gap between music and literature through teaching, performing and conducting workshops.
For more about the event or Quiddity, contact Managing Editor Jim Warner at (217)-525-1420, ext. 3572 or, or visit

The home hosts a poetry workshop April 12 from 1-4 p.m. Local poet and UIS instructor Lisa Higgs will explain a variety of poetic forms, such as the sonnet, ghazal and haibun. Participants will read and discuss selected poems and be given time to experiment with form in their own writing. The cost is $15. Contact for registration information.

Then at 2 p.m. on April 19, Dan Guillory will appear as part of the Vachel Lindsay Home’s regular “Poets in the Parlor” series.

Guillory, professor emeritus at Millikin University, calls his presentation “A Celebration of Poetry” because it highlights memorable poems from across the centuries. He’ll read short verses from William Shakespeare, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Walt Whitman, Vachel Lindsay, Maya Angelou and more.

The event is free, and Guillory will sign copies of his books afterward.

Finally, the Vachel Lindsay Home hosts the SIU School of Medicine’s SCOPE awards reception on April 26 at 2 p.m. Artists and writers honored by the SCOPE literary magazine will give short presentations on their work, which will be on display at the home until May 2.

All programming at the historic site is co-sponsored by the Vachel Lindsay Association.

Nicholas Vachel Lindsay was a Springfield native who achieved national fame for his experimental poetry and art. He was born in his family home, located at 603 S. Fifth Street, and died there in 1931.

Now operated by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, his home has become a focal point for arts in the area. It is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for free public tours.

For more information, please visit

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