Poets of Community and Human Struggle: Edgar Lee Masters and Carl Sandburg

Image with text about the event. Cover of the book Spoon River Anthology

As part of the 2016 Macomb Poetry Festival, Dr. John Hallwas, Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Western Illinois University, will present "Poets of Community and Human Struggle: Edgar Lee Masters and Carl Sandburg." This presentation on the works of two celebrated Midwestern poets will take place on Friday, April 22nd, from 10 AM to 11 AM in the Malpass Library Garden Lounge.

A literary scholar and teacher, Hallwas has written extensively on Masters and Sandburg, publishing in 1992 an annotated edition of Masters’ Spoon River Anthology and an edition of Sandburg’s Chicago Poems with an introduction. In 1994, Spoon River Anthology: An Annotated Edition was selected by Choice Magazine as one of the Outstanding Academic Books in America. In addition, Hallwas has spoken in well over 100 Midwestern communities on subjects of historical and literary interest. This spring, he is the featured speaker at the annual Carl Sandburg festival in Galesburg. His lecture will introduce the audience to the poetry of Masters and Sandburg contained in Spoon River Anthology and Chicago Poems, published a century ago.

This talk, developed as part of the Illinois Humanities Roads Scholar Program, is an excellent fit for Western Illinois University given that “Masters and Sandburg are key figures in the University Archives’ extensive regional authors collection,” says Kathy Nichols, senior library specialist in the Archives and facilitator of the event. “Dr. Hallwas is one of the most requested speakers through the Illinois Humanities Roads Scholar Program, and anyone in our community, including students and faculty members, will without a doubt gain much from attending his lecture,” she added.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Kathy Nichols at or (309) 298-2717.