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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.

Publishing August 10, 2017, Rust Belt Chicago: An Anthology, the ninth book in our series of city anthologies 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. See the full Table of Contents below

Edited by Martha Bayne, Senior Editor, Belt Publishing

For publicity and other questions, please send an email to
ISBN 978-0-9977743-7-5

Table of Contents

Introduction: Beyond the Belt
Martha Bayne


City of Movement

Sonya Huber

Poetry: LaSalle Wrote it Down Wrong, 1687
Kevin Coval

Poetry: A Skillet of Suns and Oceans
Iris Orpi

Notes on Summer (Or, Black Girlhood is a Thing)
Britt Julious

How to Buy Bread on Devon
Kelly McNees

Elsewhere in a Flash
Kelly Hogan

Rust Never Creeps: Notes from the Detroit Diaspora
Rob Miller

The Last City I Loved
Zoe Zolbrod

Fiction: The Book of Poems by the Lost Birds of Union Station
Andrew Hertzberg


The Built City

It Is Not Waste All This, Not Placed Here in Disgust, Street After Street
Kathleen Rooney

Poetry: Locative
Andrew Cantrell

Where 0 is State Street
Claire Tighe

Poetry: Database
Rachel Arndt

Poetry: Chicago by Water
Carol Gloor

Beyond the Michigan Sea
Garin Cycholl

Spectral Shorelines
Chloe Taft

Scott Wilson 

Poetry: Mornings With Sarah Jindra
Eileen Favorite

Poetry: U.S. 41
Sandra Marchetti 

The Divided City

North Sider, South Sider, Bi-Sider
Bill Savage

1964 Red Buick
Elaine Hegwood Bowen

Poetry: seven years
Quraysh Ali Lansana

Fun Town
Jake Austen

Poem: Rogers Park Botanica
David Mathews

All Sales Final
Sharon Bloyd-Peshkin

The Pantry
Michael Van Kerckhove

Fiction: Ballast
Christine Maul Rice


Sports Break

Hard Hat, Lunch Pail
David Isaacson

Poetry: Disco Demolition, July 12, 1979
Kevin Coval

The Carnival
Paul Dailing

Sixth City
Paul Durica


The Conflicted City

Victory Auto Wreckers, Moo & Oink, and the Free Wilson Basketball
Robert Dean

The Sediment of Fear
Toni Nealie

Poetry: Four Poems
Raymond Berry

Poetry: Ida B. Wells Testifies in the Ghost of the Ida B. Wells Homes
Kevin Coval

Cotton Cobwebs
Logan Breitbart

How to Win Reparations
Sarah Macaraeg and Yana Kunicoff

Fiction: Sorry Shit Sucks
Wyl Villacres


The Living City

For Girls Who Straddle Seasons
Ola Faleti

The Urban Rural
Linda Garcia-Merchant 

Poetry: Thorndale in February
Jacqui Zeng 

The View From Wolf Lake
Ava Tomasula y Garcia

Prairie Water, Lake Sky
Gretchen Lida

Chicago Water Taxi: Romancing the River
Dina Elenbogen

Poetry: Late Storm on Lake Michigan
Laura Passin


City of Migrants

Gretchen Kalwinski

Not From Around Here
Gina Watters

Beneath the Willow Tree: The Early Death and Immortal Life of Linda Parker
Mark Guarino

Last Call: El Trebol and the Cantinas of Pilsen
Kari Lydersen

Chicago Notebook
Ryan Schnurr

Poetry: The City Hasn’t Killed Everything
Sharon Dornberg-Lee

Chiasmus: A Narrative of Ascent
Rayshauna Gray

Naomi Huffman

Coda: Reasons Why I Do Not Wish to Leave Chicago: An Incomplete, Random List
Aleksandar Hemon


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