“If you take a look at the Chicago literary scene, it’s readings, readings, readings,” says Mare Swallow, executive director and founder of Chicago Writers Conference, a nonprofit organization that connects writers with local publishers.  “I love readings, but I thought, why not mess it up a bit?”

That’s the reasoning behind "Party with a Purpose: Bad Poetry Night," a fundraising event for the nonprofit org’s literacy programs and a live reading bonanza happening on Tuesday, March 31 at 6:30pm. Hosted by WGN’s Mike Stephens, featured readers, including New Yorker cartoonist Pat Byrnes and WBEZ’s Monica Eng, will recite the worst poetry that Open Books could find (think Suzanne Somers–level). “One of our board members created the Promptenator 3000, which will issue out [poems] for people to read,” says Swallow.

In addition to poetry, there will be a silent auction, drinks, and appetizers. “We want to have fun with this,” says Swallow.

To get tickets, click here