Chicago Poet Explores Identity, Food, and Chicago In Solo Debut | WBEZ
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Morning Shift

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.”

Guest:

  • Poet and author Jose Olivarez

Learn more:

'Citizen Illegal' by Jose Olivarez is poetry for this moment (Chicago Tribune)

Chicago poet José Olivarez builds his own world in debut book 'Citizen Illegal' (Chicago Tribune)

Poet José Olivarez discusses new book Citizen Illegal (Vocalo)

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