Bill Hillman & Dave Megenhardt – Mac’s Backs
Saturday | 7:00 PM–9:00 PM
Bill Hillmann, author of The Old Neighborhood (Curbside Splendor 2014) and Dave Megenhardt, author of Dogs in the Cathedral (Red Giant Press 2012) will read at Mac’s on Saturday, May 3rd at 7 p.m.
The Old Neighborhood is the story of teenager Joe Walsh, the youngest in a large, mixed-race family living in Chicago. After Joe witnesses his older brother commit a gangland murder, his friends and family drag him down into a pit of violence that reaches a bloody impasse when his elder sister begins dating a rival gang member. The Old Neighborhood is both a brutal tale of growing up tough in a mean city, and a beautiful harkening to the heartbreak of youth.
“Bill Hillmann’s The Old Neighborhood is like a right hook to the chin with brass knuckles, crackling with both bravery and urgency. Brilliantly evoking Nelson Algren’s “Neon Wilderness” and Richard Price’s “The Wanderers,” the novel is unflinchingly honest in its depictions of class and race, a deft portrait of our sometimes-less-than-fair city.” Joe Meno
Bill Hillmann is an award-winning writer and storyteller from Chicago. His writing has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Newcity, Salon.comand has been broadcast on NPR. He’s told stories around the world with his internationally acclaimed storytelling series the Windy City Story Slam. Hillmann is a Union Construction Laborer and a bull-runner in Spain. In the not so distant past, Hillmann was a feared street brawler, gang affiliate, drug dealer, convict, and Chicago Golden Glove Champion.
In Dogs in the Cathedral drug mule Nelson Munroe carries a shipment he should have never agreed to take. Swinging between paranoia and desperation he convinces himself that completing the delivery circuit will provide redemption and the possibility of a new start for his stalled life. How could he know what awaits him once he hits his destination? A pack of dogs, a man burrowed in a hole, a destitute and luckless rock duo, a captain of an ore barge, a faded beauty, a queen of the dispossessed and his lost connection are just some of the characters that populate this rich and picaresque novel.
Dave Megenhardt is a co-editor of The Great Lakes Review and the founder of the spoken word troupe Toad Theater. He works in Cleveland as the Executive Director of United Labor Agency, a non-profit organization dedicated to fighting economic and social inequities.