Rust Belt Journalism

Belt Canoedling-Ad (3)

[Note: Don’t try to “Click here for info” above—it doesn’t work. If you want to click it, go to To order, go to,, or other online booksellers.]

Not long ago, in a nostalgic return to the town where I was reared—Cleveland, Ohio—I discovered a new jewel in its crown: Belt Magazine (online-only) (, which publishes independent journalism about the Rust Belt. I was impressed, and its potential readership seemed to fit my newest novel, Canoedling in Cleveland, so I put an ad in it for September.

“Rust Belt” refers to the region in the Northeast and Midwest that is slowly recovering from a steep decline in manufacturing—especially of automobile-related products and steel.

The magazine was founded in September 2013 by Editor-in-chief Anne Trubek, a former tenured professor and current writer-in-residence at Oberlin College. It focuses on longform journalism—articles, op-eds, and first person essays of interest to the Rust Belt and beyond.  In 2012, Ms. Trubek also founded Belt Publishing, which puts out annual anthologies on Cleveland, Detroit, and Cincinnati.

Recent Belt Magazine articles include “Rust Belt Recovery: The Story of Addiction and Rehab in Cleveland,” “Next Year in Tremont?: Cleveland’s Jews and the East/West Divide,” “Ferguson: The black iron fences of St. Louis,” “The Surprising Past and Bright Future of Singing Societies,” “The Death of a Detroit Cabbie,” “Is There a Better Way to Save Historic Buildings?” “Midwest Lit: the new nostalgia” . . .

Belt Magazine is just one good thing going on in Cleveland—besides The Cleveland Orchestra, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals, sports (Indians, Browns, Cavaliers, LeBron James, Gladiators),  a lake dotted with yachts and sailboats, the wonderful Cleveland Metroparks and Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Key Tower, the Burning River Fest, and a slew of fine universities, which now includes Happy Dog University (“Local profs giving cool talks on their expertise. In a bar.”)! Check that out.

[I don’t mean to indicate any favoritism toward my old home town, and know there are lots of great attractions in your town, and in my city for the past thirty years—Washington, D.C.—but be assured, good things are happening in Cleveland.]

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4 Responses to Rust Belt Journalism

  1. jujy54 says:

    One quibble. Every Clevelander knows our crown jewel is the Cleveland Orchestra (abbr TCO in musical circles), not “Cleveland Symphony”. Let others modify with symphony or philharmonic, our orchestra—and the Minnesota—are straight-no-chaser [i]orchestras[/i]. I won’t even get into speculating on the how and why Cleveland Clinic jettisoned the definite article, perhaps in a massive modifier swap with the newly definitized The Ohio State University, for which some consultants somewhere got cry-to-the-bank money. No, I won’t.

    And yes, Rust Mag is the shizz.

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