City of the Big Shoulders: An Anthology of Chicago Poetry

Front Cover
Ryan G. Van Cleave
University of Iowa Press, 2012 - Poetry - 174 pages
Chicago has served as touchstone and muse to generations of writers and artists defined by their relationship to the city’s history, lore, inhabitants, landmarks, joys and sorrows, pride and shame. The poetic conversations inspired by Chicago have long been a vital part of America’s literary landscape, from Carl Sandburg and Gwendolyn Brooks to experimental writers and today’s slam poets. The one hundred contributors to this vibrant collection take their materials and their inspirations from the city itself in a way that continues this energetic dialogue.

The cultural, ethnic, and aesthetic diversity in this gathering of poems springs from a variety of viewpoints, styles, and voices as multifaceted and energetic as the city itself. Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz: “I want to eat / in a city smart enough to know that if you / are going to have that heart attack, you might / as well have the pleasure of knowing // you’ve really earned it”; Renny Golden: “In the heat of May 1937, my grandfather / sits in the spring grass of an industrial park / with hundreds of striking steelworkers”; Joey Nicoletti: “The wind pulls a muscle / as fans yell the vine off the outfield wall, / mustard-stained shirts, hot dog smiles, and all.”

The combined energies of these poems reveal the mystery and beauty that is Second City, the City by the Lake, New Gotham, Paris on the Prairie, the Windy City, the Heart of America, and Sandburg’s iconic City of the Big Shoulders.

 

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Contents

Kathryn Almy Routes
1
Nin Andrews At the Crawford CoalFired Power Plant
2
Dori Appel Time Travel
3
Cristin OKeefe Aptowicz Chicago Deep Dish
4
Rane Arroyo Chicagos Monuments
5
Michael Austin Hancock OHare
6
Marvin Bell Yes We Can
8
Mary Grace Bertulfo Ted Stone Morning
10
Quraysh Ali Lansana dead dead
73
Anna Leahy At the Sea Lion Pool
75
City of Neighborhoods
76
Brenna Lemieux Emerald Ash
80
Francesco Levato Seasonality of Violence
81
Gary copeland Lilley Chicago Noir
82
Moira Linehan Too Much to Take In
83
Rachel Loden How Should Chicago Be Governed?
84

Bar and Grill Chicago
12
John Bradley I Saw You
13
John F Buckley and Martin Ott The Last Fortune Teller of Chicago
14
Melisa CahnmannTaylor Sixteen
15
Karen Carcia Everything Is
16
James E Cherry Jean Baptiste
18
Susan Deer Cloud Sleeping with Carl
19
James Conroy Hotel Dana
21
Timothy Cook Low Ride Elegy
23
Nina Corwin Campus Taxi
24
Curtis L Crisler Michael Jordan
25
Mary Cross summer news
27
James DAgostino Still Life with Zeno and File Footage
29
Stuart Dybek Ravenswood
30
Bart Edelman Hibernation
31
Susan Elbe Chicago Union Stockyards Circa 1957
33
Dina Elenbogen 150 Years of Chicago Architecture
34
Martin Espada Cheoo Saw an Angel on Division Street
35
John W Evans Loop
36
Beth Ann Fennelly Asked for a Happy Memory of Her Father She Recalls Wrigley Field
37
Micahel Filimowicz Radar Ghosts
38
Jennifer S Flescher With My Blue Flowered Dress
40
Republic Steel Chicago South Works
41
Linda Gregerson The Horses Run Back Their Stalls
43
John Guzlowski 38 Easy Steps to Carlyles Everlasting Yea
45
Terry HamiltonPoore Bible Belt
47
Joy Harjo The Woman Hanging from the Thirteenth Floor Window
48
Derrick Harriell Uncle Danny Brags about Playing Special Teams for the 85 Bears
50
Lola Haskins Dearborn North Apartments
51
Bob Hicok In Michael Robinss class minus one
52
Edward Hirsch American Apocalypse
53
John Wesley Horton Dear John Dillinger
57
Randall Horton on the other end right there
58
Ann Hudson My GreatGrandfather Takes a Business Trip c 1912
59
Donald Illich Road Trip
60
Larry Janowski Luminaria
61
Philip Jenks and Simone Muench Dear Chicago
62
Thomas L Johnson One likes to think Chicago
63
Richard Jones The Jewel
64
Jarret Keene Chicago Noise Love Letter to Steven Albini
66
Susan KellyDeWitt Miniature Church
68
Becca Klaver Under the Terrible Burden of Destiny Laughingas a Young Man Laughs
70
Susanna Lang The Rainiest Day in Recorded Chicago History
71
Elizabeth Langemak At the Palmer House Hilton
72
Marty McConnell Fermata Chicago
85
Campbell McGrath Sandburg Variations
87
Paul Martínez Pompa How to Hear Chicago
89
Adrian Matejka Jack Johnson Comes to Chicago
90
Erika Mikkalo Chicago
92
A Sestina
93
Julie Parson Nesbitt Ferris wheel at Navy Pier
95
Joey Nicoletti Lee Smith
96
Barbra Nightingale Journey
97
Elise Paschen Chancing Upon the Manatees
99
Johanny Vázquez Paz A World of Our Own
101
Todd James Pierce Tracks on the Ground Tracks in the Sky
102
James Plath Plattdeutsch
104
Chad Prevost The Chicago Daily Blues
106
Mark Prudowsky Walk through Chicagos Loop Winter 2009
107
Christina Pugh Windy City
108
Maya Quintero Second Sister Terrorizes Second City
109
Robyn Schiff At Shedd Aquarium
112
Teresa Scollon Pigeon Lady
114
Don Share Wishbone
116
Vivian Shipley And Still a Bird Is in Me
117
Barry Silesky Huck with Music and Guns
119
Patricia Smith Chicago
120
Dan Stryk Meditation on a Shorewalk with Old Emil in theWindy City of My Youth
122
Lucien Stryk A Sheaf for Chicago
123
Richard J Daley Mayor
131
Tony Trigilio In the Intersection Jackson and State
133
Alpay Ulku Tourists and Bum Art Institute of Chicago
134
Judith Valente Run for Your Life
135
Martha Modena VertreaceDoody Adagio Villanelle
138
Gale Renée Walden Nighthawks Transfixed
139
Nicole Walker Inheritance
140
Ellen Wehle Cloud Gate
141
Scott Wiggerman The Facts as I Know Them
142
Katherine Williams Blueaille
143
Martin Willitts Jr Fields
144
Janet Wondra At the Library
146
Stephen Caldwell Wright Chicago Chronicle
148
Brenda Yates Chicago
149
Contributors Notes
153
Permissions
167
Index to Titles
173
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Ryan G. Van Cleave is the author, coauthor, editor, or coeditor of nineteen books including poetry, young adult fiction, and nonfiction. With Virgil Suárez, he is the editor of the poetry anthologies Red, White, and Blues: Poets on the Promise of America (Iowa, 2004), Vespers: Contemporary American Poems of Religion and Spirituality (Iowa, 2003), Like Thunder: Poets Respond to Violence in America (Iowa, 2002), and American Diaspora: Poetry of Displacement (Iowa, 2001).

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