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Mike Royko

Thursday, April 28, 2022

By TBD

Mike Royko died 25 years ago, on April 29, 1997.

It’s only right to start a remembrance of Mike Royko with a quick one-sentence lede. The swift jab of his lede was a hallmark we all appreciated, straight through to the knockout punch of his snappy conclusion.

Here’s an iconic example from October 19, 1971, on the imminent destruction of Adler &…

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Shel Silverstein Gets a Stamp

Saturday, April 9, 2022

By Dmitry Samarov

I get a curious email from a man named Artis. He’s writing on behalf of the United States Postal Service. It isn’t to ask me to stop harassing the post office about delayed or lost packages, as I would have surmised. He’s inviting me to take part in the unveiling of the first-ever stamp featuring the work of Shel Silverstein.…

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Society of Midland Authors (SMA) Marks 107th Year in Chicago

Sunday, April 3, 2022

By R. Craig Sautter

April of this year, 2022, marks the 107th anniversary of the Chicago-based Society of Midland Authors, a lively group that still flourishes with nearly 400 paid members representing book authors in 12 States of the American Midland. SMA conducts monthly meetings and literary programs, normally at the Cliff Dwellers’ Club, high above the Art Institute, overlooking Grant Park and Lake…

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Let Us All Improve Our Russian

Thursday, March 17, 2022

by Gint Aras

I have deep connections to Eastern Europe. I’m a dual citizen, qualified for Lithuanian citizenship because my parents and grandparents are displaced Lithuanians. During WWII, they fled Russian occupation and the strong likelihood of execution or deportation to Siberia, where Russia had set up labor and prison camps. My elders landed in Cicero, Illinois, whose manufacturing jobs, affordable housing and ethnic parishes…

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Ana Castillo’s My Book of the Dead

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

by Donald G. Evans

Almost from the start of her education at Little Italy grade schools and then Jones College Prep, Ana Castillo refused to limit herself to one thing or another. Growing up in a politically-charged Chicago, Castillo witnessed the near-demolition of her family’s neighborhood, Martin Luther King, Jr. in Marquette Park, the Democratic Convention riots, and so much more that sparked her interest…

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An Interview with Nancy Johnson

Thursday, February 17, 2022

By Richard Reeder

I had the pleasure of having lunch with author Nancy Johnson at the Cliff Dwellers recently. Nancy is the featured author at the February Cliff Dwellers book club on Saturday, February 26, discussing her debut novel, The Kindest Lie. The book club is still meeting via Zoom, so since Nancy had never been to the club, I invited her…

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On Ronald L. Fair’s Hog Butcher

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

by Kathleen Rooney

Back in August of 2020, I tweeted: “Why aren’t more people reading TRUMBULL PARK by Frank London Brown? About black families integrating a housing project in the 1950s? It should be taught in high school. Taught in college. Made into a movie. It’s maybe the best Chicago novel ever written.” I had been reading the book as part of my…

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A CLHOF Poem While You Wait

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

by Donald G. Evans

Poems While You Wait is a small, quirky concern, a quiet presence at Chicago literary festivals, book fairs, theaters, flea markets, and other corridors in which small, intellecturally curious types cluster. At first, it strikes one as all concept: wow! clever!! do me!!! It's a bit like the boardwalk artists offering to draw your caricacture. Except this is literature. We…

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WAITING FOR LUIS ALBERTO - A Personal Take

Thursday, October 28, 2021

by Marc Zimmerman

1.

When I was a young guy living near New York, I played me a waiting game. Waiting for Love, waiting for myself, and Waiting for … Godot.

When I moved to San Diego, Mexico, Minnesota and Chicago, I found myself waiting, sometimes without knowing it. Waiting for Alurista, Carlos Monsivaís, Tomás Rivera, Carlos Fuentes and Sandra Cisneros.

And yes, in San Diego,…

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Timuel Black (December 7, 1918-October 13-2021)

Thursday, October 21, 2021

by Gerald R. Butters


In 2010, I had one of the luckiest breaks of my professional career. I was fortunate enough to win a Timuel D. Black Jr. Fellowship, which allowed me to complete a book at the Carter G. Woodson Library on the South Side of Chicago. I knew little about the man in whose name I received the fellowship, other than that…

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