Chicago's literary reputation was built not only on the strength of writers like Saul Bellow but by the prominence of magazines
Started in 1912 by Harriet Monroe as a way to spur poets to catch up to the modernity around them,
helped break American verse away from its old conventions. And like the Chicago architects who were then proving that in
this city the sky's the limit, Monroe and her poets revolutionized the art form.
Through the good sense of Monroe and later editors, the magazine played an active role in bringing to prominence poetic innovators
like Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, Carl Sandburg, Gwendolyn Brooks and Sylvia Plath. The magazine also showed poets that there was
money to be made in their craft, filling their pockets in exchange for contributions. That is, whenever the magazine wasn't
going through hard times itself.
See and hear poetry in a different light at the
Musicality of Poetry Festival.