Chicago Poet Explores Identity, Food, and Chicago In Solo Debut
There are odes to cheese fries and Scottie Pippen. There’s a poem imagining a heaven without gentrification, and a Saint Peter who is really a Pedro.
In his debut solo book, Citizen Illegal, Jose Olivarez uses poetry to address everything from feelings of identity and race — to a love of food.
Morning Shift talks to Olivarez about his work, what inspires him, and just why he included eight different poems all titled “Mexican Heaven.”
- Poet and author Jose Olivarez
'Citizen Illegal' by Jose Olivarez is poetry for this moment (Chicago Tribune)