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Newcity Chicago August 2020

Published by Newcity, 2020-07-28 17:26:30

Description: If you need to add some titles to your pandemic reading list, look no further than Newcity's annual Lit 50, which features dozens of local authors you should be reading, including our Writer of the Moment Maya Schenwar. Activist-journalist, editor-in-chief at Truthout and co-author (along with Victoria Law) of Prison By Any Other Name, Schenwar discusses the inefficacies of the prison system with literary editor Tara Betts. Elsewhere in this issue: theater camp goes online, ready-to-drink cocktails, the story behind an R&B anthem, and much much more.


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OPEN CALL FOR NEW IDEAS ABOUT ARCHITECTURE Founded in 1956, the Graham Foundation Grants to Individuals deadline to apply: for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts September 15, 2020 fosters the development and exchange of diverse and challenging ideas about For more information about the Graham architecture and its role in the arts, Foundation’s grants and to learn if your culture, and society. project is eligible for funding, visit

CONTENTS The Lake Michigan Sea Serpent.......................... 8 A Conversation on the Page between Antonia Contro and Elizabeth Bradfield ............ 1 2 Writer of the Moment Activist-journalist Maya Schenwar The Chicago writers and poets takes on the prison problem...............................1 7 you should be reading right now .......................2 2 ARTS & CULTURE AUGUST 2020 Newcity Art Vaginal Davis and The White to be Angry........................................................................................................... 4 3 Design The incredible story of the Magic Puzzle Company .............................................................................................47 Dining & Drinking It’s time for ready-to-drink cocktails.................................................................................................................... 4 9 Film A look at Chicagoan Kris Rey's “I Used To Go Here”............................................................................................ 51 Lit An interview with Xandria Phillips is a jolt in the gut ........................................................................................... 5 3 Music The Chicago family behind the R&B anthem “O-o-h Child” ............................................................................... 5 5 Stage Digitizing theater camp ........................................................................................................................................ 5 7 3

Newcity AUGUST 2020 LETTER FROM THE EDITOR At Newcity we’re in a race to reinvent ourselves. My to-do list each week includes researching and then implementing some major new initiative that in the past might have been done over the course of a year—if at all. This last Tuesday, for example, we launched a web-based portal to make it simple for business- es and cultural organizations to directly buy advertising in Newcity. While this would be an operational improvement at any time, it's an imperative now because our core advertisers, cul- tural entities, are in an existential struggle to survive, and marketing, although vital to that survival, is easier to cut than people. So we need new clients, fast, and we hear that some busi- nesses are even thriving now. (Hello, bike shops.) By combining self-service ad-buying with more expansive email campaigns across industries, we have a higher probability of finding new advertisers who are inclined to market right now. (Or so we hope.) Other adjustments are, we expect, temporary. With theater and dance the most challenged of all art forms, given their inherent- ly live and public nature, we are combining our coverage into a single “Stage\" section until plays and dance performances are once more produced with regularity. Sharon Hoyer, our longtime dance editor, will oversee this combined section, while Kevin Greene shifts his focus to building digital engagement with all of Newcity's content. Our commitment to cultural coverage is not wavering, even as the world we cover trembles with chaos. Literary editor Tara Betts assembled her first Lit 50, two months later than our usual issue, as we chased a postponed Printers Row Lit Fest that now will not happen at all. Tara's been called into action in unexpect- ed ways as well, helping select the poems we've published these last couple of months as our editorial plans shifted in response to the insane world of 2020. That's new for us: twelve original poems published the last two months. And we continue to transform the distribution of our magazine. Gone are the days when we could produce what we do funded entirely by advertising. Now we're relying on you, our readers, to buy subscriptions. We've made this as easy and as compelling as possible. We hope you'll visit and join those in our community who've already signed on. Our commitment to you in return is to focus more than ever on expanding the breadth, impact and quality of our writing, art and design in our neverending mission to create a great magazine. And you can expect continued reinvention, of course. The list grows each week. Brian Hieg gelke...................................................................... 4

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Contributors TARA BETTS (Writer and editor, “Lit 50” and ERIC LUTZ (Writer, “Behold the Persistent ON THE COVER “Writer of the Moment”) is the author of “Break Legend of our Deep Blue Waters”) is a Cover Photo Sandy Morris (Sally Blood) the Habit” and “Arc & Hue” in addition to her contributor to Vanity Fair and the Guardian. Cover Design Dan Streeting role as lit editor of Newcity. Her interviews and His writing has also appeared in Rolling Stone, features have appeared in publications such the New Republic, and Chicago magazine, Vol. 35, No. 1406 as Sixty Inches From Center, NYLON, The among other publications. He is an adjunct Source, Poetry magazine, Hello Giggles at Elmhurst College.  PUBLISHERS and Mosaic Magazine. Brian & Jan Hieggelke CRISTI LÓPEZ (Illustrator, “Behold the Associate Publisher Mike Hartnett L.D. BARNES (Writer, “Lit 50”) is a lifelong Persistent Legend of our Deep Blue Waters”) EDITORIAL Chicagoan, poet, blogger and novelist. is a Florida-grown artist, painter, and illustrator Editor Brian Hieggelke Published in Revise the Psalm, The Skinny based in Chicago, who graduated from Managing Editor Jan Hieggelke Poem Journal and other anthologies, she Ringling College of Art and Design. Art Editor Kerry Cardoza belongs to FLOW (For Love of Writing), Chronicling a life-long journey contending Design Editor Vasia Rigou Longwood Writers Guild, Mystery Writers of with mental health disorders, López uses the Dining and Drinking Editor America and Crime Writers of Color and she human figure as a means of externalizing David Hammond performs locally. Her first novel, “The 107th the covert aspects of mental illness with Film Editor Ray Pride Street Murder” is in local bookstores and the the figures remaining strong, nurturing and Lit Editor Tara Betts Chicago Public Library being followed by tranquil amidst the chaos—to remind others Music Editor Robert Rodi another Chicago “Street Murder” in 2021.  struggling that their painful endeavors, in their Stage Editor Sharon Hoyer varied manifestations, are ultimately of hope. Digital Engagement Coordinator SANDY MORRIS (aka Sally Blood) Kevin Greene (Photographer, “Lit 50” and “Writer of the ASHLEY LUKASIK (Writer, “Theorem”) ART & DESIGN Moment”) is thrilled to be shooting the Lit 50 is founder and CEO of Murmur Ring, an Senior Designers Fletcher Martin, for the first time.  She is an award-winning immersive experience design and storytelling Dan Streeting, Billy Werch photographer and filmmaker who is also an agency in Chicago. Designers Jim Maciukenas, ICG 600 member shooting on set stills for Stephanie Plenner film/tv. MARKETING Marketing Manager Todd Hieggelke Newcity AUGUST 2020 Guaranteed Funding Renowned Faculty OPERATIONS General Manager Jan Hieggelke All admitted students receive full •Chris Abani Distribution Nick Bachmann, funding for three academic years •Eula Biss Adam Desantis, Preston Klik, and two summers including •Brian Bouldrey Quinn Nicholson •John Bresland • living stipend ($32,844/yr) •Averill Curdy Retail price $10 per issue. In certain locations, • tuition scholarship •Sheila Donohue one copy is available on a complimentary basis. •health insurance •Stuart Dybek Subscriptions and additional copies of current •Reginald Gibbons and back issues available at Additional Beneets •Juan Martinez Copyright 2020, New City Communications, Inc. •Shauna Seliy All Rights Reserved. •Funds for conference and research travel •Natasha Trethewey Newcity assumes no responsibility to return •Funds for contest and publication fees •Rachel Jamison Webster unsolicited editorial or graphic material. All •Training as teachers rights in letters and unsolicited editorial or •Join editorial staff on Apply graphic material will be treated as unconditionally •Write and study at a university with assigned for publication and copyright purposes graduate programs in other arts including in Poetry or Creative Nonection and subject to comment editorially. Nothing may music, theatre, writing for screen and by December 15, 2020 be reprinted in whole or in part without written stage, and dance, plus access to the permission from the publisher. literary and artistic communities in Chicago. Newcity is published by Newcity Communications, Inc. 47 West Polk, Suite 100-223, Chicago, IL 60605 Visit for advertising and editorial information. Subscribe at 6

50 Perfect Visions: Feb 2020 Eleven Leaders on How the Twenties Will Roar in Chicago DESIGNERS OF THE MOMENT DTHISECBCOEIVTNYEERATTHHENewcity_Feb_2020_final.indd1 1/19/20 10:06 PM SURFACE OCTOBER 2018 SEPTEMBER 2017 newcity Art 50: Chicago’s December 2017 FIL5M0 Visual Vanguard 33 VISIONS FOR THE NEXT CITY & Fall Arts Preview & Chicago Architecture Biennial & Art Leader of the Moment: Deana Haggag Bing Liu feb cover+FOB.indd 1 1/20/19 4:50 PM THE 11/16/17 9:46 AM MAY 2020 DESIGNED OBJECTS ISSUE Newcity-DO-Cover-171116-1-AM.indd 1 JUNE 2019 WHO REALLY BOOKS IN CHICAGO + EVE EWING Newcity_NOV_BOC_FOB-3.indd 1 10/15/18 1:55 AM Subscribe at

8 Newcity AUGUST 2020

H.R. Brinkerhoff was reading tures distinctly, but it looked like —What Brinkerhoff and And why not? AUGUST 2020 Newcity near the window of his second an alligator’s head.” Blauvelt saw that day— As a 1952 Tribune story noted, story officer’s quarters at Fort or what they said they the “sea-serpent deception” had Sheridan one frigid, early spring The captain described the saw—was the sea serpent long been used in efforts to afternoon when he observed a creature as “benumbed or dis- that Chicagoans have draw tourism to resort towns, “very large” black speck amid the abled,” and told a reporter that reported spotting for more seemingly with some degree of waves of Lake Michigan. he and Blauvelt saw it become than a hundred years. success. Months after one was “Come out and look at this thing stuck in a patch of ice near the spotted in 1904, the Tribune ob- in the lake!” he shouted to his pier. “The effort seemed to re- Unlike the Loch Ness mon- served that “more people are lieutenant, W.F. Blauvelt. vive it,” he said of the creature’s ster, this creature has no name using Lake Michigan as a sum- “What is it?” the lieutenant struggle to break free. “It disap- to distinguish it; the closest I mer resort than ever before.” asked him. peared, but quickly came to the could find in my research was Then there’s the September “I don’t know,” Brinkerhoff said. surface again at the identical a reference to the “Lake Ness” 1934, sighting by Captain G.E. “Come and see.” spot where we had first got a Monster, a moniker as nonsen- Stufflebeam of the U.S.S. The- good view of it,” he continued. sical as it is derivative. odore Roosevelt, a Navy-troop- It was a clear day in late “It looked toward us for a second transport-turned-Great Lakes March, 1893. The trees had yet and, then, turning around, made Invariably, it is described as passenger ship. to spring leaves, allowing the its way directly out into the lake. “eel-like,” somewhere between As Stufflebeam told it, he and men an unobstructed view of It described almost a letter ‘S’ thirty and sixty feet in length, his crew were about four miles the water. Still, it was hard to with its body in turning, and we with a reptilian head. An 1867 offshore one night when lookout make out at first what it was they got an excellent view of it.” account described the creature Donald Steele shouted, “Sea were looking at—until it drew as “retiring in habit”—prone, that serpent, ahoy!” nearer to shore. It was about thirty-feet long, is, to disappearing out of sight, “Where away?” he asked, ac- he told associates, his enlisted quickly back under the water cording to the Tribune. “The creature poked its head men, and a Tribune reporter, after breaching the surface. “Right over there, you dope,” up and we saw it plainly with who noted that some 200 While local reporters from the Steele yelled at the captain. our naked eyes and through our spooked Fort Sheridan service 1800s to the middle of the twen- “There it was,” Stufflebeam glasses,” Brinkerhoff later re- members had agreed to abstain tieth century have dutifully re- told the Tribune. “Wriggling and called to the Chicago Daily Tri- from alcohol in the wake of ported residents’ sightings, they twisting around and swimming bune. “The head was very large, the incident. have done so with bemusement, faster than the ship was going.” dark above, and light under- a dubiety about as subtle as an Like Brinkerhoff’s men, who, neath. We could not see the fea- “There is no chance of a mis- elbow to the ribs. upon hearing tell of the serp- take, Captain?” the reporter ent, are said to have sworn off asked. drink, the frightened passeng- “We saw it,” Brinkerhoff re- plied. “Don’t know what it was, but we saw it.” 9

Newcity AUGUST 2020 fig. 1 Maybe it was the dubious na- live is hardly dull, our lives far waves rushing up against the ture of the stories, maybe it was from carefree. And—perhaps pier—and, in a corner, what ers aboard Stufflebeam’s ship the passage of time into a less as a consequence, perhaps as looks to be a large, dark snake- “threw a number of bottles superstitious era—but by the a coincidence—the Lake Mich- like figure slithering through away”—and then the serpent time Pickles got around to igan sea serpent has swum just the current. disappeared, heading toward talking about it, the sea serpent below the surface of the public Benton Harbor. seemingly came to be a creature imagination, a secondary char- “What was caught on camera of the past. The subject of an acter in the city and region’s at the South Haven Pier?!” one In 1903, a fisherman reported old man’s nostalgia. He hadn’t folklore for decades, with little incredulous headline about seeing a sea serpent in the lake, disappeared from the papers to no attention. the viral video read. (“We may off of 22nd Street. But, the entirely. As the twentieth cen- never really have an answer,” Tribune reported ninety years tury wore on, though, press for Until, that is, more recently. that story concluded.) later, the creature had actually the creature was less about been a sea lion named Big sightings and more about the —I first became This, of course, is the kind of Ben, escaped from the Lincoln legends themselves. By the acquainted with the low-grade clickbait we’ve learn- Park Zoo. time our current century rolled Lake Michigan sea ed to ignore on the internet—or, around, talk of the monster had serpent last summer, at least, learned that we should In 1943, the self-described all but disappeared—banished when a grainy video by a ignore, but do not. And yet for “oldest of the old-timers,” a man to the depths by the troubles Michigan man made the me, it was an introduction to a by the name of Charles “Pickles” of our times. “Sea serpents rounds on social media. creature that had once been Crager, told the paper of an in- always appear in those mo- a fixture of our area, but who cident in “the nineties”—the ments of human experience Purporting to be livestream has not endured the way other 1890s, of course—in which what which are the despair of histo- of the shore in South Haven Chicago tall tales have. Any self- some had believed to be a ser- rians because they are dull,” a taken in forty-mile-per-hour respecting Chicago raconteur pent in the lake was a large sea newspaper writer theorized in winds, the video shows rough can give you at least the gist of turtle which got loose while 1933, “and the joy of peoples the Resurrection Mary legend— being shipped. “Things like pull- because they are happy and but who among us, save for ing in sea monsters was always carefree.” The era in which we our old friend Pickles, can tell happening to me,” Pickles said, you about our local denizen of as he spun more yarns about the deep? the city gleaned from more than sixty years living in it. Down the serpent swell I went, sinking deeper and deep- er into the local mythology. I scoured the Tribune archives for mentions of the monster, com- ing across sightings that dated as far back as the 1860s and as recently as the middle of the twentieth century. There were the crews of the tugboat Crawford and the propeller Sky- lark that reported a near-con- frontation with the beast in 1867, “lashing the waves with his tail” off the coast of Evanston. There were the reports of a sea serpent, in 1895, making the rounds of various resorts along the lake over the course of sev- eral days that summer. And there was the Tribune reader who defended the “fabulous sto- ries,” apparently so common in the papers as the weather warmed, as no mere “romance and superstition.” “The public have become so accustomed to the periodical hoax upon this subject that the idea of its having a possibly solid foundation is entertained by very few persons,” the Tri- bune reader wrote in 1878. “And yet there is so much grave tes- timony to the appearance at various times in different parts of the ocean of a gigantic ‘mon- ster,’ which observers have uni- 10

versally pronounced of serp- it wasn’t. The Lake Michigan sea yond the crowded beaches the fig. 2 AUGUST 2020 Newcity ent form, that there naturalists serpent became my white whale, serpent would surely shy away are inclined to grant that there in a sense. from, to the deeper parts where welcome diversion from the ter- may exist in the vast region of others had reported spotting it. rifying new reality of everyday the sea some species of huge Of course, Ahab made a wor- The serpent legend had been life, though—like the movies I’d marine animal still unknown thy adversary to Moby Dick, in borne of the washed-over mar- watch, the books I’d read, the to science.” part, because he had a ship with itime culture of this city and re- bread I’d make—it would rarely which to pursue him. I obvious- gion; by chasing down the myth, distract for long. After the es- That unknown—all that re- ly had no such vessel with which I thought, I could perhaps get capism, there’d be the inevitable mains undiscovered under the to give chase to my slithery in touch with it. return. water that covers most of our nemesis. Nor, I’m sad to say, did planet—has spawned thou- I know anybody with a boat to —I’ d never get the chance. But before all that—before ev- sands of years of myths and leg- take me far out into Lake Mich- erything changed—I went over ends, from Leviathan of the He- igan where the beast would The city would be shut down, to Fort Sheridan, where Brinker- brew Bible to the sirens who surely dwell. and so would the lake shore, and hoff and his lieutenant had sang to Odysseus in Homer’s any notion of spending our claimed to see the monster. It masterpiece to Nessie herself. But that didn’t stop me from warm months anywhere but our was a cold day in early March, seeking the sea serpent out homes vanished. not too different probably from Such monsters populated my where I could. On a rented boat that day in 1893. Windy, but childhood fantasies of adven- for a friend’s bachelor party last Writing about the lake and its clear, with only the vaguest ture on the high seas. My grand- summer, I turned my attention legend would become a small, promise of mildness in the air to father, a real Pickles of a man, from the city’s glossy skyline to distinguish it from mid-winter. showed me “Jaws” when I was the choppy waters below, hop- six, firmly establishing my per- ing to spy something supernat- I saw no serpent, needless ception that the ocean—which ural. On runs along the lake, I’d to say. I wouldn’t see in person for settle on the steps off Fullerton another decade-and-a-half— and stare out into the waves, the Looking out over the water, was full of great and terrifying blue water blending with the though, in what remained of beasts. While numerous ele- blue sky. Through the winter into those comparatively carefree mentary-school science proj- early spring, I plotted ways to days that are the “despair of his- ects on the matter taught me get further out onto the lake, be- torians because they are dull,” that the great white is not nec- I imagined sun and warm air and essarily the man-eating monster long days out on the lake, and of film, trips to the Shedd Aquar- thought, Soon. ium showed that the creatures that did exist were plenty fan- tastic on their own. The strang- est, I knew, lived in the deepest parts of the ocean—far from Lake Michigan and the other midwestern lakes of my youth. But the muskies I’d see mount- ed on the walls of bait shops and supper clubs and rented cabins were a reminder that our own local lakes were home to some pretty extraordinary crea- tures themselves. But Nemo, I was not, and soon my landlocked childhood gave way to a landlocked adult- hood, and my pelagic day- dreams dried up—just like my aspirations of being a cowboy or a 1930s bank robber. But the South Haven video and H.R. Brinkerhoff and Pickles and Big Ben the escaped sea lion reig- nited my fascination. Of course, the Lake Michigan sea serpent wasn’t real—but I wanted to seek it nonetheless. I wanted to see for myself a dark speck in the waves, knowing full well it was a log or a shadow or an es- caped turtle or whatever, even as I privately wondered, in some small part of my brain, if maybe 11

Newcity AUGUST 2020 A Conversation on the Page by ASHLEY LUKASIK was introduced to “Theorem,” a collaborative book created by poet Eliza- beth Bradfield and artist Antonia Contro, at Contro’s studio. Tucked away in Ravenswood, the studio is a sanctuary—private yet disarmingly inviting. Each time I visit, I have a sense of arriving at a secret meeting place filled with images and objects waiting for words to discover them. I returned here in early spring for a conversation with Contro and Bradfield on the genesis and nature of their collaboration for “Theorem.” “Theorem” itself is substantive—hand-bound, letterpressed, encased in a fabric wrap and over a foot square. Inside, delicately handworked pages alternate Bradfield’s poetry and Contro’s visual artwork. Unusually constructed, the pages decrease in size as the story unfolds. Bradfield is author of several award-winning poetry collections and splits her life between work as a naturalist and a professor of creative writing at Brandeis University. Contro is a Chicago artist whose exhibitions and multidisciplinary proj- ects include “Tempus Fugit,” American Philosophical Society Museum; “Ex Libris,” Chicago Cultural Center; “Closed/Open,” Newberry Library; and “Descry,” Muse- um of Contemporary Photography. “Theorem” was released as a limited edition of thirty copies by Candor Arts in the fall of 2019. It will have a life as a trade book, to be published in September by Poetry Northwest Editions. Contro and Bradfield are working with other col- laborators—a composer, violinist, animator and production designer—to develop a multidisciplinary experience of “Theorem.” The performance was scheduled to premiere this September at the historic Farnsworth House but was postponed due to the coronavirus. 12

In “Theorem” we allowed ourselves to open to each Here’s an object in the world. You see it, other’s work and to allow our responses you hold it. And yet your engagement is everything is born of exchange between to shape the next iteration—in drawing unknown to anyone but yourself. For me, Bradfield and Contro. The book is not or in words. And that’s a distinctly differ- that resonates with the story being ex- merely a shared aesthetic; it embodies ent thing than bringing on or partnering perienced in “Theorem.” The dance be- the obsessions and curiosities of two in- with an artist to illustrate your work, or a tween the seen and unseen, the public dividually celebrated voices. “The reve- writer to describe your images. and the private, the known and unknow- lation is not in arriving at a destination able. And I see an aspect of that in Anto- but in beginning to map the journey, as EB: I think key to the development of nia’s images, too: the familiar shapes they well as in recognizing that one’s perspec- “Theorem”—I’m just thinking about this often evoke and then the defamiliariza- tive of past events changes as time goes now, Antonia—is space. Space is so crit- tion that they create through size, juxta- by,” poet, critic and curator John Yau says ical to the experience of “Theorem” as a position or other treatments. of “Theorem.” book, as a text. In “Theorem” the words and images don’t face each other on the The book had a profound, almost en- Our conversation unfolds in much the page. You have to turn the page to move ergetic effect on me the first time I was same way, exploring the tension between from one to another. And there’s a lot of able to sit down with it. I’ve been try- the physical and the digital, the legacy of visual space in the text itself. It’s a text ing to locate the root of that feeling— secrets, the “truth” of experience and that pulls back from full revelation. Space was it relating so much to the feeling memory, and the stories that shape who was really critical in bringing “Theorem” of sisterhood, given I have two sisters we come to be. into a genuine and full expression for of my own? But there was something both of us. In making this, we each took about the public and private. I think it I’m fascinated by “Theorem” and time to listen to what had been created made me feel oddly exposed as a read- the collaboration. Can you describe and what might become—space inde- er. You have these lines like, “I was “Theorem” in your own words? pendent of each other, and space in con- very good at forgetting. I still am.” versation together. There are things in there that really give you chills to read that many of us ELIZABETH BRADFIELD: There are two We’re in a place where information relate to. I don’t think my experience AUGUST 2020 Newcity ways to talk about it. One is the content and engagement can be so fleeting in with “Theorem” is an isolated one. and the other is the collaboration. a digital context. If something isn’t And the feeling is even more pro- tangible and lacks permanence, is it nounced in Antonia’s studio, which “Theorem,” as you said, is a collaboration less real and less meaningful? I defi- has a certain energetic feel to it, too— between myself and Antonia. I wrote in nitely felt with “Theorem,” from the you come in and you’re in this, like, An- response to a book of Antonia’s images beginning, that it was part of a pro- tonia vortex. which she had gathered for another proj- cess and a choice to make it a book ect. Once the first draft was done, we when it could have taken so many EB & AC: Absolutely. revised and worked together—adding different forms. You said, Antonia, it images, playing with narrative order, was iterative as opposed to provid- One particularly emotional passage: designing the material experience of ing illustration for Elizabeth’s text. the book and its wrap—to create what is There’s something about the constant Look: I can pretend to see things two now “Theorem.” ebb and flow. The content itself actu- ways. But the gut is singular and stub- ally feels ephemeral and nebulous, born. It knows what it first knew as As for content, the images are distilled. and yet a book in and of itself as an true. There is one form one story one They rely on collage and the delicacy of object is grounding. vessel I keep seeing. drawing—of the hand. The text leaps from those images to dance with a story EB: In some ways, “Theorem” is an oppor- Can you talk about it? about the legacy of a secret acquired at tunity for meditation and consideration. a key point in time, adolescence—thir- Rather than explication, it’s evocation. EB: We all have experiences that are for- teen years of age—and held through a mative and confusing in our lives. The life. It explores what it means to come by AC: The images and the text individually question of how you get to the truth of those secrets and to carry them. and together definitely do that, Liz. The that experience, how you separate your book form has intrigued me for years be- memory from someone else’s memory ANTONIA CONTRO: I would add that cause of the almost slowed down, filmic or from external fact, how you root out when Liz and I began this process—with experience it provides. The act of turning supposition… I don’t know. I think that’s really authentic curiosity as well as inno- a page and discovering a new scene, a one of the deep mysteries of the world. cence about a final product—the motiva- new image, a new experience. The view- And yet, there can be this certainty of “I tion for us was the exchange of ideas er or reader has to activate that process— know what’s right.” I’m interested in that through images and words. It eventually it will be a closed object unless it is complexity and contradiction. I’m inter- became manifest and clear to us that it opened and the pages are turned. To a ested in the ways we can be right and was destined to be a book, that this was certain degree, the book is an invitation wrong at the same time. I’m interested in the form our exchange should take. It to participate in the unfolding of the story. how it simultaneously matters and was one of those rare experiences where Psychic, emotional and physical engage- doesn’t matter. I’m not interested in solv- ment, too, are a particular aspect of a ing the mystery; I’m interested in sitting previous page: book that I find compelling. with the mystery. “Theorem” in Antonia Contro’s studio / Photo: Jacqueline Trezzo EB: And I think, too, the way in which This is a departure I had not planned reading a book is both public and private. on, but the #MeToo movement has 13

Newcity AUGUST 2020 been interesting to me in that I’m real- what I wrote being affixed or appended “Theorem” by Antonia Contro ly turned off by the expression of it in to them? I had no idea. I don’t think I’ve and Elizabeth Bradfield social media. Of course, I’m a feminist ever told you this, Antonia. / Photo: Miriam Doan and I want people to be vindicated for things that have happened to them, AC: No! Another thing that’s been striking in and I want people to be held account- our conversations is that you’ve spo- able for abuses, but I do not like the EB: What if she thought, “Man, I don’t ken a lot about your own process of way that people are exposing some of want this to be the story of my images.” creative becoming and how collabo- their deepest traumas within a forum Once we decided to move forward, I had rative works fit within that. The idea that feels so voyeuristic, uncareful and to really think about whether it was okay of giving up ownership is a really in- uncaring, and not to be trusted. for what I’d written to become public and teresting one—the only way to give what it meant for “Theorem” to become up ownership is to get to a place where EB: Absolutely. a public object. you’ve established full trust with your collaborators. I’d love to hear from you, The exposure makes me almost panic. You also are receiving and giving back Liz, about your pathway to becoming Maybe that’s the other piece of this to one another in a period where peo- a writer and how collaboration fits in which is compelling, relevant and nec- ple are passively consuming with for you. essary with “Theorem”—just the me- seemingly no sense that they are ac- ticulous thought and carefulness and countable for treating other people’s AC: Before you jump in—I do want to say, honoring of the story and visual work contributions with care. I’d pretty assuredly describe it as inviting together. Antonia spoke a lot in her co-ownership as opposed to giving up studio visit about “Theorem” as a work AC: One of the things I haven’t done is take ownership because I’m a fierce owner of in progress, about the trust built be- a bird’s-eye view of what we made and my work. I think that caring is important tween the two of you as collaborators consider its meaning in the social and po- to making something really good. in this. It comes through so strongly. litical moment we’re living in as humans. From the start, I was devoted to being a EB: I’m glad you mentioned that. I agree. EB: I’m glad you mentioned #MeToo. sensitive receiver and caregiver of Liz’s My path in becoming a writer is similar to We’ve talked about it as well, and we don’t story, her words. We each made compro- a lot of writers, but the point at which it en- want this to be solely a response to mises and have had enormous challenges gages more interestingly with “Theorem” #MeToo, but there is a resonance in “The- along the way. We’ve each given up one or is, I think, this: since 2005 I’ve run a publi- orem”’s story. two things we liked personally but felt cation called Broadsided Press. Each would make the whole richer and more month we publish a collaboration between When I sent Antonia the text of “Theorem,” agreeable. We respect each other’s work. an artist and writer. Broadsided has been I was terrified because it set a narrative That’s a very special engagement with a long and rich experience of enabling ex- to her images. Would she be okay with somebody, right? 14

the clarity of the emotion and narrative being presented. But with art too much talking shuts something down. So work- ing with an artist and sharing visual space is a really exciting aesthetic opportunity for me. It allows the writing to have wider gaps for someone to leap across. I don’t think I would feel like “Theorem” was good work if it didn’t have the visual art. I wouldn’t release the text of “Theorem” without Antonia’s images. AC: That was really fascinating to hear, Liz. We’re bringing up some things that we haven’t talked about or that maybe we have felt but haven’t articulated about the process. The idea is terrific that, very sim- ply put, the images and the words build upon each other in a way that creates a whole that is both greater and yet pre- serves… The thing we keep describing as space. And that’s a delicate back-and- forth, an exquisite balance. If we achieved that, my god, I’d feel great. I’m reflecting on a few things you said, Liz, and they’re a great way to talk about “The- orem” and maybe even some of what I learned from making it with you. EB: Like what? AC: If I admit one insecurity about my own work, it’s that perhaps there’s not enough content there, it’s not meaningful enough. Which harkens to my own insecurity, in general, as a human being, of course. But I think here, it’s something about how to- gether with the words, my images feel more illuminated with meaning but also more open to interpretation, and that’s an amazingly artful balance to me. Antonia Contro in her studio long to enable for others… and yet to do it As a graduate student in anthropology, AUGUST 2020 Newcity / Photo: Jacqueline Trezzo in a different way. A truly collaborative way. some of my work focused on how women found online community change and inspiration between people I’ve worked with visual artists before, and around anorexia. What I came to notice working in different mediums. However, at what’s interesting to me is that when I’m was that when technology evolved to Broadsided, the writer has no input on the working with a visual artist, the writing enable people to share photographs, art that is created for their work. They have that emerges is so different from my other the dialogue and dynamic changed en- to leap off the cliff when they send work to work. Especially when the art remains as tirely. There’s something in the narra- us, and that’s part of the trust exercise of part of the reader-viewer experience. It tive of phenomenology that resonates Broadsided: to see how the art influences gives me a huge freedom as a writer to with what happens in “Theorem.” the writing, to see how the writing influ- not have to say everything. The art has its ences the artists. To witness that dynamic own thing to say, and I want my writing to EB: Yes. How can you evaluate and know is so fun, so fascinating. allow space for that. a truth? This is partly why there’s so much I love about Antonia’s images and the way When Antonia suggested working togeth- My writing becomes a lot more elliptical, they play with scientific, objective forms. er, I was very excited to delve into a pro- elusive when I respond to visual art. Nor- Shapes or graphing, maps. For me, that cess—an experience—I’d been working so mally I believe that it’s the writer’s job to kind of imagery is resonant. Science is a be really clear. That doesn’t mean to nail way of presenting things with a pretense everything down, but to be responsible to of objectivity that makes them easier to talk about. Simpler. Clearer. I know this intimately because of the work I do as a naturalist. And I think we also simplify dif- ficult emotional subjects. I’m very inter- 15

Newcity AUGUST 2020 ested in the ways that we can use objec- section, get smaller and smaller. We both Elizabeth Bradfield and tive language and imagery to talk about feel that the material experience of “The- Antonia Contro at Contro’s studio really subjective stuff. And, for me, the orem” is so tied to the emotional experi- mystery of Antonia’s images are how they ence of the book and the story the book / Photo: Miriam Doan often present objectivity but have a very is trying to tell. The pages getting smaller emotional impact. is both concentrating things—distilling tle bit of precious space for oneself. things—but at the same time making That is felt in “Theorem”… AC: In some grand, overarching way, in them more distant and hard to see. That our journey through life, we yearn to name, conundrum, that juxtaposition, is part of EB: Yes, you want to crouch down, you organize and structure our lives, the the power of “Theorem.” want to bend in, you want to get close to things around us in order to make… it. It’s intimate. Absolutely. There’s a quote by Denise Levertov which EB: Sense! is my lodestar: “Accuracy is always the AC: The other thing I’d say about getting gateway to mystery.” I believe that. The back to this form is that we actually AC: —of what is an unknowable eventu- more you try to understand something ac- sought out the publisher who could bind ality. And so, I think that we—Liz and I— curately and fully, the more closely you the book and make those pages change move in and out of that as well. What is look at something, the stranger it gets. in size. knowable? What is nameable? Of course The telescoping of “Theorem”’s pages, the we yearn to do that—it’s the human drive winnowing, is part of the strangeness. EB: Which is no small feat. We’re so grate- and need—but I think we’re also suggest- That important strangeness. ful to Candor Arts. ing that finding a way to hang in the bal- ance in some of the discomfort of not Antonia and I began working with other AC: But it’s also the surprise of it. You’re knowing, that there’s enormous beauty artists a year ago to see what might hap- going along and you’re involved in the im- and discovery to be made there. Right at pen if we envisioned “Theorem” not as only ages, the words, and you turn a page and, that precipice. a book, but an experience. The composer what happened? The surprise of it is im- Eliza Brown, violinist Clara Lyon and ani- portant. EB: Yes. All of that, times two. mator Joseph Merideth have joined us as collaborators, and we are developing a per- EB: It’s the reconsideration that’s in “The- Wow, that was really beautifully said. formance of “Theorem” that will ask view- orem.” Let me look at it again, let me slow ers to move through space and time. down time a little bit and reconsider. AC: I’m glad it resonated because I feel There’s so much to say about the ways this like this conversation has led up in part to has deepened our investigation, but that AC: This has been a terrific—I don’t even being able to say that. A revelation of that. might be a conversation for another time. want to use the word conversation but sort of a communion, maybe. EB: The one thing we haven’t touched on There’s also this feeling of—and this that’s important to “Theorem” in book is true also of a lot of the three-dimen- EB: Yes. form is the physicality of the book, the sional work in your studio, Antonia— wrap that encloses it—like a thing hidden a lot of your objects are delicate and AC: I want to bask in that. Thank you both away. The way that the pages, section by miniature. It’s like carving out this lit- for this really rich conversation. 16

Writer of the Moment MAYA AUGUST 2020 Newcity SCHENWAR Maya Schenwar and Victoria Law have been writing about the short- comings of prisons for years, but as the pandemic continues, their collaborative effort “Prison By Any Other Name” questions the inefficacies of the system, with its scant alternatives, providing ex- amples of how these institutions extend the control and surveil- lance over those who are involved with the criminal justice system. Schenwar talked with Newcity about the impact of alternatives in Chicago as well as nationally, the Chicago Gang Database, sex of- fender registries, defunding police, removing police stations from schools, and the role of Black women in rethinking prisons. We even talked about how her work is received not just as a family mem- ber of a formerly incarcerated sib- ling, but as a white activist who sometimes engages with predom- inantly white audiences. by Tara Betts photos by Sandy Morris (Sally Blood) 17

Newcity AUGUST 2020 Tell us how you and Victoria prisons, but these harmful alternatives, are that families face when a relative is started collaborating on abolished? We discuss projects around the under this sort of surveillance? “Prison by Any Other Name.” country that have contributed to this work, and mention some past and current efforts in Chi- I think a lot of times people forget that incar- Both of us were coming from backgrounds of cago that address extensions of the prison-in- ceration—of all types, including electronic writing and editing about prison. In addition dustrial complex, including [the former] We monitoring, which scholar-activist James Kil- to all of Vikki’s freelance work and my main Charge Genocide‘s efforts against “communi- gore and others have termed e-carceration— work with Truthout, Vikki had written a previ- ty policing,” the Just Practice Collaborative‘s affects whole families and communities, in ad- ous book, “Resistance Behind Bars,” about in- role in training people to facilitate transforma- dition to the primary impact on the person carcerated women organizing, and I’d written tive justice processes, the Visible Voices col- who’s incarcerated. Electronic shackles “Locked Down, Locked Out,” which is primar- lective that provides a space for formerly in- amount to home confinement: You can’t leave ily about the impact of prison on families and carcerated women, many of whom are still your house without pre-approval. Many things communities. As we interviewed people about under state surveillance, to tell their stories, outside of a job and essential medical appoint- incarceration, we became more and more the ways in which restorative justice practi- ments aren’t going to be pre-approved. One aware that for many people, being released tioners have worked within Chicago Public key impact is on children. One of the people from prison does not mean being freed from Schools to counter the police, how Ujimaa we interviewed who was confined on a moni- the system. These are all extensions—from Medics are providing commu- electronic monitoring and house arrest to nity health care. We highlight tor for several years talked locked-down drug treatment and psychiatric efforts happening around the about how she couldn’t take her hospitals to probation and sex-worker rescue country that provide a glimpse children to the park, or drop programs, not to mention the child welfare of what the world could look them off at school, or attend system, community policing and all the other like, beyond the prison nation. their sports games and practic- ways that police and prisons entangle them- es. She had five kids. But she selves in homes and communities, systemat- We turned in our final-final man- could not participate in whole ically targeting Black communities and other uscript in January after many swaths of her kids’ lives, partic- communities of color. We were also seeing drafts. After our book went to ularly as they grew older. We how these extensions of the system were tar- press, COVID erupted, then the need to think about the impact geting disabled people, trans people, drug police-perpetrated murders of of that on kids’ lives. When kids users. These “alternative” systems were en- Breonna Taylor, George Floyd are old enough, they often also dangering people’s lives and deeply harming and Tony McDade, and the up- begin to worry about the fact marginalized communities. But much of this risings followed. Suddenly, “ab- that since their parent is shack- was not being documented because it doesn’t olition” was being uttered, if not endorsed, in led with a monitor, that parent fall into the category of what most people see mainstream circles! Mainstream newspapers is always one step away from jail or prison, be- as prison. It’s all part of what Beth Richie calls were publishing the words of Mariame Kaba. cause the consequence of violating the moni- the prison nation—our culture of policing and Multiple large cities were committing to seri- tor’s strict conditions is often incarceration. In imprisonment that has very long tentacles. ously reduce police funding, thanks to powerful one study, kids expressed fear that their par- Both Vikki and I also had personal experienc- grassroots organizing. If we were to write the ents would be taken to jail anytime the monitor es which drove our work. Vikki had been on book now, our final chapter would include some beeped. Beyond children, family members probation as a teenager. And my sister spent of the recent visionary work being done primar- often become the ones responsible for attend- the past fifteen years in and out of jail and pris- ily by Black-led abolitionist groups to defund ing to the basic needs of a person who’s shack- on. During that time, for my sister, being out police. This connects deeply with the goal of led with a monitor. When my sister was on of prison meant being under heavy surveil- our book, because the current movement is not electronic monitoring, we were bringing her lance, including probation, monitoring, drug saying, “defund the police and instead fund groceries and other supplies, and checking in court, and other punitive so-called alternatives. electronic monitoring” or “just switch the constantly because we were worried about We realized that there was a need for a book money over to community policing.” People are what this confinement was going to do to her tying together all these things—all these ways saying no, we need healthcare, education, mental health. Knowing that your family mem- that prison extends far beyond prison walls— housing—actual support and liberation, not pu- ber, who is probably already struggling, risks to show that many popular alternatives to in- nitive, racist, oppressive “alternatives.” In Chi- incarceration if they leave the house—even for, carceration and policing are simply expan- cago, we’re seeing powerful efforts like the say, an emergency room visit—is terrifying. sions of the same old oppressive systems. newly formed Black Abolitionist Network, which is calling for a seventy-five percent cut Another idea that you mention is Mariame There are several approaches to the idea to Chicago’s police budget and the investment Kaba describing the idea of “Somewhere of prison abolition and defunding the police of that money in real community programs and Else” as a place that people could find throughout the book. Could you talk about services, the removal of police from schools, support services as a substitute for prisons the work here in Chicago that’s highlighted and an end to the gang database, among other that are often vague suggestions or they’re in the book or that you wish you could’ve demands. And there are many neighbor- fraught with common shortcomings as covered as Black Lives Matter, police hood-based mutual aid groups that have institutions. Also, there are many existing brutality, and prisons have taken on even sprung up during the pandemic, in which neigh- alternatives that invade people’s privacy more significance after COVID-19 and the bors are building connections and figuring out and impede their ability to work. Can we deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor? how we can provide for each other, how we can talk about how such existing institutions ensure that everyone has housing and food and could become better possibilities? Yes! Most of the book focuses on what’s care. That’s abolitionist work; it’s building the wrong with many popular reforms to prisons world we want to live in, wholly outside of po- Yes, Mariame was one of the first people we and policing, and how they’re widening the licing, surveillance and imprisonment. interviewed and this idea that she mentioned— net of who gets policed and punished and sur- the “Somewhere Else”—guided a lot of our work veilled. But in the last chapter, we talk about The earlier chapters discuss the thereafter. The idea is that under the logic of how things could be different: What does a problems with electronic monitoring. our prison nation, people cannot simply be world look like in which not only police and Could you talk about the challenges freed. Instead, they need to be put in some other restrictive, coercive institution, even if that 18

institution purports to help them: a kinder, gen- tler cage. Electronic monitoring—confining people to their homes—is a Somewhere Else. Psychiatric hospitals are a Somewhere Else. Locked-down drug treatment centers are a Somewhere Else. These are still places to put people who’ve been deemed “criminal,” to re- move them from the larger society. This is why Mariame, and many others, talk about the need to challenge criminalization itself. Get rid of that label and that system. Instead of thinking in terms of Somewhere Else, we need to think about building support for people’s self-deter- mination and expand their options for what kind of support they can get voluntarily. For example, it’s been shown again and again that forcing people into some treatment (addiction treat- ment, mental health treatment) does not actu- ally succeed, even by the system’s own stan- dards. It doesn’t improve people’s lives. Instead, these coercive measures are unethical and often very traumatizing, and sometimes enact the opposite of what’s needed. My sister was placed in a mandated drug court program after her last incarceration. She wasn’t ready to stop using heroin, but the program forced her into abstinence from the drug, lowering her toler- ance and making her more vulnerable. When she left the program, she overdosed and died. Instead of these harmful and even deadly mea- Many protests around removing police from students, and increases the number of stu- AUGUST 2020 Newcity sures, we need to think about how treatment schools in Chicago have centered on dents who are arrested and entrapped in the could be offered on a voluntary basis in ways providing other resources, like school prison cycle. that account for people’s autonomy. Not every- nurses and counselors. I know BYP100 one wants to—or is ready to—stop using certain [Black Youth Project 100] and other Crystal Laura, a Chicago writer and scholar drugs. So, what kinds of harm-reduction mea- organizations were demanding mental who we interviewed for our book, wrote a great sures, such as safe consumption or safe injec- health care centers on the South Side. I book called “Being Bad” about the school-to- tion sites, can we offer to make survival more kept thinking about the statistic cited in prison pipeline. She talks about how all kinds possible for people with substance dependen- “Prison By Any Other Name” where you of resources have gone into policing students, cies? How can we decriminalize all drugs so cited that seventy-five percent of the essentially creating police stations inside of people are not being traumatized further by students arrested by police in schools schools, where students can be booked—and being trapped in cages? And how can we offer are Black. also the morphing of schools into more pris- optional support so that people can get medi- on-like institutions in other ways—requiring cal care and housing and their other needs met, Yes, that seventy-five percent number was uniforms and metal detectors, dispensing hor- regardless of what drugs they’re using? from a Project NIA and Loyola University study rible food, not letting people leave the room from a few years back, specifically focused on even to go to the bathroom. So, what could we Another example: We need to be thinking Chicago, and we see similar patterns in other do with the resources that go toward school about what “voluntary” and non-coercive cities. A 2018 study showed that ninety per- policing and school prisonization, if they were might mean in terms of mental health treat- cent of students arrested in New York schools reinvested? We’d need to absolutely increase ment. Psychiatric hospitals and court-ordered were Black or Latinx. Like so many of these nurses and counselors and mental health care, assisted outpatient programs operate by hold- systems, school policing does not “work” in as you mentioned, especially given how those ing everyone to a certain norm, and medicat- the ways that many people assume it does. resources have been nearly entirely stripped ing them and prescribing certain therapies to There’s no research showing that it decreases from so many schools and communities. Also, try to shape them toward that norm, but not violence in schools. There is plenty of research despite Chicago Public Schools constantly everyone sees the condition they’ve been di- showing that school policing targets Black stu- mentioning “restorative justice” as a buzzword, agnosed with as a problem needing to be elim- dents and other students of color and disabled their funding for actual non-punitive restor- inated. For example, some people who hear voices and see visions don’t want to lose those voices and visions, though some do. How can we develop networks of mutual aid and heal- ing justice that allow people to choose how they live in the world? How can assistance be offered in ways that don’t intend to force ev- eryone to align with a certain norm? These are questions we can be asking. We can look to the work of groups like the Fireweed Collec- tive, a mental health education and mutual aid project, for more on this. 19

Newcity AUGUST 2020 ative justice programs, which eschew police about getting rid of the Chicago Gang Meanwhile, with both the gang database involvement, is meager. And all students Database, “Prison By Any Other Name” and the sex offender registry, this punitive data should have access to smaller class sizes and also addresses how sex offenders collection allows officials to completely side- recess and arts programs, which are provided registries are not always effective as step dealing with the actual roots of violence. as a given at schools filled with middle-class a community safeguard. Could you talk Obviously, these databases do nothing to white students. I also think about how the about both databases? address poverty, white supremacy, patriarchy, Movement for Black Lives platform’s education and so on. Instead, they punish and surveil section called for not only better services, but Gang databases are part of a whole range of marginalized people, trapping them in an also good-quality food and recreation and a data-driven reforms that are marketed as ever-growing cycle. curriculum that meets students’ needs both savvy ways to prevent “crime,” but actually put culturally and materially. There are plenty of targets on people’s backs, particularly Black You and Victoria talked about the organiza- important places that reallocated money can and Brown people, making people more vul- tions and practices that people are creating go, if it doesn’t go to police. The calls for “CPD nerable to the police and, very often, officers in several cities to enact alternatives to out of CPS” right now are so essential. aren’t required to provide evidence for desig- prisons via restorative justice and practices nating someone as a gang member. And once from small organizations, but you also talk So many Black women are central to people are in the database, whether or not about challenges that they face. What else shaping the ideas in “Prison By Any Other they’re actually in a gang—the database isn’t would you add to that discussion since the Name.” Mariame Kaba, Angela Davis, even accurate about that—they can lose out book is already in print and the landscape Beth Richie and Ruth Gilmore among them. on jobs, be further subject to immigration en- has shifted so dramatically? Have you found that people respond to you forcement, face worse consequences within differently as a younger white woman and the criminal legal system, miss out on educa- The groups we mentioned in our book—from a journalist? If so, how do other people tional opportunities. Last year, ninety-five per- the Bay Area Transformative Justice Collective react to you writing about prisons and cent of people on the database in Chicago to the Audre Lorde Project’s Safe Outside the other forms of state supervision? were Black or Latinx. System to Creative Interventions’ Storytelling and Organizing Project—can provide models Yeah, in “Prison By Any Other Name,” Vikki and Even if the databases were entirely accurate, for different ways to approach dealing with I wanted to center the words and work of Black we’d have to ask: Why are police recording harm, without prisons or police. And new mod- women abolitionists because this is where ab- data on gang membership? Why should gang els are always growing—now we can also look olition—and so much of the most important members have this additional target on their to projects like Los Angeles’s CAT 911, which work against prisons and policing—comes from. backs? Why do people join gangs in the first is building community alternatives in emer- When I wrote my last book and was going place—as New York organizer Josmar Trujillo gency situations, and the ongoing way that around talking about it, I noticed that particu- asks in our book? (He points out that although Minneapolis’ Black Visions Collective has larly in predominantly white spaces, people saw gangs are obviously sometimes involved in vi- combined calls to dismantle the police with me as something of a novelty and were quick olence, they also are places where people or- building spaces for healing justice. to attribute these interesting “new” ideas to me. ganize and build community, often in neigh- This is part of the reason we have like twen- borhoods where few resources or support Of course, responding to harm is just one as- ty-million citations and so many interviews in structures exist.) Here in Chicago, the Erase pect of abolition work, as the current defund “Prison By Any Other Name”—because abolition the Database project, a collaboration between police movement is reminding us. A large part is a collective project with Black feminist roots Organized Communities Against Deportations, of it is building up structures of support, from and roots in incarcerated people’s organizing. BYP100 and Mijente, has exposed the racism quality health care for all to liberatory educa- We want to make clear that we did not come and cruelty of the database and called for its tion to universal housing, and childcare and up with those things ourselves. elimination. The recently formed Black Aboli- robust funding for the arts and youth pro- tionist Network is also calling for the elimina- grams. A large part of it is digging up the roots Another thing I notice, in terms of reactions, is tion of gang databases, including the city’s of these oppressive systems—dismantling other white people often respond to me by new “criminal enterprise database.” white supremacy, heteropatriarchy, ableism knowingly saying, “But you can’t really want and other structures of oppression. to abolish the police,” mentioning all the ways Sex offender registries, like gang databases, are in which police supposedly protect communi- not cultivating safety for anyone. There’s no re- I hope that as some people with political ties—and this goes unsaid, but it’s usually search that sex offender registries do anything power begin to adopt the language of defund- white communities that they’re talking about. to prevent sexual violence. Yet there are around ing (and even dismantling!) the police, thanks There’s an assumption that I must see the po- 900,000 people on these registries nationwide. to the longterm efforts of grassroots groups, lice as a force that actually protects me in That’s a huge number—and people on the reg- these people with political power take the some way, when some of the most traumatic istries are listed publicly, leaving them and their work of organizers to heart. There’s always a experiences of my life have happened because families open to massive stigma and vigilante risk of powerful people using radical language of police and prisons. violence. Meanwhile, harsh conditions are im- while maintaining the same old systems. We’re posed on them, sometimes for life, including res- seeing some of that play out now, as always. In terms of being a journalist—I’m definitely that, idency restrictions that often leave them with But, of course, those attempts at co-opting but in addition to my work at Truthout and my very few places they’re allowed to live. Again, language or concepts doesn’t diminish the writing, I’m also an organizer, currently mostly there’s no evidence this prevents abuse in any fact that this powerful organizing has been with Love & Protect, a Chicago-based collec- way, but it leaves a lot of people unhoused. One happening for decades. Abolition has always tive that supports women and nonbinary peo- woman I interviewed who was on the registry, been about challenging structures of power, ple of color who’ve been criminalized or harmed due to having dated an underage boy when she and so activists have always known that the by state and interpersonal violence, so I’m herself was young, had her children automati- abolition of policing and prisons will not come bringing that work to bear in my writing and cally taken away from her and, for a long time, from above. The whole structure of society will speaking. I don’t think there should be a hard was not even allowed supervised visits with need to change, including political hierarchies. line between journalism and activism. them. Many people are not allowed to use the That may be daunting, but it’s also exciting. As internet even if their offense had nothing to do Ruth Wilson Gilmore says, “Abolition requires Although there has been public discussion with the internet. Jobs are severely limited, too. that we change one thing: everything.” 20

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Chicago provides a home to a wide range of writers Natasha .................................... Trethewey from different aesthetics, interests, cultures and dif- Ling Ma......................................................... ferent neighborhoods within a city known for its Timuel Black.................................................. neighborhoods. This year, we wanted to focus on Natalie Moore................................................ writers who contribute to the growing body of Amer- Ben Austen..................................................... ican letters and critical thought across genres. During Maya Schenwar............................................. alternate years, we recognize powerful people be- Lee Bey.............................................................. hind the city's literary scene—influencers, publishers, CM Burroughs................................................ booksellers, curators, educators, associations, muse- Erika L . Sánchez.......................................... ums, organizers and activists who primarily engage Rosellen Brown............................................... with words. Samira Ahmed.............................................. Ed Roberson.................................................... Our Hall of Fame, including the latest members in- Rachel DeWoskin........................................... Jennifer Steele................................................ ducted here, includes those who’ve made the list so Hannah Rebecca .......................... Gamble Chris Green....................................................... many times that their presence is assumed. Many Krista Franklin.............................................. Miles Harvey............................................... thanks to all those who suggested people for 2020’s Rachel “Raych” ............................ Jackson Mikki Kendall................................................ Lit 50. May we look forward to more writing now and Peter Kahn....................................................... Cozbi Cabrera.................................................. in the years to come. — Tara Betts Marty McConnell....................................... Celia C. Perez.................................................. Newcity AUGUST 2020 Lit 50 was written by Tara Betts Keith S. Wilson............................................ with LD Barnes and Frank Tempone. Rebecca Morgan ...............................Frank Xandria Phillips........................................... All photos by Sandy Morris (Sally Blood). avery r. young................................................. Margaret Davis ................... Ghielmetti Shot on location in Half Sour restaurant’s Mary Anne .............................. Mohanraj Speakeasy, Tracy Clark...................................................... Rita Woods....................................................... Eula Biss........................................................... Lauren Michele ............................ Jackson Jasmon Drain............................................... Maryse Meijer............................................... Michael Zapata........................................... Aricka Foreman............................................. Mitchell S. ...................................... Jackson Rick Perlstein................................................. Nick Drnaso................................................... Melanie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Benjamin Rachel Jamison Webster............................. Sahar Mustafah............................................ Srikanth (Chicu) .............................. Reddy Nikki Patin..................................................... Sandra ............................... Jackson-Opoku Mike Puican.................................................... Maya Marshall.............................................. C. Russell Price............................................... 22

1 5. Ben Austen 4. Natalie Moore 23 Natasha Trethewey.................................... AUGUST 2020 Newcity A former U.S. poet laureate and winner of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for her third collection “Native Guard,” Natasha Trethewey is the author of five collections of poetry, including “Monument,” “Thrall,” “Bellocq’s Ophelia” and “Domestic Work.” Her most recent creative nonfiction book, “Beyond Katrina: A Medita- tion on the Mississippi Gulf Coast,” addresses the aftermath of the hurricane as well as her Southern roots. Trethewey is a professor in creative writing at Northwestern University and Ecco Press will release “Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir” in 2020, a memoir that recounts the shooting and murder of her mother at the hands of her stepfather. 2 Ling Ma.......................................................... Ling Ma, the author of the award-winning apocalyptic novel “Severance,” which com- ments on the tedium of work life, caught the attention of many when it arrived on bookshelves, then got renewed attention in early 2020 after winning the Whiting Award in fiction as well as when shelter-in- place descended over the globe. Her novel

7. Lee Bey has been topping lists of epidemic literature 14. Jennifer Steele everywhere. Ma is an assistant professor at Newcity AUGUST 2020 the University of Chicago. 3 Timuel Black.................................................. Timuel Black qualifies to attend the Cente- narians Celebration on the South Side, held by the Salvation Army and community activ- ist Andrew Holmes. Instead, this Chicago treasure wrote his memoir, “Sacred Ground: The Chicago Streets of Timuel Black.” As an oral historian, Black held true to his storytell- ing methods by telling his life story to Susan Klonsky, which was then edited by Bart Schultz. Timuel lived through the 1919 race riots as a baby, grew up during the Great Depression, marched with Martin Luther King Jr in the 1960s civil rights movement, and lived to see friend and mentee Barack Obama become president. When asked by Chicago magazine the secret to a long and memorable life, Black offered that one should “Play some good music, drink a little Merlot, get some sleep and have something to do tomorrow.” 24

4 8. CM Burroughs Natalie Moore............................................... 15. Hannah Rebecca Gamble Natalie Moore achieved her dream to become AUGUST 2020 Newcity the South Side’s Lois Lane, (but with a bigger reach), a personal superman (her husband) and four daughters. Not only does she have a monthly Sun-Times column, but she rep- resents as part of WBEZ’s team of reporters for matters of race, class and communities. As author of “The South Side: A Portrait of Chicago and American Segregation,” the 2016 Chicago Review of Books nonfiction award winner, her writing has been featured widely, from the Beverly Area Arts Alliance’s Frunchroom reading series to the BBC. She is working on “The Billboard,” a play about an inflammatory anti-abortion mes- sage placed in Englewood, which will be staged in 2021 by 16th Street Theater in Ber- wyn and published by Haymarket Books. Check out her audio drama, “City on Fire: Chicago Race Riot 1919,” written with Jeremy McCarter, at 5 Ben Austen..................................................... Ben Austen, author of “High-Risers: Cabri- ni-Green and the Fate of American Public Housing” and a former editor at Harper’s magazine, has written many features, includ- ing for The New York Times Magazine, Wired and GQ, as well as being collected in The Best American Travel Writing. Austen teaches in the creative writing department at the Uni- versity of Chicago and is working on a narra- tive nonfiction book about the parole system crime and punishment in our country. 6 Maya Schenwar............................................. Maya Schenwar is the editor-in-chief of Truthout and a writer focused on prison-re- lated topics. She is the author of “Locked Down, Locked Out: Why Prison Doesn't Work and How We Can Do Better” and a co-editor of the anthology “Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect?” She discusses her new book, “Prison by Any Other Name,” in this issue. 7 Lee Bey.............................................................. Lee Bey, architecture critic for the Chicago Sun-Times around the turn of the century, created \"Chicago: A Southern Exposure,\" an exhibit for the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial at the DuSable Museum of African American History. With the great popularity of the exhibit, Bey began writing about how his father introduced him to buildings on the South Side that he loved and their histories. That was the springboard for “Southern 25

10. Rosellen Brown Exposure: The Overlooked Architecture on 21. Peter Kahn Chicago’s South Side,” his compelling vol- ume of photographs and reflection, which Newcity AUGUST 2020 chronicles the buildings’ history as well as social and economic conditions that contrib- uted to their decline. The anecdotes about interactions with these buildings are an accessible account of how architecture inhabits one of America’s most segregated cities. Prior to the pandemic, Bey was lec- turing widely about the book, and joined the Sun-Times editorial board in December of last year. He is still photographing buildings on the South Side. 8 CM Burroughs................................................ CM Burroughs, an associate professor at Columbia College, received a string of fellow- ships for \"The Vital System,\" her debut poetry collection. Her poetry has been commis- sioned to complement art installations at Studio Museum of Harlem and the Warhol Museum. With a sense of clean, deliberate lines, Burroughs strikes a taut precision. Her next collection, “Master Suffering,” is forth- coming  from Tupelo Press in 2021.  9 Erika L . Sánchez......................................... Erika L. Sánchez is the daughter of Mexican immigrants. A poet, novelist and essayist, her debut poetry collection, “Lessons on Expul- sion,” was published by Graywolf in July 2017, and was a finalist for the PEN America Open Book Award. Her debut young-adult novel, “I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter” is a New York Times bestseller and a National Book Awards finalist. Sánchez was a 2017- 2019 Princeton Arts Fellow, and a recent recipient of the 21st Century Award from the Chicago Public Library Foundation and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry. She was recently appointed the Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz chair in the Latin Amer- ican and Latino Studies department at DePaul University and is part of the inaugural core faculty of the Randolph College Low Residency MFA Program. Sánchez is working on a collection of essays. 10 Rosellen Brown............................................... Rosellen Brown has published eleven books— novels, short stories, poetry, essays—and has lived in almost as many places—New York, Boston, San Francisco, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Texas and, now, Chicago. After many years on the faculty of the University of Houston and more than a dozen summers leading the Spoleto Writers’ Workshop in Italy, she teaches in the MFA in Writing Program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. 26

Books. A former special programs adminis- trator at Rutgers University, Roberson is now an emeritus professor in Northwestern Uni- versity’s MFA creative writing program. He has taught at the University of Chicago, Columbia College, the University of Califor- nia, Berkeley, and the Cave Canem retreat for Black writers. His other honors include the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize and the Shelley Memorial Award. 13 Rachel DeWoskin........................................... Rachel DeWoskin marked the release of her debut poetry collection “Two Menus” (Uni- versity of Chicago Press, 2020), in addition to five novels, including the 2019 release “Ban- shee.” Her memoir, “Foreign Babes in Beijing: Behind the Scenes of a New China” (2005), details her life in that country in the 1990s. DeWoskin recently published an essay about the writing of Derek Walcott in The New Yorker and has work in Agni. She is writing in Hyde Park and is part of the core fiction fac- ulty at the University of Chicago.  14 Jennifer Steele................................................ Jennifer Steele may make us wait until she receives another Ragdale Fellowship before we get a follow-up to her debut poetry col- lection, “A House in its Hunger.” Her poems have been published in Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Another Chicago Magazine, Callaloo and Columbia Poetry Review. But as the new executive director for 826CHI, and with her experience as the partnerships coordinator of the Teen Services Department at CPL and the founding of both ChiTeen Lit Fest behind her, one wonders what she will do next. Steele is also one of the founders of Revolving Door Arts and continues to write and share poems. Her latest novel, “Lake on Fire,” shares an 12. Ed Roberson 15 AUGUST 2020 Newcity epic narrative about two young immigrants during the Gilded Age and the beautiful lic Schools. After Ahmed left the classroom, Hannah Rebecca ........................... Gamble World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893. she worked in education nonprofits, collabo- rating in the creation of more than seventy Hannah Rebecca Gamble is an award-win- 11 small high schools in New York City, where ning poet who made her debut with the 2011 she fought to secure billions of dollars in pub- National Poetry Series-winning collection Samira Ahmed.............................................. lic school funding. “Your Invitation to a Modest Breakfast,” se- lected by Bernadette Mayer and published Samira Ahmed is the New York Times-best- 12 in 2012. The former Gulf Coast editor has selling author of “Love, Hate & Other Filters” been writing and publishing in Chicago, but and “Internment,” and her just-released “Mad, Ed Roberson.................................................... her most recent role entails work as the writ- Bad & Dangerous to Know.” It’s not surprising er-director of the web series \"Choose Me: An that Ahmed chose YA fiction as her genre. Ed Roberson, winner of the 2020 Jackson Abortion Story\" for OTV-Open Television. The former teacher received her BA and MAT Poetry Prize, is the author of ten books of from the University of Chicago and went on poetry. His collection “Asked What Has 16 to teach high school English in the suburbs Changed” is forthcoming from Wesleyan of Chicago as well as the New York City Pub- University Press in 2021. A gathering of new Chris Green...................................................... and selected work, “MPH and Other Road Poems,” is coming from Chicago’s Verge Chris Green, an English professor at DePaul, is the author of four volumes of poetry, includ- ing “Epiphany School,” “Résumé,” “Every- 27

17. Krista Franklin 18. Miles Harvey where West” and “The Sky Over Walgreens.” His work has appeared in Poetry, Court Newcity AUGUST 2020 Green, Prairie Schooner, Poetry East and The New York Times. Green is the editor of four anthologies, including a forthcoming book- length, collaborative pantoum addressing gun violence,“American Gun: A Poem by 100 Chicagoans,” from Big Shoulders Books. 17 Krista Franklin.............................................. Krista Franklin writes poems that you more than hear. You see them. From collages to vocals, Franklin mixes media to weave a world of Afrofuturist sights and utterances. “When I’m composing them, sound is my big- gest motivator. I think of my poems as scores,” she says. As a visual artist, poet and teaching artist, Ohio native Krista Franklin has made her mark on the city. Her images have graced book covers, local gallery spaces and Fox’s “Empire.” Her art book, “Under the Knife,” with Candor Arts, is an intense exploration of her experience with fibroids. Prior to “Under the 28

Knife,” Franklin released two chapbooks. Her poetry collection “Too Much Midnight” was released by Haymarket Books in 2020.  18 Miles Harvey................................................ Miles Harvey, author of the bestselling “The Island of Lost Maps,” teaches creative writing at DePaul University in Chicago, and is a founding editor of Big Shoulders Books. Har- vey is also a recipient of a Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellowship at the University of Michigan. His 2008 “Painter in a Savage Land” was named a Chicago Tribune Best Book of the Year and a Booklist Editors’ Choice. His most recent nonfiction, “The King of Confi- dence,” was released this summer and chron- icles the life of James Strang, one of the big- gest con men of the 1800s Midwest.  19 Rachel “Raych”............................. Jackson The poems of Rachel “Raych” Jackson, a writer, educator and performer, have over two-million views on YouTube. She co-cre- ated and co-hosts Big Kid Slam, a monthly poetry show. Jackson’s work has been pub- lished by Poetry, the Rumpus, the Shallow Ends and Washington Square Review. Her debut collection, “Even The Saints Audition.” was published by Button Poetry in 2019. Prior to the pandemic, Jackson was doing readings with fellow Chicago poet Xandria Phillips to promote her book. Her play “Emotions & Bots” premiered at the Woerdz Festival in Lucerne, Switzerland. 20 19. Rachel “Raych” Jackson 22 AUGUST 2020 Newcity Mikki Kendall............................................... Bomb since the teen poetry fest began in Cozbi Cabrera.................................................. 2001. He organized what would become the Mikki Kendall has made the rounds of the spoken-word program at OPRF and co- Cozbi Cabrera, author and illustrator of the media, sharing think pieces on current events, founded Malika’s Kitchen, a workshop and 2018 children’s book “My Hair Is A Garden,” including intersectionality, policing, gender cultural exchange with British writers including writes and creates as a multimedia artist in and sexual assault. Her nonfiction can be Malika Booker, Roger Robinson, Nick Makoha fabric arts and visual art. Her latest collabo- found in Time, the Guardian, the Washington and Jacob Sam-La Rose. Kahn recently pub- ration, “Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Post, Ebony, Essence, Salon, Bustle and lished his debut poetry collection, “Little Gwendolyn Brooks,” with author Suzanne Islamic Monthly. Kendall discusses race, fem- Kings,” and co-edited “The Golden Shovel Slade, is a picture book biography that cele- inism, violence in Chicago, tech and pop Anthology: New Poems Honoring Gwendolyn brates the early days of the Pulitzer Prize-win- culture at universities across the country. She Brooks,” which was praised in The New York ning poet before Brooks achieved political is the author of “Amazons, Abolitionists, and Times by poet Claudia Rankine. Activists: A Graphic History of Women’s Fight for Their Rights“ (illustrated by A. D’Amico), and her latest book, “Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot.” 21 Peter Kahn....................................................... Peter Kahn is a longtime educator and men- tor to young poets in Chicago. He was fea- tured in Kartemquin’s 2018 documentary series, “America to Me,” with a slam team from Oak Park and River Forest High School, where he has coached at Louder Than a 29

22. Cozbi Cabrera acclaim. Cabrera holds a BFA from Parsons 25. Keith S. Wilson School of Design and is well-known for her Newcity AUGUST 2020 handmade cloth dolls.  23 Marty McConnell........................................ Marty McConnell published her second poetry collection, \"when they say you can't go home again, what they mean is you were never there,” and won the Michael Waters Poetry Prize as it was released in 2018 by Southern Indiana University Press. “Gather- ing Voices: Creating a Community-Based Poetry Workshop” is her first nonfiction book. She is the co-creator and co-editor with Maya Marshall of underbelly, a poetry website on the “art and magic of revision.” She is also the author of “wine for a shotgun.” In addition, McConnell is a seven-time National Poetry Slam team member, the 2012 National Under- ground Poetry Individual Competition (NUPIC) champion, and appeared twice on HBO’s “Def Poetry Jam.” 24 Celia C. Perez.................................................. Celia C. Pérez is a librarian who kicked open the door to YA literature with her Pura Belpré Prize-winning novel “The First Rule of Punk,” 30

in which a young Latina discovers the punk 23. Marty McConnell AUGUST 2020 Newcity heritage in her community and makes zines 26. Rebecca Morgan Frank to work through moving to a new city where her mother is a professor. Pérez’s second 31 book, “Strange Birds,” was published by the Penguin Young Readers imprint Kokila and debuted in late 2019.  25 Keith S. Wilson............................................. Keith S. Wilson’s work—multi-award winning poet and author of “Fieldnotes on Ordinary Love”—blends technology, game theory and language. His poem “black matters” was the Split This Rock runner-up for the Sonia San- chez-Langston Hughes Poetry Contest and The Quarry’s Top 10 Most-Viewed Poems of 2017 and was published again this May as a poem of the day for Poetry Foundation, with the title capitalized to emphasize its timeliness. 26 Rebecca Morgan .............................. Frank Rebecca Morgan Frank is the author of “The Spokes of Venus” and “Little Murders Every- where.” Her fourth collection “Oh You Robot Saints!” will be published by Carnegie Mellon in spring 2021. She is cofounder and editor of the online literary magazine Memorious. With musical collaborators, she has been translated into contemporary works for bassoon, saxo- phone, electroacoustic and voice. She (and we) hope that the November reading for Poetry Foundation’s Open Door Series will go on. For now, you can find Frank’s latest works in American Poetry Review, Kenyon Review, Poetry Ireland as well as on her website.  27 Xandria Phillips........................................... Xandria Phillips is a writer and visual artist originally from Ohio. They are the recipient of the Judith A. Markowitz Award for Emerging Writers, as well as fellowships from Oberlin College, Cave Canem, Callaloo and the Wis- consin Institute for Creative Writing. Phillips’ chapbook “Reasons for Smoking” won the 2016 Seattle Review Chapbook Contest that was judged by Claudia Rankine. Their first full-length poetry collection, “HULL,” was published by Nightboat Books in 2019 and is the winner of the 2020 Lambda Literary Award for Trans Poetry, as well as a finalist for The Believer Award. Phillips is working on “Presenting as Blue / Aspiring to Green,” a nonfiction work that explores color theory, gender and modes of making. 28 avery r. young................................................. avery r. young is an interdisciplinary artist and award-winning teaching artist who was an

27. Xandria Phillips 30. Mary Anne Mohanraj Arts + Public Life Artist-In-Residence at the University of Chicago for 2012-2013. In the Newcity AUGUST 2020 foreword of his recent book, “neckbone: visual verses,” Theaster Gates called Young “one of our greatest living street poets… one of the most important thinkers on the Black experience.” young’s poems and essays have been published in Cecil McDonald, Jr.’s “In The Company of Black.” His work in perfor- mance, visual text and sound design has been featured in multiple exhibitions and theater festivals. Prior to the pandemic, young and his band Da Deacon Board were in residency at The California Clipper, which has since closed. young is working in the Johnson Pub- lishing Company Archive + Collections as part of the Reading the Black Library Youth Fellowship program to create poems inspired by the historically rich collection that is housed at Stony Island Arts Bank.  29 Margaret Davis ................... Ghielmetti Margaret Davis Ghielmetti is a writer, story- teller, solo performance artist and photogra- 32

HALL OF FAME These writers appear so consistently on our biannual list that we’ve added a special ranking. Stuart Dybek............. ............. Jonathan Eig............. ............. Eve L. Ewing............ ............ Gillian Flynn............. ............. Gina Frangello............ ............ .......... Lindsay Hunter .......... .......... Angela Jackson ........... .......... Alex Kotlowitz ........... Daniel Kraus.............. .............. .......... Rebecca Makkai .......... 9. Erika L. Sánchez Joe Meno.................. .................. Simone Muench.......... .......... pher who lives in Chicago. She and her Swiss nature. (Her cookbooks include “A Taste ...... Audrey Niffeneg ger ...... hotelier husband have lived on four conti- of Serendib” and “The Feast of Serendib.”) nents and have visited almost fifty countries. Mohanraj founded Hugo-nominated and Sara Paretsky............. ............. Those travels inform her creative work, which World Fantasy Award-winning speculative include her victories in two Moth Grand- literature magazine Strange Horizons, and .......... Lori Rader-Day .......... SLAMs. In addition to her solo show “Fierce,” serves as executive director of both DesiLit: Ghielmetti recently released her memoir, A South Asian Arts Foundation and the .......... Kathleen Rooney .......... “Brave(ish): A Memoir of a Recovering Perfec- Speculative Literature Foundation. tionist,” which deals with claiming and con- Renee Rosen............... ............... necting to your life in middle age and beyond. 31 Marcus Sakey............ ............ 30 Tracy Clark....................................................... .......... Megan Stielstra .......... Mary Anne .............................. Mohanraj Tracy Clark works by day in the newspaper industry and writes mysteries at night. Clark Scott Turow.............. .............. Mary Anne Mohanraj is a multigenre author is a member of Mystery Writers of America, and professor at University of Illinois-Chicago. Sisters in Crime and Crime Writers of Color. Luis Urrea............... ............... She is an intellect, explorer and bad girl Her third novel, “Borrowed Time,” was at heart. In a recent blog post, she writes, released this spring, and she won the Sue Chris Ware................ ................ AUGUST 2020 Newcity “I need to counterbalance a little all the serious Grafton Memorial Award. She heard about literary stu in my brain left over from grad the prize via Twitter and posted her accep- Sam Weller............... ............... school and look for what brings me joy in tance speech on YouTube because of writing. Shapeshifting teleporting dragons the cancellation of the New York convention Jamila Woods............. ............ are total joy.” Her extensive body of work and awards banquet of Mystery Writers of includes science fiction-fantasy, poetry, cook- America. Clark settles her Black female books and erotica, making this self-defined detective on the streets of Chicago in the Sri Lankan-American woman a force of Cass Raines Chicago Mystery series, which 33

49. Maya Marshall 43. Rachel Jamison Webster has won awards since its 2018 debut vol- ume, “Broken Places.” She is working on the Newcity AUGUST 2020 next installment. 32 Rita Woods...................................................... Rita Woods is a consummate multitasker: family-medicine doctor running a wellness center, Homer Glen library board member, mother and author. “Remembrance” is not strictly a Chicago novel, yet its Midwest set- ting speaks to the interplay of North and South, reality and fantasy, slavery and free- dom in a mirroring that Chicagoans can relate to, especially in the way we interact with the rest of Illinois. In her debut novel, she creates four women who embody strength, endure pain—physical and psychic—and survive in surprising ways. She crafts a place called “Remembrance” and weaves it into an Afrofu- turist neo-slave narrative, adding depth to the genre originated in Octavia E. Butler’s 1979 breakthrough, “Kindred.” 33 Eula Biss.......................................................... Eula Biss’ “On Immunity: An Inoculation,” selected by Lithub as one of the “Ten Best Essay Collections of the Decade,” and the murder of George Floyd, prompted a return 34

to Biss’ National Book Critics Circle Award- 37. Michael Zapata 36. Maryse Meijer winning collection, “Notes From No Man's 35 Land” and her 2015 New York Times Maga- AUGUST 2020 Newcity zine essay \"White Debt.\" The Northwestern University artist in residence's next book, “Having and Being Had,” is due from River- head Books in September. The autobiography is part of a two-book project about ownership, class and capitalism. \"I'm at work, as much as I can be without childcare, on the second book,” Biss says, “which is tentatively titled ‘Ownership.’” Prior to the lockdown, Biss was moderating book talks with authors at inde- pendent booksellers in Chicago, including Women & Children First and Pilsen Commu- nity Books.  34 Lauren Michele ............................ Jackson Lauren Michele Jackson is the author of “White Negroes: When Cornrows Were in Vogue... and Other Thoughts on Cultural Appropriation.” In an essay published in New York magazine’s culture section, Vulture, Jackson talks about the ridiculousness of publishers proposing rereleases of classical novels with ethnically updated covers, but without any change to their content. Of that cancelled Black History Month campaign by Barnes & Noble, she says, “Diverse Edi- tions was almost refreshing in how bluntly it

28. avery r. young 16. Chris Green exposed the tendency to use representation to utterly meaningless ends.” At work on a Newcity AUGUST 2020 second book, Dr. Jackson, who teaches English and African-American Studies at Northwestern, is a bold voice on literature and racism. Her words can be found at the Atlantic, the Awl, Feminist Media Studies, Hayden’s Ferry Review, the New Yorker, the Paris Review, the Point, Rolling Stone, Spoon River Poetry Review, Vulture and the Wash- ington Post. 35 Jasmon Drain................................................ Jasmon Drain is the author of the debut story collection “Stateway’s Gardens,” a tender coming-of-age story that introduces readers to Tracy, a boy with a touching relationship to his mother and his time growing up in a Chicago public housing projects. The Chicago State University MFA alum has said that he may or may not write another book, but “Stateway’s Gardens” is definitely a good start. 36 Maryse Meijer............................................... Maryse Meijer writes about love and relation- ships, but with a twist. With what could be the quote for this entire year, from an inter- 36

39. Mitchell S. Jackson view at website Vol.1 Brooklyn, “Most of My 33. Eula Biss Work Unsettles Me,” she says, “Horror isn’t limited to genre… real life is full of scary shit.” AUGUST 2020 Newcity Each of her books “Rag,” “Heartbreaker,” “Northwood,” and her fourth, the novel “The Seventh Mansion,” scheduled for a Septem- ber release, are investigations of the under- side of love. As part of the Hyde Park Players, she acts and admits to enjoying the snow, which from a former Californian, is high praise for Chicago. 37 Michael Zapata............................................ Michael Zapata’s stunning debut novel, “The Lost Book of Adana Moreau,” already occu- pies many Best of 2020 lists, and it’s a sum- mer read for at least one Chicago high school. “I set out to write the book with only one reader in mind,” he says, “Matt Davis, a dear friend of mine who passed in 2003 and a seminal figure and musician in the Afro-Punk move- ment.” Whether he counted on it or not, Zapata has reached many with his words, and they’re letting him know. “I’ve also been deeply moved by Latin American, Afro-Latinx and Latinx readers who have reached out to tell me that they saw their own stories of exile and other worlds reflected in the novel,” he says. “These emails reach me suddenly, like beautiful lightning bolts.” Zapata's at work on 37

47. Sandra Jackson-Opoku his second novel. In his writing space Zapata keeps a copy of Roberto Bolano’s “2666” on 38. Aricka ForemanNewcity AUGUST 2020 his desk and he listens to the same songs 38 (Spiritualized, Ana Tijoux, Curtis Mayfield) he's played in the background of his writing sessions for the past seven years. 38 Aricka Foreman.............................................. Aricka Foreman is an American poet and inter- disciplinary writer from Detroit. The author of the chapbook “Dream with a Glass Chamber,” she just released her full-length poetry collec- tion “Salt Body Shimmer.” Foreman has received fellowships from Cave Canem, Cal- laloo and the Millay Colony for the Arts. Fore- man serves on the board of directors for The Offing, and spends her time in Chicago engag- ing poetry with photography and video. 39 Mitchell S. ...................................... Jackson Mitchell S. Jackson’s debut novel, “The Resi- due Years,” received wide critical praise. His nonfiction book, “Survival Math: Notes on an All-American Family,” (Scribner) was pub- lished in 2019 and named a best book of the year by a range of publications, including NPR, Time, the Paris Review, the Root, Kirkus Reviews, Esquire and Buzzfeed. Jackson, who teaches creative writing at the University of Chicago, is also a well-regarded speaker who has delivered lectures and keynote addresses all over the world, including at TED confer- ences and at universities, prisons and festivals. 40 Rick Perlstein.................................................. Rick Perlstein has documented the lines of conservatism in American politics with a growing body of work, including “The Invisi- ble Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan,” “Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America,” a New York Times bestseller and “Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the Ameri- can Consensus.” This month, his final install- ment in the series, “Reaganland: America’s Right Turn 1976-1980” is released at a door-stopping 1120 pages. A contributing writer to the Nation, former chief national correspondent for the Village Voice, and a former online columnist for the New Repub- lic and Rolling Stone, his journalism and essays have also appeared in Newsweek and The New York Times. 41 Nick Drnaso.................................................... Nick Drnaso, born in 1989 in Palos Hills, Illi- nois, has gained notoriety for his 2018 graphic novel “Sabrina,” which won the Eisner Award

46. Nikki Patin and became the first graphic novel to be on AUGUST 2020 Newcity the longlist for the Man Booker Prize. His debut graphic novel, “Beverly,” received the LA Times Book Prize for Best Graphic Novel. He has contributed to multiple anthologies, self-published a handful of comics, been nominated for three Ignatz Awards, and co-edited the second and third issue of “Line- work,” Columbia College's annual comic anthology while he continues to work as a cartoonist and illustrator. 42 Melanie ....................................... Benjamin Melanie Benjamin was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. An avid reader all her life—as a child, she was the proud winner, several years run- ning, of the summer reading program at her local library—she still firmly believes that a lifetime of reading is the best education a writer can have. Her combined interests of history and biography helped Benjamin carve 40. Rick Perlstein 39

out a niche writing historical fiction. Her nov- els include “The Mistress of the Ritz,” “The Girls in the Picture,” “The Swans of Fifth Ave- nue,” and “The Aviator’s Wife” and were New York Times, USA Today and IndieBound best- sellers. Her first novel, “Alice I Have Been,” was a national bestseller, followed by the critically acclaimed “The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb.” Her forthcoming novel “The Children’s Blizzard,” set during the Great Plains storm of 1888, comes out next year. 43 Rachel Jamison ............................ Webster Rachel Jamison Webster teaches at North- western University and directs the creative writing program. She is the author of “Sep- tember: Poems,” a cross-genre book “The Endless Unbegun,” and a forthcoming mem- oir about caring for her partner as he suffered and died from ALS. Webster has published two chapbooks with Dancing Girl Press, “Hazel and the Mirror” and “The Blue Grotto.” Webster's poems, stories and essays appear in dozens of anthologies and journals, includ- ing Poetry, Tin House, Narrative, the Southern Review and the Paris Review. With her late partner Richard Fammerée, Rachel founded and directed the online anthology of interna- tional poetry, UniVerse. Newcity AUGUST 2020 44 44. Sahar Mustafah trauma, with a focus on Black- and female- identified survivors of sexual and domestic Sahar Mustafah............................................ ment and unbelonging through lyric forms, violence. Nikki holds an MFA in Creative such as terza rima and the villanelle. Reddy’s Non-Fiction from the Stonecoast MFA Pro- When Sahar Mustafah last appeared in the lectures on poetry will be published by Wave gram at the University of Southern Maine. Lit 50, she said, “We need to create and Books in 2022. Patin is synthesizing her writings into a one- expand spaces for Arab and Muslim Ameri- woman show, “Labyrinthine,” and has a mem- cans, as well as other marginalized groups— 46 oir in the works. spaces where we can cultivate our own nar- ratives, empower our youth, where we can Nikki Patin..................................................... 47 raise our voices against hateful noise. White Americans must enter these spaces, too, and Nikki Patin is a writer, performer and educa- Sandra ............................... Jackson-Opoku support us.” Sahar is a member of the Radius tor whose practice addresses issues of body of Arab American Writers, part of the PEN image, sexual assault and the needs of the Sandra Jackson-Opoku, author of “The American Prison Writing Program and a facil- LGBT community. She is the creator of Sur- River Where Blood was Born” and “Hot itator with the Arab American Action Net- viving the Mic, an organization dedicated to Johnny and the Women Who Loved Him,” is work. She has collaborated with Guild Liter- creating safe spaces for the creation and ary Complex of Chicago’s “Voices of Protest” telling of stories of survivors of all kinds of and with Story Studio Chicago, 2nd Story Chicago, Tuesday Funk and The Frunchroom. Her second novel, “The Beauty of Your Face,” was published by W.W. Norton in 2020. 45 Srikanth (Chicu) .............................. Reddy Srikanth (Chicu) Reddy is a poet, literary critic and occasional translator who studies poetry across a range of forms, historical periods and regions. A University of Chicago profes- sor, his latest, “Underworld Lit,” is a long nar- rative poem cast as lecture notes for an imag- inary course in the humanities. His previous books of poetry, “Voyager” and “Facts for Visitors,” investigate questions of displace- 40

sheltering at home instead of traveling to 50. C. Russell Price writing retreats around the globe. But Jack- 48. Mike Puican son-Opoku was still the winner of the City of Chicago’s first 2020 Esteemed Artist Award AUGUST 2020 Newcity for literary arts and was published in the Anthology of Appalachian Writers and “Both Sides: Stories from the Border.” Although she says she is not as prolific as she would like to be right now, Jackson-Opoku is working on a series of cozy mysteries, “Sweet Potato Crimes,” set in a soul food restaurant, and a children’s book about civil rights. 48 Mike Puican................................................... Mike Puican has published poems in Blooms- bury Review, Crab Orchard Review, New England Review and Poetry, and his work has been featured on WBEZ. Puican was a mem- ber of the 1996 Chicago Slam Team and holds an MFA in poetry from Warren Wilson Col- lege. A longtime board member of the Guild Literary Complex, he has been deeply in- volved in supporting and promoting other Chicago writers. Puican also leads poetry workshops at St. Leonard’s House for for- merly incarcerated men and at the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago. His debut full-length poetry collection, “Cen- tral Air,” will be published by Northwestern University Press this year. 49 Maya Marshall............................................. Maya Marshall is a poet, a reviewer at RHINO, and an editor at Haymarket Books. Marshall also co-founded the poetry online resource underbelly with Marty McConnell. Marshall has been a fellow at multiple writing commu- nities, including Callaloo, Cave Canem, the Watering Hole, MacDowell Colony, and as an alumna of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. Her writing appeared most recently in Blackbird, Jasper and The Volta. 50 C. Russell Price.............................................. C. Russell Price is a genderqueer Appala- chian punk writer originally from Virginia who now lives in Chicago. They are a Lamb- da Fellow in Poetry, Ragdale Fellow, Windy City Times “30 Under 30” honoree, essayist and poet. Their chapbook “Tonight, We Fuck the Trailer Park Out of Each Other” was released by Sibling Rivalry Press in 2016. Their full-length poetry collection “oh, you thought this was a date?!: APOCALYPSE POEMS” explores sexual assault survivorship and queer liberation. Recently, they were excited to say that they think they are “finally done with the DOOMSDAY book!” Price is at work on the essay collection, “Everyone’s Doing It; They Just Aren’t Telling You.” 41

Luftwerk’s “Chiaro Oscuro” The duo’s signature light-based sculptural works will change your perception of space. At Volume Gallery, through August 29. Arts“Portrait No.01 Yellow to Blue,” Luftwerk 2020, Photo: Aron Gent. & Culture

Art how Black and brown people are lazy, how terrible it is that Black people are moving into her neighborhood. All through this doctrine of fear and hate, PME plays in the background. Their music is raw and simple, punchy beats on simple guitar, bass and drums, Davis alternating between a tough voice and a piercing falsetto. Vaginal Davis. The White to be Angry, 1999. The Art Institute of Chicago. © Vaginal Davis. PME’s music continues through the piece, with two music videos featured in their entirety. “Rich Jewish Husband” portrays a strained, seemingly heteronormative domestic situation in which men act on their desires for each other between scenes of dancing and brooding white women. In “Homosexual is Criminal,” a murderous swinging couple tempts queer men and women back to their house, then murder them through curtains of bright red blood. These videos are two examples of the countless media we witness our antihero flip through on TV as he masturbates. Between PME’s videos are cuts of Black sitcoms, evangelical sermons by men white and Black, including MC Hammer, and self-help promotions. It’s like a realization of the fears expressed by the racist woman at the beginning of the video—Black culture is moving in on white, mainstream TV. New Anthems The montage includes the skinhead antihero stomping around his neighborhood in gigantic Vaginal Davis' The White to be Angry is a Bold Assertion of Self boots, with an umbrella that looks like a bayonet, as well as a gigantic dog, sizing up By Holly Warren those he passes. There is such tension in his encounters with others, a suggestion of desire Vaginal Davis is the renaissance we need. The power and influence of her work stands that could be interpreted as homoerotic AUGUST 2020 Newcity A model of the revolution so many have been out in her 1999 video “The White to be Angry,” interest or a desire to hurt, to become the working to achieve. She is a queer, Black screened as a loop at the Art Institute last murderous embodiment of the vitriol the tragic-comedic force who works across winter, until COVID-19 turned the world crazy woman speaks at the beginning of the video, genres and media, and who takes her last and kicked us all out of the galleries. It will be born out of hate of anything that isn’t straight, name from the radical activist Angela Davis. back on view when the galleries reopen, and conservative or white. There are hints of both She started out wanting to write show tunes, in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, feels as scenarios. At the end—between scenes of but instead ended up a leader in the L.A. relevant as ever. The video's loose narrative Davis commiserating with her stars, filming, underground scene starting in the late 1970s, focuses on the day-to-day activities of a white graffitiing PME on a wall—we find the antihero as a member of many musical ventures, male skinhead. It opens as he is lectured by a in a couple of suggestive situations, dancing including Afro Sisters, ¡Cholita! and Pedro, woman who is concerned he isn’t straight and with abandon at a queer man’s apartment, Muriel & Esther (PME). Her work will make you narrow and white enough. She spouts racist and ultimately back at his own, getting close laugh and cry and think and hurt for the world statements while consuming Doritos in a room enough to a fellow skinhead to make his in the span of a two-minute punk song, a covered in swastikas and Confederate flags. lecturer scream. collaged page from a zine or a video scene. She talks about how the Black race will never catch up with the supremacy of the white race, Despite the suggestive ending, the violence, hatred and pain in the piece stand out. The PME song that loops most frequently in the background is “Cherries in the Snow,” a track that bemoans a neglectful lover. The standout line, “I never knew how much pain love would bring,” is key. The lyric highlights how love incites pain and death throughout “The White to be Angry.” “Rich Jewish Husband” points to the pain queer men and others experience, owing to the fear they have about expressing love. In “Homosexual is Criminal,” men and 43

EXHIBITIONS THE ARTS CLUB OF CHICAGO GRAHAM FOUNDATION 201 East Ontario Street 4 W. Burton Place 312 787 3997 312 787 4071 [email protected] / [email protected] / Tues–Fri 10-6, Sat 11-3 (subject to change due to COVID-19) Temporarily closed; please visit for updates Viewing available online @artsclubchicago or on our gallery and bookshop hours. Through September 26 Jennie C. Jones: Constant Structure Ongoing Poured Architecture: Sergio Prego on Miguel Fisac June–September Garden Project | Marissa Lee Benedict, GRAY David Rueter, Daniel de Paula: Repose Richard Gray Gallery, Hancock: 875 N. Michigan Avenue, 38th Floor THE BLOCK MUSEUM OF ART Mon–Fri 10-5:30, Sat by appointment (subject to change due to COVID-19) At Northwestern University 312 642 8877 40 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston, IL [email protected] / 847 491 4000 [email protected] / Gray Online Viewing Room Join us as we #MuseumFromHome on social at @nublockmuseum August 6–28 Jim Lutes (Gray Viewing Rooms) and September 10–October 31 McArthur Binion: DNA:Work and the CARL HAMMER GALLERY Under:Conscious Drawings (Gray Warehouse) 740 N. Wells Street KAVI GUPTA GALLERY 312 266 8512 [email protected] / Kavi Gupta | Washington Blvd., 835 W. Washington Boulevard Tues–Sat 11-5:30 (subject to change due to COVID-19) Tues–Fri 10-6, Sat 11-5 (subject to change due to COVID-19) Through Summer CJ Pyle: New Drawings on Vintage LP Kavi Gupta | Elizabeth St., 219 N. Elizabeth Street Album Covers Thurs–Fri 10-6, Sat 11-5 (subject to change due to COVID-19) View online at 312 432 0708 DEPAUL ART MUSEUM [email protected] / Visit online at At DePaul University Tony Tasset: The Weight (Kavi Gupta | Elizabeth St.) 935 W. Fullerton Avenue Roger Brown: Hyperframe (Kavi Gupta | Washington Blvd.) 773 325 7506 [email protected] / Through September 12 Beverly Fishman: Studies on Relief Museum closed until further notice. LOGAN CENTER EXHIBITIONS Please visit our website to sign up for our email newsletter and follow @DePaulArtMuseum and #DigitalDPAM At the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates, 915 E. 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637 digital events, and more. 773 702 2787 [email protected] / Tues–Sat 9-9, Sun 11-9, Mon closed (subject to change due to COVID-19) Please contact gallery for more information.

MONIQUE MELOCHE GALLERY THE RENAISSANCE SOCIETY 451 N. Paulina Street At the University of Chicago 312 243 2129 5811 S. Ellis Ave., Cobb Hall, 4th Floor [email protected] / 773 702 8670 Open by appointment [email protected] / July 11–August 22 Chase Hall: Half Note Tues–Wed, Fri 10-5, Thurs 10-8, Sat–Sun 12-5 July 11–August 22 February James: We Laugh Loud (subject to change due to COVID-19) Please contact The Renaissance Society for more information. So The Spirits Can Hear RHONA HOFFMAN GALLERY MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY PHOTOGRAPHY 1711 W. Chicago Avenue 312 455 1990 At Columbia College Chicago [email protected] / 600 S. Michigan Avenue Tues–Fri 11-5 312 663 5554 Please schedule an appointment through Tock: [email protected] / Tues–Wed 10-5, Thurs 10-8, Fri–Sat 10-5 or by emailing [email protected]. (subject to change due to COVID-19) July 10–August 15 Anne Wilson: If We Asked About the Sky July 7–September 19 Temporal: Puerto Rican Resistance July 10–August 15 Chris Garofalo: falling up October 1–December 23 What Does Democracy Look Like? Subject to change. Please visit for up-to-date information. SMART MUSEUM OF ART THE NEUBAUER COLLEGIUM At the University of Chicago FOR CULTURE AND SOCIETY 5550 S. Greenwood Avenue 773 702 0200 At the University of Chicago [email protected] / 5701 South Woodlawn Avenue Tues–Wed 10-5, Thurs 10-8, Fri–Sun 10-5 773 795 2329 (subject to change due to COVID-19) [email protected] / Please contact Smart Museum of Art for more information. Gallery closed until further notice. March 12–August 21 Apsáalooke Women and Warriors WRIGHTWOOD 659 POETRY FOUNDATION 659 W. Wrightwood Avenue 773 437 6601 61 W. Superior Street [email protected] / 312 787 7070 Reopening September 9th with Balkrishna Doshi: Architecture [email protected] / Check for updates on our for the People current exhibition and hours. Subscribe to our e-Newsletter for more information. ZHOU B ART CENTER 1029 W. 35th Street 773 523 0200 [email protected] / Mon–Sat 10-5 (subject to change due to COVID-19) Please contact gallery for more information.

Newcity AUGUST 2020 ART TOP 5 women are killed for who they love. One of the In the work of Jackson, Wood and Simone, a many queer men our antihero passes on the woman who used her classical training to 1 Temporal: Puerto Rican street is brutalized because of who he loves. sing about being young, gifted and Black in Resistance. Museum of The piece is an anthem that calls out white one moment, trembling through “Wild is the Contemporary Photography. This man’s privilege to be angry enough to cause Wind” in the next, is Davis’ spirit of ghting group exhibition showcases work this pain, angry enough to take a life. back and making space. It’s there in Whitney inspired by three recent events on Simultaneously, it celebrates the queer and Houston’s performance of the national the island: the enactment of Black and brown culture of those whose lives anthem at the 1991 Super Bowl, which PROMESA, the U.S. response to are sacri ced over and over again. “The White brought the stadium to its knees and became Hurricane María and the mass to be Angry” is a testament to Davis’ brilliant a single that shot to number one on the protests in July 2019 that forced the ability to come at complicated issues full of Billboard chart. It was the original version of governor's resignation. Through tension, from multiple angles and different the anthem, but it was also an example of a September 19 forms of media, using seriousness as well as powerful Black woman besting a platform bits of humor. The work is penetrating, hard to controlled by white interests. 2 Sherwin Ovid: Breath forget. Like much of Davis’ work, it is a Between Ledgers Measured. declaration and assertion of self, identity. In Of course mainstream culture isn’t always Gold nch. New abstract paintings fact it’s a ght for it, a ght against everything appreciative of these moments, and it clearly and drawings center around the opposing it, while modeling, educating, still has trouble embracing the power of a Detroit electronic duo, Drexciya, and permeating. It is an anthem. After I saw Davis’ Black body. Fifteen years after “Rhythm their Afrofuturist, mythic narrative piece in the Art Institute, I saw her, and these Nation 1814,\" Jackson was ned by the about the descendants of enslaved types of anthems, everywhere. Federal Communications Commission when Africans thrown overboard during the a white pop performer accidentally exposed Atlantic crossing, who learned to In February 2020, musician-performer-visual her breast during a 2004 Super Bowl breathe and live under water. artist Dorian Wood performed Janet performance. (The ne was later dismissed Through August 29 Jackson’s 1989 album “Rhythm Nation 1814” on appeal.) Not that these moments are in its entirety at Northwestern University. without nuance. Beyoncé’s 2016 Super Bowl 3 Birchbark, Wiigwaas. Rogers Wood’s performance, delivered with only a performance, which conjured the spirit of the Park/West Ridge Historical piano and voice that conjured the passion Black Panthers, could be read as an honori c Society. Nora Moore Lloyd and and power as Nina Simone, was a physically and educational moment about one of the James Kaagegaabaw Vukelich and emotionally intimate experience of the country’s most important revolutionary present new images and video love and pain and vision and hope of an groups, or as a middle nger to the game’s honoring the indigenous practice of album that I rst consumed as a work of stakeholders who participate in the subjuga- birchbark harvesting alongside danceable pop. Wood’s rendition of “Rhythm tion of Black men on the playing eld, making historical materials from the American Nation 1814” ranged from slinky and slow to millions off their dreams realized or dashed by Indian Center and the Rogers Park/ borderline show tune in style. It exacerbated chronic, unrecoverable injuries. The West Ridge Historical Society. the album’s themes, and gave space to performance could also be read as an act Through August 19 contemplate its meaning and the importance that pro ted off of the lives given in the name of musical anthems, from pop to the more of racial justice. 4 In This House We Laugh. DIY punk style of Davis. Roots & Culture. Chelsea A. Can a production like this be received as Flowers and Jesse Meredith explore I had no idea before Wood’s performance both? In a diversion from their “Rhythm domestic space and the construction compelled me to look back, that 1814 was Nation 1814” performance, Wood took a of identity using video, installation the year that the U.S. national anthem was moment to tell their experience of the album and photography. Opens August 6 written, or that the spoken-word pledge that as a child. They talked about taking what precedes the rst notes of the album's title resonated, making it into a work that meant 5 I Have No One But You. track was Jackson’s vision of what a U.S. something to them. Seen through their eyes, Andrew Rafacz. Using shades anthem could be—an oath to a “nation with the value of a work is how we consume it, of blue, brown and dusty pink, Cody no geographical boundaries…shifting toward how we react to it or learn from it, how it Hudson displays bold, graphic a world rid of color lines.” Her words were inspires us to put things together to make a paintings that hang in conversation powerful. And I remembered how powerful place for ourselves in the world. It’s this factor with abstract steel sculptures, all of she looked in the video, decked out in a that makes work by artists like Beyoncé, which offer a brighter glimpse of the militaristic suit and cap, her movement equal Houston, Simone, Wood and Davis into future. Through August 29 parts dance and emphatic stomping march, anthems in the face of angry white men 46 in line with the song’s beat. The power it whose acts of brutality are born from their conjures extends beyond the title track, privilege to get away with being angry. It’s this focused on resilience and revolution, into the factor that can take a ghastly murder of a more vulnerable songs of love and loneliness. Black man and make it into a movement with Before Wood’s performance of these more its own anthemic chants. George Floyd. solemn tracks, I had not contemplated what it Breonna Taylor. Tony McDade. Vaginal Davis’ means to speak about love and revolution in spirit is in this work and in these chants. It is the same breath. But it makes sense: how an integral part of the way forward.   can you have a successful nation, visionary like the one Jackson puts forth in the rst few \"Vaginal Davis: The White to be Angry\" is on lines of the album, without love, care, view at the Art Institute of Chicago, 111 vulnerability? South Michigan, through summer 2020.

Design Abracadabra! over. We’ve always found that part a little anticlimactic.” Well, not anymore. Behind the Incredible Story of the Magic Puzzle Company The company was launched with Cards By Vasia Rigou Against Humanity co-founders Max Temkin and Ben Hantoot, who talked to Newcity It’s a puzzle, a magical illusion and an jigsaw puzzle experience, keeping you on about the Magic Puzzle Company. After AUGUST 2020 Newcity immersive narrative featuring otherworldly your toes from the moment you open the box the interview was conducted, Temkin creatures in the form of original artwork, all to the moment you place the last piece. And stepped down from both companies rolled into one. It’s the most-backed puzzle even then, the game’s not over: there’s a amidst allegations of a racist and sexist project ever on Kickstarter, with over $3 magical surprise at the end. workplace. Newcity excised Temkin's million raised from more than 60,000 backers. responses from the interview, since he no It’s an escape from reality during a physically, “It’s always exciting to pick up a new puzzle longer represents the project. What follows mentally and emotionally draining time—and with an image you like and then open the box is an interview with Hantoot. it has a strong Chicago connection. and start putting together the corners and edges,” say the founders. “But after a while, Between elaborate storylines, original Created in consultation with magicians you get to the part of the puzzle where you art and magical illusions, you’re not Jordan Gold and Simon Coronel and need to assemble 400 pieces of blurry sky. simply making puzzles—you’re illustrated by independent artists Sarah And then when the puzzle's about seven- reinventing them! How did you come Becan, Boya Sun and Felicia Chiao, the set ty-five percent done, that feeling of ‘what am up with the idea? of three one-of-a-kind, thousand-piece I doing with my time’ creeps in. Eventually One of our guiding principles is to delight puzzles move away from the traditional the last piece finally goes in and the puzzle is people with little details as often as possible. The game box isn’t just a box of cards—there are tiny details and jokes loaded throughout 47

Newcity DESIGN TOP 5 everything, from the trademark disclaimer to whole experience back up into resealable, the rules booklet to the QA slip our factory recycled paper bags and give the puzzle 1 Luftwerk: Chiaro Oscuro. puts in. We wanted to apply that same to a friend—the magic trick works an Volume Gallery. The duo’s attention to detail to the jigsaw puzzle unlimited number of times. signature light-based sculptural experience and create something that isn’t works will change your perception just “open box, do puzzle” but instead What was the biggest challenge you had of space. Through Summer 2020 involves multiple steps and secret envelopes to overcome bringing this project to life and many more moments of delight than you during the pandemic? 2 A Space Problem: Organized usually get when assembling a big puzzle. It’s Getting all the materials we need to deliver by David Salkin. Elmhurst Art all designed to be as engaging and delightful the puzzles in time has been the biggest Museum. Mid-century furnishings as possible from the moment you see the challenge so far. We used up all the Eska and design objects alongside work box—with its full-bleed art and minimal Blue stock in the world and had to order by local artists and architects. branding—to the moment you put in the last more to be made. Through November 15 puzzle’s true narrative. The response on Kickstarter has been 3 All Together Now — Sound x overwhelming. What are you most Design. Design Museum of This is not your ordinary jigsaw puzzle excited about moving forward? Chicago. Visual artists, musicians experience. What sets Magic Puzzles Watching this project totally transform things and designers blur the lines between apart? for Jordan and Simon has been a delight to music and design. Opens August 5 In addition to the magical twist ending and experience. They’re amazing guys (and the beautiful art, we obsessed over details talented magicians) who deserve all of this. 4 CAC@Home: CAC LIVE. most puzzle companies don’t think too And this Kickstarter is just for our Series One Chicago Architecture Center. hard about—like making sure each puzzles—we’ve got way more ideas Rediscover Chicago with virtual tours individual piece has something interesting developed for even more ambitious concepts, highlighting the city’s rich on it instead of just a blob of color. We and we’re hoping to release a new series architectural history. Through even created a unique die line for each every year. Now that we know there are September 2020 puzzle, so interesting details don’t get cut people out there who are interested in a in half. That took a ridiculous amount of jigsaw puzzle experience that’s got a little 5 Frank Lloyd Wright Sites time. The factory is hand-sifting each more to it, I’m very excited to develop some Tours. Frank Lloyd Wright Trust. individual puzzle to eliminate puzzle dust. of our more... complicated ideas. We’ve got Take advantage of phase 3 of And when you’re done, you can pack the some weird, ballsy stuff in the works. Restore Illinois by touring Wright's Home and Studio and Robie House. Ongoing 48

&DrDininkiinngg DINING & DRINKING TOP 5 Virtue Old Fashioned, Photo: Lindsey Becker 1 Green City Market. Lincoln Gimme Shelter Park. The Near North Side’s premier urban farmers market offers Ramping Up Carryout and Delivery of Ready-to-Drink Cocktails home delivery, curbside pickup and pre-ordering options, but you should By David Hammond mask up and stroll the stalls if only once this summer. Saturdays As bars and restaurants reopen, many of Chatting with Erick Williams of Virtue, it’s AUGUST 2020 Newcity us are thinking that it’s best to stay home a clear that cocktails to-go could be a big 2 Oak Park Farmers Market. little longer. Recent legislation has made boost to business. “We didn’t sell cocktails Scoville Avenue, Oak Park. For sheltering—and cocktailing—at home even to-go before the pandemic,” Williams says, years it was in the Pilgrim Church more attractive. “and now, seventy percent of alcohol sales are parking lot, but relocated on wide in cocktails.” streets to facilitate one-direction Passed by the Chicago City Council in June, shopping, OPFM accepts pre-orders new legislation allows Chicago bars and When I heard about RTD cocktails, my first and still offers the donuts made in restaurants to offer pickup and delivery of thought was that bars would offer cocktails the church basement. Saturdays ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails. This additional with the exotic ingredients most of us do not service and revenue stream helps bars and have at home, like the ambergris that Billy 3 Logan Square Farmers restaurants retain at least some staff during Sunday once mixed into cocktails or the Market. Logan Square. This the slow down. smoked figs used in Violet Hour cocktails. I year featuring the full vendor lineup in a virtual market to access from home, the hippest of Chicago’s farmers markets has special in-person shopping hours for the at-risk from 9am to 10am. Sundays 4 63rd Street Farmer’s Market. 61st and Blackstone. Part of Experimental Station, this market supports the Station’s goals of building an independent cultural infrastructure on the South Side by providing accessible fresh and organic food. Saturdays 5 Evanston Farmers Market. University Avenue. A farmers market in a university town: Evanston comes through with the expected produce and prepared food items, including Mexican chow, raclette sandwiches, patisseries and kombucha. Saturdays 49

was wrong. RTD cocktails trend to the simpler classics. • Third-party delivery services are prohibited for cocktails like those prepared in-house at Virtue, Bar Kumiko and other Chicago Virtue specializes in homey comfort foods, meals that most of us restaurants. recognize, such as a pork chop, half-chicken or a mac and cheese, prepared with a chef’s attention to detail and a spirit of making simple The prohibition on third-party delivery, however, does not apply to cock- dishes shine with superb ingredient choices and sauces. As the menu tails prepared in a regulated offsite facility. Offsite production, bottling re ects a lot of well-known favorites, Williams says that Virtue is serving and distribution is provided by companies such as Blue Blazer, a to-go cocktails that don’t “go too far outside the box. At times like start-up founded by attorneys with longtime hospitality industry these, for our demographic, there’s less appeal in unfamiliar things. If experience. you look at the meal kits some of us are putting out, many include comfort food, prepared using a recognizable technique. Based on that According to Joe Kreeger, one of the founders of Blue Blazer, “Bars model, we thought it’d be great to give people a taste of Virtue without were able to sell packaged goods such as beer and wine through being in a building, and that taste includes a phenomenal Manhattan or Caviar and Grubhub, but they couldn’t use [these services] to deliver margarita.\" cocktails that were made on-site. If you want to avoid the logistical challenges of batching, bottling, sealing and labeling your cocktails, we Julia Momose of Bar Kumiko spearheads Cocktails for Hope, which can do all of that.\" has lobbied for the recent legislation and helps bars and restaurants get required labels and bottles at cost. In an online seminar offered by “Because of the way we’re licensed,\" Blue Blazer co-founder Brian Trog- Momose, she went over new regulations for pickup and delivery of lia says, \"we provide restaurants with cocktails they can deliver via third cocktails. parties.” • Cocktails must be contained in a fresh, rigid container, not made of Matt Eisler operates multiple Chicago bars and restaurants, including plastic, paper or polystyrene foam, with a tamper-evident cap. Estereo, Sportsman’s Club and The Revel Room.  Heisler Hospitality works with Blue Blazer to manage the steps to produce, package and • An af xed label must indicate ingredients, name and license number distribute cocktails to be sold at individual locations, delivered by third of the licensee, and a ll date. parties and offered in retail outlets like Binny’s. “There’s the capability to do onsite production at some places,” says Eisler, “but for many places, it just makes sense to have production, bottling and so on done by a company like Blue Blazer. This is going to be a much more ef cient operation and save us on back-of-the-house labor, but it also gives us the ability to work with third-party delivery services. The majority of to-go sales are delivery, and the majority of deliveries are through third parties. It’s a timely business model.” Of course, not all bars and restaurants operate on the scale of those under the Heisler Hospitality umbrella. With several locations, on a smaller overall scale, The Goddess and Grocer offer food-friendly cocktails, including a rum punch with fresh orange juice, pineapple and mango, and margaritas with fresh lime and jalapeño juice. The fresh juices require refrigeration for these cocktails. Owner Debbie Sharp says, “We make a few at a time, and we hope people will pre-order them, but we can make them on demand.” The requirement for tamper-evident caps doesn’t mean you need fancy equipment. Sharp says it can be easy: \"We put cocktails in glass mason jars, and we tape the lids closed.\" At Tzuco, Chef Carlos Gaytán and bar manager Andrew Bone told us about what they’re doing to meet the rising demand for their cocktails and dinners while sheltering at home. “We’ve been offering DIY cocktail kits for about two months,” says Gaytán, “and RTD cocktails are being packaged right now. We had the ingredients already here, so all we had to do is buy the bottles. We use the kitchens to sanitize and clear everything and mix the cocktails.” Newcity AUGUST 2020 “We run service for dinner only,” adds Bone, “so during the daytime we batch the cocktails. We’re just getting into offering RTD cocktails, so if we get to the point where we’re processing thousands of orders, we might need to call up a third-party service for support. RTD cocktails are a revenue stream we didn’t have before and they provide an excellent opportunity, and the more iconic the drink, I think, the more successful the orders.” As at Virtue and The Goddess and Grocer, Tzuco is offering an RTD margarita, one of the most popular and recognizable cocktails. And that kind of drink is what people want most right now: something recognizable, something familiar, the drinks—and food—of the before times. 50

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