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EVE L. EW ING ON WRITING, ON LINEAGE, ON HOME. by JACQUI GER MAIN / Photography by ATTILIO D’AGOSTINO

Wearing thin circle-rimmed glasses, dark-brown curls pulled back into a ponytail and all smiles, a young Eve Ewing walked into a Chicago auditorium with her mother alongside her. She had recently won her middle school’s writing contest, and it was the night of the recognition ceremony. At the end of the evening, she left with her award and another unexpected item gifted to each of the awardees: “Very Young Poet,” a limited-edition writing primer written by Gwendolyn Brooks—a serendipitous memento foreshadowing the years to come. “Now, I cherish it,” says Ewing of the childhood keepsake, recalling the memory fondly. “I’m so glad I kept it all these years.” More than a decade later—and now sporting electricpurple curls—Ewing is a well-known multidisciplinary writer, visual artist and scholar with multiple degrees, including a Ph.D from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. In the last year alone, the Chicago native published her debut book, co-wrote a stage play recently featured in The New Yorker and contributed an essay for The

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Atlantic’s commemorative Dr. Martin Luther King special issue. More regularly, the established sneakerhead teaches at the University of Chicago, serves as the co-director of Chicago-based arts organization Crescendo Literary and organizes the Chicago Poetry Incubator’s annual multi-day retreat and festival. When asked about upcoming projects—a presumably short list given her current workload—Ewing sighs lightly, chuckles at the question’s unwitting query and begins listing off a number of other creative projects, forthcoming books and progress on her academic research. Busy is an understatement. Still, her nearly 150,000 Twitter followers likely know her best for her recently published and widely celebrated book, “Electric Arches.” The collection of poetry, prose and visual art uses science fiction and fantastical elements to explore “regular life stuff, and quotidian things that I try to make into magical things.” From well-known authors and novelists Roxane Gay and Kiese Laymon, to longtime feminist scholar bell hooks, readers around the country have been enthralled by Ewing’s otherworldly stories of space-traveling

ALIVE Magazine Issue 3 2018  
ALIVE Magazine Issue 3 2018  
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