Rust Belt Chicago: An Anthology

Martha Bayne (Editor)


Chicago is built on a foundation of meat and railroads and steel, on opportunity and exploitation - but its identity long ago stretched past manufacturing. Today, the city 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 region don't disappear once you pass the Indiana border. In fact, they're often amplified. 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 Rust Belt and beyond it. Rust Belt Chicago collects essays, journalism, fiction, and poetry from more than fifty writers who speak both directly and elliptically to the concerns the city shares with the region at large, and the elements that set it apart. With affection and curiosity, frustration, anger, and joy, the writers sing to each other like the bird on the cover. At times the song sings in harmony and at others sounds in notes of strategic dissonance. But taken as a whole, this book sings one song, responding to one cacophonous city.

Product Details

$20.00  $18.40
Belt Publishing
Publish Date
August 10, 2017
6.0 X 8.9 X 0.6 inches | 0.85 pounds

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About the Author

Martha Bayne is a Chicago writer and a senior editor with Belt Publishing. Her work has appeared in publications such as The Baffler, Chicago Reader, Latterly, The Rumpus, and Belt Magazine.


"Within this collection of poems and prose lies a collection of voices and lives and pasts and presents. As told by those who run through Chicago's veins and beat with its heart, the lens of the industrial Rust Belt pops this book's blue collar, oozing working-class adoration and experience." -- Chicago summer book recommendation, American Writers Museum
"One of the best books to come across my desk that I can frankly remember." Rick Kogan, WGN Radio
"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