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Nov. 14: Writer José Olivarez to present reading and workshop

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Nov 05, 2018

Writer José Olivarez will read from his debut book of poems, “Citizen Illegal” and will present a writing workshop as part of the College of Lake County Reading Series on Wednesday, Nov. 14. The workshop will be held from 3-4:30 p.m. in Room T347, and the reading begins at 7 p.m. in Room A013 (A Wing Conference Center) at CLC’s Grayslake Campus. Both events are free and open to the public.

Chicago author Kathleen Rooney, writing in the Chicago Tribune, has high praise for “Citizen Illegal,” which was released in September by Haymarket Books. “Olivarez’s indispensable debut poetry collection, ’Citizen Illegal,’ is a boisterous, empathetic, funny-yet-serious (but not self-serious) celebratory ode to chicanx life in the contemporary United States,” Rooney wrote. Photo of writer Jose Olivarez

The son of Mexican immigrants, Olivarez (pictured) is the co-author of the book of poems “Home Court,” and co-host of the poetry podcast, “The Poetry Gods.” A recipient of fellowships from CantoMundo, Poets House, the Bronx Council on the Arts, the Poetry Foundation and the Conversation Literary Festival, his work has been published in several media. They include the BreakBeat Poets, Adroit Journal, The Rumpus and Hyperallergic. Olivarez lives in Chicago. Read more about him at

At the afternoon workshop, participants will write poems that use interruptions and unreliable narrators in order to get closer to the truth. “Attendees will learn how to bring a chorus of competing voices into a poem, and they will learn how contradiction creates tension and room for advancement in a poem,” said Olivarez. “Aspiring writers of all levels will find the workshop beneficial.”

For information, contact Kathy Kusiak, English professor, at (847) 543-2962 or The events are being presented by CLC’s Communication Arts, Humanities and Fine Arts division.

About College of Lake County:

College of Lake County is an innovative community college in Lake County, Ill. that transforms lives with its variety of accessible, quality education options. Offered at three campuses in Grayslake, Vernon Hills and Waukegan or online, College of Lake County provides affordable options in a state-of-the-art setting close to home. A large student network, with small class sizes, provides advantages to our students on a career-related program or a path toward a transfer degree. We’re proud to serve the diverse needs of our community and student body. Connect to your future today at College of Lake County.