Rust Belt Chicago: An Anthology - Reading and Discussion

Wednesday, August 30, 2017 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Panel Discussion

Ola Faleti, Quraysh Ali Lansana, Chris Rice, Martha Bayne, and Garin Cycholl discuss Rust Belt Chicago: An Anthology.

At 57th Street Books

RSVP HERE (Please note that your RSVP is requested, not required)

About the book: Chicago is built on a foundation of meat and railroads and steel, on opportunity and exploitation – but its identity long ago stretched past manufacturing. Today, the city continues to lure new residents from around the world, and from across a region rocked by recession and deindustrialization. But the problems that plague the region don’t disappear once you pass the Indiana border. In fact, they’re often amplified. A city defined by movement that’s the anchor of the Midwest, bound to its neighbors by a shared ecosystem and economy, Chicago’s complicated – both as part of the Rust Belt and beyond it. Rust Belt Chicago collects essays, journalism, fiction, and poetry from more than fifty writers who speak both directly and elliptically to the concerns the city shares with the region at large, and the elements that set it apart. With affection and curiosity, frustration, anger, and joy, the writers sing to each other like the bird on the cover. At times the song sings in harmony and at others sounds in notes of strategic dissonance. But taken as a whole, this book sings one song, responding to one cacophonous city.

About Garin Cycholl: Garin Cycholl's recent work includes Country Musics 20/20, a collection of shorter poems on the recent inaugural address (Locofo Press 2017), as well as a screenplay adaptation of Cyrus Colter’s novel, The Hippodrome.
About Ola Faleti: Ola Faleti breathes, writes and works in Chicago. Everything else happens in her imagination. Her work has also appeared in Moonsick Magazine, The James Franco Review, The Harpoon Review, and elsewhere.  She's writing 52 essays this year, take a look at

About Quraysh Ali Lansana: Quraysh Ali Lansana is the author of eight poetry books, three textbooks, three children’s books, editor of eight anthologies, and coauthor of a book of pedagogy. He is a faculty member of the Writing Program of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a former faculty member of the Drama Division of The Juilliard School. Lansana served as Director of the Gwendolyn Brooks Center for Black Literature and Creative Writing at Chicago State University from 2002-2011, where he was also Associate Professor of English/Creative Writing until 2014. 

About Christine Rice: Christine Rice is the author of Swarm Theory, which was recently included in PANK’s The Best 21 Books of 2016, named one of three finalists in the Chicago Writers Association Best Books of 2016, included in Powell’s Books Midyear Roundup, the Best Books of 2016 So Far, and was called “a gripping work of Midwest Gothic” by Michigan Public Radio’s Desiree Cooper. Other writing has appeared in the Rumpus, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, the Millions, the Big Smoke, Chicago Tribune, Detroit’s Metro Times, the Good Men Project, among others, and her radio essays have been produced by WBEZ Chicago. Chris is also the founder of, Hypertext Review, and Hypertext Studio Writing Center. She also teaches in Columbia College Chicago’s Department of Creative Writing.
About Martha Bayne: Martha Bayne is a Chicago writer and a senior editor with Belt Publishing. Her work has appeared in publications such as The Baffler, Chicago Reader, Latterly, and The Rumpus, and Belt Magazine.
Event Location: 
57th Street Books
1301 E 57th St.
Chicago, IL 60637