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Al DeGenova

Al DeGenova
Al DeGenova

Al DeGenova is a poet, publisher, editor, journalist, copywriter, blues saxophonist, and family man. But don’t ever ask him to prioritize, because, as he puts it philosophically, “We are our sum total in every now of our lives.” DeGenova’s résumé has an unusually wide scope: contributing editor for down beat magazine; saxophonist with blues legends Lefty Dizz, Joe Kelley, and Valerie Wellington; editor of the Oyez Review; and soon-to-be MFA in Poetry from Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky.

DeGenova’s poetry has been published widely including such publications as the Café Review, the Paterson Literary Review, VIA (Voices of Italian-Americans), and the Oyez Review. He has been included in several anthologies and once was featured in the now defunct Chicago zine, U-Direct. DeGenova’s first chapbook, A Tender Spot, was published in 1992. His book, Back Beat, co-authored with Charles Rossiter, was published by Cross+Roads Press in 2001. DeGenova and Rossiter form the poetry performance duo Avant Retro and were asked by publisher Norb Blei to each trace their Beat influences through memoir and poetry for the book. On Back Beat, Lawrence Ferlinghetti wrote, “Back Beat beats everything for being beater than the Beats.”

Beyond his own poetry, however, DeGenova’s most significant contribution to the literary world of Chicago is his editing and publishing efforts for the magazine After Hours, a journal of Chicago writing and art. DeGenova launched After Hours in June of 2000 and has since published many of Chicago’s strongest literary voices.

The track below was recorded 15 May 2007 at Molly Malone's, Forest Park, Illinois, as part of the monthly Molly Malone's series:

After Neruda's Twenty Love Songs that are Fewer than Our Years Together
RealAudio | MPEG-4/AAC

The following tracks were recorded by DeGenova in autumn 2004:

To Jimmy Santiago Baca, In The House Tonight
On Memorial Day
Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans
The Kraftbrau Poetry Slam (Kalamazoo, Michigan)
On Coronado Beach (San Diego, CA, September 8, 2003)
The Blackberry Poems (“Feed Me” and “Not Blackberries”)
play all poems from the 2004 set in the order above

- December 2004
updated October 2008