Amy Hassinger

Writer. Teacher. Manuscript Consultant.

Janice Harrington's “Picture of the Poet and Horace H. Pippin Before the Perigee”

Last month, I had the great pleasure of attending an Evening of Jazz and Poetry, put on by the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities. The gathering was a celebration of the release of poet Janice Harrington’s latest collection, entitled Primitive: The Art and Life of Horace H. Pippin

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Karen Gettert Shoemaker's THE MEANING OF NAMES

Last week, I mentioned the writer Karen Gettert Shoemaker, who talks about “writing from the body” as a way of deeply imagining characters, places, and stories. I thought I’d offer you an excerpt today from Shoemaker’s latest novel, The Meaning of Names

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Shari Wagner's "These Rocks"

The writer and teacher Karen Gettert Shoemaker often talks about the physicality of writing, what she calls “writing from the body.” And we must do that when we imagine, in order to make our characters, scenes, places believable—we have to find ways to embody them on the page.

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Daniel Borzutsky's "Lake Michigan Merges Into the Bay of Valparaiso, Chile"

Poet Daniel Borzutzky, Chilean-American and Chicago citizen, won this year’s National Book Award for his collection The Performance of Becoming Human. One of the poems from this collection, “Lake Michigan Merges into the Bay of Valparaiso, Chile,” came as a response to revelations of abuses at a Chicago Police Department-run detention center called Homan Square. 

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I just finished reading a delightful book called Am I Alone Here?: Notes on Living to Read and Reading to Live, by Peter Orner. It’s a series of essays and reflections stemming from the author’s reading life, which, as any good reading life should, often blurs in and out of real life—his father’s death, his ex-wife’s depression, his daughter, his own identity as an author and a human being.

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