May 29th 2018

Read/Write Library welcomes Fred Sasaki, co-editor of Who Reads Poetry: 50 Views from Poetry Magazine. Since 2005, Poetry magazine has collected testimonials about how and why people — artists, musicians, doctors, soldiers, economists, iron-workers — read poems. These essays appear in a special section of the magazine called “The View from Here,” and many are collected in the anthology Who Reads Poetry (University of Chicago Press, 2017).

Each Hungry for Stories discussion encourages participants to question the culture and expression we value as a city through not just exploring a wide range of contemporary books, but also their creators’ perspectives on Chicago and the local communities that inform and support their work. With the selection of vastly different forms, genres and voices from across the city, Hungry for Stories is growing a community committed to reading outside of their comfort zones.

This discussion is free for current Hungry for Stories subscribers and their guests, $10 for the public and all attendees are welcome to actively participate regardless of subcriber status. To learn more and subscribe for future books and discussions, visit:

About Who Reads Poetry

Who reads poetry? We know that poets do, but what about the rest of us? When and why do we turn to verse? Seeking the answer, Poetry magazine since 2005 has published a column called “The View From Here,” which has invited readers “from outside the world of poetry” to describe what has drawn them to poetry. Over the years, the incredibly diverse set of contributors have included philosophers, journalists, musicians, and artists, as well as doctors and soldiers, an iron-worker, an anthropologist, and an economist. This collection brings together fifty compelling pieces, which are in turns surprising, provocative, touching, and funny.

In one essay, musician Neko Case calls poetry “a delicate, pretty lady with a candy exoskeleton on the outside of her crepe-paper dress.” In another, anthropologist Helen Fisher turns to poetry while researching the effects of love on the brain, “As other anthropologists have studied fossils, arrowheads, or pot shards to understand human thought, I studied poetry. . . . I wasn’t disappointed: everywhere poets have described the emotional fallout produced by the brain’s eruptions.” Even film critic Roger Ebert memorized the poetry of e. e. cummings, and the rapper Rhymefest attests here to the self-actualizing power of poems: “Words can create worlds, and I’ve discovered that poetry can not only be read but also lived out. My life is a poem.” Music critic Alex Ross tells us that he keeps a paperback of The Palm at the End of the Mind by Wallace Stevens on his desk next to other, more utilitarian books like a German dictionary, a King James Bible, and a Macintosh troubleshooting manual.

Who Reads Poetry offers a truly unique and broad selection of perspectives and reflections, proving that poetry can be read by everyone. No matter what you’re seeking, you can find it within the lines of a poem.

About Fred Sasaki

Fred Sasaki edits Poetry magazine’s prose feature “The View from Here,” from which the essays in this book are gathered. He is the art director of Poetry magazine and a gallery curator at the Poetry Foundation. He authored Real Life Emails, a book of deluded emails, and the zine series FRED SASAKI’S AND FRED SASAKI’S FOUR-PAGER GUIDE TO: HOW TO FIX YOU. He is the board president of Revolving Door Arts. In 2004 he founded Chicago Printers Ball, an annual celebration of poetry and printmaking. He is also cofounder of the Homeroom 101 pop and subculture show.


What are my transportation/parking options for getting to and from the event?

We’re located on the corner of California and Walton (just south of Augusta Blvd and north of Chicago Ave). Our entrance is on Walton up a ramp; look for the round white Read/Write Library sign. The #52 California and #66 Chicago buses are no more than a block away and parking is plentiful. Read/Write Library is wheelchair accessible.

What can I bring into the event?
This event is BYOB.

How can I contact the organizer with any questions?
Email us at

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?
Nope! Please register by noon on the day of the event, we will have a printed list at the event.

Can I update my registration information?
Yes, but please do so by noon on the day of the event!

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