by and with Elgin’s 3rd Term Poet Laureate Aron Ryan

The Elgin Poet Laureate Project is committed to serving the needs of our community. Events will be subject to the Poet Laureate’s availability, will be subject to COVID-19 restrictions and accommodations.  Any organization or individual may request participation by the Poet Laureate.

Request a Poet Visit

  April 11, 2024

  Gail Borden Public Library

Poetry Alive

Poet Laureate Emeritus Gareth Mann, Poet Laureate Aron Ryan, and other local poets celebrated National Poetry Month, reading their original work.

  March 19, 2024

  Gail Borden Public Library

Infinities @ GBPL’s 150th Anniversary

Aron Ryan read his poem Infinities, celebrating Gail Borden Public Library’s 150th Anniversary at the library’s 150th Birthday Party.

Read Aron’s poem Infinities (pdf)

  March 14, 2024

  Elgin Community College

Student Showcase @ Elgin Community College

This event highlighted upcoming selections from Spire (ECC’s literary and arts magazine) and the Palmer Arts Contest. Speech students and creative writing students brought these literary pieces to life through compelling performances, offering a dynamic preview of the talent that will soon be featured in Spire. Hosted by Elgin Community College’s Writers Center. Aron performed his poem Shapeshifter as the final poem of the celebration. Shapeshifter won first place in ECC’s Palmer Arts contest, soon to be published in Spire.

  March 3, 2024

  Gail Borden Public Library

Poetry Galore @ GBPL’s Poet Laureate Reception

Aron Ryan led a reception and poetry reading in the library’s lovely River Room.

Read Aron’s poem Elgin City of Light (pdf)

  February 24, 2024

  Elgin History Museum

Timekeepers @ EHM’s We Love Volunteers

Aron Ryan read his poem Timekeepers, celebrating Elgin History Museum’s volunteers at the museum’s annual volunteer appreciation event We Love Volunteers.

Read Aron’s poem Timekeepers (pdf)



by and with Elgin’s 2nd Term Poet Laureate Gareth Mann


 Readings & Poetry


You are invited to write a poem celebrating any aspect of Elgin that you love. We will post your poem on our Loving Elgin Poem page. All ages are welcome, novice or experienced poets. Email your poem to

March 22, 2022

Readings & Poetry

The Feminine Perspective in Poetry

In recognition of Women’s History Month, listen to poems by famous as well as local women poets. This event was held in conjunction with Gail Borden Public Library. 

April 10, 2022

Readings & Poetry

Poetry Alive

Gareth Mann and other local poets celebrated National Poetry Month, reading their original work. This event was held in conjunction with Gail Borden Public Library. 

May 15, 2022

Elgin Master Chorale Anniversary Concert

Gareth Mann was invited to share a poem at this 75th anniversary concert. 

Read Gareth’s poem Musical Gemstones (pdf)

May 30, 2022

Bluff City Memorial Day Celebration

Gareth Mann was invited to share a poem at Elgin Memorial Day celebration held at Bluff City Cemetery.

Read Gareth’s poem In Celebration of the United States Airforce (pdf)

June 18, 2022

Celebration of Mike Alft

Celebration of the life of noted Elgin residents Mike & Fran Alft. The River Room at the Gail Borden Public Library is to be named after them. Gareth Mann performed her creation among Alft family and friends.

Read Gareth’s poem Celebrating Mike (pdf)

September 12, 2022

Poet Laureate Reception

Reception Elgin’s 2nd Poet Laureate, Gareth Mann, and an evening of fine poetry.

November 9, 2022

Meet the Poet


November 20, 2022

Interfaith Thanksgiving Program

Read Gareth’s poem Enjoy the Journey (pdf)

December 10, 2022

Meet the Poet


February 12, 2023

Readings & Poetry

Loving Elgin Poetry 

Participating poets: Ed Herdrich, Ken Jackson, Marcia Gutierrez, Dave Roller, Aron Ryan, Patty Harkin, Reverend Denice Tracy, Danise Habun, Rabbi Margaret Frisch Klein, Kathryn Long, Cynthia Firtik, Clare Ollayos, Jenny Gordon, Mitch King, Joy Wener Bang,Corey Dixon, Elizabeth King.

March 14, 2023

Meet the Poet


March 29, 2023

Women’s History Month Program

Powerful poetry reading led by Gareth Mann, assisted by talented local readers.


  April 24, 2023
Exhibit formerly at Gail Borden Main Library

Violins of Hope

Celebrating the amazing violins that survived the Holocaust, and Avshi Weinstein, who restored these violins and their stories. Sponsored by JCC Chicago, Elgin Symphony Orchestra, and the Seigle Foundation. 

Read Gareth’s poem Violins of Hope (pdf)


  April 26, 2023
Gail Borden Main Library

Poetry Alive

Celebrating National Poetry month with Gareth Mann and other local poets. 

  April 29, 2023
Gail Borden Main Library

Get to Know an Elgin Poet

Marcia Gutierrez shared her work & talked about her writing process.

  May 29, 2023
Bluff City 

Memorial Day

Gareth Mann’s tribute to the 75th anniversary of the Integration of United States Forces