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Nobodies Nobody Knows

By Margaret Hicks in Arts & Entertainment on Mar 22, 2006 5:05PM

Algren.jpgOur city has a lot of nicknames, “Second City”, “City of Big Shoulders” and “Windy City”. But perhaps none is as sacred to us, the real Chicagoans, as “City on the Make”, the title of the prose poem by Nelson Algren. We like to think we know our Chicago history pretty well, but often find it lacking when we come to look at Algren’s piece again. We realize how much there still is to learn and how well he knew the city. Our favorite quote however, is pretty easy to digest and definitely captures the feeling of Chicago in 2006 as much as it did in 1951. "Once you've become 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."

Luckily, the Nelson Algren Committee has been working to keep the name, work and love alive. The NAC was started by Studs Terkel, Warren Leming, Alice Prus, Nina Gaspich, Stu McCarrell, and Char Sandstrom. This weekend is the 18th annual Nelson Algren Birthday Party where the NAC will give away The Nelson Algren awards (not to be confused with the Trib’s Nelson Algren Awards) to Chicagoans who have made great contributions to the city. This years winners are Glenda Daniel, Carl Davidson and Marguerite Horberg. There’s going to be music, readings, awards, films and of course, liquor.

We think Algren would approve.

The 18th Annual Nelson Algren Birthday Party is Saturday at ACME Arts Bldg. 1741 N. Western (corner St. Paul and Western), at 8 p.m., phone(773)960-0012, Admission is 7$