Blogs & Interviews
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!
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
August 29, 2016
"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.