Silverstein, Shel, Surprising Encounters With

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Guest post by Bridget Lowe A favorite story of mine that my boyfriend, Cree, tells is how, at age ten, he and some friends found an abandoned stash of Playboy magazines. While marveling at the nude women in that ’70s soft focus lens work, he was shocked to find

A Writer’s Envy, Part VI: Coda–Orpheus on TV

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Guest post by Scott Nadelson   By now it’s probably obvious that when I’m talking about envy, I’m really talking about influence. I want to learn from the visual artists I admire so much. I want to seek our common ground, to discover what we share, to strive toward

A Writer’s Envy, Part VI: Coda–Orpheus on TV

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Guest post by Scott Nadelson By now it’s probably obvious that when I’m talking about envy, I’m really talking about influence. I want to learn from the visual artists I admire so much. I want to seek our common ground, to discover what we share, to strive toward what

Eddie Johnson’s Indian Summer

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  Guest post by Carol Keeley   Chicago has lost another tenor sax great.¬†Eddie Johnson was eighty-nine. He played up until 2004, when his sweet swinging horn gave way to emphysema. Like many Chicago jazzicians, Eddie chose family over the perils of road life and fame. He had an

Anais to Kansas

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Guest post by Bridget Lowe My adolescence was difficult. I was utterly confused, depressed, and lonely. I had braces and was so vain that I refused to wear the glasses I desperately needed. My parents didn’t understand me, my teachers didn’t understand me, and I still had to share

A Writer’s Envy, Part V: The Propaganda of Neutralism

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  Guest post by Scott Nadelson Visual artists also get to do narrative. And metaphor, too. As if they don’t have enough already, these spoiled visual artists, with their museums and their fancy openings and their relationships with Icelandic pop stars. Must they also steal from poor, humble writers,

Not Night Enough

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Guest post by Carol Keeley I wrecked my neck last July–three blown discs, bone spurs, stenosis, a semi-choked spinal cord. For the next eight months, I was unable to write. On a good day, I could type for about ten minutes or write briefly by hand. Then mid-winter, I

Cynocephali Strike Again

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Guest post by Bridget Lowe The friction between our human and animal natures (a dubious distinction from the start) has been the subject of inquiry for a very long time, from Nebuchadnezzar, who loses his wits and wanders as a wild man for seven years, to Ovid’s Metamorphoses, which

A Writer’s Envy, Part IV: The Heart Is a Telephone

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Guest post by Scott Nadelson Apparently, envy goes both ways. Just last week I had lunch with a sculptor friend who said he really wishes he could have been a writer, that he constantly struggles against the limitations of what his medium can communicate. He’s South African, and his

Traveling on Foot: Werner Herzog

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Guest post by Carol Keeley I first saw Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe at the Music Box, a Chicago theater with faux stars overhead and a live organist between features. While Herzog stuffs garlic and herb bundles into the toe of each boot, he invokes a “real war against