How does the city tell time? Stop time? Save time? Lose time?
Keep time by the ticktock of an urban clock?  

The city out of time is a city where bridges fall and waters rise, where change is too late and never enough, where weather is breaking and transit is failing, where tent cities proliferate and mental health resources dissipate, where shop windows are boarded and the sidewalks are deserted, where leaders disinvest in community and reinvest in violence, where our Citizen apps blow up as citizens give up.

But the city out of time is also a timebound city, where we memorialize the metropolis that used to be or dream the city as we hope it can become, where we miss the train but relish the walk, where we celebrate time passed and inaugurate times to come, where we locate what we love or jettison what we don’t, where time hurts but later heals, where we walk away or journey further in. The city out of time is the timeless city too, where we live in new time, or reinvent old time, where we break time, or hate time, or turn to art that makes us forget time, where airports and train stations abstract time, where global pandemics reframe time and new ways of working fracture time, where we attempt to keep time from fleeting and try to preserve time that’s already gone, where we fight for futures we’ll never see, and create new time on the ruins of what was, where time creeps slowly, or repeats too fast, or slips silently through the minutes, hours, and days until we flip the hourglass over again.

Slag Glass City, journal of the urban essay artswants to see your stories, speculations, lyrics, and reports of surprising and abiding urban connections/disconnections that mark time, miss time, and/or make time. WRITE US A CITY whose past looms over every corner, whose present proceeds without worrying what’s next, whose future will work to care for the people who live in time’s embrace.

Our 2023 editorial board will select an essay for publication in the online journal and consider the work for our miniature print editions. Slag Glass City publishes nonfiction prose, graphic memoir, video, soundscape, photography, mixed media, hybrid, and other forms of the essay arts. (We don’t publish poetry or fiction.)

Slag Glass City is a part of the DePaul Publishing Institute, located in the Department of English and MFA/MA in Writing and Publishing Program. DePaul University is a nonprofit Vincentian institution with service to the city as a part of its mission. Our online and print publications are free of charge and distributed widely. We are unable to pay contributors, but artists retain all rights, we promote widely, and all work published stays “in-print” online. 

The special call for submissions OPENS on March 17th, 2023.


For GENERAL SUBMISSIONS (October through May) Submit to the City at:

Header Image by: ☻☺
Image of Floating Cages by Mertie.