The Applied Words program explores contemporary issues through a multidisciplinary lens. Poetry readings are paired with performances from other creative mediums, such as dance, theatre, and visual art.

By experiencing how different methods of artistic exploration intersect, attendees come away with a refreshed vocabulary for talking about old problems and a renewed sense of understanding and overcoming.


April 7, 6:00 - 8:00pm CDT, Virtual Event

This reading was a part of the Guild Literary Complex’s Applied Words series of multidisciplinary events and conversations on contemporary social issues.

The work of these writers is informed by backgrounds, experiences, and research that reach across national borders. The memories and histories of persecution, migration, exile, and assimilation threaded through these authors’ poetry and prose are a welcome reminder that American writing is always already global.

Featuring: Dipika Mukherjee, Ines Bellina , Michael Zapata, Sahar Mustafah, Frances de Pontes Peebles, Fabiola Werlang

March 25, 2021:

The second Exhibit B of 2021 featured incredible performances from artists Jose Hernandez Diaz, Emily Martin, Ian Wojcikiewicz, and Shailen Mishra.

Past event details

February 22, 2021: The Guild Literary Complex brought together some of the BIPOC writers from our 30 Writers to Watch to read a couple of pieces, chat about their work, and discuss how they’re charting their paths in an industry more embracing of their stories.

Featuring: Justin Howard Rosier, Nate Marshall, Ciara Miller, Nikki Patin, and Mojdeh Stoakley.

Past event details: 30W2W Black History Month Reading

Still Here - past Applied Words Event

Creative Freedom: Writing In and Out of Prison – 2019

Magnitude and Bond – 2018

Segregation and Education in Chicago – 2017