Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Being and Homelessness: Notes from an Underground Artist” as Want to Read:
Being and Homelessness: Notes from an Underground Artist
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Being and Homelessness: Notes from an Underground Artist

by
3.96  ·  Rating Details  ·  27 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
John Sibley was a homeless artist living in winter on the streets of Chicago for six months. The terrain is Chicago's Loop, Near Westside and the now abolished Maxwell Street open-air-market between 1989 and 2005. His aim in these philosophical essays is to shed light on a growing global problem. "Being and Homelessness" is not as much concerned with the cause but the wret ...more
Paperback, First, 246 pages
Published January 4th 2012 by WordsworthGreenwich Press
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Being and Homelessness, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Being and Homelessness

The Ecological Rift by John Bellamy Foster1984 by George OrwellBury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee BrownThis Changes Everything by Naomi KleinTo Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Human Rights
73rd out of 302 books — 247 voters
Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich1984 by George OrwellA Walk in the Woods by Bill BrysonA Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill BrysonThe Constitution of the United States of America by Founding Fathers
President Obama's Summer Reading List
36th out of 282 books — 158 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 922)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
David Lentz
Mar 01, 2012 David Lentz rated it it was amazing
This courageous and inspiring work of non-fiction by artist, John Sibley, gives a human face to those who live underground among America's homeless. "Being and Homelessness" dives deep into the existential nightmare of having no place to call home while the Arctic wind, known as The Hawk, blows off the lake into Chicago. This book is philosophically wise and challenges us to take better care of those who live in our society with intellectual capital to offer like artists and writers. Among all t ...more
Jesse Hanson
Feb 28, 2012 Jesse Hanson rated it really liked it
A Multi-faceted Look at the Life of an Underground Artist

John H. Sibley's new literary work, Being and Homelessness: Notes from an Underground Artist, is an important and welcome contribution, arriving as it does, at a time when the scene of the art world is mostly cordoned off to all but the privileged elect. From my nosebleed seat in the bloody colosseum of the arts—being an underground artist myself—I often found myself cheering along as John attacked the giants, demons and all fierce bastio
...more
John Doe
Feb 16, 2012 John Doe rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
I saw a priest on the Tavis Smiley show, and he was arguing that the church should be like the book of Acts, believers going out into the world, speaking the truth, getting arrested. What the priest was doing was calling into question people who attend Sunday services and primarily receive religious entertainment. Similarly, Sibley questions the passive "emotionalism" of the contemporary church in addressing deep injustices and poverty.

What do communities of faith have to offer the homeless besi
...more
Jason Pettus
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

If John Sibley's name sounds familiar, it's because he's the author of the over-the-top urban post-apocalyptic actioner i>Bodyslick, which I named a top Guilty Pleasure here in 2011; but it turns out that Sibley himself has had an even more sobering and fascinating life out in the real world, becoming h
...more
Stephen
Mar 14, 2012 Stephen rated it really liked it
I received this book from the author for a review. I had previously read his fiction work and was very interested in an opportunity to read his non-fiction.

John Sibley is an intelligent man, an artist and philosopher who has experienced life through many lenses and filters. He has seen the highs and the lows. The lowest point, which is the focus of most of this book, saw Mr. Sibley become homeless.

'Being and Homelessness' is a series of essays that discuss a myriad of social issues (from poverty
...more
Mysterium
May 07, 2012 Mysterium rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone with a heart for social justice
Recommended to Mysterium by: The Author
Insomnia and I have a very sick relationship. I damn and curse it for making me feel like I am wandering around in an altered state of unrest. I secretly invite it into my bed chamber as it gives me a peaceful respite from the world and my mind to sit and become absorbed into awesome books. After a restless night a few missed slumbers ago, I had my heart touched by John Sibley's amazing book, Being and Homelessness.

Wow!! This book is deeply profound. John is one of those rare souls that one is l
...more
Dani Chakra
*I received a free copy of this book through the GoodReads First Reads Giveaway.

This array of essays from John H. Sibley shows a different side of Chicago. It's a side not everyone has seen, a side not everyone wants to be privy to. But it exists. The author's time living on the streets as a homeless artist offered him a new perspective from which to view the world.
"I looked at them with indifference as they gazed at me. I had seen so much violence in this subterranean hell that I was numb. Ane
...more
Della S.white
Dec 17, 2012 Della S.white rated it really liked it
Sibley addresses the issue of homelessness from an intellectual standpoint in a brutally honest way. I should mention he studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, he’s a painter, and he wrote the science fiction novel Bodyslick. His love of art, literature, and music shine through at various points in the book. It’d be easy to talk about his beautiful chapter on Maxwell Street in Chicago, or the insightful and timely chapter on Obama’s 2012 dilemma. I feel that John Sibley's "Being ...more
Lisa
Jan 29, 2012 Lisa rated it really liked it
I feel that John Sibley's "Being and Homelessness – Notes From An Underground Artist" is an important read. What I enjoyed about his book is that it wasn’t what I expected thus forcing me to reexamine my perceptions and images of who the homeless are. An artist and writer, John Sibley unexpectedly found himself homeless in the late 1970’s.

Despite what you think, this book is not about John Sibley’s journey in, through, and out of homelessness. While I would have liked to hear how he managed to
...more
Emma Stephens
Jun 04, 2012 Emma Stephens rated it it was amazing
It was impressed upon me in childhood that homeless people choose that path, either because they don’t want to work or are otherwise rebelling against society. Of course, now I understand about mental illness, addiction, and other contributing factors, but it never occurred to me until after I read John H. Sibley’s incredible story that ending up on the street could have easily happened to me or you or anyone dealt a crummy hand in life. Many of us would not overcome such an ordeal as he painted ...more
Georgia
May 20, 2015 Georgia rated it really liked it
Being and Homelessness - Notes From An Underground Artist, John H Sibley's discussion of homelessness in Chicago, doesn't take the more usual voice of the victim listing the reasons why he found himself living on the Chicago streets. Despite his extended time existing on the street, there is no victimization in his voice, no rage against the machine (readers familiar with Chicago understand 'machine' takes several meanings in this case) and he makes it clear he found no glamour in being homeless ...more
John Sibley
May 20, 2012 John Sibley rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I completed the first draft of Being and Homelessness at the Fox River Hotel in room 24 at 306 N.River Street,Aurora, Illinois on March 25,2010. It is a Hotel where Edgar Alan Poe would had felt at home.
Beacon-News. January 6 ,2012 1:08 pm
"Hesed House experience contributes to writer's being"

http:// beaconnews.suntimes.com/.../twice-hom...
Keeley
Jul 13, 2014 Keeley rated it really liked it
Got this in a first reads giveaway.
I feel like Mr. Sibley is really onto something in his seeming assertion that one cannot really examine his own existence until he is financially or emotionally destitute. In this book, the author becomes homeless and manages to survive, unlike so many others. He has a unique viewpoint that is not often heard from, and the ease with which he weaves the subjects of racism, poverty, isolation, philosophy, and even music, together is impressive. Some people crumbl
...more
Matt Brennan
Feb 09, 2012 Matt Brennan rated it really liked it
I met John Sibley on a cold winter day, right around the holidays, when we shared a table at McDonald’s to talk about his new book, Being and Homelessness. I wrote a story about his efforts and experiences for the local paper.

As John told me more about his homelessness experience, I looked outside and wondered what that would be like here in Aurora, and in nearby Chicago. Winter weather can be brutal on the walk from your car to the store. Now try and imagine living permanently in that environm
...more
Jude Arnold
Feb 29, 2012 Jude Arnold rated it really liked it
Thank Goddess, I’m not homeless anymore! I was from 1984 to 1999. And I certainly hope YOU are not ever homeless! John Sibley writes about the 6 months in which he was homeless in Chicago. John Sibley is an internationally acclaimed author and artist and is a substitute teacher. He studied at the School of Art Institute of Chicago and he served in the US Air Force in Vietnam as a security policemen.
As an online friend, I wrote a review of John Sibley’s first book, BodySlick. It is a fast paced,
...more
Ceyda Nielsen
Ceyda Nielsen marked it as to-read
May 24, 2016
Saoirse
Saoirse marked it as to-read
May 13, 2016
Laurance
Laurance marked it as to-read
May 10, 2016
Sami Eerola
Sami Eerola marked it as to-read
May 03, 2016
Becca
Becca marked it as to-read
Apr 18, 2016
Monte
Monte marked it as to-read
Apr 13, 2016
Diana Nagy
Diana Nagy marked it as to-read
Apr 11, 2016
Jose
Jose marked it as to-read
Apr 10, 2016
Bartimus Maximus
Bartimus Maximus marked it as to-read
Apr 10, 2016
Beth
Beth marked it as to-read
Apr 03, 2016
Darlene Adams
Darlene Adams marked it as to-read
Mar 30, 2016
Matt L
Matt L marked it as to-read
Mar 28, 2016
Arjun Roy
Arjun Roy rated it really liked it
Mar 18, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 30 31 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Living in Sin?: A Bishop Rethinks Human Sexuality
  • Sunrise Over Disney
  • Rediscovery of North America
  • White Girl Bleed a Lot: The Return of Racial Violence to America and How the Media Ignore It
  • Neopagan Rites: A Guide to Creating Public Rituals That Work
  • Bullheaded Black Remembers Alexander: The Story of Alexander the Great's Invasion of the Middle East
  • Bad Cop: New York's Least Likely Police Officer Tells All
  • Your Mythic Journey: Finding Meaning in Your Life Through Writing and Storytelling
  • Watersheds of World History
  • Escaping from Reality Without Really Trying: 40 Years of High Seas Travels and Lowbrow Tales
  • It's Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health (The Family Library)
  • Do Tampons Take Your Virginity?: A Catholic Girl's Memoir
  • God Explained in a Taxi Ride
  • Hard Time: Banged Up Abroad Raving Arizona
  • When the Trees Say Nothing: Writings on Nature
  • Rise Up Singing: The Group Singing Songbook
  • The Character
  • Door Wide Open: A Beat Love Affair in Letters, 1957-1958
1866536
John H. Sibley is a accomplished artist/author. Art and music have always been a part of his life. He grew up in a Chicago household listening to his father play the Boogie Woogie on his Steinway Grand Piano. His father was offered a gig with the Count Basie Band but he opted to marry and raise a family. John credits his cousin Levi, who is now blind,for mentoring
him in art.
His sci-fi novel BOD
...more
More about John H. Sibley...

Share This Book