A Memory Palace of Fear: The proof

A propos of just about nothing, except that everything everywhere is still as terrifying today as it was at Halloween, here’s a just-finished video snippet documenting A Memory Palace of Fear, the haunted house/immersive theater piece/art experiment I staged with Andrea Jablonski and Theater Oobleck in October. Video footage and editing by Cat Jarboe.   … Continued

Rust Belt Chicago Winter Sales

Wouldn’t this look cute under a tree? In a gift bag? Stuffed awkwardly into a stocking? You can make it happen! I’ll be selling Rust Belt Chicago and other Belt books at a few holiday sales and other events around town in the coming month. They’re listed below — but if you can’t make it … Continued

Press for “A Memory Palace of Fear”

I’ve been working on a … play. Or an art installation. Or something perhaps uncategorizable. In any case, it’s been a lot of fun. Here’s a lovely, thoughtful review of our “silly, irony-soaked inversion of the traditional haunted house,” from Justin Hayford at the Chicago Reader. And here’s Third Coast Review critic Karin McKie on the … Continued

Belt Publishing in LitHub

“After the 2016 presidential election, Belt yet again found itself on the defensive, confronted with the imperative to elucidate the region’s cultures, histories, and communities at a time when the mainstream media was consistently reducing the diverse flyover states to the sole terrain of an angry, white working class who believed Trump’s voice was loud enough to … Continued

Baffler 36: Utopia Parkway

IN THE WANING DAYS OF MARCH 2017, as Donald Trump busied himself taking photo-ops with truckers and dismantling Obama-era environmental protections, a young man named Austen Allred did what young people do these days when they have a thought. He took himself to Twitter. “I’m just waiting for someone to buy up an entire city in … Continued

Inside Hook on Rust Belt Chicago

“A well-rounded picture of the city that concerns place and displacement; peace and violence; isolation and community…. This one should be proudly displayed on your shelf or coffee table.” A lovely review from Michael Nolledo at Inside Hook.

Third Coast Review on Rust Belt Chicago

“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.” — Third Coast Review, August 22, 2017 So, … Continued

Rust Belt Chicago: After Hours with Rick Kogan

“One of the best books to come across my desk that I can frankly remember.” On Sunday, August 20, I had the great pleasure of talking with legendary Chicago newsman Rick Kogan at length. I have been known, iin the past, to rail against his oh-so-perfect radio voice, all round tones dripping with gravitas, but I … Continued

Chicago Tribune on Rust Belt Chicago

Belt’s latest is “Rust Belt Chicago: An Anthology,” a lively grab bag of essays, fiction and poetry that reads at times like who’s who of contemporary Chicago writers/residents. … taking on topics as varied as reparations for police violence, the barflies of Pilsen and the “myth of toughness in Chicago sports.” What emerges is not … Continued

1001 Chicago Afternoons on the RBC release party

We sang Chicago to each other. We sang its highs and lows. We sang its long, straight streets perfect for getting lost when you’re in the mood to do so. We sang the communities that made us young black girls and the bars that made us wild and wanton gentrifiers. And I even got a … Continued