Open Door: Chris Aldana + Czaerra Galicinao Ucol, Dior J. Stephens + jason b. crawford

The Open Door series highlights creative relationships and collaborations in the Midwest, inviting two featured pairs to share work that opens up poetry as a porous category. The name of the series honors the legacy of Poetry’s founding editor Harriet Monroe, who declared in 1912, "The Open Door will be the policy of this magazine—may the great poet we are looking for never find it shut, or half-shut.” October’s featured readers are Christian Aldana with Czaerra Galicinao Ucol and Dior J. Stephens with jason b. crawford.

This is a hybrid event, which will be offered in-person and via livestream.

Christian Aldana (she/they) is the author of The Water We Swim In (Sampaguita Press, 2023). They are a queer, Filipinx artist, educator, and community organizer based in Chicago. She is the founder and creative director of Luya, a poetry organization that centers the voices of people of color.

Czaerra Galicinao Ucol (they/she) is a queer Filipino writer from Chicago. They are the author of Pisces Urges (Sampaguita Press, 2023). Their poems have appeared in The Offing and beestung. They received their BA in Asian/Pacific/American Studies from New York University. They are also the programs and communications director of Luya, a Chicago-based grassroots poetry organization centering people of color.

Dior J. Stephens (they/he) is a proud pisces hailing from Midwestern waters. He is the author of the chapbooks SCREAMS & lavender, 001, and CANNON!. Their debut full-length collection, CRUEL/CRUEL, is out from Nightboat Books. His work can be found in Somesuch Stories, fourteen poems, and Peach Mag. They happily serve as the managing poetry editor of Foglifter Journal and Press.

jason b. crawford (they/he/she), born in Washington, DC and raised in Lansing, Michigan, is the author of Year of the Unicorn Kidz. They have poems in or forthcoming in Poetry magazine, Cincinnati Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, and RHINO Poetry, among others. They hold a MFA in poetry from The New School.

Curated by Noa Fields.

In-Person Attendance: Masks are strongly encouraged and available at check-in for those who would like to wear one. Please note that some event performers may choose to perform without a mask. The Foundation reserves the right to update this policy if community levels of COVID-19 increase significantly. Read our full COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines. Guests are encouraged to register in advance.

Livestream Attendance: The livestream link will be shared with registered guests on the day of the event. In order to receive the livestream details, please register in advance here.

The Poetry Foundation’s events are completely free of charge and open to the public. This event will include CART captioning and ASL interpretation. For more information about accessibility at the Poetry Foundation, please visit our Accessibility Guide.