What is the #Midwessay? What is the Midwest? What are the characteristics, if any, of the #Midwessay (the Midwest essay)? What gathers us together? What pulls us apart? Springing from a twitter conversation, we started asking writers and readers what they imagine (or would like to reimagine) as the Midwest and the Midwessay. The #Midwessay is a series of reports from the Midwest (whatever that is) by and/or about Midwestern essay and essayists (whatever those are). Essay Daily will be publishing these, sorted (loosely) by state, in February 2021 and beyond. These #Midwessays will be collected here and on a separate site at a later date. If you'd like to submit a report / essay, send it our way. Details and coordinators for each state are listed here. You can also ping Ander (link at the upper right) if we don't list a coordinator yet for your state. —The Editors
In general I have found, the people who resent the painting are those who feel that they themselves resemble the portrayal. —Grant Wood, commenting on the reception of his painting.
The Midwest was reduced to a space to facilitate commerce through the arbitrary dispensation of forty-acre plots. The grid system through which its cities were designed represent a distillation of this idea. Midwestern writers are always trying to navigate the hypocrisies of the capitalist space by trying to create a place out of it. I believe it’s why most Midwestern writers use the realist mode since the reproduction of the space is necessary to find the place within.