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    By Edward McClelland December 1, 2016 "A dictionary wrapped in some serious dialectology inside a gift book trailing a serious whiff of Relevance." -- New York Times  "A delightful romp through the dialects and vocabulary of the region." --Lansing City Pulse Find out what Midwesterners say as well as how and why they say it. In this book on Midwestern speech and slang. McClelland examines the causes of the Northern Cities Vowel Shift, one of the most significant changes in English pronunciation in a thousand years. It explains why the accents in Fargo miss the nasality that’s a hallmark of Minnesota speech, and why Chicagoans talk more like people from Buffalo than their next-door neighbors in Wisconsin. For outsiders, McClelland includes helpful chapters such as “‘Well, That’s Different’: How to Passive-Aggressively Criticize People, Places and Things.” Includes extensive glossaries of Midwestern sayings. Edward McClelland is the author of Young Mr. Obama: Chicago and the Making of a Black President and Nothin’ But Blue Skies: The Heyday, Hard Times and Hopes of America’s Industrial Heartland. .
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    “Absolutely one of the best books about Buffalo ever created. …It offers readers the soul of a secretly and exquisitely soulful city and it offers them generously and often brilliantly.”–Jeff Simon, Buffalo News   Buffalo is buzzing. Stroll down Canalside. Count the cranes downtown. Savor the fusion flavors of our restaurants. Hike our hills, jam in our music scene, marvel at our architecture, homes and parks. Our newness is electrifying and sits atop a glorious history of power, disappointment, artistic flair, racial injustice and spicy chicken wings – and we have Niagara Falls in our backyard. Buffalo is a magical place to be and Right Here, Right Now: The Buffalo Anthology walks you through the decades through the eyes of more than 65 artists, writers and residents and will remind you what you love and loathe about this city and why you call it home. Edited by Jody K. Biehl with essays by Wolf Blitzer, legendary Bills coach Marv Levy, Goo Goo Dolls bass player Robby Takac, novelist Lauren Belfer, 10,000 Maniacs members John Lombardo and Mary Ramsey and many more. Learn more here.    
  • Support quality writing from the Rust Belt. As an annual member, you help us pay writers, develop new book titles, and tell stories no one else does. Plus we'll shower you with gifts. Join now and we will send you a coupon code for 25% off anything in our store and a copy of Ryan Schnurr's In The Watershed: A Journey Down the Maumee River  Want to become a Lifetime Member and receive even more freebies? Click here. *If you would prefer a different book as your gift -- or no gift at all -- simply email orders@beltmag.com and we will make the switch.
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    "26 essays on places ranging from Little Italy to Parma, from Slavic Village to Cleveland Heights, from writers who have biked the paths, had a beer in the corner bars, attended the elementary schools or marched in neighborhood parades....A look at Cleveland with a perspective you'll never see in the New York Times or USA today." The Cleveland Plain Dealer The least practical, most literary guide to the city, The Cleveland Neighborhood Guidebook includes essays by: Greggor Mattson on Kinsman Amy Hanauer on Shaker Heights Lee Chilcote on Detroit-Shoreway Tom Orange on Brooklyn Centre Benno Martens on North Collinwood Mansfield Frazier on Hough Sally Errico on Lakewood And many more! Plus Editors’ Picks for the city’s best hikes, dive bars, restaurants, places to live and more. Read more about the book here    
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    Order a copy of Car Bombs to Cookie Tables: The Youngstown Anthology. Edited by Jacqueline Marino and Will Miller, the book features contributions by Christopher Barzak, Rochelle Hurt, Eric Murphy, Ed O'Neill, Sarah Sepanek, David Skolnick, Sarah Stankorb, C Lee Tressell, Jay Williams, Andrea Wood & 35 others! Read the introduction.
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      "Aaron Foley's book is essential reading for anyone who cares about America's cities and the racial and demographic differences that divide us. Foley delivers truths with humor and honesty."--Celeste Headlee "Aaron Foley possesses a preternatural ability to parse issues of race, class, urbanism, and pop culture in a complex and generous way that avoids tired orthodoxies and knee-jerk justifications but is always on the proper side of social justice." --Vanity Fair Written by Detroit native and Belt regular Aaron Foley. Are you moving to Detroit because your rent is too high? Did you read somewhere that the only thing you needed to buy a house was the change in your couch cushions? Are you totally terrified about living in one of the most crime-plagued cities in the United States? Welcome to Detroit, and welcome to your social guidebook for all of you coastal transplants, wary suburbanites, unwitting gentrifiers, curious onlookers, die-hard natives and everyone in between. With advice on everything from buying and rehabbing a house to not sounding like a completely uninformed racist when you talk to a black person, let us help you avoid falling into the “jackass” trap and become the productive, healthy Detroiter you’ve always wanted to be.   For wholesale orders, media requests and other questions, please email orders@beltmag.com.  
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    "Writers like Stuart Dybek, Studs Terkel, Sandra Cisneros, Nelson Algren and Gwendolyn Brooks start to make up the city’s canon. They are required reading for every Chicagoan. But Rust Belt Chicago: An Anthology, the neighborhood cookbook taking the pulse of post-industrial Chicago right now seems like required reading as well."— Emma Terhaar, Third Coast Review "A lively grab bag of essays, fiction and poetry that reads at times like who's who of contemporary Chicago writers/residents."  — Chris Borrelli, Chicago Tribune "One of the best books to come across my desk that I can frankly remember."—Rick Kogan, WGN Radio Chicago is built on a foundation of meat and railroads and steel, but its identity long ago stretched past manufacturing. A city of opportunity from the get-go, it continues to lure new residents from around the world, and from across a region rocked by recession and deindustrialization. But the problems that plague the Belt don’t disappear once you get past Gary. In fact, they’re often amplified. Chicago’s glittering downtown towers stand in sharp contrast to the struggling south and west sides. A city defined by movement that’s the anchor of the Midwest, bound to its neighbors by a shared ecosystem and economy, Chicago’s complicated – both of the Belt and beyond it. Which makes it a perfect subject for a book. 2017 Rust Belt Chicago: An Anthology shines a light on the common ground Chicago shares with the Rust Belt through essays, memoir, journalism, fiction, and poetry. Includes work by Chloe Taft, Sonya Huber, Britt Julious, Kari Lydersen, Kevin Coval, Mark Guarino, and many more. Edited by Martha Bayne, Senior Editor, Belt Publishing Cover image by Tony Fitzpatrick, design by Sheila Sachs Order now! ISBN: 978-0-9977743-7-5 For publicity and other questions, please email Anne at anne@beltmag.com  
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    Now in its second edition, with a new introduction by Dave Lucas, Rust Belt Chic: The Cleveland Anthology collects stories by and for residents of the city Belt calls home – including several new essays previously only available in the e-book edition. Read more about the book here. Featuring essays by Connie Schultz, Mansfield Frazier, David Giffels, Alissa Nutting, David C. Barnett, Jim Rokakis, Sean Decatur, and others.  
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    “The collection of 22 essays is a must-read for anyone who cares about this city.” — Bob Dyer, Akron Beacon Journal The Akron Anthology … brings together the many diverse voices of Akron to paint a colorful image of the city that many of us call home.” — Melanie Anderson, The Devil Strip The Akron Anthology is a collection of essays by Akron writers about life in the Rubber City. Edited by Jason Segedy, with an introduction by David Giffels, the book features contributions that span the breadth of Akron experience past, present, and future. In its pages, State Representative Emilia Sykes tells of seeking her somewhere-over-the-rainbow and finding it back home in Akron. Andrew Poulsen explores the guitar nerd’s Wonka World of EarthQuaker Devices. L.S. Quinn leads readers back into the old downtown hobbit hole of Mr. Bilbo’s bar. Kyle Cochrun pulls us up to the tragic midnight rooftop of the abandoned Atlantic Foundry building. Jeff Shearl takes us backstage at E.J. Thomas Hall. And Jason Segedy gives voice to the Generation X experience of growing up in a postindustrial netherworld and seeing not the end of things, but new beginnings.
    See complete Table of Contents here. For more details click here.  
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    The Pittsburgh Anthology Edited by Eric Boyd
    With contributions by Robert Gibb, David Newman, Bob Qualters, Amy Jo Burns, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Terrance Hayes and dozens of others. See full Table of Contents and read the introduction.
    Praise for The Pittsburgh Anthology “These voices are varied and quirky, some polished and professional sounding, some a little rough around the edges. But they are uniformly interesting and genuine.” — Pittsburgh Post-Gazette What editor Eric Boyd has chosen to do is temper all of the Most Livable City rah rah with essays, stories and poems of a grittier, more complex nature …Ben Gwin’s beautifully wrought story dealing with heroin and recovery is one of the finest pieces of writing I’ve read all year.” — Pittsburgh Magazine “Characterizing a place can be an elusive project, but The Pittsburgh Anthology is a diverse, surprising, eloquent, playful, scrappy, and tenacious effort to capture one city’s “proud contradictions.” — Ploughshares  
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    "What a treat! Flint may have had tough times, but that history makes for tough people: good neighbors, brave physicians, hard workers, selfless earth scientists, and, as we see here, creators of a vibrant cultural life. The voices in this collection reveal the talent and scope of storytelling in and around the city. These pieces — by teachers and students, journalists and poets, recent arrivals and lifetime residents and homesick émigrés — stand as proof of the determination and optimism of a city that just won’t quit." - Thomas C. Foster, author of How to Read Literature Like a Professor “Thank you Scott Atkinson! This anthology touches every corner of this storied city and her inhabitants. The essays are tough and tender, always surprising.” - literary agent Betsy Lerner Happy Anyway: A Flint Anthology (Belt Publishing, 2016) is Flint at its funniest, its weirdest, and its saddest. A collection of essays and personal narratives, the book, edited by Flint writer and Belt contributor Scott Atkinson, captures a confounding, contradictory city, proving that Flint is far more than the common narrative of an industrial town picking itself up after the big company that fed it left, or the site of a devastating public health crisis. Happy Anyway delves into the lives and stories within the city — what it was like to be a child on the east side; how it feels to be a parent today, without clean water; who is able to truly lay claim to being "from Flint;" and what it means to finally leave — or to stay, even when bikes or jewelry or love keep disappearing. Including work from Gordon Young, Jan Worth-Nelson, Connor Coyne, Layla Meillier, Andrew Morton, and many others.      
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    free shipping through September 4! Edited by Aaron Foley   Detroiters need to get to know their neighbors better. Wait — maybe that should be, Detroiters should get to know their neighborhoods better. It seems like everybody thinks they know the neighborhoods, but because there are so many, the definitions become too broad, the characteristics become muddled, the stories become lost. Edited by Aaron Foley, the Detroit Neighborhood Guidebook contains essays by Zoe Villegas, Drew Philip, Hakeem Weatherspoon, Marsha Music, Ian Thibodeau, and dozens others. See the Table of Contents here. Order by August 21 and receive a bonus hand-drawn map of Detroit with your book!
  • February 6, 2018
    You couldn't kill this book with a hammer.  Come and watch Elizabeth Catte clip the hollow wings of little jimmy vance.  Stay and behold an enlightened vision, a living solidarity found among the strong and varied peoples of this misunderstood land.  What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia asks Florence Reece's old question: Which side are you on?  Some of us are sticking to Appalachia until every battle's won.  --Glenn Taylor, author of The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart  
    In 2016 headlines declared Appalachia ground zero for America’s “forgotten tribe” of white working class voters. Journalists flocked to the region to extract sympathetic profiles of families devastated by poverty, abandoned by establishment politics, and eager to consume cheap campaign promises. Following the election, demystifying Appalachia and locating the roots of its dysfunction quickly became a national industry, shoring up the success of J.D. Vance’s memoir Hillbilly Elegy and the author’s rise to fame as the media’s favorite working-class whisperer with broad appeal to liberals and conservatives alike. Personal anecdotes that demonstrated the enduring failures of American progress spoken through the mouthpiece of colorful and bereaved mountain folk became its own genre of election writing – the “Trump Country” piece – and in its creation reduced the region’s rich and complex history to a series of character studies. What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia is a frank assessment of America’s recent fascination with the people and problems of the region. The book analyzes trends in contemporary writing on Appalachia, presents a brief history of Appalachia with an eye toward unpacking Appalachian stereotypes, and provides examples of writing, art, and policy created by Appalachians as opposed to for Appalachians. The book offers a must-needed insider’s perspective on the region. Praise for What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia: "What are we getting wrong about Appalachia? A lot. And we are not just getting it wrong because we do not know. We are getting it wrong because reckoning with the reality of the Appalachia people and culture serves a historical project of disdain, distancing, and deliberate disinvestment in our nation. Elizabeth Catte has written an essential guide on how to talk about race, class, gender and the cultural geographies that shape our lives. Our discourse on Appalachia has been used a cudgel, much of it designed to obscure more than it reveals. Catte uses data and lived experiences to reveal an Appalachia that is not some 'othered' out there against which we compare ourselves to make inequality more palatable. This is a necessary antidote to the cyclical mainstream interest in Appalachia as a backwards, white working class caricature." --Tressie McMillan Cottom, author of Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy "A necessary response to the bigotry against a much-maligned culture." --Chris Offutt, author of Kentucky Straight "A bold refusal to submit to stereotype." --Kirkus Reviews Elizabeth Catte is a writer and historian from East Tennessee. She holds a PhD in public history from Middle Tennessee State University and is the co-owner of Passel, a historical consulting and development company. For media requests, please contact Michelle Blankenship at michelle@blankenshippr.com.
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    A Detroit Anthology

    $20.00 $10.00
    “While many books have been written on and about Detroit by writers who have visited, this anthology of prose, poetry, and essays is written by the metro area’s residents themselves … it’s the wide ethnic array of voices that truly shows the facets of Detroit life.” — Ebony Magazine Order a copy of A Detroit Anthology, edited by Anna Clark, with contributions by Grace Lee Boggs, John Carlisle, Desiree Cooper, dream hampton, Steve Hughes, Jamaal May, Tracie McMillan, Marsha Music, Shaka Senghor, Thomas J. Sugrue and others. Named a Library of Michigan Notable Book for 2015.
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      Renew your Belt Membership and we will send you a copy of Ryan Schnurr's In The Watershed: A Journey Down the Maumee River and a coupon code for 25% off anything in our store  Instead of renewing as an annual member, you could also upgrade to become a Lifetime Member. You will receive more freebies, and never have to worry about renewing again.  
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    The New Midwest

    $16.95 $7.99
      By Mark Athitakis February 6, 2017 The New Midwest:  A Guide To Contemporary Fiction of the Great Lakes, Great Plains, and Rust Belt A "crisp, engaging guide." -- Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel "… dives deep into Midwestern literature, unpacking the mythology of the region and how today’s writers are complicating our simple idea of the Heartland." -- The Huffington Post In vigorous, supple, and readable prose, Mark Athitakis surveys the 21st century cultural landscape of a Midwest not defined by old pieties or prejudices, or its past canonical literary expression.  Most importantly, perhaps, the scope of this survey will leave its readers hungry rather than sated, anxious to read about a region that might once have seemed familiar, even routine, but can be understood in new and different ways.” –-Bill Savage, Northwestern University

    The very best criticism delights as it elucidates. Athitakis does both with his dead-on look at the fiction of the Midwest, from Cather to Franzen, and Midwesterners’ eternal conflict between person and place. I loved this book.” — Robert Goolrick, author of A Reliable Wife

    "Mark Athitakis is among the greatest of the new critics: the wit of his perception is perfectly matched by the elegance of his expression. He does the thing you need: tells what you need to read, and why. And reminds us why we read -- because his stuff is such thrilling, brain-enhancing fun." --David Lipsky, author of Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip With David Foster Wallace

    In the public imagination, Midwestern literature hasn’t evolved far beyond heartland laborers and hardscrabble immigrants of a century past. But as the region has changed, so, in many ways, has its fiction. In The New Midwest, Mark Athitakis explores how shifts in work, class, place, race, and culture has been reflected — or ignored — by novelists and short story writers. From Marilynne Robinson to Leon Forrest, Toni Morrison to Aleksandar Hemon, Bonnie Jo Campbell to Stewart O’Nan, the book is a call to rethink the way we conceive Midwestern fiction, and one that’s sure to prompt some new must-have additions to your reading list. Mark Athitakis has written on books for many publications. He serves on the board of the National Book Critics Circle and has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Washington Post Book World, Chicago Sun-Times, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Barnes and Noble Review, and many other outlets. His Reading the Midwest column appears in Belt. For review copies and publicity requests, contact Bill at orders@beltmag.com
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    Lifetime Membership

    $200.00 $175.00
      Become a Lifetime Member! Join once, support local writing forever, and never have to worry about renewing an annual membership. Plus, we will send a tote bag filled with all our published books, including the City Anthology SeriesHow To Speak Midwestern, and more. Plus you will receive a coupon code to receive 50% off anything we ever sell,  forever when you joinThis includes books, merchandise, tickets to events, and more. It's a sweet, sweet deal. Annual memberships are available here. Why become a member of Belt? Go here to learn more.  
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    By Ryan Schnurr Publishing October 15, 2017 now shipping! The Maumee River Basin is the largest watershed in the Great Lakes region, collecting runoff from more than 6,600 square miles in Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan and depositing it in Lake Erie—though as the lake’s largest tributary the river's influence is not entirely positive. In this lively, ruminative book, Ryan Schnurr takes us on a journey down the Maumee River, walking and canoeing it from headwaters to mouth. Along the way, he traces the history, ecology, and culture of the river, from the influence of glaciers, through its role in Native American and American history, to its relevance for contemporary environmental issues. Part cultural history, part nature writing, part personal narrative, In the Watershed is a lyrical work of nonfiction in the vein of John McPhee and Ian Frazier with a timely and important warning at the core. "What is happening in Lake Erie," Schnurr tells us, "is a disaster by nearly any measure—ecologically, economically, socially, culturally." Advance praise for In the Watershed: "I am entranced by this slender, luminous volume. Ryan Schnurr has created a subtle monument to a place that we overlook, yet glows with sacredness under his measured gaze. Delightful." — Luis Alberto Urrea, author of The Devil's Highway and Into the Beautiful North "The land surface of Earth is a quilt of watersheds, each one gathering runoff that reveals what humans have been doing in the catchment area. All the poisons we spray or dump on the ground, all the soils we expose to erosion, eventually wind up in creeks and rivers, lakes and oceans. Every watershed needs observers who monitor its health, who care about the quality of wild and human life it supports. The Maumee Valley now has a new and keen-eyed caretaker in Ryan Schnurr, who has written an engaging narrative about a journey downriver from the headwaters to Lake Erie, braiding together his personal observations with history, science, and folklore." — Scott Russell Sanders, author of Earth Works: Selected Essays and A Conservationist Manifesto "Ryan Schnurr is a keeper of the spirit of John McPhee, Edward Abbey, and Annie Dillard — he writes about nature intimately and with a sense of wonder, but he's forever alert to the ways our environment is wounded and reshaped by our greed and neglect. The Maumee River may be relatively small and unknown, but reading this book it'll feel as big and important as the Mississippi: In the Watershed stretches from the glaciers of eons past to this year's algae blooms, from wars with Native Americans to Midwest industrial history. It's a rich, complex, and fragile place, and Schnurr is a superb guide through it." — Mark Athitakis, author of The New Midwest: A Guide to Contemporary Fiction of the Great Lakes, Great Plains, and Rust Belt Click here for more information.  
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    Give your bookshelf a boost of Cleveland with the Belt's Cleveland Bundle. You'll receive The Cleveland Anthology & The Cleveland Neighborhood Guidebook for a cool price and flat rate shipping.    
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      Order The Cincinnati Anthology, edited by Zan McQuade. With contributions by Katie Laur, Curtis Sittenfeld, David Falk, Sam LeCure, Michael Wilson, John Curley, Scott Devendorf and others. For more details, see Cincinnati Anthology.  
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    pre-order by October 15 and we will include a free cocktail recipe booklet!  By Mark Meyer and Meredith Meyer Grelli November 15, 2017 The Whiskey Rebellion and the Rebirth of Rye takes readers on a tour of the spirit's founding, floundering, and current flourishing. Authors Mark Meyer and Meredith Meyer Grelli explore rye whiskey's revolutionary origins in Western Pennsylvania, the role of Gilded Age robber barons in developing the rye industry and the reemergence of craft distilling in the twenty-first century. Featuring an illustrated guide on how to make rye whiskey and delicious cocktail recipes, this short book makes a compelling case that American whiskey's rightful home is Pittsburgh. Mark Meyer and Meredith Meyer Grelli are co-founders of Wigle Whiskey, a family owned and operated craft distillery based in Pittsburgh's Strip District. _____ For media and publicity inquiries, contact Dan Crissman at dan@beltmag.com.
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    Purchase our entire Anthology series: Rust Belt Chicago: An Anthology The Akron Anthology Right Here, Right Now: The Buffalo Anthology The Cincinnati Anthology The Cleveland Anthology, 2nd Ed. A Detroit Anthology Happy Anyway: A Flint Anthology The Pittsburgh Anthology Car Bombs to Cookie Tables: The Youngstown Anthology Plus receive a free City Anthology t-shirt!!
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    Get yourself some Detroit reading with a two-pack! One copy of 2014's A Detroit Anthology AND one copy of 2015's How to Live in Detroit Without Being a Jackass  
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    Edited by Dani Villela and Ashley Nickels Belt Publishing November 1 2017 While Grand Rapids is known for large-scale events like ArtPrize; major businesses like Meijer, Steelcase, and Amway and the philanthropic and political contributions of its wealthiest residents, there are hundreds — if not thousands — of grassroots activists working day-in and day-out to make Grand Rapids what it is and making it what it can be. This project seeks to raise the voices of those individuals and grassroots groups. Ashley E. Nickels and Dani Vilella have joined forces to compile articles, poetry, and personal narratives about and by Grand Rapids, Michigan’s grassroots activists. Grand Rapids Grassroots: An Anthology is the next book in Belt Publishing’s series of city-based anthologies. Read more here.