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Marjorie Skelly, whose 2015 book of essays, stories and poems, The Unpublished Poet, was endorsed by former Indiana Poet Laureate Norbert Krapf.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 johnmilas.com.

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


CQR #25 is here













Featuring work by: Leslie Marie Aguilar * Ronald Alexander * Saskia Anderson * Renée Branum * Jackson Onose Braun * John Chandler * Kevin Clark * Mark Crimmins * Thomas Dodson * Christina Drill * Donka Farkas * Robert Fay * (Corinne) Renny Golden * Eva Sage Gordon * John S. Green * Rumi Hara * John Harn * Karl Harshbarger * James Kelly * Stephen Kessler * Chris Gordon Owen * John Stanford Owen * Clarke W. Owens * J. Ray Paradiso * Harry Mark Petrakis * Carol M. Quinn * Robert Sachs * Kevin Sampsell * Renate Stendhal * Alison Carb Sussman * Clark Theriot * Yukiko Tominaga * Russell Working


Purchase here

The South Asian American reviewed in News International

Stepping outside the ‘brown’ box

An anthology of an emerging wave of South Asian writing that unashamedly explores issues of otherness and marginalisation.

The rich hues that paint the cover of independent literary journal Chicago Quarterly Review’s South Asian American Issue are colours typically associated with South Asian cultures: reds, oranges, blues, and greens; falling raindrops symbolising narratives of loss and displacement that are expected of South Asian writers. The real surprise lies inside, within the collection of short stories, poems, and essays edited and curated by Moazzam Sheikh.

The stories stretch across continents: the South Asian homelands represented as much as the migrant’s experience in the Northern Hemisphere. This is an anthology of an emerging wave of South Asian writing, with every author and poet appearing to be intent on pushing back the parameters of literary space conceded to ‘brown’ writers.

In his introduction to the volume, Chicago Quarterly Review’s (CQR) guest editor Sheikh notes that South Asian American writers are generally a ‘fractured bunch’, their ‘competing master narratives’ a stumbling block in achieving a cohesive identity. Differences exist within and outside, with stereotyping placing the South Asian American writer and their art in a convenient little box labelled ‘brown’.

The CQR’s special edition picks up that perception and shakes it to display the overlapping fluid identities of a South Asian American as an artist, an immigrant, an American, and a South Asian. For far too long, South Asian writers have been grudged entry into the sphere of English language writing due to their lineage. But the 40-plus artists featured in this anthology are having none of that. While the tropes of alienation and displacement do make their appearance, the invocation of pity has disappeared. Writings that explore issues of otherness and marginalisation are unashamed, irreverent even, in owning English as their medium of expression.

Befittingly, CQR’s South Asian American Issue is a compilation of intense thought. Each entry touches upon a different vulnerability of humankind. This is the strength of the collection: universal in emotion, South Asian in character.

Language and the appropriation of expression continue to be at the heart of the South Asian experience abroad. However, the writings in this collection attempt to step beyond the post-colonial identity and locate their bearings in a global context. Neelanjana Banerjee’s story about a reluctant Indian’s part in Operation Desert Storm, “The Songs in Sam’s Head” finds space alongside Madhushree Ghosh’s poignant essay, “#Aylan, Or How to Treat Refugees”. Violence rears its ugly head too, retold in Pireeni Sundaralingam’s poems, “Lynch Mob” and “The Gecko Remembers, as laments to war-torn Sri Lanka, and against the individual as the molestation of a little girl in Sayantani DasGupta’s non-fiction “The Butcher Shop of New Delhi”. Tanu Mehrotra Wakefield uses the familiar South Asian attachment to traditional music in her poem “Threading the Ghazal” to capture what Neelanjana Banerjee describes as being “giddy with America”.

Dipika Mukherjee’s “Descent from the Winter Garden” holds as true for the Black Lives Matter movement as for socio-political turmoil elsewhere in the world. Sikha Malaviya spins strange odes to India’s underbelly and Vikas Menon ponders upon cultural practices in sharp-edged words. Sophia Naz’s poetry takes this play on words a bit further; juxtaposing Urdu meanings onto English words and vice versa to create poetical paragraphs that mock the reader. The list of writers is long and varied, all attempting to define their multifaceted identities in a world of shifting reality.

Nadia Chaney captures this literary awakening in “There’s Really No Such Thing as the “Voiceless””, taking her cue from Arundhati Roy’s famous quote “There are only the deliberately silenced, or the preferably unheard.” The ‘erasure of self’ that Chaney terms ‘shape-shifting’ is a preoccupation of every migrant group. But the difference is in manner of looking inwards. It is, perhaps, best summed up by Amit Majmudar’s lines:

“The brown, who once studied how to be white,

now study the brownness of brown.”

(From Brown Study; Or Poem Ending with a Line by Goering)

The emotionally charged writings are punctuated by the inclusion of sketches and photographs, the visual art acting as a reprieve from the heaviness of ‘cultural reconstruction and self-knowledge’. That is not to say that one art form is disconnected from the other. Rather, the fragmented pieces of Sadia Uqaili’s collages overlay each other; transgressing lines much like the identities of the writers showcased in the issue. Faisal Mohyuddin’s ink on paper “Caliban”, borrows its title and subject from Shakespeare’s The Tempest, once again hinting at the universality of this edition of South Asian American writings.

The modern South Asian writer is caught at the crossroads of what Nayomi Munaweera calls “the story of what it means to be both a child of a mother and a child of history” (What Lies Between Us: A Novel). Befittingly, CQR’s South Asian American Issue is a compilation of intense thought. Each entry touches upon a different vulnerability of humankind. This is the strength of the collection: universal in emotion, South Asian in character. It is not an anthology for the reader looking for saffron-scented sweet words. It is an unapologetic scrutiny of modern life. Highly recommended.