Monday, March 2, 2009

What Rhymes with Chicago?

Having recently been in Chicago for AWP, of course this caught my eye:

City of the Big Shoulders: An Anthology of Poems About Chicago
Edited by Ryan G. Van Cleave

One of the largest cities in North America, Chicago’s metropolitan area boasts 10 million residents, placing it in the world’s top 25 urban areas by population. A leader in transportation, telecommunications, and finance, Chicago is a city of great architectural significance, ethnic diversity, and cultural wealth. It’s also the birthplace of house music, the Poetry Slam, the skyscraper, chemotherapy, and improvisational comedy.

For these and many other reasons, Chicago has long been the inspiration for and subject of poems (Carl Sandburg’s “Chicago,” Marge Piercy’s “Visiting a Dead Man on a Summer Day,” Ezra Pound’s “Epilogue,” and Maxwell Bodenheim’s “South State Street: Chicago” to name just a few), though no definitive collection currently exists. Edited by Chicago native Ryan G. Van Cleave, City of the Big Shoulders intends to fill this void by gathering the best new poems about Chicago from natives, visitors, friends, and critics of this exciting city.

While any Chicago-related poems are welcome, possible topics might include:
The Great Chicago Fire
O’Hare International Airport
Al Capone
Lake Michigan
Grant Park, Lincoln Park, & Jackson Park
Chicago Bulls / Bears / White Sox / Cubs / Blawkhawks
Lake Effect snow
The El
The “Magnificent Mile”
Soldier Field
The Shedd Aquarium
The Adler Planetarium
Navy Pier
The Chicago Tribune
Chicago pizza
The Chicago Loop
The Sears Tower
Lincoln Park Zoo
Mayor Richard J. Daley (Sr. & Jr.)
McCormick Place
The TV show “ER”
Barack Obama
1893 World Expo
Louis Armstrong
Chicago’s Native American background (Potawatomi, Miami, Sauk, Fox, Ottawa, Ojibwa)

As part of his commitment to lessen his own environmental impact, the editor requests that all submissions be emailed (along with a 3 – 5 line bio) as .rtf or .doc attachments to: (If you absolutely must send in hard copy, email and ask for a snail mail address). Payment will be in copies. Tentative publication date is early 2010. The deadline for receiving submissions is May 1, 2009.


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.