Hungry for Stories Discussion #12 — Rust Belt Chicago ft. Martha Bayne

Event Date: 
Thursday, March 29, 2018 - 7:00pm


Read/Write Library
914 N. California
60622 Chicago , IL

Read/Write Library welcomes Martha Bayne, editor of Rust Belt Chicago: An Anthology, a collection of fiction, essays, poetry and more "required reading" for understanding the place we're in now.

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:

As we move forward into 2018, we want to hear from you. Whether you have subscribed or not this year, please take a moment to share your feedback so we can make Hungry for Stories even better. Feedback Link

About Rust Belt Chicago: An Anthology

“Writers like Stuart Dybek, Studs Terkel, Sandra Cisneros, Nelson Algren and Gwendolyn Brooks start to make up the city’s canon. They are required reading for every Chicagoan. But Rust Belt Chicago: An Anthology, the neighborhood cookbook taking the pulse of post-industrial Chicago right now seems like required reading as well.” Emma Terhaar, Third Coast Review

Chicago is built on a foundation of meat and railroads and steel, but its identity long ago stretched past manufacturing. A city of opportunity from the get-go, it continues to lure new residents from around the world, and from across a region rocked by recession and deindustrialization. But the problems that plague the Belt don’t disappear once you get past Gary. In fact, they’re often amplified. Chicago’s glittering downtown towers stand in sharp contrast to the struggling south and west sides. A city defined by movement that’s the anchor of the Midwest, bound to its neighbors by a shared ecosystem and economy, Chicago’s complicated – both of the Belt and beyond it. Which makes it a perfect subject for a book. Includes work by Chloe Taft, Sonya Huber, Britt Julious, Kari Lydersen, Kevin Coval, Mark Guarino, and many more.

About Martha Bayne

Martha Bayne is a writer and editor based in Chicago, and a senior editor with Cleveland-based Belt Publishing, producing independent books and journalism for the Rust Belt. Rust Belt Chicago, an anthology of essays, poetry, and short fiction which she edited, was published by Belt in August 2017. Her features and essays have also appeared in Buzzfeed, the Chicago Reader, Crain’s Chicago Business, the Chicago Tribune, the Rumpus, the Baffler, and Latterly magazine, among other outlets. For the spring of 2017 she was also a team leader with City Bureau, reporting on the West Side of Chicago, and she is currently on staff part-time with the Medill School of Journalism’s Social Justice News Nexus program.

Beyond writing and editing, she's involved with a handful of other long-running projects. In 2009 she started the ongoing Soup & Bread series of hunger-relief fundraisers at Chicago’s Hideout bar and music venue, and in 2011 Evanston-based independent press Agate Publishing released her Soup & Bread Cookbook: Building Community One Pot at a Time, a narrative cookbook combining recipes from Soup & Bread with stories exploring the wide-ranging social functions of soup.

She is also a member of Theater Oobleck’s artistic ensemble, with whom she has worked on a wide range of projects. Most recently Oobleck produced A Memory Palace of Fear, an immersive theater project qua haunted house she developed with visual artist Andrea Jablonski, in October 2017.


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!