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Topic: Chicago Poetry Reviews: Click Headlines
The new items published under this topic are as follows.


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spacer.gif   Review of City Of The Big Shoulders, Ryan G. Van Cleave (University of Iowa Press)
Posted by : cj on Sunday, March 04, 2012 - 05:34 PM
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5587 Reads

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City Of The Big Shoulders
An Anthology of Chicago Poetry
Edited by Ryan G. Van Cleave
University of Iowa Press
Reviewed by CJ Laity


I've been anticipating the release of City Of The Big Shoulders (An Anthology of Chicago Poetry) for some time, so I was thrilled to come home after raiding the last two hours of the AWP Conference's bookfair to find that the University of Iowa Press was kind enough to send me a complimentary copy. The next day I sat down and eagerly read the 151 pages of poetry written by 99 different poets and I must say, I'm not in the least bit disappointed. In fact, I really love this anthology.
Note: Click Here to read the entire review.


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spacer.gif   Piano Rats by Franki Elliot (Cubside Splendor) Review
Posted by : cj on Wednesday, February 08, 2012 - 07:41 PM
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5440 Reads

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piano rats
by Franki Elliot
Curbside Splendor Publishing
Reviewed by CJ Laity

This review contains some adult language.

Curbside Splendor certainly has been making some splashes around town. The buzz: it is the up and coming Chicago lit publisher. The fact that Curbside has now taken over the 33-year-old Another Chicago Magazine from Left Field Press certainly isn't going to hurt their momentum any, and despite the cover of ACM's Issue #50.2 (the second in the Chicago series) drawing attention to the poets themselves rather than the art of literature, if what is contained within is even half as impressive as Issue #50 this should seal Curbside's fate as a Chicago publisher that we can depend on for years to come.

So, it's about time I take a look at one of Curbside's titles. I'll take a look at piano rats by Franki Elliot, having received a copy for being the 1000th person to "like" Curbside's Facebook page (no kidding). I'll review this title in my usual way, the way I've been reviewing poetry for the last twenty years. I won't look at piano rats from the perspective of some graduate student trying to impress you with a bunch of fancy incomprehensible mumbo jumbo. Instead, I'll discuss the poetry in piano rats in layman's terms. In other words, I'm going to give it two readings and then I'm going to simply let you know what I think about it. Fair enough?
Note: Click Here to read the full review of Piano Rats.

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spacer.gif   ACM's Chicago Issue Is Finally Here!
Posted by : cj on Wednesday, December 15, 2010 - 06:17 PM
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5868 Reads

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Another Chicago Magazine #50 v.1
The Chicago Issue
Left Field Press
Reviewed by CJ Laity


I first heard the call for submissions for ACM’s Chicago Issue over a year ago. It promised to deliver a “playful jab” at Granta, a journal that was first published in 1889 at Cambridge and that was reinvented in 1979 as a magazine of new writing. Months before the ACM open call, Granta had come out with its own “Chicago issue” that was released locally with a lot of hoopla, hoopla that was quickly drowned out by critics who complained of its “lack of Chicago writers.” Throughout 2010, ACM 50 became less of a playful jab and more of a labor of love for Editor-In-Chief Jacob Knabb and for the other ACM staff, as they set out to create something that showcased the local lit scene as it really exists, not as some publication located in London imagined it exists, so I think it is rather fitting that I picked up my copy of ACM at the recent Indie Lit Road Show, which was sort of a mini-bookfair held at Green Lantern Gallery, where several reps from our lit scene showcased their publications as a blizzard raged outdoors.
Note: Click Here to read the full review.

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spacer.gif   In Defense Of The Guild Complex's Tour Guides
Posted by : cj on Saturday, December 11, 2010 - 12:07 AM
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2335 Reads

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I just got back from the Guild Complex’s presentation of Tour Guides, a wonderful hybrid performance of poetry and theater, and I simply feel the need to defend it from a lazy, damaging and might I say completely bitchy review of it, written by some rookie Chicago Tribune staff reporter named Nina Metz. I don’t know much about this person who has only been fulltime on the staff of the Trib since mid-September, but judging by the quality of the writing in her article, she shouldn’t be allowed to review anything even vaguely related to literature. That the respectable Tribune would send such a closed minded reporter to express her biased, borderline racist opinions about such a gutsy, provocative and socially conscious performance, a performance that was presented by a struggling non-profit that certainly could have used the ten warm bodies that her dim-witted article sent away--well, that is quite frankly inexcusable. The Guild Complex exists to fill in what is missing in Chicago’s literary scene, not to examine “what neighborhood economic shifts mean” (wow, that would make for an exciting play, yawn), and since there is no shortage of gentrification in Chicago, I’d say what is missing are the voices from the victims of that gentrification. Furthermore, I found no clichés at all in Tour Guides (I dare her to name one cliché in all the poetry presented), and the Tribune ought to be utterly ashamed of itself for publishing such a misleading blurb that unfairly cuts down months of hard work by nearly a dozen of Chicago’s most talented poets. Reading Nina Metz’s smug review, one would think Tour Guides is nothing but “gratuitous snickering at Lincoln Park” when in actuality, out of the entire hour of spoken word performances, there were perhaps four measly lines on that particular subject.

So here’s the real scoop on Tour Guides. Seven poets use nothing but their words, facial expressions, and body language (with minimal props and lighting) to tell the true stories of various Chicago neighborhoods. Their stories are relentlessly honest, unapologetic, and if you’ve lived in Chicago for any length of time, they are your stories as well. You will recognize them. You will say, I was there and I have seen that. The strongest aspect of this presentation is by far the writing. The brilliant writing is not only filled with vivid metaphors but it is also very daring. It’s not pc to write about how “you can’t take your white folks everywhere” but let's face it, that hits the nail on the head. And when you include lines about a neighborhood going from “Jewville to Jamba Juice” you are taking a huge risk, but let's be honest, these are brutal truths about Chicago. Tour Guides is one of the most gutsy plays I have ever seen. The topics in Tour Guides range from drive-by shootings, to permit parking, to the double meaning of the cost of living, to pizza, to churches, to the blues, to sports, to parades, to the ghost bike at Western and Augusta and to everything else Chicago. Tour Guides is a powerful and emotional experience. It’s an eye opener and I give it two really, really big quills up.

--CJ Laity


Tour Guides Director Coya Paz has pointed out: "Nina Metz has been reviewing for the Trib for years, and was/is the head critic at New City as well."

I admit, I don't read New City (don't know too many who do), but that really surprises me based upon the poor quality of the writing in Metz's review of Tour Guides. If you click here you will see a note dated September 27, 2010, welcoming Metz as a full time staff member of the Trib, and that makes her a rookie in my book, regardless of how much freelancing she's done. When it says "Tribune reporter" next to her name, she is actually speaking for that publication, and more than a lazy snipe of a review is expected of her.

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spacer.gif   Green Lantern Gallery Presents Super R-Type
Posted by : cj on Thursday, November 11, 2010 - 09:23 PM
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2388 Reads


Note: .
I keep hearing about The Green Lantern Gallery at 2542 W. Chicago Avenue. Every time I turn on the computer I get a Facebook notice about another event happening there, and I've been meaning to check out the space for quite some time. So I was excited when I found I had some free time on the evening of their first Super R-Type (Word Based Art) presentation, curated by A. D. Jameson, who is a passive host who gets straight to the point, helping to create a tight, fluid performance. Click Here for the story.

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spacer.gif   Revolving Door Reading Series at Red Kiva
Posted by : cj on Thursday, July 29, 2010 - 09:10 AM
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2859 Reads


Note: On Wednesday, July 28, the new Revolving Door Reading series presented another hot poetry night at Red Kiva, 1108 W. Randolph. This time the poetry party included an ACM pre-release event hosted by Jennifer Steele, Jacob Knabb and Jamie Kazay, featuring Quraysh Ali Lansana, Tara Betts, Timothy Yu and Bayo Ojikutu. And you bet that ChicagoPoetry.com was there to check out the poetic action. Click here for the scoop!

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spacer.gif   aaaaaaaaaaalice by Jennifer Karmin; Reviewed by CJ Laity
Posted by : cj on Sunday, May 09, 2010 - 01:31 PM
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3524 Reads

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aaaaaaaaaaalice
by Jennifer Karmin
flim forum press
Reviewed by CJ Laity


At the end of aaaaaaaaaaalice (that's eleven letter "a"s, the same number of "cantos" in this "travelogue"), Jennifer Karmin explains that the poems in her book (that are actually collages derived from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and a book called Beginning Japanese Part 2), are "word scores for polyvocal improvisation" that are "intended for reading, sound, and performance experiments." The author suggests, "every reading of this text-sound epic should produce new results."

Well, that may be the intention, but the bottom line is this is a book of poetry. Since it has two covers and is made out of paper, I am going to look at Karmin's book as a book, a book that will be read by its audience silently like any other book.

What we have here is something extremely experimental and completely anti-narrative. But just as it is within the chaos of subatomic particles that everything physical is formed, even within the randomness of these words a story develops. This story may be different for each reader, as the author seems to be suggesting, so I can only share with you the story that I get out of it.
Note: Click Here to read the full review.

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spacer.gif   Gurlesque (new grrly, grotesque, burlesque poetics), Review by CJ Laity
Posted by : cj on Friday, April 02, 2010 - 05:51 PM
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4210 Reads


Note: Here is a review of Saturnalia Books' Gurlesque Anthology. WARNING: Due to the nature of the book being reviewed, this article contains explicit language not intended for children or for those who are easily offended.

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spacer.gif   Venue Review: Katerina's Street of Dreams' Future Perfect
Posted by : cj on Thursday, April 01, 2010 - 11:45 PM
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2868 Reads


Note: Here is a review of the Future Perfect Series at Katerinas.

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spacer.gif   Review Of Night Of Sights And Sounds With Saul Williams
Posted by : cj on Sunday, March 28, 2010 - 01:34 PM
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4186 Reads


Note: Here is a review and some photos from A Night of Sights and Sounds with Saul Williams.

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spacer.gif   THE TWELVE CHICAGO POETRY BOOKS OF eX-MAS
Posted by : cj on Friday, December 11, 2009 - 05:59 PM
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3449 Reads


Note: ChicagoPoetry.com picks the twelve books that have caught our attention the most in 2009. Click here to learn who made the list.

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spacer.gif   PAUL MARTINEZ POMPA: MY KILL ADORE HIM
Posted by : cj on Tuesday, September 29, 2009 - 06:16 PM
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3957 Reads


Note: Here is a review of Paul Martinez Pompa's debut book of poetry, My Kill Adore HIm

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spacer.gif   DISCOVER HELEN DEGEN COHEN
Posted by : cj on Sunday, March 01, 2009 - 01:16 PM
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5023 Reads


Note: Here is a review of Helen Degen Cohen's new book of poetry, On A Good Day One Discovers Another Poet

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spacer.gif   AL DEGENOVA: PAINTER OF TIME
Posted by : cj on Saturday, September 06, 2008 - 05:34 PM
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5281 Reads

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The Blueing Hours
poems by Albert DeGenova
published by Virtual Artists Collective
reviewed by C. J. Laity


With the creation of The Blueing Hours, two important establishments have been made: Al DeGenova as a great American poet and Steven Shroeder's Virtual Artists Collective as a major Midwestern publisher of poetry. I enjoyed reading these 60 pages of jazzy, erotic poetry
Note: Click here for CJ Laity's full review of Al DeGenova's new book, The Blueing Hours.

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spacer.gif   TOP DOG: CHARLIE ROSSITER
Posted by : cj on Sunday, November 18, 2007 - 11:43 AM
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5480 Reads


Note: Here is a review of Charlie Rossiter's new book The Night We Danced With the Raelettes.

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spacer.gif   TOP DOGS OF CHICAGO POETRY
Posted by : cj on Sunday, November 04, 2007 - 08:32 PM
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2720 Reads

ChicagoPoetry.com has discovered eight of the Top Dog Male poets in the City of Chicago. Whether they bark, bite or wiggle or wag, we wanted to know who they are; the dog-diggity mission has concluded.

Click On The Top Dog's Name To Read The Review.

LARRY JANOWKSI ** FRANCESCO LEVATO ** TONY TRIGILIO

RAUL NINO ** RON OFFEN ** KEVIN STEIN ** CHARLIE ROSSITER

Of course there are a lot more Top Dogs in Chicago, but we have to end the mission somewhere.


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spacer.gif   TOP DOG: KEVIN STEIN
Posted by : cj on Friday, October 26, 2007 - 01:05 PM
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5222 Reads


Note: Here is a review of Kevin Stein's new book, American Ghost Roses.

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spacer.gif   TOP DOG: RON OFFEN
Posted by : cj on Thursday, September 20, 2007 - 01:09 PM
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5170 Reads


Note: Here is a review of Ron Offen's book, Off-Target.

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spacer.gif   TOP DOG: RAUL NINO
Posted by : cj on Tuesday, September 04, 2007 - 11:36 AM
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3770 Reads


Note: Here is a review of Raul Nino's new book, A Book of Mornings.

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spacer.gif   TOP DOG: TONY TRIGILIO
Posted by : cj on Sunday, September 02, 2007 - 01:22 PM
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5034 Reads


Note: Here is a review of Tony Trigilio's new book, The Lama's English Lessons.

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spacer.gif   TOP DOG: LARRY JANOWSKI
Posted by : cj on Thursday, August 30, 2007 - 08:58 PM
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4600 Reads


Note: Here is a review of Larry Janowski's new book, BrotherKeeper.

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spacer.gif   THE NINE LIVES OF CHICAGO POETRY
Posted by : cj on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 02:03 PM
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2831 Reads

Recently ChicagoPoetry.com went on a pursuit for the Nine Lives of Chicago Poetry. We sought out the poets who write poetry that is filled with life. In Chicago, much of the poetry is live. Many of us live our lives as poets. How many poets are livers of life? How many poets live their poetry? How much of our poetry is based on our lives? Will we live our life live before a live audience reading poetry about life? To some this is living life to it's fullest. Poetry is their life's work. We pursued nine of these poets and we learned something about life. This is what we came up with. Can you dig it, cool Cat daddy-o?

Click On Poet's Name To Read The Review.

1st Live Poet: Lauren Levato ** 2nd Live Poet: Tara Betts

3rd Live Poet: Mike Puican ** 4th Live Poet: Simone Muench

5th Live Poets: Tia Chucha Poets ** 6th Live Poet: Tyehimba Jess

7th Live Poet: Donna Pucciani ** 8th Live Poet: Norman Porter ** 9th Live Poet: Mary Fons


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spacer.gif   NINE LIVES OF CHICAGO POETRY: MARY FONS
Posted by : cj on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 12:56 PM
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7478 Reads


Note: Here is a review of Mary Fons' chapbook, the texas EP.

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spacer.gif   THE TRUTH ABOUT NORMAN PORTER / J J JAMESON
Posted by : cj on Wednesday, December 06, 2006 - 06:52 PM
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7480 Reads


Note: Here is a review of Norman Porter's book, Lady Rutherfurd's Cauliflower.

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spacer.gif   NINE LIVES OF CHICAGO POETRY: DONNA PUCCIANI
Posted by : cj on Saturday, November 18, 2006 - 01:32 PM
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3761 Reads


Note: Here is a review of Donna Pucciani's book, The Other Side Of Thunder.

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spacer.gif   NINE LIVES OF CHICAGO POETRY: TYEHIMBA JESS
Posted by : cj on Sunday, October 15, 2006 - 05:58 PM
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5110 Reads


Note: Here is a review of Tyehimba Jess' book leadbelly.

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spacer.gif   NINE LIVES OF CHICAGO POETRY: TIA CHUCHA'S POETS
Posted by : cj on Wednesday, September 20, 2006 - 07:27 PM
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4252 Reads


Note: Here is a review of Tia Chucha Press' new anthology, Dream of a Word.

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spacer.gif   NINE LIVES OF CHICAGO POETRY: SIMONE MUENCH
Posted by : cj on Monday, September 11, 2006 - 03:57 PM
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6309 Reads


Note: Here is a review of Simone Muench's book Lampblack & Ash.

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spacer.gif   NINE LIVES OF CHICAGO POETRY: MIKE PUICAN
Posted by : cj on Thursday, September 07, 2006 - 05:34 PM
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4266 Reads


Note: Here is a review of Mike Puican's book 30 Seconds.

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spacer.gif   NINE LIVES OF CHICAGO POETRY: TARA BETTS
Posted by : cj on Tuesday, September 05, 2006 - 04:00 PM
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4536 Reads


Note: Here is a review of Tara Betts' chapbook, Switch.

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spacer.gif   NINE LIVES OF CHICAGO POETRY: LAUREN LEVATO
Posted by : cj on Sunday, September 03, 2006 - 12:52 PM
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4383 Reads


Note: Here is a review of Lauren Levato's new book, Marriage Bones.

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spacer.gif   SEVEN WONDERS OF THE POETRY WORLD
Posted by : cj on Thursday, March 09, 2006 - 07:53 PM
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2838 Reads



CLICK HERE to discover the first Wonder of the Poetry World: Nissa Holtkamp

CLICK HERE to discover the second Wonder of the Poetry World: Jared Smith

CLICK HERE to discover the third Wonder of the Poetry World: Luis J. Rodriguez

CLICK HERE to discover the fourth Wonder of the Poetry World: Marilyn Peretti

CLICK HERE to discover the fifth Wonder of the Poetry World: Dave Barr

CLICK HERE to discover the sixth Wonder of the Poetry World: Lucy Anderton

CLICK HERE to discover the seventh Wonder of the Poetry World: Jim Coppoc


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spacer.gif   POETRY WONDER: JIM COPPOC
Posted by : cj on Thursday, March 09, 2006 - 06:57 PM
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3757 Reads


Note: Here is a review of Jim Coppoc's new book, Blood, Sex, and Prayer.

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spacer.gif   POETRY WONDER: LUCY ANDERTON
Posted by : cj on Monday, March 06, 2006 - 12:04 PM
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4292 Reads


Note: Here is a review of Lucy Anderton's new chapbook, tender grass.

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spacer.gif   POETRY WONDER: DAVE BARR
Posted by : cj on Friday, March 03, 2006 - 11:36 AM
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4551 Reads


Note: Here is a review of Dave Barr's new book, Woman of my Dreams.

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spacer.gif   POETRY WONDER: MARILYN PERETTI
Posted by : cj on Friday, February 24, 2006 - 02:16 PM
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4239 Reads


Note: Here is a review of Marilyn Peretti's chapbook Let Wings Take You.

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spacer.gif   POETRY WONDER: LUIS J. RODRIGUEZ
Posted by : cj on Monday, February 20, 2006 - 03:17 PM
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12794 Reads


Note: Here is a review of Luis J. Rodriguez's new book My Nature Is Hunger.

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spacer.gif   POETRY WONDER: JARED SMITH
Posted by : cj on Saturday, February 18, 2006 - 05:39 PM
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4912 Reads


Note: Here is a review of Jared Smith's new book Lake Michigan and Other Poems.

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spacer.gif   POETRY WONDER: NISSA HOLTKAMP
Posted by : cj on Thursday, February 09, 2006 - 11:56 AM
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4857 Reads


Note: Here is a review of Nissa Holtkamp's new book Tinterchange.

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spacer.gif   SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION
Posted by : cj on Tuesday, October 25, 2005 - 01:52 PM
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2293 Reads

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The Month Of Meshing Has Concluded, But Feel Free To Mesh Some More.


FIRST DEGREE: Click Here to meet Carol Anderson.

SECOND DEGREE: Click Here to meet Frank Matagrano.

THIRD DEGREE: Click Here to meet Elizabeth Marino.

FOURTH DEGREE: Click Here to meet Joe Roarty.

FIFTH DEGREE: Click Here to meet Robert Bly.

SIXTH DEGREE: Click here to meet Cathleen Schandelmeier.

Thank you for the Month of Meshing, Chicago Poets.


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spacer.gif   SIXTH DEGREE: CATHLEEN SCHANDELMEIER
Posted by : cj on Tuesday, October 25, 2005 - 12:41 PM
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5373 Reads


Note: Here is a review of Cathleen Schandelmeier's performance piece, Moving Chicago.

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spacer.gif   FIFTH DEGREE: ROBERT BLY
Posted by : cj on Sunday, October 23, 2005 - 12:10 PM
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4288 Reads


Note: Here is a review of Robert Bly at Unity Temple in Oak Park.

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spacer.gif   FOURTH DEGREE: JOE ROARTY
Posted by : cj on Saturday, October 15, 2005 - 12:49 PM
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4770 Reads


Note: Here is a review of Joe Roarty's new book, Choruses I.

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spacer.gif   THIRD DEGREE: ELIZABETH MARINO
Posted by : cj on Saturday, October 08, 2005 - 02:08 PM
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6158 Reads


Note: Here is a review of Liz Marino's new book, Debris.

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spacer.gif   SECOND DEGREE: FRANK MATAGRANO
Posted by : cj on Saturday, September 24, 2005 - 03:31 PM
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3921 Reads


Note: Here is a review of Frank Matagrano's I Can Only Go As Fast As The Guy In Front Of Me.

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spacer.gif   FIRST DEGREE: CAROL ANDERSON
Posted by : cj on Sunday, September 18, 2005 - 12:49 PM
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4256 Reads


Note: Here is a review of Carol Anderson's new book of poetry, Ordinary.

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spacer.gif   THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN
Posted by : cj on Friday, May 13, 2005 - 05:02 PM
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2214 Reads

LETTER EX CALLS UPON THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN: FORMS POETRY POSSE

Attention Chicago Poets. The fate of this little ghost town called poetry has been saved. I have deputized seven poets. These seven have embarked on a journey into the most mountainous regions of the soul. Armed with their words, they hunted down the notorious outlaw allies of Yog Monster From Space and protected our land from the wretched clutches of that six-gun slingin' Dr. Goodverse.

The enemies of the spoken word thought they could hide in the hills but The Magnificent Seven tracked them down, discovered their cinders still smoldering under wet coffee grounds, measured their horse's dung for freshness, sniffed out evil and offensive anonymity as the wind blew it their way.

They met at high noon at the Bourbon Saloon and everyone received a whiskey on the house before they ventured into Vulture Valley.

1. CLICK HERE to deputize Steven Schroeder.
2. CLICK HERE to deputize Lee Kitzis
3. CLICK HERE to deputize Dan Cleary.
4. CLICK HERE to deputize Emily Rose.
5. CLICK HERE to deputize Maureen Tolman Flannery.
6. CLICK HERE to deputize Martha Modena Vertreace-Doody.
7. CLICK HERE to deputize Larry Winfield.

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spacer.gif   MAGNIFICENT SEVEN: LARRY WINFIELD
Posted by : cj on Tuesday, April 26, 2005 - 01:55 PM
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1861 Reads


Note: Here is a review of Larry Winfield's audio CD Erzulie Freda.

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spacer.gif   MAGNIFICENT SEVEN: MARTHA MODENA VERTREACE-DOODY
Posted by : cj on Wednesday, April 06, 2005 - 12:00 PM
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3868 Reads


Note: Here is a review of Martha Modena Vertreace-Doody's "Glacier Fire".

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spacer.gif   MAGNIFICENT SEVEN: MAUREEN TOLMAN FLANNERY
Posted by : cj on Friday, March 25, 2005 - 09:26 AM
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4736 Reads


Note: Here is a review of Maureen Tolman Flannery's book "Ancestors in the Landscape"

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spacer.gif   MAGNIFICENT SEVEN: EMILY ROSE
Posted by : cj on Monday, March 14, 2005 - 12:19 PM
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7326 Reads


Note: Here is a review of Emily Rose's "Cigarette Love Songs and Nicotine Kisses"

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spacer.gif   MAGNIFICENT SEVEN: DANIEL CLEARY
Posted by : cj on Friday, March 11, 2005 - 10:20 AM
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4429 Reads


Note: Here is a review of Dan Cleary's "Elegy For James Gerard and Other Poems for the Larger Voice".

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spacer.gif   MAGNIFICENT SEVEN: LEE KITZIS
Posted by : cj on Thursday, March 10, 2005 - 02:10 PM
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4449 Reads


Note: Here is a review of Lee Kitzis' "The Laundromat Girl".

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spacer.gif   MAGNIFICENT SEVEN: STEVEN SCHROEDER
Posted by : cj on Wednesday, March 09, 2005 - 12:46 PM
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4466 Reads


Note: Here is a review of Steven Schroeder's book "Revolutinary Patience".

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spacer.gif   AN AFTERNOON OF AFTER HOURS
Posted by : cj on Sunday, February 13, 2005 - 06:35 PM
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3869 Reads


Note: On Sunday, February 13, 2005, After Hours celebrated the release of its tenth issue. Click the headline for Letter eX's coverage. Now includes a letter from Al DeGenova.

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spacer.gif   THE USUAL SUSPECTS
Posted by : cj on Monday, December 06, 2004 - 10:58 AM
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2251 Reads

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CHICAGO'S MOST WANTED POETS


Suspect One: Charlie Newman $$ Suspect Two: Michael H. Brownstein $$
Suspect Three: Tom Roby $$ Suspect Four: Kristy Bowen $$ Suspect Five: Kathy Kubik
Suspect Six: Jan Bottiglieri $$ Suspect Seven: Kenneth Clarke


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spacer.gif   SUSPECT TWO: MICHAEL H. BROWNSTEIN
Posted by : cj on Monday, December 06, 2004 - 10:56 AM
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3516 Reads


Note: Michael Brownstein's book, A Period of Trees, is edited the way a fine gem is cut.

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spacer.gif   SUSPECT THREE: TOM ROBY
Posted by : cj on Monday, December 06, 2004 - 10:55 AM
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3653 Reads


Note: Like Constance Vogel's The Mulberry, Tom Roby's new book is a therapeutic metamorphosis. In it, grief becomes art and loss becomes self-examination. The emptiness found after the death of a loved one is filled by the very nature surrounding us all.

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spacer.gif   SUSPECT FIVE: KATHY KUBIK
Posted by : cj on Monday, December 06, 2004 - 10:52 AM
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3684 Reads


Note: Kathy Kubik's collection captures portraits of the difficult subjects in life with an unflinching lens.

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spacer.gif   SUSPECT SIX: JAN BOTTIGLIERI
Posted by : cj on Monday, December 06, 2004 - 10:51 AM
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3539 Reads


Note: Jan Bottiglieri owns a mental zoom lens and she uses it with the skill of a seasoned artist.

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spacer.gif   SUSPECT EIGHT: KENNETH CLARKE
Posted by : cj on Monday, December 06, 2004 - 10:49 AM
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5140 Reads


Note: You might want to get a copy of ReVerse simply for Lawrence Flerlingetti's performance of the poem "History of the Airplane", or for Lou Reed's poem "The City and the Sea". But, in my opinion, the performances by the local poets make this CD worth the $12 asking price.

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spacer.gif   CONSTANCE VOGEL'S "THE MULBERRY"
Posted by : cj on Sunday, December 05, 2004 - 11:08 PM
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3389 Reads


Note: This bittersweet collection of 17 related poems explores the grief and confusion felt by a mother who has lost her daughter.

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spacer.gif   MARVIN TATE AND GROUP SEX
Posted by : cj on Sunday, December 05, 2004 - 11:07 PM
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1545 Reads


Note: Is this reviewed shaped like what I think it's shaped like?

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spacer.gif   STYLE TWO: THE SONIC TRANCE STYLE
Posted by : cj on Sunday, December 05, 2004 - 10:50 PM
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1654 Reads


Note: Michelle Rigot (who recently made her ChicagoPoetry.com debut at the Guild Complex's Chicago Poetry Uncensored show) has taken the art of the recorded spoken-word to the extreme.

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spacer.gif   STYLE THREE: THE COSMIC PINBALL STYLE
Posted by : cj on Sunday, December 05, 2004 - 10:49 PM
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2111 Reads


Note: Celibate Dazzled is what a chapbook ought to be, a one sit read, short in length, gigantic in depth.

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spacer.gif   STYLE FIVE: THE OSEI TUTU STYLE
Posted by : cj on Sunday, December 05, 2004 - 10:46 PM
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1685 Reads


Note: They Shall Run is not light reading. It can not be consumed in one sit like a box of candy.

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spacer.gif   STYLE SEVEN: THE NUMEN BLITZ STYLE
Posted by : cj on Sunday, December 05, 2004 - 10:43 PM
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1488 Reads


Note: After Hours Press Publisher Albert DeGenova keeps getting better and better at what he does.

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spacer.gif   STYLE EIGHT: THE AMAZING STAMINA STYLE
Posted by : cj on Sunday, December 05, 2004 - 10:42 PM
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1811 Reads


Note: On Saturday, May 22, Lucien Stryk read and spoke for over two hours at the Harold Washington Library. ChicagoPoetry.com was there to cover the entire thing.

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spacer.gif   MASTER SAFE CRACKER STEALS HEART OF CHICAGO POET
Posted by : cj on Sunday, December 05, 2004 - 10:33 PM
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4181 Reads


Note: Susan Spaeth Cherry's Breaking Into The Safe Of Life is a groundbreaking collection of eighty poems divided into three sections, each section distinct in its style and subject matter.

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spacer.gif   TIM BROWN'S GUIDE TO THE NEW YORK SCENE
Posted by : cj on Sunday, December 05, 2004 - 10:32 PM
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1670 Reads



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spacer.gif   BIG HEART, WEAK VERSE: BILLY CORGAN AT POETRY CENTER
Posted by : cj on Sunday, December 05, 2004 - 10:26 PM
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1752 Reads

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Click Me To Listen To The WBEZ Interview.Billy Corgan's recent appearance for The Poetry Center of Chicago was undoubtedly the most hyped-up poetry event Chicago has ever seen, with write ups online at Rolling Stone, Billboard, MTV and in dozens of other mainstream media sources. And with word of his band Zwan's breakup originating on Chicago's "very own" WGN days prior to the reading, it is no surprise the Art Institute's Rubloff Auditorium was virtually sold out at $35 a pop, making this event probably the most successful benefit for Chicago's much deserving thirty year old poetry organization. And you just have to love Corgan, the former lead singer of the internationally acclaimed rock band Smashing Pumpkins, for coming back to his sweet home Chicago to present this intimate, multi-media presentation. That takes a big heart.

However, Corgan's big heart couldn't save his forced, sophomoric attempts at creating what he must have thought poetry is suppose to sound like. Corgan seemed utterly uncomfortable on the stage in starched slacks, sporting a long, gray mortician's tie, fumbling with and dropping his pages, pacing back and forth, his nasally speaking voice subtracting from work already lacking in inspiration. For the most part, his poetry was so bad it was comical, sounding like a pile of high-school assignments composed by the C-minus student in the class. His poetry contained no energy, no rage, no dazzling metaphor or impressive usage of language, no unique voice, no imagery, no passion: in short, no Billy Corgan. It was probably fitting that he included a psalm from the Bible in the show, because his work came off like a collection of parodies of psalms, complete with the words "Thy" and "Alas". At times, I thought I should feel guilty for not feeling privileged that Corgan was sharing something so private as these unpolished exercises in stiffness, these embarrassing journal entries. At other times, I thought, certainly he must be making fun of poetry. But, more often than not, I just thought: for heaven's sake, even Jim Morrison had his moments--when is Corgan's going to start! I wanted to sneeze out, "Throw that dusty manuscript in the can, Billy. It's a noble first attempt, but put it where it belongs. Now try it again, from the beginning--using your own voice this time." Corgan either decided to demonstrate what a brilliant lyricist he is by comparing his music to how god awful his poetry can be, or he truly believes that poetry in the Millennial Age has to be sucked dead, dry of rhythm, must be read with a style completely lacking in emotion, and is totally undeserving of an encore. If Corgan sincerely believes that what poets do on stage is that much different than what he normally does with a band backing him up, that's just plain insulting. He didn't break a single rule with his poetry, creating something so obnoxiously unnatural and lifeless that even traditionalists would cringe at it. And he's not making any Slam teams either, trust me.

But--"Alas!"--as soon as Corgan grabbed hold of his guitar and sang a few lines of his poetry, all the disappointment melted away instantaneously and his words took flight. He breathed new meaning into his words as he sang them. In a rare, unplugged performance using a steel guitar, Corgan showed what a genius he can be when he is honest with himself and when he remains true to his own style. Poetry can be sung. Go figure.

--C. J. Laity

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spacer.gif   MYSTICAL PEN: STEVE GLABMAN
Posted by : cj on Sunday, December 05, 2004 - 10:24 PM
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2247 Reads


The Quest is complete. After seven journies by our brave Knights, a total invasion of Uptown, and the summoning of the Weeds magic, we have found the Mystical Pen. We will use this ancient relic of supernatural power to report the poetry news here at Letter eX. The pen will bring us truth and positivity. Seven poets were Knighted during our Quest, and each has taken an individual journey. Click on all the "Mystical Pen" headlines to read the reviews.

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spacer.gif   MYSTICAL PEN: PAMELA MILLER
Posted by : cj on Sunday, December 05, 2004 - 10:17 PM
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2562 Reads


Note: Chicago poet Pamela Miller is a gifted woman.

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spacer.gif   MYSTICAL PEN: KATHERINE CHRONIS
Posted by : cj on Sunday, December 05, 2004 - 10:16 PM
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6205 Reads


Note: I’ve known Katherine Chronis for close to ten years, and I have always admired her work. I first met her when she was the feature at Thax Douglas’s late, lamented weekly reading at Myopic Books.

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spacer.gif   LEGENDARY CHICAGO POET JOHN DICKSON PASSES AWAY
Posted by : cj on Sunday, December 05, 2004 - 10:11 PM
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4427 Reads


Note: Well, I try to be completely honest in my reviews, so let me just admit this right from the start. Lake Michigan Scrolls is by far the best book of poetry I've read in many a years, and is written by one of America's most underestimated poets,

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spacer.gif   MYSTICAL PEN: LARRY O. DEAN
Posted by : cj on Sunday, December 05, 2004 - 10:11 PM
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4315 Reads


Note: I want to tell you about one of these gems in the rough.

The book I'm referring to is called "iDENTiTY THEfT for DUMMiES" and it is written by musician / poet Larry O. Dean

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spacer.gif   MYSTICAL PEN: In Defense of D.H. Lawrence by David Novak
Posted by : cj on Sunday, December 05, 2004 - 10:09 PM
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1581 Reads


Note: In an essay in this summer’s City Journal, Theodore Dalrymple writes:

“[D.H.] Lawrence was an earnest, but not a serious, writer--if by serious we mean one whose outlook on life is intellectually or morally worthy of our consideration.”

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spacer.gif   MYSTICAL PEN: WAYNE ALLEN JONES
Posted by : cj on Sunday, December 05, 2004 - 10:08 PM
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2417 Reads


Note: You might have seen (recent newcomer to Chicago) Wayne Allen Jones read his poetry at Coffee Chicago on a Friday night.

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spacer.gif   A REVIEW OF THE UTTERLY INCOMPLETE "SPOKEN WORD REVOLUTION"
Posted by : cj on Sunday, December 05, 2004 - 09:57 PM
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1756 Reads


Note: C. J. Laity takes an advanced peek at "The Spoken Word Revolution" -- a new book from the creators of "Poetry Speaks." This review is now in its final version.

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spacer.gif   VOX ROCKS GUILD COMPLEX
Posted by : cj on Saturday, December 04, 2004 - 03:47 PM
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1524 Reads



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spacer.gif   GIVING SORROW WORDS IN THE BREADLINE
Posted by : cj on Saturday, December 04, 2004 - 03:44 PM
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1647 Reads



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spacer.gif   SURGICAL STRIKES UNLEASH YOG MONSTER FROM SPACE
Posted by : cj on Saturday, December 04, 2004 - 03:13 PM
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1813 Reads



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spacer.gif   MARCH / ABRAZO vs. TIA CHUCHA
Posted by : cj on Saturday, December 04, 2004 - 03:09 PM
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2061 Reads


Note: Shin Yu Pai takes on "Bitter Coffee" and "Rise". Shin Yu Pai is a poet and photographer living in Boston, MA, and a former Chicago denizen.

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spacer.gif   D-SETTLEMENT UNPLUGGED
Posted by : cj on Saturday, December 04, 2004 - 03:07 PM
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1901 Reads



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spacer.gif   DIVAS GIVE BIRTH TO POETRY
Posted by : cj on Saturday, December 04, 2004 - 03:07 PM
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1864 Reads



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spacer.gif   TWO FOR TWO ON BACK BEAT
Posted by : cj on Saturday, December 04, 2004 - 03:05 PM
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1676 Reads



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· The Ivory Tower
· JAB
· Kalamu
· Karamu
· Kedzie Press / The Green Parent
· Lake Claremont
· Lawyers For Arts
· Lisle Library
· Literary Chicago
· Literary Pizazz Radio
· Lit Line
· Links Hall
· Looptopia
· Love Chicago
· Lumpen
· Machine
· Make Magazine
· Manual of Style
· Mayapple Press
· Mayor's Office of Events
· MetroMix
· Mexican Fine Arts
· MCA
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· Midwest Literary Fest
· Midwest Zines
· Milk Weed
· Millions
· Moria
· Mule
· Muse Letter
· Naperville Writers
· National Writers Union
· Nelson Algren Committee
· Neofuturists
· Nextbook
· Ninth Letter
· Old Town Folk School
· Open Book
· Osbey Books
· O Sweet Flowery Roses
· Other Voices
· Otium
· Palatine Slam
· Paper and Carriage
· Paper Mustache
· Perpetual Motion
· Plainfield Poetry
· PM Poetry
· Poem Present
· Poetic License
· Poetry Cache
· Poetry Daily
· Poetry Radio
· Poets and Writers
· Poets Kitchen
· Polvo
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· Pudding House
· Punk Planet
· Reconstruction Room
· Redmoon
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· Room 315
· Rubba Ducky
· Sawbuck
· Scars Publishing
· Screwball
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· Seminary Co-op
· Seventen Bishop
· Shark Forum
· Shelter
· Shortpants
· Skeleton News
· Small Happy
· Stop Smiling
· SOBS
· Sourcebooks
· Spareroom
· Spondee
· Stone Jones
· Story Studio
· Story Quarterly
· Street Level
· Teatro Luna
· This Is Grand
· Ticket2Write
· Time Out
· Uncommon Ground
· Unlikely Stories
· UR Chicago
· Venus
· Visions For Chicago
· Wordsfest
· Writers Workspace
· WBEZ
· WFMT
· WLUW
· WNUR
· WQNA
· You Are Beautiful
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