Some history: Another Chicago Magazine began in 1977 as a publication to showcase work of University of Illinois at Chicago Circle (as it was called) graduate creative writing students.
For a long time now, ACM has believed that everything is political, and has been partial to writing that confronts injustice and inequality, though not in didactic or polemical ways. We have always encouraged writing that jumped past the conventional and traditional to, as the (disgraced) bard said, “make it new.” ACM has encouraged play and rage and courageous attempts. Contributors have included writers from Chicago and from afar, neophytes to established writers, Charles Bukowski to Samantha Irby.
Always ACM has valued work that pushes the conventions stylistically, publishing experimental writers such as Ander Monson and Michael Martone. ACM also published the early work of David Sedaris, Jennny Boully, Ira Sukrungruang, and Kathleen Rooney, among others. The magazine published a chapter of Mira Bartok’s “The Memory Palace,” her first book for adults, before the best-selling memoir was published. Other notable writers whose work have appeared in ACM are Kathy Acker, Kim Addonizio, Sterling Plumpp, Robin Hemley, Julie Marie Wade, David Trinidad, Richard Cecil, Joshua Marie Wilkinson, Alan Cheuse, Joe Meno, Jim DeRogatis, Cris Mazza, Maxine Chernoff, Stuart Dybek, James McManus, Virgil Suarez, Albert Goldbarth, Shelley Jackson, Ryan Van Cleve, Paul Hoover, David Ignatow, Campbell McGrath, Beth Ann Fennelly, Patrick Somerville, Amelia Gray, Lindsay Hunter, Jac Jemc, Halle Butler, Ben Loory, Brigit Pegeen Kelly and more and more. In addition, the magazine has included interviews with many literary luminaries, including Allen Ginsberg, Daisy Zamora, Aleksandar Hemon, Grace Paley, and Carlos Fuentes.
The magazine has received awards and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Illinois Arts Council, and its contributors have won Pushcarts and other prizes for their work in the magazine. David Ulin’s ACM essay is published in the Best American Essays 2020.
Editors have included Lee Webster, Barry Silesky (a tenure lasting more than 20 years), Sharon Solwitz (fiction), the late Sara Skolnik, Tom Moss, Simone Muench (poetry), Jacob Knabb, Caroline Eick, and Matt Rowan. ACM published as part of Left Field Press before becoming a subsidiary for a few years of the fine indie publisher Curbside Splendor. ACM is now independent again and online.
About the art in online issues #55 and #56:
Many of the photos in #56 are by Andrew Reilly.
Reilly is a writer, editor, and photographer whose work has appeared in a number of fine publications including Vol. 1 Brooklyn, The A.V. Club, and Norman Einstein’s Sports & Rocket Science Quarterly, among others. He has also performed his nonfiction live with a number of equally fine series including 2nd Story, Write Club, and the Lifeline Theatre’s Fillet of Solo festival, also among others. He lives in Chicago.
Artwork that accompanies most of the poetry in issue #56 is by Martha Dunfee, an eleven-year-old artist living in Chicago. She’s been making art since she was only a few years old. She first began painting and now explores many media, such as drawing, sewing clothes, making origami, creating collages, making ceramics, and building structures out of household objects. Her favorite subjects are cats because she is an animal lover with a sweet cat named Hope. She is looking forward to continuing art classes and seeing what more she can create this year.
The cover art, Coup (above), and the art for the poetry in #55 are by Joyce Polance. She is primarily known for her figurative oil paintings – both expressionistic portraits and large, painterly groups of nude women which explore emotion and relationships.
Polance is the recipient of multiple grants and awards including six Chicago CAAP grants, a George Sugarman Foundation grant, two Judith Dawn Memorial grants, and a Cliff Dwellers Artist in Residence award. Her paintings are held internationally in private and corporate collections.
Polance was born in New York City in 1965. She attended Wesleyan University and received a BFA from the Fashion Institute of Technology. She is represented by Judy Ferrara Gallery in Three Oaks, Michigan, and Elephant Room in Chicago. Her paintings may be viewed on her website, joycepolance.com.