The Open Door series presents work from Chicago’s new and emerging poets and highlights the area’s outstanding writing programs. Each hour-long event features readings by two Chicagoland writing program instructors and two of their current or recent students. This month’s reading features Leila A. Wilson and student Megan Sungyoon, and Rachel Jamison Webster and student Ella Lombard.
Rachel Jamison Webster is an Associate Professor at Northwestern University. She is the author of Mary is a River (Kelsey Books 2018), a book-length poem that was a finalist for the National Poetry Series in 2014; the collection of poetry September (Northwestern University Press 2013) and the cross-genre book The Endless Unbegun (Twelve Winters 2015); as well as two chapbooks, The Blue Grotto and Hazel & The Mirror (Dancing Girl Press 2009, 2015). Rachel’s poems and essays appear regularly in journals and anthologies, including Tin House, The Southern Review, The Paris Review, and Narrative.
Ella Lombard is a senior at Northwestern University studying poetry and psychology. In both fields, she is interested in how the stories we tell reflect and transform us over time. When she’s not writing poems, she is a Division I student-athlete on the fencing team.
Leila A. Wilson is the author of The Hundred Grasses (Milkweed Editions), a finalist for the 2014 Kate Tufts Discovery Award. Her essay on Walt Whitman and decomposition is forthcoming in 21 | 19 (Milkweed Editions). She received the Friends of Literature Prize from the Poetry Foundation, and her poems and essays have appeared in Iowa Review, Chicago Review, Poetry, A Public Space, American Letters and Commentary, Denver Quarterly, and elsewhere. She runs the Writing Center at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she also teaches creative writing and literature.
Megan Sungyoon is a poet and translator currently based in New York, where she is pursuing an MFA in Poetry and Literary Translation at Columbia University. Sungyoon’s first poetry collection, Conversion, has been turned into its namesake artist book, which is currently on reserve at the Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection, Chicago, IL. Sungyoon’s poems and essays have appeared in Columbia Journal Online, Hypertext Review, Homonym Journal, and F Newsmagazine.