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1st place, Poetry in the Randall Albers Young Writers Award: “The Herring Net - Winslow Homer” by Liam Benham

Thursday, May 9, 2024

The Herring Net - Winslow Homer

my spine ached parallel to the sea surface,
clashing to the sides of the sailwood, Welch’s fingers in between
the fish-filled net, in exhaustion as dusk rose
my hands slippery hanging off the rim
tilting the boat slightly left,
With rain tingling on my hat, the waves transport us toward our enemies.
a bronze-outlined…

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2nd place, Prose in the Randall Albers Young Writers Award: “Inviolable” by Charlotte Hensley

Thursday, May 9, 2024

Inviolable

I brought out a silver platter loaded with poached eggs, toast, glistening cherries, and sugar-coated pastries—much more than she was ever able to eat. Still, I made it for her, as always, with precision and care. We were alone here, the two of us, except for the endless cycle of housemaids living downstairs, none of whom stayed for long. Perhaps such acute isolation was…

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3rd place, Prose in the Randall Albers Young Writers Award: “On Innocence and Black Youth” by Rainey Reese

Thursday, May 9, 2024

On Innocence and Black Youth


The door burst open, rattling as it slammed against the side of the brick house. The house’s owner stepped into the center of the doorway. His wife-beater was soaked with sweat stains, and his sunburnt shoulders stuck out from underneath it. The overwhelming smell of cigarettes flooded my nose, and his thick fingers gripped his handgun. My friends…

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3rd place, Poetry in the Randall Albers Young Writers Award: “Hauntings” by Fiona Jin

Thursday, May 9, 2024

This writer has chosen not to post their poem.

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4th place, Prose in the Randall Albers Young Writers Award: “Dogeye” by Reghan Barnard

Thursday, May 9, 2024

Dogeye

Cut tally: five.

I push the tip of the pocket knife into the trampoline of my skin and pull it down, sharp and short. A thin stream of blood trickles down my arm, dying its hairs red. It bulges into a drop. The drop lets go, falls, plink! Caught by a bowl of water, its fragile structure split into so many tendrils that dance…

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4th place, Poetry in the Randall Albers Young Writers Award: “Nantucket” by Gabe Cadichon

Thursday, May 9, 2024

Nantucket

Smothered in January, all of the boats are leaving;
by and large, they have better places to be.
The whalers and fishermen are deserting the harbor,
leaving their rods and harpoons up on the wharf
as they voyage through the cold saltwater smog.

The boathouses are empty, reeking with silence,
under the weight of twenty years of snow—
twenty…

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Chicago Literary Hall of Fame set to host “Immigrant Stories” panel at second American Writers Festival

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

By Kait Harland

Book lovers in the Chicago area will want to mark their calendars for 12:45 p.m. on May 19 for a powerful panel titled “Worlds and Words of Chicago: Immigrant Stories.” Presented by the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame (CLHOF) as a part of the second ever American Writers Festival, this panel will be centered around a discussion of immigrant experiences in Chicago,…

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E. Donald Two-Rivers and His Lasting Impact

Monday, April 8, 2024

by Carlos Cumpián

Edmund Donald Two-Rivers Broeffle was born on June 29, 1945 to Nancy Johnson Broeffle. They lived with relatives on the 55,000-square-mile Anishinaabemowin-speaking Ojibway treaty lands of the Canadian Seine River Reserve in Sapawe, Ontario. He and his siblings grew up guided by their Grandmother Minnie and uncle Robert Johnson. He was raised with traditional activities such as hunting, wild berry-picking and fishing, always…

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Hamlin Garland’s Chicago

Monday, April 8, 2024

by Christine Holbo

For a bright moment, a decade or so around the turn of the twentieth century, the city of Chicago was the capital city of modernity, a place to which observers from around the world looked for a glimpse of the future. This had something to do with Chicago’s position at the hub of America’s continent-spanning railway system and its status as…

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