Two Saturday evenings a month, visitors to Wicker Park’s Myopic Books who make their way to the top floor may find a poetry reading in progress.
Chicago poet Larry Sawyer took over the curation of the Myopic Poetry Series in 2005. Sawyer selects work that appeals to him: contemporary poetry that is often experimental or avant garde. The readings are free, informal and brief events featuring an eclectic mixture of Chicago poets and out-of-towners.
At a recent reading, Bela Shayevich and Ainsley Morse read from their new publication, “Live I See,” an English translation of the collected works of Russian poet Vsevolod Nekrasov. During the reading, Shayevich and Morse read the short, strange and often nonsensical poems that are apparently characteristic of Nekrasov’s work. Shayevich and Morse varied between English and Russian, sometimes singing the poems, contorting their faces to let out large “ooo’s” or to make harsh, gutteral clicks with their tongues.
“Tonight’s reading was all over the place, but it was really easy to get it. And the readers were very lively,” Sawyer said. “It’s not always so much about being entertaining or even being very demonstrative as a reader. If the poems themselves are written well, then the audience appreciates it.”