Beth Ann Fennelly recalls her time living abroad in "When Dusk Fell an Hour Earlier."
When I left Silesia, on the Czech-Polish border, I never imagined it would take me so long to return. But after I flew home to Chicago, then loaded up the car and drov 55 South to Fayetteville, Arkansas, I entered a graduate program in creative writing.While this is a work of non-fiction that doesn't really take place in Chicago, it does show the place our city has for those in between, on the move, a passing through point, whether it's between Silesia or Arkansas.
After I returned to Chicago in '94, my Czech year grew very distant very quickly.
"Don't you remember your nickname?" one asked.
"Yes," I sighed. I still hated it. "Američanka."
They laughed. "Oh yes, that's right." They laughed again. It was funny to them. "But don't you know your other nickname?"
I shook my head slowly.
"Ah. We called you 'Sunny Chicago.'"
Sunny Chicago? We were speaking English, but I felt lost. They'd had this adorable nickname for me? Sunny Chicago? Really?
Daniel Lawless describes the monkey house at Lincoln Park Zoo in The Dean Has No Comment. You should just...just read that one for yourself.
Chicago doesn't enter into the actual poems by these next two authors, but I feel it is necessary to point them out, being written by two of the most distinguished writers in this city. Enjoy.
Stuart Dybek - Moderation
Christina Pugh - The Social Fabric