SPECTRA Reading Series Celebrates National Poetry Month with Acclaimed Poets Natalie Eilbert and Derrick Austin

SPECTRA Reading Series Celebrates National Poetry Month with Acclaimed Poets Natalie Eilbert and Derrick Austin


What: Midwest Writing Center presents SPECTRA: Natalie Eilbert and Derrick Austin
When: Thursday, April 27 at 8:00 p.m.
Where: Rozz-Tox (2108 3rd Ave. Rock Island, IL)

The SPECTRA Reading Series returns to Rozz-Tox on Thursday, April 27 to celebrate National Poetry Month with two acclaimed writers—Natalie Eilbert and Derrick Austin. Here’s what some other well-known writers have to say about these upcoming SPECTRA featured performers:

Natalie Eilbert: “Time, and the world, want the body, and are coming for it. Natalie Eilbert tears the body down, and makes time and the world go looking for something else to want. Politically charged, performing a gnosticism of our human physiology, and impressionistic like a train, Swan Feast is both a book of poems and a pre-emptive strike.” — Josh Bell

Derrick Austin: “‘Expect poison of the standing water,’ Blake warned, highlighting the dangers of imaginative stagnation. I’m now tempted to believe that Blake himself has sent us Derrick Austin and his remarkable collection, Trouble the Water. At once gospel and troubadour song, these deeply spiritual and expansively erotic poems are lucid, unflinching, urgent. This is an extraordinary debut.”
Mary Szybist, winner of the National Book Award

The Out Loud Open Mic will precede SPECTRA, running from 7-8pm. Interested performers can sign-up prior to the start of Out Loud, and will have 5 minute sets to share their original poems, stories, songs, jokes, and whatever else.

SPECTRA will start at 8pm, immediately after the Out Loud Open Mic, and will be free and open to the public. There is a $5 suggested donation to support touring writers.

Visit the event page for this event on Facebook to read poems and watch videos of the featured poets performing their work, as well as to receive other event updates.

SPECTRA is also accepting submissions from local poets and writers to read for future events. To submit, email up to 3 poems or up to 5 pages of prose to mwc@midwestwritingcenter.org with the phrase “SPECTRA Submission” in the subject line.

Please contact Ryan Collins at Midwest Writing Center if you are interested in speaking to any of the featured readers, or for more information: (309) 269-6569 | mwc@midwestwritingcenter.org.

The 2017 season of SPECTRA manifests thanks to the generous support of Joe Chambers and Wells Fargo Advisors, the Regional Development Authority, and the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

Bios for Austin and Eilbert

Natalie Eilbert
is the author of Indictus, winner of Noemi Press’s 2016 Poetry Contest, slated for publication in late 2017, as well as the debut poetry collection, Swan Feast (Bloof Books, 2015). She is the recipient of the 2016 Jay C. and Ruth Halls Poetry Fellowship at University of Wisconsin–Madison, where she is serving a one-year academic appointment. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from The New YorkerTin HouseThe Kenyon Reviewjubilat, and elsewhere. She is the founding editor of The Atlas Review. Find out more at www.natalie-eilbert.com. Twiiter @natalie_eilbert; Instagram @venusofnatalie 

Derrick Austin was born in Homestead, Florida. He received a BA from the University of Tampa and, in 2014, an MFA from the University of Michigan. He is the author of Trouble the Water (BOA Editions, 2016), selected by Mary Szybist for the 2015 A. Poulin Jr. Prize. A Cave Canem fellow, he currently serves as the 2016–2017 Ron Wallace Poetry Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute of Creative Writing.