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Local Book Notes: Chicago - Heaven And Hell

"Life in the big city can be exhilarating and terrifying, fulfilling and exasperating," according to the Guild Literary Complex.

"In Urban Realities/Realidades urbanas, February's installment of "Palabra Pura," Puerto Rican poet Luis Tubens and students from Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos High School will share stories about their daily lives in the Windy City.

"The program will take place at La Bruquena Restaurant (2726 West Division Street), from 7:30 p.m. - 9 p.m., on Wednesday, February 18. As always, it will begin with an open mic. Palabra Pura is open to the public (all mother tongues welcome), and is pay-what-you-can ($5 suggested donation).

"Curated by Mary Hawley, a poet and translator whose work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, February's "Palabra Pura" will examine the perils and triumphs of those who live in the inner city - the dualities that make Chicago a heaven for some and a hell for others.

"Luis Tubens, a Chicago native, is no stranger to both sides of the city. His poetry centers on the daily grind of urban living, and on the struggles he and other Latinos face to survive and prosper in a major American metropolis.

"Joining Tubens will be several students from Humboldt Park's Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos High School, who will bring a younger perspective to the issues facing urban communities.

"With its combination of rising and established voices, Urban Realities/Realidades urbanas promises to give attendees a compelling and candid glimpse at contemporary urban life."

"Luis Tubens (Logan Lu) is a Chicago born Puerto Rican poet. His narrative poems depict the gritty ambiance of the inner-cityscape while describing reflective personal experiences. He draws inspiration from the urban realities of the developing Latino diaspora and from his observations of proletarian struggles. His interactive style and hyper performance invite the crowd to be active participants in his performance.


Mary Hawley is the author of Double Tongues, a poetry collection, and co-translator of the bilingual poetry anthology Astillas de luz/Shards of Light, both published by Tía Chucha Press. She works as a freelance writer, editor, and translator, and has been involved for many years with the Guild Complex's "Palabra Pura" bilingual reading series. Her poems have appeared in journals and anthologies such as The Bloomsbury Review, Mudlark, contratiempo, Notre Dame Review, and Power Lines: A Decade of Poetry from Chicago's Guild Complex.


Note: Links and video provided by The Beachwood Value Added Affairs Desk.


Public Historian's Hegewisch
"With several local history books already to her credit, historian Cynthia Ogorek has her sights set on Hegewisch," Paul Czapowicz writes for the Northwest Indiana Times.

She settled on her current topic while sorting through her parents' papers after their passing. She had hoped to write biographies as a memorial to them.

"Then I got into the history of Hegewisch, and there's a story there," Ogorek said. "So I kind of pushed the biographies off to the side."

Her parents had grown up in Hegewisch, and Ogorek lived there as a small child before moving to Calumet City, where she has spent most of her life.

Ogorek holds a master's degree in history from Purdue University Calumet and offers programs on various local history topics.

She figures she is only about half way done with her current book that has a working title of Hegewisch: Chicago's Last Company Town.

"I'm somewhere around four or five years into the project," she said.

You'll have to click through for the rest.


Ogorek's website: The Center of Known History.




Abandoned Rockford
"A Rockford author unveils his latest creation set to hit shelves in just a couple weeks," Christie Nicks writes for

It sounds like something in an action packed movie like Armageddon.

"He walks right in the middle of a conspiracy to take down the electrical grid in the United States and also take over all of our weapons' systems," said Paul Dale Anderson, author.

But instead of an out-of-this world feel, Anderson's book hits very close to home.

"The adversaries try to destroy Rockford with a hydrogen bomb our heroes are able to change the course of the missiles," describes Anderson.

Yes, the Forest City is at the center of Anderson's latest thriller novel, "Abandoned". He made the intentional choice after a disheartening drive through the city he calls home.

"It's the state of Rockford right now," said Anderson. "I drove down the street and saw a number of places that were obviously abandoned."

You'll have to click through for the rest.


From the author's website:

"Set in the ordinary town of Rockford, Illinois, the seats of power in Washington, D. C., and Beijing, and in the majestic Meili Snow Mountains of China and Tibet, Abandoned is more than a horror story. It is also an action thriller, a contemporary romance, and a modern myth. Many of the characters are derived from world mythologies, and readers may recognize archetypes of some of their favorite heroes and villains: the Lone Ranger, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia, along with Manjusri and Samantabhadra, the boogeyman, Angra Mainyu, Ah Chuy Kak, and Babalu."


Comments welcome.


Posted on February 17, 2015

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
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SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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