Even though this is about a bird – miraculous blue jewel, transfiguration in a city backyard – it begins with a crash in the middle of the night.
On days with significantly bizarre but altogether pleasant weather, Midwestern politeness stifles me from responding to small talk observations of “unseasonably warm weather” with thoughts on climate change.
It’s easy to mistake the Great Lakes for the ocean, at first. I’ve brought a few people to see Lake Michigan for the first time, and that’s what they all say: “It looks like the ocean!”
Last summer I was at the Soggy Bottom Bar in downtown Flint, Michigan for the launch of Happy Anyway: A Flint Anthology, which I had edited, and author Aaron Foley and I were doing the very cool thing of signing each other’s books.
Ashley E. Nickels and Dani Vilella have joined forces to [...]
I could not appreciate what Flint had taught me until I let myself fall in love. For years I dodged it; I could not even commit to a favorite color or TV show, let alone a person.
While the USA wrestles with the politics and policies of immigration and refugees, Belt presents nine moving essays about refugees living throughout the Rust Belt…
Nestled within some of Pittsburgh’s many wooded hillsides, or “greenways,” are dark corners that harbor vestiges of long demolished houses, city blocks, and even whole neighborhoods.
My old neighborhood, Lee-Harvard, now referred to as Lee-Miles, is quieter and, like the rest of Cleveland, less populated than it was in the 70s. I remember the hustle and bustle of the city then, but people look at me like I’m crazy when I refer to Cleveland’s former status as a major U.S. city.
In the summer of 1961, my family moved against our will to a smelly brickpile of a parsonage in Akron, Ohio, where my father became the pastor of a church named for the crucifixion. And when we got there, we found ourselves surrounded by ghosts.
Walk down Hertel Avenue and see the mix of cultures: hipster cafes and old Italian red-sauce restaurants and halal butchers and louche interior design stores and pubs where young Americans have decided they’re huge Barça fans.
Every part of the United States has its own accent. The Midwest — defined, for the purposes of this book, as west of Exit 41 on the New York State Thruway, east of the Missouri River, and north of the Ohio River...