Kotlowitz: Never A Writer So Real

Alex Kotlowitz will appear at the Harold Washington Library Center's Cindy Pritzker Auditorium at noon on Friday, July 15. The library is located at 400 S. State St. His theme, as keynote speaker for the DePaul Summer Writing Conference, will be "Storytelling As Bearing Witness."

One of his books, Never A City So Real: A Walk In Chicago, published in 2004, profiles a variety of offbeat Chicagoland characters. The neighborhoods that they inhabit tend to be either rarely written about or virtually invisible to the general public. The title is based on a famous Nelson Algren quote that metaphorically describes Chicago's magnetism. As Kotlowitz observes in his first chapter, "Nelson Algren--himself a bar of discordant notes--wrote in his prose poem, Chicago, City on the Make, 'Once you've come to be a part of this particular patch, you'll never love another. Like loving a woman with a broken nose, you may well find lovelier lovelies. But never a lovely so real.'"

Kotlowitz has written about authentic Chicago for many years. One of his early books, There Are No Children Here, became a celebrated movie. A new project pertaining to solutions to urban violence, called The Interrupters, will be unveiled in Chicago later this summer.

Kotlowitz's keynote speech on July 15 will be free and open to the public. The conference is being presented by DePaul University, in collaboration with the Chicago Public Library. It will feature three days of programs devoted to the art of the written word. Poetry, fiction, and nonfiction will be highlighted, as well as the publishing process itself.

For more information about the keynote speech, click here or call (312) 747-4050. For further details about the DePaul Summer Writer's Conference, contact Chris Green at (312) 362-8916, email him at cgreen1@depaul.edu, or visit the DePaul Summer Writing Conference website here.

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