Book Release and Poetry Reading: "Fruit of the Earth" by Jamie Wendt, with Caroline Johnson

Join us at City Lit Books for a Poetry Reading and Book Release for Fruit of the Earth by Jamie Wendt at 6:30 pm on Thursday, August 30th, 2018.

In her debut poetry collection, Fruit of the Earth, Jamie Wendt explores the traditions of her Jewish heritage through personal life-cycle events and Judaism’s historical roots. Wendt pays tribute to her loving grandmother in a series of poems focused around the passing-on of significant objects from generation to generation. Many poems revolve around women’s experiences, ranging from modest dress to the wedding day and barrenness to new motherhood. The peace of the Sabbath and images of Israel’s beauty recur throughout the book. Her poems are both narrative and lyric and aim to expose and connect readers to the images and motifs of Jewish identity.

Jamie will be joined by poet Caroline Johnson, author of The Caregiver

The Caregiver is Caroline Johnson's first full-length publication. It includes 50 poems that were inspired by the 15 years she devoted to taking care of her aging parents. The gathering includes free verse, lyrical poems, prose poetry and some formal verse. Many of the poems won contests and have been previously published in online print journals and anthologies. The poems touch on the topic of grieving but go beyond and focus on the many difficulties a caregiver experiences--both emotional and physical--yet also recognize the spiritual gifts that come with helping a loved one. Caregiving is a significant issue for our times and will only become more important as our population ages.

Jamie Wendt is a graduate of the University of Nebraska Omaha MFA program. She received a Bachelor of Arts in English from Drake University. Her debut poetry collection, Fruit of the Earth, is being released in August 2018 from Main Street Rag Publishing Company. Her poetry has been published in various literary journals, including Lilith, Raleigh Review, Minerva Rising, Third Wednesday, and Saranac Review. Her essays and book reviews have been published in Green Mountains Review, the Forward, Literary Mama, and others. She teaches high school English and lives in Chicago with her husband and two children.

Caroline Johnson has two poetry chapbooks, Where the Street Ends and My Mother’s Artwork, and more than 100 poems in print. A nominee for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, she has won numerous state and national poetry awards, including the 2012 Chicago Tribune’s Printers Row Poetry Contest. She is president of Poets and Patrons of Chicago and leads poetry workshops for veterans and others in the Chicago area. Her first full-length collection of poems, The Caregiver, was inspired by years of family caregiving and is now available from Holy Cow! Press. One of her favorite activities in the past was watching James Bond movies with her father.

Event date: 
Thursday, August 30, 2018 - 6:30pm
Event address: 
City Lit Books
2523 N. Kedzie Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60647