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Blogs & Interviews


Playtime Playcast with William C. Turck, January 31, 2022

In this in-depth podcast interview with Bill Turck, Shawn Shiflett discusses the body of his work both in fiction and nonfiction that often centers on the themes of race and cultural conflicts.


Interview with Shawn Shiflett by Jessica Mack for the Chicago Writers Association 'Behind the Pen' series.


Playtime with Bill Turck and Kerri Kendall on 1550 WCGO Evanston, IL December 02, 2018

“Shawn Shiflett is a Chicago author.  His book Hey, Liberal! is an autobiographical novel of thirteen year old Simon, thrown into the stark  street  level realities of social and racial upheavals in the 1960’s."  – Bill Turck.

Interview starts 33.35 mins in.


Shiflett's story of racially-torn Chicago in 1969

Thank you to Kevin Nance at the Chicago Tribune for our discussion about Hey, Liberal!, November 22, 2016


In the first half, Shiflett discusses the challenges of humanizing evil characters, writing realistic dialogue, and how being a natural mimic helps him create authentic-sounding voices. In the second half, Barbara DeMarco-Barrett talks to Jim Fusilli, editor of, and contributor to Crime Plus Music. Link to recording below.

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Hey, Liberal! Is A Timely Look Back At Chicago's Civil Rights Era, September 2, 2016

"When it comes to the subject of race relations in America, our common enemy is silence."

Shiflett discusses this, and more, in his blog interview with Lauren Stacks at Chicago Review of Books. 


Link to article below.

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"Had you tried to hurry...[Hey, Liberal!] out, Shawn, when you were in your twenties, it would not have been the powerful book [it is] today... I think there are lots of things in this book that echo loudly in contemporary Chicago, as messy and sad as that is." Rick Kogan. 


Interview with Michael James from Live From The Heartlands, September 10, 2022

Michael James interviews Shawn Shiflett about the inspiration for his two novels, his oral storytellings, tips when teaching creative writing, and also a discussion about Shawn's new project, oral histories about Race in America.

Interview starts 26.33 minutes into the podcast.


Ensemble: An Oral History of Chicago Theater

Mark Larson interviewed both Shawn and his father, Reverend James Shiflett, as part of his research for Ensemble: An Oral History of Chicago Theater (2019, Agate Midway). The Body Politic Theater was run by Reverend James Shiflett during Shawn's youth and was the inspiration for the theatre of the same name in his subsequence novel, Hey, Liberal!

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Q and A between Christine Sneed and Shawn Shiflett, November 19, 2018

A conversation with author Christine Sneed about Hey, Liberal!


The Pen Isn't Mightier Than The Sword, But It Very Much Matters, November 11, 2016

Shiflett is honored to have contributed to Rick Kogan's discussion in the Chicago Tribune about the tough subject of violence in our society and its relationship to literature.


Link to full article below.

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Hey, Liberal Gives A White Perspective On Integration, October 26, 2016

Mary Mitchell's thoughtful article in the Chicago Sun Times about Hey, Liberal! and integration. 

"At a time when Donald Trump is stoking distrust among the races, and the Black Lives Matter movement is challenging police departments over police shootings of black people, “Hey, Liberal!” might be dismissed as a frivolous tome. It isn’t. This novel tells a piece of our racial history that must be included as part of the conversation if we are to heal our wounds."

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Shawn Shiflett: Why I Wrote Hey, Liberal! August 30, 2016

Shiflett's essay explaining why he wrote Hey, Liberal! for the Chicago Review Press blog.

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