Nate Marshall and Eve Ewing spent years as what Marshall called “Chicagoans in exile”: both born in the city, but departed in the course of their education (Marshall to Nashville then Ann Arbor; Ewing to Boston). But by this fall, both will be back in Chicago full-time. The creation of their new project Crescendo Literary, an organization devoted to community-based art, formalizes the exchange of ideas between the two longtime friends; its first projects, an Emerging Poets Incubator and a block party (both hosted in tandem with the Poetry Foundation, the latter also including The Renaissance Collaborative), took place July 28-30. Ewing and Marshall have both been poets and teachers in a multitude of settings, ranging from Young Chicago Authors to the University of Chicago, and their conversation with the Weekly (to which Ewing called in from New York) traced the shifting balance between art, community, mentorship, and political engagement in their life, work, and promising collaboration.
His rich academic work sketches a Chicago likely both familiar and foreign to people who have only known it in the new century: a city as geographically divided as the one we know
The music is at the heart of it, but the focus is really on everyone around the music, that the music has brought together: the people who are listening to it, the people in the background.
Seizing Freedom is an intervention into the most prevalent contemporary historical narrative regarding the Civil War.
An organ opens sweetly—texturing the space of the song, accompanied by backup singers and other instrumentals—before the voice of Barbara Lewis, nineteen at the time of the initial recording in Chicago’s famous Chess Records studio, begins. It is from this song, “It Seems Like a Mighty Long Time” —warm, full, and nostalgic—that poet Angela Jackson fittingly takes the title of her newest poetry collection, which explores the intersection of emotion, memory, and politics. Continue reading
Woodlawn and Washington Park sprung up in the late-nineteenth century, accompanied by a rapid influx of (primarily European) immigrant populations and increased industry driven by the 1893 World’s Fair. During the twentieth century, Woodlawn and Washington Park served as a hub of political and cultural activity: important figures from Saul Alinsky to Jesse Owens are associated with the area. Continue reading