Sherwin Beach Press $144 a Month

Searching For Morris Fuller Benton
Poisonous Plants at Table
Saving His Life
Innocents Abroad
The Essence of Beeing
Ballet for Opening Day
$144 a Month
Within the Context of No Context
Sherwin Beach Press

Life in the Safety Net

by Steve Bogira, with photographs by Mike Tappin

$144 a Month—written in 1983, and first published in the Chicago Reader—is the story of people living, or trying to live, on General Assistance, a now-discontinued Illinois program that was the last resort of those who did not qualify for other more ‘generous’ forms of welfare. Each person developed a personal strategy to circumvent the system and get by on the state allotment of $144 a month. Many turned to Marillac House, a settlement house on the West Side of Chicago, for emergency food and clothing. Author Bogira does a remarkable job of getting his subjects to tell their own stories. The book also contains four portraits by photographer Mike Tappin. The pictures reinforce the sense of dignity felt in the subjects’ words.

Selected as one of 48 books exhibited in ‘Dressing the Text’ at the Art Museum of Santa Cruz County. Also selected as one of 44 books exhibited in the book design section of Felice Feliciano in Verona, Italy.

The book was designed by Bob McCamant, hand set in Century Expanded by Jennifer Hughes and printed on Johannot by Jennifer Hughes and Martha Chiplis. The photographs were printed in duotone lithography by Rohner Printing of Chicago. Trisha Hammer's non-adhesive binding uses paper by Timothy Barrett. 24 pages, 12 1/2 x 9 1/4 inches. Published in 1993.


For any copies purchased directly from the publisher, a donation of $100 will be made to Marillac House.

© Copyright 2007 Sherwin Beach Press.