Links to Love

Links to Writing, Art, and Music 

love_of_books 400Writing

Keeping up with the lit scene is made easier by sites as good as The Rumpus. Chockfull of interviews, reviews, events, blogs and columns by some of the wittiest synapse-snapping brains out there.

Another indispensible literary website is The Nervous Breakdown. There’s more here to love, including Brad Listi’s excellent podcasts of interviews with writers.

That fine Chicago writer, Christine Sneed made the front cover of the NYTimes Book Review this spring with her debut novel, Little Known Facts.

Jane Friedman, founding editor of Scratch magazine and an editor at VQR has columns like Best Lit Blogs and writing advice with titles like “Secrets That Should Be Taped to Your Wall.” Curious about the intersection of money and art? What’s that? You didn’t know there was one? Find out about it at Scratch.

Friend and writing partner Patricia Grace King is finishing up a collection of linked stories about ex-pats in Guatemala. The success of stories she has already let out of the bag bode well for a luscious coming book.

The indie press you’ve heard about here in Chicago that’s getting so much attention is Curbside Splendor, with Victor David Giron at the helm.

Chicago River, Wacker Street. Photo by Sheli Hadari.

Chicago River, Wacker Street. Photo by Sheli Hadari.


One of my favorite painters, Robert Spellman is a kind, contemplative teacher that I so wish I could emulate.

Over the last ten years or so, I’ve been drawn more to photography than to any other single visual art form. Check out the online version of “A Democracy of Images,” the Smithsonian’s exhibition of photographic works depicting American lands, peoples, cities.


First of all, jazz guitarist and all around stylist Bill Frisell is almost the ONLY music I can listen to while I work. No, wait, there’s double bassist Edgar Meyer. And Yo Yo Ma, particularly the Appalachian arrangements and the Goat Rodeo Sessions. Okay, Cindy Cashdollar, whose dobro kills. And Jerry Douglas (yes, I have a weakness for dobro and steel guitar. If you wish to be transported by the strings of the guy James Taylor calls “The Muhammed Ali of the Dobro” watch this video). But I need to stop.

Largeheated Boy is a busy blog at the intersection of music and literature. Authors make playlists that feel sympatico with their work, and musicians talk about books, and books get reviewed, and free and legal downloads of mp3s abound, and well, it’s just a nice place to stop by from time to time.

Ensemble photo from OTSFM web catalog

Ensemble photo from OTSFM web catalog

One of the perks of living in Chicago is The Old Town School of Folk Music, an institution like no other. I’ve had the pleasure of being part of the Women’s Acoustic Ensemble there, attended concerts and First Fridays, and been awed by the musicians wandering the halls. Go!

If you haven’t had the pleasure of hearing Odetta sing, enjoy this compilation of tunes some kind soul put together on You Tube. And if you know of a more haunting voice, I’d like to hear it.

90ccf363eea961b537664fea9cecbcb6Tom Waits for no one.

Is there a better end-of-love song than “Serves You Right to Suffer”? Let John Lee Hooker introduce you to the doctor who recommends as a cure “milk, cream, and alcohol.” 

Here is a pretty tasty series of PBS films about the blues.

And of course, John Prine, my Kentucky songwriter standby for good times and bad.

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