Slabs of the Sunburnt West

Slabs of Sunburnt WestI missed the Richard Hunt sculpture exhibit reception at the Chicago Cultural Center last week, but I was intent on seeing it anyhow, so I saw it last night when I had a half hour to kill downtown. And, serendipitously, the sculptor, Mr. Hunt, was there and I had an opportunity to talk with him. I mentioned to him that one of my favorite pieces of his was “Slabs of the Sunburnt West,” adjacent to the Richard J. Daley Library at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The title of this sculpture is from a Carl Sandburg poem where the poet writes: “stand up, sandstone slabs of red, tell the overland passengers who burnt you.”
Mr. Hunt and I had a nice conversation. I told him how much I enjoyed the iconic Chicago movie “Goldstein” (1964) where his sculpture was featured. We were amazed that fifty years had passed since the film was released, and we both smiled gratefully that we still are around to talk about it. We chatted about his presentation last year at the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame ceremony where his longtime friend Leon Forrest had been inducted. Finally, we both found it a point of interest that in Chicago major libraries seemed to be named after politicians rather than poets.

Margaret Anderson

Anne and I toured Chicago’s historic Fine Arts Building today and came across room number 917, the first home of The Little Review, from 1914 until 1917. Margaret Anderson was the founder and editor of The Little Review , a highly influential literary magazine that published, early on in their careers, notables such as James Joyce, Ezra Pond and Carl Sandburg, just to name a few.
Margaret Anderson was one of two grande dames of the Chicago Literary Renaissance that took place in the first two decades of the 20th century (the other being Harriet Monroe, founder of Poetry magazine). Interestingly, Ms. Monroe also, at one time, had an office in the Fine Arts Building.
Ms. Anderson will be inducted into the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame this coming December 6th, at a ceremony in Roosevelt University’s magnificent Ganz Hall. To find out more about the ceremony go to photo (20)