Chicago’s South Side is a mix of a hard, gritty outside and a soft, caring underside, with strong community and religious ties that promenade through every ethic area. Greetings from Hardscrabble, Chicago ventures to capture its hard soul through poems, short story, prose poem, and monologues. Unfortunately, I had a hard time finding the connection in most of the pieces.
Being a “South Sider” myself, I found most of the pieces a little confusing in what the author was trying to convey. An example is “The Night They Tore Comiskey Down.” This piece clearly depicts the grittiness of the depressed area around Comiskey Park, but it lacks the emotional lost of a treasured South Side monument.
The best part of this work can be found in the “Bonus Track” at the end of the book, a collection of poems pertaining to post 9-11. Well-written and thoughtful, this book would probably be of interest to anyone who enjoys urban prose and poetry, but if you’re looking for the feeling of the South Side, you may have a problem finding it.