© After Hours Press 2022, Elmwood Park, IL
Wherever I’m At: An Anthology of Chicago Poetry, launched Monday, June 13, 2022, is a definitive collection of poetry from living Chicago poets. It is the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame’s first major publication, a project done in partnership with After Hours Press and Third World Press.
Chicago’s history vibrates through these pages. Chicago’s culture. Chicago’s beauty and its scars. Chicago’s landmarks and joints. Chicago in all its glory, Chicago in all its sadness. In a word: life. Chicago life.
These pages feature outstanding work produced by more than 160 poets and artists, with a range of style and complexity that mirrors Chicago’s varied and nuanced character. Every poet and artist boasts strong Chicago ties, though many passed through here, or left for other opportunities, or settled here later in life. A dazzling array of voices representing many generations of Chicagoans grace these pages, including essential poets like Li-Young Lee, Elizabeth Alexander, Stuart Dybek, Angela Jackson, Tyehimba Jess, Sandra Cisneros, Campbell McGrath, Maxine Chernoff, Patricia Smith, Edward Hirsch, Kathleen Rooney, Luis Alberto Urrea, Emily Jungmin Yoon, Luis J. Rodriguez, Elise Paschen, Sterling Plumpp, Marianne Boruch, Haki R. Madhubuti, Rachel DeWoskin, Ed Roberson, Tara Betts, Reginald Gibbons….the list is exhaustive, deliberately so. This anthology also showcases the incredible visuals of an equally talented group of Chicago artists, whose work amplifies the poetic musings throughout.
Taken together, the poems and artwork tell a story of Chicago not found in the guidebooks. Through anthems and haikus, landscapes and urban installments, odes and sonnets, stills and collages, Chicago comes at us in all forms, and with dramatic shades of color and light. Reading this anthology will erase any doubt that Chicago belongs in the top tier of literary cities, and in the top tier of cities, period.
From the Foreword
by scholar and author Carlo Rotella
“We can plot the poems, and the Chicago-shaped rush of insight and feeling each inspires, on the map of the city. There's an Ashland and Throop poem, a Jackson and State poem, a poem about a young daredevil climbing a railroad bridge over the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, several Lake Michigan poems, a poem about the open-air gallery of DIY art incised in stone up and down the lakefront, at least one poem about Midwestern resentment and envy of coastal cosmopolitanism, many poems about the old neighborhood and the new neighborhood and how one became the other. And there are at least two railroad viaducts represented here. Any anthology of Chicago poetry should have viaducts, those everyday displacement-portals through which you pass to find the light, the world, and perhaps yourself just a little different on the other side.”
$25.00 plus shipping and handling
(published in partnership with the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame), $25.00
, by Larry Janowski, $15.00
the selected poems of Mary Blinn, $15.00
, essays by students of Norbert Blei and their experience of his class at The Clearing Folk School, $15.00
One Year, $17.00
Cover image, "Chicago Moth," by Tony Fitzpatrick