The Everyday Joys of Living: A Reading Series

The Everyday Joys of Living is a new reading series hosted + curated by Rivka Yeker, former Volumes Open Mic host and longtime employee. The series was created as a way to slowly come back to IRL literary community 3 years after the pandemic began. Recognizing the real physical damage of COVID, the psychological effects of the pandemic and the ongoing disillusionment of society, this event is a way to honor our grief as well as the glimpses of joy that are hard to stay grounded in.

As a way to reignite their own relationship to poetry, Rivka sees the theme of "everyday joys" as an integral part to being a poet or a writer in general. Though poetry (and live readings) can be where people share deepest worries, fears, realities, truths, it is also the place where beauty lives on in the shortest of stanzas or longest of words.

There aren't many rules to the structure of the event, except readers are asked to bring at least one poem/piece that resembles the joy of living, but are free to explore any topic in their offerings. 


About the readers:

Rainn (She/They) is a Black lesbian artist and writer living in Chicago. Her work focuses on religious trauma within the Black community and Black sexuality. They are also the host and co-producer of Fruit Salad, a monthly queer open mic at Dorothy in the Ukrainian Village. Her installation, “Sanctified,” is currently on view at The Whistler. 

Nick Rossi is a co-founder / editor / designer at Sobotka Literary Magazine / Ursus Americanus Press / No Rest Press. His work has recently appeared in Oyez Review, Court Green, Rejection Letters, Hooligan Magazine, Funny Looking Dog Quarterly, Columbia Poetry Review, and elsewhere. He lives and works in Chicago, IL.


Vanessa Borjon is a writer, facilitator and abortion funder. A graduate of Columbia College Chicago where she received her BFA in poetry, she made the pivot to focusing on reproductive justice in just the past couple of years. She is currently a Support Coordinator with the Chicago Abortion Fund but has been an abortion doula since 2014. Vanessa has been previously published in Borderless Magazine, Bitch Magazine, Quaint Magazine, The Corazonland Review, and Nepantla, amongst others.  

Samantha Edith Cooper is a poet and fiction writer from Chicago, IL. She is the author of the chapbook Mauled by Bull Ants Outside the Highpoint Shopping Centre (Bottlecap Press, 2022). Her work has appeared in Hooligan Mag’s Spilled Ink column, and in Orangepeel Magazine.

Stuti Sharma (she/they) is a poet, comedian, photographer, educator, and filmmaker who is of Indian heritage, born in Nairobi, and raised in Chicago. She has work in Autostraddle, Belt Magazine, Hooligan Magazine, Mason Jar, and she was a member of the Tin House 2020 Summer Workshop. She was a collective member with Chicago Desi Youth Rising, and movement work grounds her work as an artist. They ran an after school program in Chicago's Devon neighborhood through the Indo American Center, where she ran a comedy fundraiser to get the kids an ice cream truck for free. You can contact and find more information on her shows and writing here


- We ask for people to wear masks at this event because it is important for us to create a space where people can feel safe(r) as we still navigate an ongoing pandemic. 

- Any racist, anti-Black, homophobic, transphobic, anti-semitic, Islamophobic, xenophobic, or ableist behavior will not be tolerated and any person who ignores this rule will be asked to leave.

- Volumes is ADA compliant and accessible for those who use wheelchairs and there are two accessible gender neutral bathrooms. There are two steps to get to the "stage" area, but we do not always use that space as a "stage" and can shift to anywhere in the store if need be.

See you soon!

Event date: 
Thursday, May 18, 2023 - 6:00pm to 8:30pm