Once a year, South Side Weekly reserves an entire issue to celebrate all things Lit. Poetry, fiction, essay, even comics are included in the offerings. Submissions pour in from across the city and beyond, with each writer hoping for their work to make the cut. What is the mark of a fine piece of literature selected for publication? It’s hard to pinpoint exactly, but it has that special something that captures the particular flavor that is South Side and our editors know it when they read it. We read, re-read, vote blindly, then vote again, and again to select what we all agree are works that speak to what is South Side, by way of literature. This is no easy task. We wish we could publish much more than we can but we have a strict page limit to follow or we would never finish editing this much loved and waited for issue every year.
Each piece has something that will resonate with the South Side that lives in any one of us who has had the pleasure or the pain of being changed in some way by the South Side—her beauty, her grit, her resilience. Whether you’ve lived here for fifty years, are just stopping though for a university stay or visiting any number of people, places and things that are uniquely us, you will find your South Side somewhere within these pages. The words we’ve compiled will take you on a journey making stops along the way at the apprehension and child-like wonder of a first day of school, and the ritual of hair combing. We’ll stop to hear the ocean in a can of seltzer and contemplate our origin and our faith. We’ll visit Kimbark Plaza and Halsted Street at midnight. We’ll come face to foot with the clutches of a mysterious white van, and we’ll jump a fence, while good night jazz or a garden wedding ditty plays in the background. Oh the places we’ll go, all while riding along within the pitter-patter of our favorite or at least familiar South Side city bus. All aboard. The next stop is Lit.