Chicago Review

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

Articles from Vol. 59, No. 4, Winter

A Conversation with Ed Roberson
On February 11, 2016, Ed Roberson gave a poetry reading to a packed room at the University of Chicago. He read directly from the original typescript of MPH before debuting a selection that included many of the new poems appearing elsewhere in this section....
An Interview with Eldzier Cortor
LO: You've been based in New York for decades now. But maybe you could tell me a little bit about when you were in Chicago. EC: There's a difference between the two places, you see. When I was in Chicago you could just come in and knock on the door of...
Between the World and Nommo: Hoyt W. Fuller and Chicago's Black Arts Magazines
On October 27, 1969, the scholar and literary critic Stephen E. Henderson commended his friend Hoyt W. Fuller on a run of recent issues of Negro Digest. Henderson was impressed with the magazine's coverage of the Black Arts Movement (BAM), and he surmised...
Code Violations: Chicago Review in the 1990s
In his introduction to Chicago Review's fiftieth anniversary issue, former editor David Nicholls writes, "Andrew Rathmann, Angela Sorby, and I met throughout the winter of 1996 to read through the archive of back issues and report to each other on what...
Freshness Date Stamped on Bottom: Or, How Innovative Was It
This short memoir has been difficult to write. I joined the fiction staff in 1977, became coeditor in 1980, and finished as editor for the special section "{In/Re}novative Fiction" in 1982 and 1983 (33:2-3). There were remarkable people there--charming,...
Heartbreak Hotel: In Memoriam Stephen Rodefer (1940-2015)
Though he gets the lyric wrong in titling his 1978 Figures book The Bell Clerk's Tears Keep Flowing (it's bell hop not clerk), Stephen Rodefer chose a great analog in Elvis: as handsome as the head on a Greek coin, sexy as all get out, charming, mean,...
Interregnum
I became editor-in-chief of Chicago Review in a sideways fashion early in 1974, when the new editor, a protege of his predecessor, got himself ousted almost immediately upon taking office. I'm not sure whether palace revolt or popular insurrection is...
Introduction
This special section began with a visit to Ed Roberson in January 2015. Perched at the edge of Bronzeville, Roberson's high-rise apartment looks north toward Chicago's downtown skyscrapers and east across Lake Shore Drive toward Lake Michigan. Fanning...
Introduction
Chicago Review marks seventy years in print this year (1946-2016). As the memoirs from former editors elsewhere in this issue attest, CR's relationship to its home university has waxed and waned over the years. But what has remained constant to CR is...
Notes to Poems
MPH: The Motorcycle Poems is based on the author's 1970 typescript. The version printed here incorporates undated minor revisions entered into the typescript in pencil, as well as recent emendations by the author. "'cause" / Previously appeared in "Aerialist...
On Ana Blandiana's My Native Land A4
Ana Blandiana is the pen name of Otilia Valeria Coman, probably Romania's greatest contemporary poet. Coman continued the political opposition to Ceausescu's totalitarian regime that she learned from her father, so soon a pseudonym was necessary if she...
Photo Folio
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Above: Charles (Ned) Roberson and Elizabeth (Snookie) Roberson, Ed's parents, Pittsburgh, 1937. Below: Ed Roberson, Pittsburgh, 1947. All photos courtesy of Ed Roberson unless otherwise noted. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Ed Roberson,...
"Poetry Is a Necessity of Life": In Memoriam C. D. Wright (1949-2016)
"I love them all," begins a recent book by C. D. Wright. Words, she is speaking of. "More than the pristine, I love the filthy ones for their descriptive talent as well as transgressive nature." I first heard of her in 1981, when she applied for a job...
Preface to MPH: The Motorcycle Poems. (MPH: THE MOTORCYCLE POEMS (1970))
In the summer of 1970, Andrew Welsh, Dick Vandall, and I rode cross-country from Pittsburgh to San Francisco and back on two BMW motorcycles. Andy was a PhD candidate at the University of Pittsburgh, finishing a dissertation that was later published...
Seeing Eldzier Cortor
Eldzier Cortor died on Thanksgiving Day, 2015, about seven months after I interviewed him. He was ninety-nine years old. According to his son Michael, Cortor worked as an artist up until the day he died. The New York Times ran a generous obituary of...
Some Reflections on One's Own Literature
When I published my first prose pieces in 1918, an illustrious critic for whom I feel deep affection asked me: "Why do you write this?" The question long decided the fate of various short texts--poems?--that I was writing in the form of a diary. Several...
Vachel Lindsay and the W. Cabell Greet Recordings
"Music begins to atrophy when it departs too far from the dance.... Poetry begins to atrophy when it gets too far from music. " --Ezra Pound, ABC of Reading (1934) In April 1912, the Victor Talking Machine Company sent a recording engineer to the Indianapolis...
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