Chicago Review

An international journal of literature, interviews, and reviews. For academic audiences.

Articles from Vol. 42, No. 1, Winter

A Letter to James Baldwin
When I ran down the wide, dim halls of JFK airport and darted into three stores looking for your book, I did not know why I needed to find Giovanni's Room. It was not that I had left my parents on the other side of the security check and was alone. It...
An Interview with Ronald Johnson
Like his poem ARK, Ronald Johnson's life can be seen in three parts. The first part begins and ends in Kansas, most of it spent in Ashland, a small town in the western prairies where he was born in 1935, with a brief stint in Lawrence, at the University...
A Note for Ronald Johnson
I count Ronald Johnson as one of the defining peers of my own imagined company of poets, ageless and yet insistently specific to all one's life might seem to be here and now. The very title of his major long poem cycle, ARK--with its determining echoes,...
From 'Hurrah for Euphony': Dedicated to Young Poets
The shaggy and ecstatic, the concise and elliptical, Walt and Emily are the twin fonts of American poetry. And Protestants, like our founders, in the sense of protest against status quo--both grounded in scripture but bound for rapture. They redefined...
Left Winds
The separation was her idea. When we were born, they didn't have the medical technology. Then a doctor sent us a letter. He specialized in Siamese separations. He considered ours an easy case, shaving apart the bone that was our hip. He would do it for...
On Ronald Johnson's 'ARK': An Introduction
This special section of Chicago Review celebrates the poetic achievement of Ronald Johnson's long poem entitled ARK, to be published this summer by Living Batch Press. ARK is the result of twenty-odd years of writing and more in conception, essentially...
Starting to Read 'ARK.'
ARK is clearly a modernist enterprise, influenced in its structure by Pound's Cantos. It is a monumental poem completed in one hundred sections (like cantos), it is inclusive in ambition, and it is collagist in execution. And yet it differs profoundly...
Ten Ways of Disappearing
I. Manners In 1326: Cambridge scholars were forbidden to frequent taverns, introduce dogs within college precincts, wear short swords with peaked shoes, play flutes, or use catapults. --The Story of Cambridge, Dr. Charles Stubbs, Dean of Ely,...
The Emigre
He is old, very old, past eighty. They say he is in good, even extraordinary shape for his age. From time to time, some slight pain or other, to which he pays little attention, says what they do not. But his real ache, by now quite familiar, is that...
Tyree
Fourth quarter, fourth-and-goal and snowin' like hell and so cold I can't feel my toes anymore, but Tyree don't care, don't care about nothin', 'cause Tyree plays smashmouth ball. Sixty thousand pink-assed polar bears yellin' Ty-ree, Ty-ree, Ty-ree and...