Newcity names CQR Founder/editor Syed Afzal Haider to its “Lit 50, Who Really Books in Chicago 2019”

Lit 50: Who Really Books In Chicago 2019, Newcity–Syed Afzal Haider, Founder and Senior Editor, Chicago Quarterly Review
“The twenty-fifth anniversary issue of the Chicago Quarterly Review is due this year. “From a very humble beginning it is gratifying that in the past few years the Chicago Quarterly Review has been honored by inclusion in ‘Best American Short Stories,’ ‘The O. Henry Prize Stories,’ the Pushcart Prize anthology, and ‘Best American Essays,’” founder Syed Haider says. “We owe much to our lively and devoted editorial staff, past and present.” Current staff includes senior editor Elizabeth McKenzie, fiction editor John Blades and managing editor Gary Houston. Special issues include a Chicago issue and 2017’s South Asian American issue guest-edited by Moazzam Sheikh. “We are proud of the growth of our magazine creatively and thrilled by our expanding readership all over the world.” Haider just published his second novel, Life of Ganesh.”

CQR reading at the Chicago Public Library Edgewater Branch, May 16, 6:30 pm













Danny Calegari was born in Australia and moved to the United States in 1995. He has lived in Boston, Tokyo and Cambridge (UK), and teaches mathematics at the University of Chicago. His fiction has appeared in Quadrant, Southerly, Overland, Chicago Quarterly Review, Dunes Review and The Age newspaper. He has three children.

Syed Afzal Haider is a writer and founding senior editor at Chicago Quarterly Review. His short stories and essays have appeared in such literary magazines as Saint Ann’s Review, AmerAsia, The Journal of Pakistani Literature, The Taylor Trust, Marco Polo. Indian Voices and Catamaran Literary Reader. Of his first novel To Be With Herformer Tribune books editor John Blades wrote: “A uniquely literate perspective on the plight of the exile… in the same vein as the work of Camus and more recently Kiran Desai, whose conflicted protagonists, like Haider’s, find themselves alone in an alien world.” His new novel Life of Ganeshwas published this year.

Malcolm Rothman, a regular on Chicago’s theatrical scene since 1978, has performed on stage, TV, film, voice-over and narration. For over 17 years he has portrayed Harry Caray at corporate and private events and for four years he was Judge Adrian Barnes in Canamac Productions’ Defamation–The Play, a touring interactive courtroom drama. Recently in Daniel Margulies’ Brooklyn Actor Ensemble Theater, he is perhaps best known as Mr. Mushnik in Chicago’s first production of Little Shop of Horrorsat the Royal George Theater.

Thomas Wawzenek is a Chicago writer whose plays have been staged in Chicago, Milwaukee and New York and at various theatre festivals. He has collaborated with actors and musicians in performing and recording Stories in Motion, which integrates his short stories musically and theatrically. A staff writer for many publications and websites, he pens arts reviews for Third Coast Review. Thomas received his creative writing degree at Columbia College. For more about his work, visit

Announcing the release of CQR #28!


With cover art by Rumi Hara, and featuring new work by:

Farah Ali * Mir Anis * Samuel Rafael Barber * Andrew Beckner * Ryan Bloom * David Booth * Brett Busang * Hamida Banu Chopra * Kim Farrar * Bill Gaythwaite * Renny Golden * Deborah Gorlin * Emily Greenberg * Rumi Hara * Harry Hutson * Muhammad Iqbal * Peter Joseph Koch * Michael Lavers * Trudy Lewis * Louise Marburg * Jen Michalski * Jonathan Andrew Perez, Esq. * Andrew Porter * Jory Post * Jane Ratcliffe * Zack Rogow * Malcolm Rothman * Michael R. Schrimper * Eric Severn * Ashley Shelby * Irene Hoge Smith * Robert Solomon * Matthew J. Spireng * Janferie Stone * Hema Surendranathan * Barbara Sutton * Patrick Sylvain * Thomas Wawzenek * Catherine Wong * Alexi Zentner

Purchase here

CQR Presents: Paul Skenazy, Dipika Mukherjee, and Jay Shearer at The Book Stall

  • Sunday, February 17, 2019 at 2 PM – 4 PM

    The Book Stall

    811 Elm St, Winnetka, Illinois 60093
  • Join us as we celebrate the work of three Chicago Quarterly Review contributors.

    Paul Skenazy taught literature and writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz for thirty-five years. He has written critical pieces on writers as diverse as James M. Cain, Saul Bellow and Maxine Hong Kingston, revised and edited a posthumous novel by a friend (Arturo Islas, La Mollie and the King of Tears) and published more than three hundred book reviews in newspapers and magazines nationwide. His new book, Temper CA, won the 2018 Miami University Press Novella Prize for 2018. He lives in Santa Cruz, California with his wife, poet Farnaz Fatemi, and an old cat and young dog who don’t see eye to eye.

    Dipika Mukherjee is a writer and sociolinguist. Her work, focusing on the politics of modern Asian societies and diaspora, includes the novels Ode to Broken Things(Repeater, 2016) and Shambala Junction (Aurora Metro, 2016). Language Shifts Among Malaysian Minorities as Effects Of National Language Planning: Speaking in Many Tongues, her co-edited collection of academic essays, was published by Amsterdam University Press (2011). She has been mentoring Southeast Asian writing for over two decades and has edited five anthologies of Southeast Asian fiction. She lives in Chicago.

    Jay Shearer’s writing has appeared, among other places, in Southeast Review, Chicago Quarterly Review, Other Voices and Tikkun. He is the author of a novel, Five Hundred Sirens (Cairn Press), a chapbook novelette, The Pulpit vs. the Hole(Gold Line Press) and a play, The Full Treatment (which ran last year at Broom Street Theater in Madison). His story collection How Exquisite the Dead Girl was a finalist for the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction (University of Georgia). He teaches at the University of Illinois at Chicago and lives in the city with his family.


CQR at Evanston Public Library November 10


Please join us November 10, 3-5 pm at the Evanston Public Library.

Contributors will include:

Marjorie Skelly, whose 2015 book of essays, stories and poems, The Unpublished Poet, was endorsed by former Indiana Poet Laureate Norbert Krapf. Winner of first place wards from Poets and Patrons, the Jo-Anne Hirshfield Poetry Memorial Contest and the Palatine Public Library, she has three times reached finalist status in the Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mike Poetry Contest in Chicago. She has taught poetry writing at Harold Washington Library and poetry and fiction writing at Eisenhower Library.

John Milas is an MFA student in Purdue University’s creative writing program. He grew up in central Illinois before serving in the United States Marine Corps on active duty. His writing can be found in Superstition Review,Hypertext Magazine, Chicago Quarterly Review and elsewhere. Learn more at

Natalia Nebel is a writer and translator (Italian to English) whose fiction, book reviews, interviews and translations have been published in a variety of literary journals, including Fifth Wednesday Review, Burnside Review, Great Lakes Review, Free Verse, Prague Review, TriQuarterly, Another Chicago Magazine, New City and Chicago Quarterly Review. She’s also a Pushcart Prize nominee and most recently was nominated for the AWP First Journal award in both the essay and short story categories. In her free time she’s a co-curator for the reading series Sunday Salon Chicago.

Michael Blades is the Division Chair for English and the Arts at Zion Benton Township High School, following a stint of 15 years teaching high school English in both Evanston and Chicago. A native Evanstonian, Mr. Blades cut his literary teeth in the second floor children’s section of Evanston’s former library.  He is excited to read his only published work in his hometown, before retiring back to his house in Skokie to assist Jennifer in laundering the piles created by his children: Owen, Leta, and Louise.

Richard Huffman completed undergrad work at Eastern Washington University. His graduate studies in Sociology and Creative Writing were completed at San Jose State University. His short stories and articles have been published in Catamaran, The Reed, phren-Z, The Chicago Quarterly Review, the newspaper Good Times and elsewhere. He has written a gritty Western Historical novel and is working on a novel about race relations and love’s vagaries in the aftermath of the Viet Nam war. He is a Viet Nam Vet., was an active participant in The Black Panthers movement in the ’60s and ’70s and was kicked out of his high school’s creative writing class for an “unsavory” story. He now lives in Santa Cruz with a dachshund of questionable character.

R. Craig Sautter is author, co-author and editor of 10 books including three histories of U.S. presidential conventions and elections. For the past three decades, he’s taught classes in philosophy, politics, history, literature and creative writing at DePaul University in Chicago and philosophy at Miami Dade College during the winters. For several years he was a poet-in-residence for the public schools of three counties of Upstate New York, and for the Illinois Arts Council he conducted creative writing classes with over 20,000 K-12 students. He was the 47th president of the Society of Midland Authors and served two terms on the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Advisory Board.

Steven Carrelli is a visual artist and writer living in Chicago. He earned an MFA in Painting from Northwestern University, and he teaches in the Department of Art, Media and Design at DePaul University. Carrelli’s paintings and drawings have been exhibited nationally in numerous solo and group exhibitions and have appeared in regional and national publications. His work is included in the collections of the Illinois State Museum, Elmhurst College, the City of Chicago, Northwestern University, and DePaul University, among others. His writing has also appeared in Crab Creek Review.

Announcing the release of Chicago Quarterly Review #27, Fall 2018

Purchase CQR #27

We’re excited to announce the release of our Fall issue, with cover art by Eleanor Spiess-Ferris and featuring work by:
D.M. Aderibigbe * Bryce Berkowitz * Christopher Yohmei Blasdel * Beverly Burch * Steve Carrelli * Wayne Conti * Heather Cousins * Corey Davidson * Doug Dibbern * Fred Dings * Noah Dobin-Bernstein * Andrew Fague * Shawn Fawson * Joan Frank * Pamela Morneault Gemme * Toni Graham * Benjamin Harnett * David Harrell * Laura Heffington * Florence Homolka * Richard Huffman * Guillermo Lanza * Lara Markstein * Ben Masaoka * Karen McPherson * Isidra Mencos * Linda Downing Miller * Andrew Mulvania * Teresa Burns Murphy * Natalia Nebel * Chika Onyenezi * Frances Park * Juan Parra * Robert Leonard Reid * Jim Ringley * Leona Sevick * Micah Ruelle * Richard B. Simon * Theadora Siranian * Marjorie Skelly * Seth D. Slater * Eleanor Spiess-Ferris * Adam Sullivan * Lisa Taddeo * Rebecca Turkewitz * Daniel Uncapher * Mitchell Untch * Bradley VanDeventer * Larry Watson * Wang Wei * Ian Randall Wilson * Yanwen Xu * Gary Young * Fan Zhongyan




CQR at Printers Row 2018

Two ways to see us at Printers Row 2018! Come to our table in the Poetry Foundation Tent, and attend our celebration of CQR contributors:

Recognized and reprinted by Best American Short Stories, the O. Henry Prize Stories, the Pushcart Prize Anthology and Best American Essays, the Chicago Quarterly Review will be represented by three of its favorite writers in this half-hour reading. Our readers are novelist Peter Ferry, famed for The Travel Writer and Old Heart, and Dipika Mukherjee and Faisal Mohyuddin, two increasingly notable contributors to CQR who are included in its celebrated and singular South Asian American issue of last year. Copies of their work will be on sale and available for signing. This event takes place in room 4030 of the Jones College Prep High School, 700 S. State St., 10:30-11 a.m. on Sunday, June 10.

Dipika Mukherjee
Peter Ferry
Faisal Mohyuddin

Announcing the release of CQR #26

Featuring work by: Kathleen de Azevedo * Michael Blades * Christopher Buckley * Danny Calegari * Tyler Corbridge * Jennifer Dorner * Ken Drexler * Julie Esther Fisher * Randy Fowler * Jared Garland * Michael Griffith * Aliete Guerrero * Stephen D. Gutierrez * Colin Hamilton * Alison Harris * Richard Hedderman * Catherine Abbey Hodges * Carlie Hoffman *Charles Hood * Nathan Isaksson * Sharon Kennedy-Nolle * Robert Kerwin * Hank Lawson * William L. Lederer * Catherine Mao * Susan Mathison * Margarita Meklina * Megan Moodie * Daniel Mueller * RCA O’Neal * Rebecca Pelky * John Robinson * Zack Rogow * Dennis Saleh * R. Craig Sautter * Susan Sensemann * Ryan Elliott Smith * Moez Surani * Jackie Thomas-Kennedy * Sean Towey * Siamak Vossoughi * Daniel Webre * John Sibley Williams

Cover photograph “The Boards” by Susan Mathison