“Achy Obejas writes like an angel: flush with power, vision and hope … one of the Caribbean’s most important writers.”
Junot Diaz, author of Drown, and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Achy Obejas, author of “We Came All the Way From Cuba So You Could Dress Like This?” and “Memory Mambo” (stories of Cuban Americans in Chicago), spins disjointed dreams into tangible things through her poetry and prose. And come this month, the Chicagoan has released another book of dreams, entitled “Ruins”. “Ruins”, set to be released on the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution, bears echoes of Hemingway’s “Old Man and the Sea” reset during the “special period” in Cuba. The main character is “Usnavy”, a dig on the American military’s longsuffering relationship with Cubans. A Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist, Obejas feels she will eventually leave Chicago to settle permanently into Cuba (she left with her family when she was six). She recently told Cafe Magazine, “I live in Chicago, with an ever-diminishing Cuban-American community and far from the Miami epicenter. I am much more interested in being a part of a post-revolutionary Cuba than the diasporic community, which will most likely follow historical pattern and be absorbed into the U.S. mainstream as another immigrant (no longer exile) community.” for more on Obejas and “Ruins”, click here.
Yes, I love Englewood. I love the people because they refuse to quit.
I love the vacant lots because I can envision growth. I love the schools because I can envision a child learning to read and developing a love for knowledge. Block by block, Englewood shall rise and reclaim our children and community, and I love that too.
– Evelyn Johnson
from the Journal of Ordinary Thought, or JOT (Fall 2008), published by the Neighborhood Writing Alliance.
The Neighborhood Writing Alliance is an organization based at 60th Street that “provokes dialogue and promotes change by creating opportunities for adults in the inner city of Chicago to write, publish, and perform works about their lives”. They also publish the Journal of Ordinary Thought. I am a fan.
Join them tomorrow night:
Choosing Food – screening of the movie Soul Food.
Thursday, February 19th
800 S Halsted
After the movie screens, join activist LaDonna Redmond in a discussion on food and community. She’ll talk about her perspectives on the local food movement; the lack of diversity in dialogue about local, sustainable food; and the unavailability of fresh and healthy food in certain neighborhoods, including the “food deserts” on Chicago’s West and South sides.This event is free, but reservations are required. Please call NWA at 773-684-2742 or email email@example.com.