Weather Updates

Poet Li-Young Lee to read at University of Chicago

storyidforme: 43687683
tmspicid: 16169522
fileheaderid: 7280471

Updated: March 1, 2013 7:05PM

What: In his award-winning lyric poetry, Li-Young Lee reaches out to mythical, intellectual and sacred realms beyond simple quotidian reality. Born in Indonesia in 1955 to Chinese political exiles, Lee was forced to flee with his family because of political oppression, ultimately settling in the United States when he was 7. The Chicago resident reads some of his works Thursday evening as part of the University of Chicago’s Reva Logan Poetry Series. Included will be a new poem he wrote in commemoration of the recent opening of the Logan Center for the Arts.

Insider’s Take: “When I speak socially, I’m using language to communicate information and so on, but I think language has other functions,” Lee said. “It can communicate or manifest sacred states of consciousness or wisdom states or knowledge states. I think the great mission of lyric poetry is to manifest a person speaking in extremis in a sacred state. And to hear that done by a reader of poetry is a kind of service. It’s like when you hear a priest or somebody offer a prayer publicly.”

Particulars: Lee’s reading will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday in the terrace seminar room at the at University of Chicago’s Logan Center, 915 E. 60th St. Admission is free. (773) 834-8524;

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.