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Being and Homelessness: Notes from an Underground Artist

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
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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
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
Jason Pettus
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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"

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
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
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,
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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 about John H. Sibley...

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