Everything Must Go is an illustrated collection of poems in the spirit of a graphic novel, a collaboration between poet Kevin Coval and illustrator Langston Allston. The book celebrates Chicago’s Wicker Park in the late 1990’s, Coval’s home as a young artist, the ancestral neighborhood of his forebears, and a vibrant enclave populated by colorful characters. Allston’s illustrations honor the neighborhood as it once was, before gentrification remade it. The book excavates and mourns that which has been lost in transition and serves as a template for understanding the process of displacement and reinvention currently reshaping American cities.
“Chicago-based poet and educator Kevin Coval has one of the strongest and most long-standing literary visions in the city.”
“Kevin Coval made me understand what it is to be a poet, what it is to be an artist, and what it is to serve the people.”
—Chance the Rapper
“In Everything Must Go, Kevin Coval taps into nostalgia familiar as a former lover's cologne. Colorful characters come alive in his prose. They make you laugh and the documentation of a neighborhood undergoing gentrification makes you wince. This book is dope.”
—Natalie Moore, author of The South Side: A Portrait of Chicago and American Segregation
“Everything Must Go is a requiem, a novel in verse, a history of a neighborhood, and a city, that time has put through a fun-house mirror. It is powered by the love and friction of people building lives that fill out the shape of a neighborhood—and the loss they feel when the neighborhood's new shape no longer fits them. Whether or not you lived through the Wicker Park of the 1990s, Everything Must Go will have something to say to you, something to teach you, and something to make you remember.”
—Daniel Kay Hertz, author of The Battle of Lincoln Park: Urban Renewal and Gentrification in Chicago
“I'm reading these great poems right now. I made sure I find time to support artists that help other artists. Tumeric is good for your inflamation for your information. This book is great in detail about human life. It's very interesting to a human being with unlimited emotions. I recommend this book with Black Seed oil!”
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Everything Must Go, a new collaboration between poet Kevin Coval and illustrator Langston Allston, excavates and mourns that which has been lost in transition and serves as a template for understanding the process of displacement and reinvention currently reshaping American cities.