About This Show

The Poetry Gods realized many of the poetry podcasts we listened to were wildly dull. Hyper self-serious, self-aggrandizing, and totally exclusive to high academic circles. That’s not the way the three of us know or love poetry. It’s also not the way any of our homies and idols dig into this craft. Poets are fucking hilarious. Joyful and absurd, with stories for days. We hear them at the bar, during their banter at the reading. We wanted to hear it in a podcast. So we made one. Hosted by Aziza Barnes, Jon Sands, and José Olivarez. 

The Poetry Gods is hosted by three decorated multicultural poets, artists, and educators from Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York City (by way of Cincinnati). Launched in 2016, the podcast seeks to create community by breaking boundaries between the high academic world of so-called page poetry and spoken word. Whether you are an aspiring artist, or a poetry rookie, The Poetry Gods invite you to pull up a chair, enjoy some hummus, grab a drink, and dive into conversation about poetry, art, and the world that inspires us. 

Steppenwolf Theatre Community Conversations Series Presented by Allstate

Artists:

Aziza Barnes - Winner of the 2015 Pamet River Prize Aziza’s first full length collection i be but i ain’t, is from YesYes Books 2016. Their chapbook, me Aunt Jemima & the nailgun, was the winner of the inaugural Exploding Pinecone Prize from Button Poetry in 2012. They are a Cave Canem Fellow, co-founder of The Conversation Literary Festival and co-host of the podcast, The Poetry Gods. Their play BLKS has a world premiere at Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago Dec 7th- Jan 21st.

José Olivarez is the son of Mexican immigrants, the author of Citizen Illegal (Haymarket Books) and the co-host of the poetry podcast, The Poetry Gods. He is a graduate of Harvard University and the Marketing Manager at Young Chicago Authors. A winner of a 2016 Poets House Emerging Poet Fellowship and a 2015 Bronx Recognizes Its Own award from the Bronx Council on the Arts, his work has been published in The BreakBeat Poets, Hyperallergic, The Chicago Tribune, among other places. He is from Calumet City, IL, and lives in Chicago.

Jon Sands is an author know for electric readings. He wrote The New Clean (2011, Write Bloody Publishing), and the literary mixtape, The Perfect Mix (2016, Rattapallax Press). His work has been featured in The New York Times, as well as anthologized in The Best American Poetry 2014. He is the co-founder of Poets in Unexpected Places, a Youth Mentor with Urban Word-NYC, and he teaches creative writing for both adults and youth at Bailey House in East Harlem (an HIV/AIDS service center). He is the Program Director of the Dialogue Arts Project, and has represented New York City multiple times at the National Poetry Slam. He tours extensively, but lives in Brooklyn.

Running Time

90 minutes, presented without intermission

Content Advisory

Steppenwolf does not offer advisories about subject matter, as sensitivities vary from person to person.If you have any questions about content, age-appropriateness or stage effects(such as strobe lights or theatrical fog) that might have a bearing on patron comfort, please contact the box office at 312-335-1650.

Running Time

90 minutes, presented without intermission

Content Advisory

Steppenwolf does not offer advisories about subject matter, as sensitivities vary from person to person.If you have any questions about content, age-appropriateness or stage effects(such as strobe lights or theatrical fog) that might have a bearing on patron comfort, please contact the box office at 312-335-1650.