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In-Person: ARCHITECT by Alison Thumel

Please join us for an in-person poetry reading celebrating Architect by Alison Thumel. Joining her for the reading will be Meg Kim.

Please note: Pre-registration for this event is required. By pre-registering, you are verifying that you are fully vaccinated and will wear a mask throughout the entirety of the event.


“When he died, my brother became the architect of the rest of my life,” writes Alison Thumel in Architect, which interweaves poems, lyric essays, and visual art to great emotional effect. In this debut collection, the buildings of Frank Lloyd Wright become a blueprint for elegy, as Thumel overlays the language of architecture with the language of grief to raze and reconstruct memories, metaphors, and myths. With obsessive and exacting focus, the poet leads us through room after room in a search to answer whether it is possible to rebuild in the wake of loss. Meanwhile, the midwestern landscape beyond these rooms—the same landscape that infuses the low, horizontal forms of Wright’s Prairie Style buildings—shapes the figures in Architect as well as their fates: “For years after my brother’s death, I collected news articles on people who died young and tragically in landlocked states. Prairie Style deaths—boys sucked down into grain silos or swept up by tornadoes or fallen through a frozen pond. The boys I didn’t know, but the landscape I did. The dread of it. How many miles you can look ahead. For how long you see what is coming.”

Alison Thumel’s poems have appeared in Poetry, the Adroit Journal, New England Review, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of a Wallace Stegner Fellowship in poetry at Stanford University, a grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation, and the Martha Meier Renk Fellowship from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where she completed her MFA.

Meg Kim is a poet from Southern Oregon currently living in Chicago. Her work has appeared in Ninth Letter, Sundog Lit, and Gulf Coast, among others, and her debut chapbook, INVISIBLE CARTOGRAPHIES, is forthcoming summer 2024 with New Delta Review.

Accessibility: This event is hosted at the bookstore, which is a wheelchair accessible space. Masks are required. Seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis. To request ASL interpretation for this event, please email by no later than 14 days before the event. For other questions or access needs, please email

Event date: 
Friday, June 14, 2024 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
Women & Children First
5233 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60640
Architect (Miller Williams Poetry Prize) By Alison Thumel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781682262481
Availability: On our shelves recently
Published: University of Arkansas Press - March 21st, 2024

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