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Local Book Notes: American Colonial Hangover

"On Wednesday, November 19, the Guild Literary Complex hosts the final Palabra Pura literary event of 2014 with a special trilingual program (English/Spanish/Portuguese) that will examine the territory of 'Latina/o' literary designations," GLC director John Rich writes.

"A full press release is attached detailing Palabra Pura: From the Margins of the Margins, which will feature Daniel Borzutzky and Justin Petropoulos in an evening curated by Paul Martinez Pompa.

"It is sure to be an electric, and possibly contentious, night of poetry and dialogue as notions of marginality are presented and debated."

Indeed. Here is the press release:

Margins, Marginality, Marginalized bodies and voices, Colonialism, "Latino/a Literature" are some of the contemporary yet enduring concepts that permeate November's edition of Palabra Pura.

Curated and hosted by the poet and educator Paul Martinez Pompa, the program will be held at La Bruquena Restaurant (2726 West Division Street 61, upstairs) from 7:30 - 9 p.m., on Wednesday, November 19. The program is free and open to the public. It begins with an open mic, and will include readings from and discussion by the featured poets: Daniel Borzutzky and Justin Petropoulos.

"In response to the hangover from colonialism still lingering in the United States," Pompa says, "a new literary space has been carved out where historically marginalized bodies, narratives and histories finally have their say; it has been named 'Latino/a literature.'

"What happens, though, when some of the loudest voices inhabiting that space reproduce the very conditions they are supposed to be subverting? Who counters the oppressed who have taken up the business of oppression?

"Two uprisings come to mind: Daniel Borzutzky and Justin Petropoulos. The work of these writers forces us to confront an uncomfortable but essential question: is Latino/a poetry a viable, subversive political logic, or is it merely a marketing strategy already co-opted and rendered ineffective in the face of capitalism?"

From the Margins of the Margins is co-sponsored by the following departments at Northwestern University: Poetry and Poetics Colloquium; the Latina/o Studies Program; the Department of Spanish & Portuguese; and the Center for the Writing Arts.

Daniel Borzutzky was born in Pennsylvania, of Chilean heritage. His books include In the Murmurs of the Rotten Carcass Economy (Nightboat, forthcoming); The Book of Interfering Bodies (Nightboat, 2011); the two full-length volumes of poetry, The Ecstasy of Capitulation( BlazeVox, 2007); a poetry chapbook, Failure in the Imagination (2007), and Arbitrary Tales (Ravena Press, 2005).

His work has been recognized by grants from the PEN American Center, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Illinois Arts Council. He has also taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Koc╠ž University in Istanbul, and Wilbur Wright College of the City Colleges of Chicago.


Justin Petropoulos is the author of two collections of poetry including Eminent Domain (Marsh Hawk Press, 2011). He is a contributing editor for Entropy magazine and the program director of an after-school program for at-risk, elementary age children. He is also an adjunct faculty member at New Jersey City University, where he teaches composition and creative writing.

Born and raised in suburban Chicago, Paul Martinez Pompa holds his MFA in Creative Writing from Indiana University. He is the author of My Kill Adore Him, a collection of poems published by the University of Notre Dame Press (2009) and a chapbook, Pepper Spray (2006). He is a recent recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Literary Award. He teaches composition and poetry at Triton College and lives in Chicago.

Grandma Gatewood
"They call her Grandma Gatewood," the Spokane Spokesman-Review notes.

"She carries an umbrella, wears a checked skirt, and she loves to hike.

"In fact, she is the first woman to hike the entire Appalachian Trail. After her first 2,000-mile hike, she did it again, becoming the first person - man or woman - to hike it twice. And then for good measure, she hiked it a third time.

"Grandma Gatewood is the subject of a new book which is one of the award recipients of the 2014 National Outdoor Book Awards, announced [Thursday]."


Grandma Gatewood's Walk is out of the Chicago Review Press. Here's their tease:

"How a 67-year-old great-grandmother walked the 2,050-mile Appalachian Trail, survived a rattlesnake strike, two hurricanes, and a run-in with gangsters from Harlem."

Indian Head To Winged Wheel
"With a reputation that is enough to knock a seasoned player off his game, Chris Chelios is known for being one the toughest players ever to play in the NHL," Triumph Books says.

"Throughout his 26 years in the NHL playing for the Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings and Montreal Canadiens, Chelios stood by his belief that one had to be ruthless to stay on top. With one NCAA Championship, three Stanley Cup championships, three Norris trophies and an induction into the U.S. and Hockey Hall of Fames, there is no doubt that Chelios' brutal perseverance, stamina, durability and focus made him one of the greatest players in NHL history.

"From the 1992 Stanley Cup Final to the 2006 Winter Olympic team, Chris Chelios: Made in America (Triumph Books, November 2014) details Chris's amazing hockey career.

"Written by Chris Chelios and USA Today writer Kevin Allen, this autobiography offers not only a look into his career, but a look into the 'do whatever it takes' mentality that made Chris such a lethal player.

"Sharing his achievements, personal stories and struggles on and off the ice, Chris Chelios: Made in America has everything hockey fans need to know about Chelios' remarkable career, including:

  • Chelios' controversial trade to the Detroit Red Wings in 1999 and the influential role he holds in the franchise today.
  • A look into Chris' childhood growing up in Chicago's South Side and San Diego.
  • How Chris's entire NHL career was based on one lie and a 30-second phone conversation.
  • Chris' struggle with the constant attention from the French Canadian media while playing for Montreal Canadiens.
  • The insults, taunts and hate Chris received from fans both on and off the ice.

"Chris Chelios is a player that is equally hated and loved by fans due to his indomitable spirit. Chris Chelios: Made in America is the perfect book for all hockey fans to get an inside look into the complex and legendary player that is Chris Chelios."


From a Fox Sports Detroit excerpt:

I had famously said once in a television interview that I would "never" play for the Detroit Red Wings.

I meant it when I said it. That's how deep the rivalry was between the Blackhawks and the Red Wings.

When I settled into my hotel room after being traded to Detroit, that interview was being played on the local news. I'm sure it was played over and over in Chicago. Blackhawks fans remember that interview and never forgave me for agreeing to play for the Red Wings.

I'm not sure I can really blame them.

In my defense, it was not easy for me to walk into Detroit's dressing room for the first time. It was like crossing enemy lines. I had tussled with Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman a few times during my career, and Sergei Fedorov had been a frequent target of mine. A few years before, the NHL had fined me $500 for slashing him.

"I used to do everything to Sergei," I told Sports Illustrated writer Michael Farber. "Those were the days when you could elbow a guy and not worry about getting suspended. I took advantage of that."

Farber pointed out in his story that I had previously been "hanged in effigy" by some fans at Joe Louis Arena.

The first time I dressed to play for the Red Wings, I had to do it twice because I had forgotten to remove my gym shorts the first time. Then, I mistakenly put on my elbow pads before my shoulder pads. To say I was out of sorts would be an understatement.

My presence in the dressing room was also odd for my new teammates, many of whom had fought me like gladiators through the years. It was pretty awkward for all of us.


Comments welcome.


Posted on November 14, 2014

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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