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We can trace the roots of our organization back a century into the history of Chicago, to the origins of Poetry magazine and to its founder Harriet Monroe. It is her vision that informs the work we do every day. But there is also a second woman—really a second founder—whose philanthropy has made everything the Foundation does possible. Ruth Lilly, in bestowing on poetry a significant portion of her personal wealth, ensured that Harriet Monroe’s desire to celebrate and discover the best poetry will continue long into the magazine’s second century. The Foundation, whose mission commits it to a more vigorous presence for poetry in our culture, has pursued this through a family of programs, all realized with Ms. Lilly’s generous gift. Harriet Monroe and Ruth Lilly were two women of the Midwest for whom poetry was a passion central to life itself. We celebrate their lasting gifts every day and share them with you through our work.

Office of the President

Kathleen Coughlin, CFO, VP for Finance and Administration
Maris Maeve O’Tierney, President’s Assistant and Secretary to the Board

Finance & Administration

Krystal Languell, Finance and Administration Director
Nevertha Brooks, Finance Associate
Angelica Flores, Receptionist and Fiscal Assistant

Programs & Community Engagement

Ydalmi Noriega, Director of Programs and Community Engagement
Justine Haka, Program Manager
Itzel Blancas, Program Assistant
Alex Benjamin, Building and Events Manager
Noah Fields, Events and Logistics Assistant
Meg Forajter, Poetry Ambassador
Michael Keating, Poetry Ambassador
Me’Chelle Robinson, Poetry Ambassador
Evalena Friedman, Poetry Ambassador
Akilah Muhammad, Poetry Ambassador

Digital Programs

Harlan Wallach, Chief Technology Officer and Director of Digital Programs
James Sitar, Senior Editor
Jeremy Lybarger, Features Editor
Shoshana Olidort, Web Editor
Janet Cheung, Web Producer
Michelle Martinez, Permissions Coordinator


Katherine Litwin, Library Director and Exhibitions Cocurator
Maggie Queeney, Library Associate
Stefania Gomez, Education and Youth Services Assistant


Sarah Whitcher, Media and Marketing Director
Liz O’Connell-Thompson, Senior Media Associate
Emily Bieniek, Media Assistant
Hannah Kucharzak, Marketing and Production Assistant

Poetry Magazine

Fred Sasaki, Art Director and Exhibitions Cocurator, Interim Coeditor
Lindsay Garbutt, Interim Coeditor
Holly Amos, Interim Coeditor
Hannah Kucharzak, Marketing and Production Assistant
Meaghan Winston, Digital Magazine Producer

Honorary Trustee

Ruth Lilly

American poetry has no greater friend than Ruth Lilly. Over many years and in many ways, it has been blessed by her personal generosity. In 1985 she endowed the Ruth Lilly Professorship in Poetry at Indiana University.

In 1986 she established the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. Awarded annually, the $100,000 prize honors a living US poet whose lifetime accomplishments warrant extraordinary recognition. In 1989 she created two Ruth Lilly Fellowships, for $15,000 each, given annually by the Poetry Foundation to undergraduate or graduate students selected through a national competition. In 2002 her lifetime engagement with poetry culminated in a magnificent bequest that will enable the Poetry Foundation to promote, in perpetuity, a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture.

Poetry Foundation Trustees

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61 West Superior Street
Chicago, IL 60654


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Building Closures:

Our building is closed for the remainder of 2020. Stay connected with us online.