Billy Corgan To Preview Poetry Collection In Chicago

Zwan frontman will combine music and his own verse in Wednesday performance.

Following in Jewel and Ashanti’s footsteps, Billy Corgan is also getting in touch with his inner poet. The former Smashing Pumpkins/current Zwan frontman is previewing his forthcoming poetry book next week in Chicago. He’s already shopping the collection to New York publishers.

Corgan will open the Poetry Center of Chicago’s 31st annual Reading Series, to be held at the Art Institute of Chicago’s Rubloff Auditorium. In addition to previewing his verse, Corgan’s hour-long performance on Wednesday will include a musical component. Organizers said that the event was designed to establish a link between poetry, song lyrics and music, but didn’t know yet if Corgan would be playing his own music, or if he would be accompanied.

“We’re giving him total artistic license,” the Poetry Center’s Shirley Stephenson said. “And he said that music will be an important element. We’re just not sure how, just yet.”

Previous Poetry Center readers have included William S. Burroughs, Carlos Fuentes, Allen Ginsberg and David Mamet.

Tickets for the reading cost $35 through TicketWeb, and proceeds benefit the Poetry Center. A post-reading reception will be held at the loft of an art collector in Chicago. For more information, log on to www.poetrycenter.org.