This week on the Chicago Stories podcast, Mayor Emanuel interviewed poet and fiction writer Stuart Dybek, a second-generation Polish American from Little Village and Pilsen and the Distinguished Writer in Residence at Northwestern University.
Mayor Emanuel and Stuart spent their time together walking through memory and the history of Chicago’s neighborhoods, of family stories lost, found, and recreated, all with with the “haunting forces” shifting the world around them.
A master of the short story, Stuart is ranked with American literary giants such as Ernest Hemingway and Theodore Dreiser, and spoke at the opening of the American Writers Museum. His poetry collections include Brass Knuckles (1979) and Streets in Their Own Ink (2004). He also writes fiction, including Children and Other Neighborhoods (1980), The Coast of Chicago (1990)—said to be America’s Dubliners—and I Sailed with Magellan (2003). He recently published Ecstatic Cahoots (2014) and Paper Lantern: Love Stories (2015).
All his works take place in the working-class Slavic and Mexican neighborhoods of Chicago in the “City of Big Shoulders.”