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  • Essay in Rust Belt Chicago: An Anthology

    Photo credit: http://beltmag.com/product/pre-order-rust-belt-chicago-anthology/

    I'm honored to have an essay in this excellent upcoming Rust Belt Chicago: An Anthology. Editor Martha Bayne at Rust Belt Publishing has assembled a stellar batch of writers, WOW: Aleksandar Hemon, Zoe Zolbrod, Naomi Huffman, Kathleen Rooney, Kevin Coval, Eileen Favorite, and Bill Savage. The fiction, journalism, essays and poetry in the book explore how Chicago's "foundation of meat and railroads and steel" makes for a complicated political and cultural ecosystem. My essay, "Illiana," is about decades spent living on the Indiana/Illinois border, and includes the phrase, "feral Indiana girl with big hair."

    Even better than just buying the book, please consider PRE-ORDERING it, which helps small publishers enormously. Plus, you'll get a tote bag.

    Pre-order here

  • Venus Zine; Spring 2007, Mother's Day

    Yo mama, you rock!

    Venus Zine gives a Mother’s Day shout-out

    Lately, I've been thinking about how über-DIY my mom is. I have fond memories of my hippie-parents building their own garage and cutting labels off clothing to protest advertising. But my mom's Do-It-Yourself attitude wasn't just ’60s counterculture-nonconformity, it was necessity. She came from scrappy immigrants who re-used every plastic baggie, every piece of aluminum foil. Then her father died when she was 16, and DIY took on a whole new meaning for her family — making their own clothing, canning vegetables and fruit actually helped the 6 of them survive. During my childhood, she managed to work full-time while also making clothing and costumes for us kids, designing her own "Snugli" before they were popular, cooking from scratch, baking elaborate birthday cakes in the shapes of trains and animals, and still attending every game, every dance performance. Even now, when it's no longer financially necessary, she re-uses materials, gardens, and makes clothing herself. I believe that every creative urge, every cooking, yoga, or gardening impulse that my siblings and I have, we owe to the DIY street-cred instilled by my amazing mother when we were kids.