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Krannert Uncorked with Urbana’s Poet Laureate

Will Reger

January 2020

The City of Urbana’s Arts and Culture Program and Krannert Center for the Performing Arts are proud to welcome Urbana’s inaugural Poet Laureate, Will Reger, to Krannert Uncorked on Thursday, January 23, 2020, at 5pm for a special reading celebrating the release of his poetry book Petroglyphs. The event will feature a welcome from Mayor Diane Wolfe Marlin and Arts and Culture Coordinator Rachel Storm; a talk and reading from Will Reger; and a live musical performance. 

Will Reger was born and raised in the St. Louis, Missouri, area. He obtained his PhD in history from the University of Illinois and lives in Champaign, Illinois, with his wife and two youngest children. A co-leader of CU Poetry Group, Reger has lent his energies towards initiatives such as MTD Poetry, CU Haiku in The News Gazette, and Poets at the Post, a monthly open mic held at The Iron Post in Urbana. Reger teaches within the Department of History at both Illinois State University and Parkland College and has read his poetry work at The Urbana Free Library, Boneyard Arts Festival, Imbibe Urbana’s Love for All Poetry Crawl, SPEAK Café, Respect the Mic, and as part of an annual reading at Danville Correctional Center. 

Petroglyphs is the first full volume of poetry from Will Reger, the 2019-20 Poet Laureate of Urbana, Illinois. It contains original poetry written in “spare and powerful” language that demands we take another look at what is easy to ignore in our daily lives—a walk in the park, tucking in a child, dreams, watching a hawk soar, suffering, death. The voice in this volume recognizes how essential it is to know that when foxes call out to one another, it is because they have “some true thing/they need to tell.” 

The Poet Laureate program celebrates Urbana’s vibrant arts and culture scene through the work of a poet who elevates the art of written and spoken word, as well as conducts outreach activities, special programs, and presentations of individual works.

About the City of Urbana Arts and Culture Commission 

The Arts and Culture Commission works to celebrate and nurture the City of Urbana’s cultural and artistic diversity. The Commission nurtures creative expression, celebrates diversity, builds creative public spaces, and showcases the City of Urbana as a thriving destination for arts and culture. 

About the City of Urbana’s Poet Laureate Program 

The City of Urbana’s Poet Laureate Program celebrates poetry by recognizing a resident poet who honors and serves our diverse community and elevates the importance of the creative writing art form through sharing their work with Urbana residents. The Poet Laureate acts as an advocate for poetry, language, and the arts. They create a unique artistic legacy through readings and civic events. 

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