Open Door: Dreaming Ages

The Open Door series highlights creative relationships in Chicago, including mentorship and collaboration.

Join us for Dreaming Ages, an in-person installment of the Open Door series with Zachary Cahilll, Ama Codjoe, Calvin Forbes, Maud Lavin, Sungjae Lee, and Jenny Lin. The Open Door series highlights creative relationships in Chicago, including mentorship and collaboration.

Dreaming Ages explores nonlinear as well as chronological time in aging. and plays against silences and secrets around aging. Dreaming Ages delves into aging’s whimsy, memories, racial markings, and rediscoveries; it butts heads with the rules and comparisons of each age, and dives into erotics of aging, the delicious, explosive, sensual discoveries at different ages.

The featured writers in the group range in age from their 30s to 70s, and offer varied perspectives on aging’s pleasures and fears, expressing a range of quixotic emotions and striving corporealities. Each pushes against cultural silence about aging, and imagines its ever-changing bodily and dream states. Unicorns, sex, rage, unknowns, images, disabilities, lake swimming, and edibles will appear.

Zachary Cahill is an interdisciplinary artist based in Chicago. For over a decade he has worked on the USSA, a proposition for a country that uses exhibitionary form as a meditation on nation-state infrastructure and propaganda. Cahill’s art has been featured in the Berlin Biennale; Regina Rex, New York; and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, among others. His writings have appeared in Afterall, Artforum, Bad-at-Sports, and Critical Inquiry, and his first novel, The Black Flame of Paradise, was released by Mousse Publishing in 2018. Cahill is the founding editor-in-chief of Portable Gray, a bi-annual arts and ideas journal put out by the University of Chicago Press for the Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry, where he is Director of Programs and Fellowships. In 2021, Cahill self-published the graphic novel, Unicorn Death Road Trip Buddy Movie.

Ama Codjoe is the author of Bluest Nude (Milkweed Editions, 2022) and Blood of the Air (Northwestern University Press, 2020), winner of the Drinking Gourd Chapbook Poetry Prize. Codjoe has been awarded support from Bogliasco, Cave Canem, Robert Rauschenberg, and Saltonstall foundations, as well as from Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop, Hedgebrook, Yaddo, and MacDowell. Her recent poems have appeared in The Best American Poetry and elsewhere. Among other honors, Codjoe has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council/New York Foundation of the Arts, and the Jerome Foundation.

Calvin Forbes is Professor Emeritus School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he has taught Jazz and Blues History and Creative Writing. The author of two collections, Blue Monday (Wesleyan University Press) and The Shine Poems (LSU Press), his poems have been included in many anthologies and his poem “Momma Said,” which was originally published in Poetry, was recorded by jazz musicians Kurt Elling and Branford Marsalis on their Grammy nominated CD Upward Spiral.

A creative nonfiction writer, Maud Lavin’s books include: Cut with the Kitchen Knife, a monograph on the Berlin Dada artist Hannah Höch; Clean New World; and Push Comes to Shove: New Images of Aggressive Women. Most recently she co-edited, with Ling Yang and Jing Jamie Zhao, Boys' Love, Cosplay, and Androgynous Idols: Queer Fan Cultures in Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Lavin’s essays have appeared in Portable GrayHarper's Bazaar, the NationArtforumChicago Artist Writers, and other venues. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and an NEA grant for her writing.

Sungae Lee is a Seoul-born, Chicago-based artist. Lee makes performance, installation, text, and video focusing on queer Asians and their desires that have been regarded as effeminate, desexualized, and thus invisible in the West. He has presented his works globally in South Korea, Sweden, Canada, New Zealand, and the US. He received his B.F.A. in Sculpture from Seoul National University and M.F.A. in Performance Art from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Jenny Lin is a writer and art historian based in Los Angeles, California. She is author of Above Sea: Contemporary Art, Urban Culture, and the Fashioning of Global Shanghai, and is writing a new book and curating a related exhibition: Another Beautiful Country: Moving Images by Chinese American Artists. Lin is Director of the MA Program in Curatorial Practices and the Public Sphere and Associate Professor of Critical Studies at University of Southern California’s Roski School of Art and Design. She holds a PhD in Art History from UCLA and a BA in Architectural Studies and Italian Studies from Brown University.

This is a hybrid event, which will be offered in-person and via livestream. A recording of this event will be made available on the Poetry Foundation website after the event.

In-Person Attendance:

All guests over the age of two must wear a mask inside the Poetry Foundation building. Guests over the age of five must show proof of vaccination and booster up to the level to which they are eligible for their age group. Guests over the age of 18 must show ID alongside their proof of vaccination. If you cannot meet these requirements, you will not be granted entry to the event. Please note that some performers may choose to perform without a mask. 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.

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.