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Wherever I’m At: An Anthology of Chicago Poetry
Wherever I’m At: An Anthology of Chicago Poetry

Wherever I’m At: An Anthology of Chicago Poetry, Chicago Literary Hall of Fame’s first major publication!

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Purchase the Poetry Anthology link

Chicago Moth, cover art, by Tony Fitzpatrick

Chicago Moth, cover art, Tony Fitzpatrick 

Anthology Wins Best Book Award

The Midwest Modern Language Association has selected Wherever I’m at: An Anthology of Chicago Poetry for its prestigious 2022 Book of the Year prize:

“The MMLA would like to congratulate the 2022 Book Award winner, Donald G. Evans, the Founding Executive Director of the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame. Evans’s book, Wherever I’m At: An Anthology of Chicago Poetry, is the culmination of the project begun by the late poet-editor-teacher Robin Metz formerly of Knox College and includes a Foreword by Carlo Rotello. Wherever I’m At features the work of a widely diverse list of over 160 poets and artists, all living and all with strong ties to Chicagoland. The city is identifiable in every poem and piece of art in this definitive collection. The poems, individually, achieve excellence, but it is the sum of these parts that make the book extraordinary. This is a story of Chicago told in a way that has rarely, if ever, been done.

“The sheer magnitude and variety of talent represented in Wherever I’m At makes it a notable book. The relationship between poets and poems makes it an important book. This anthology’s design allows this large group of artists to explore a single city, a city ingrained, through experience, in their poetic conscience. Over the course of the book, readers move, with the poets and artists, through many neighborhoods, travel to legendary (sometimes lost) establishments, pop into the great cultural institutions, dive into historical moments, even ride the famous Ferris Wheel. What might seem at first a scattering of Chicago-ness coalesces into a story of a city that is different things to different people, with interests and ideas that sometime overlap and sometimes diverge, but always come from a place of deep love.”

Read the full piece.

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.”


We Are Here to Stay, Alma Domínguez

We Are Here to Stay, Alma Domínguez

The Poets

Elizabeth Alexander (Blues)

Jeffery Renard Allen (Hush Arbor)

Arthur Ade Amaker (Clive Jackson –What it is about Chicago)

Michael Anania (Steal Away)

Rey Andújar (Musa Paradisiaca (Avondale by the River))

Eduardo Arocho (Rainbow Shoes)

Beatriz Badikian-Gartler (How to make a fire (a sonnet))

Kay Ulanday Barrett (Albany Park/Logan Square 1993–2000, Chicago, IL)

Virginia Bell (The Father)

Monica Berlin (Triple Elegy)

Tara Betts (Donny & Minnie on the 72 Bus)

Marianne Boruch (Once At Berghoff’s)

Daniel Borzutzky (Lake Michigan, Scene 0)

Jan Bottiglieri (Inauguration Day, 2009)

Rosellen Brown (Lake Loving)

Emily Thornton Calvo (My Chicago)

Ana Castillo (Chi-Town Born and Bred, Twentieth Century Girl Propelled With Flare into the Third Millennium (c.1999))

Grady Chambers (Infinite Jest)

Maxine Chernoff (Again)

Bob Chicoine (The Quincy Stop)

Sandra Cisneros (Good Hotdogs)

Marta Collazo (Cullom Street)

Kristiana Rae Colón (where fun comes to die)

Nina Corwin (Whose Law?)

Vida Cross (Bronzeville at Night)

Carlos Cumpián (La Decima Musa)

Averill Curdy (In The Beginning)

Albert DeGenova (The Bus Stop)

Rachel DeWoskin (chance, chicago)

Joanne Diaz (A Thousand Flowers)

Stuart Dybek (Daredevil)

Olivia Maciel Edelman (Dear Lisi:)

Kelly Norman Ellis (Saturday Class: The Rat)

Elaine Equi (Ode to Chicago)

Calvin Forbes (State Street That Great Street)

Vincent Francone (Ashland Avenue)

Krista Franklin (In a condo on the southside of Chicago)

Naoko Fujimoto (Lake Michigan)

Cynthia Gallaher (Making Books at Hull House)

Rachel Galvin (Here in Chicago)

Edgar Garcia (The Planetarium)

Reginald Gibbons (Mekong Restaurant, 1986)

Regie Gibson (It’s A Teenage Thang)

Barry Gifford (The Season of Truth)

Juana Iris Goergen (Reconquest) Translated by Silvia Tandeciarz 

Chris Solis Green (In The Blue Stairwell)

John Guzlowski (Looking for Work in Chicago)

Susan Hahn (Anna of Devon Avenue)

Duriel E. Harris (A Secret, Fatal Line)

Janet Ruth Heller (At Miller’s Pub)

Aleksandar Hemon (International Experience)

Edward Hirsch (I Missed The Demonstration)

Paul Hoover (The Angel Guardian Orphanage Florist)

Luisa A. Igloria (Dear Epictetus, this is to you attributed:)

Angela Jackson (Summer and the City)

Kara Jackson (walking down milwaukee avenue)

Raych Jackson (Sunrise)

Larry Janowski (Brotherkeeper)

Jac Jemc (Dermestidae)

Philip Jenks (Dear Chicago–)

Tyehimba Jess (Long Live the Checkerboard Lounge)

Richard Jones (Walking the Dog)

Mohja Kahf (I Cried for You in Chicago)

Peter Kahn (Upstairs at Ronny’s Steakhouse)

Lasana D. Kazembe (Chicago)

Mary Kinzie (The Mary Chapel)

Aviya Kushner (Night On Wellington Avenue, Chicago)

Quraysh Ali Lansana (conundrum)

Li-Young Lee (The Cleaving)

Viola Lee (Wild Abandon)

Haki R. Madhubuti (Chicago Is Illinois Country)

Tom Mandel (Remedial Memorabilia)

Maya Marshall (Montrose Beach, Before the Funeral)

Paul Martínez Pompa (How to Hear Chicago)

Marty McConnell (the fidelity of disagreement)

Daniel McGee (55th St. Underpass)

Campbell McGrath (The Sun)

James McManus (Smash and Scatteration)

Patricia McMillen (Yang)

Robin Metz (Midtown Lowdown)

Gwendolyn A. Mitchell (Remaking Maps in Chicago)

Faisal Mohyuddin (Ella Fitzgerald, Entering Chicago by Train Remembers Her Mother’s Voice

Simone Muench (Dear Chicago–)

Dipika Mukherjee (Printers Row, Chicago)

Julie Parson Nesbitt (Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier)

Aimee Nezhukumatathil (When I Am Six)

Yolanda Nieves (Remembering the Division Street Riots)

Raúl Niño (February on Eighteenth Street)

Ugochi Nwaogwugwu (Lost and Found (The Soul of this Town)

Achy Obejas (On The Shores of Lake Michigan)

Dwight Okita (Notes For A Poem On Being Asian American)

José Olivarez (wherever i’m at that land is Chicago)

Elise Paschen (Kitihawa)

Coya Paz (list of wishes, first thing in the morning)

Useni Eugene Perkins (Bronzeville Poet)

Sterling Plumpp (Language)

C. Russell Price (Gay $)

Christina Pugh (Windy City)

Mike Puican (Tequila and Steve)

Ruben Quesada (When Winter Comes, 2030)

Ed Roberson (What Are We Drinking Here)

Luis J. Rodriguez (A Hungry Song in the Shadows)

Vincent Romero (A Chicago Street)

Kathleen Rooney (Pastoral)

Charles Rossiter (Memorial Day)

Jerome Sala (Hercules vs. the Tyrants of Babylon)

cin salach (construction)

Sara Salgado (The Last Poem About My Neighborhood)

Maureen Seaton (Woman Circling Lake)

Sun Yung Shin (Abracadabra, or A Spell for The Disappearance of Chicago’s 한인마을)

Barry Silesky (Tree of Heaven)

Marc Kelly Smith (Sandburg to Smith)

Patricia Smith (The West Side)

Jennifer Steele (In Search of Butterflies)

Heidy Steidlmayer (Two Women in a Revolving Door at Water Tower)

Ira Sukrungruang (There Is Nothing Else to Talk About)

Marvin Tate (Memories of a Dance Floor)

Robbie Q. Telfer (Chicago Wilderness)

Angela Narciso Torres (September, Chicago)

Tony Trigilio (In the Intersection, Jackson and State)

David Trinidad (Tiny Moon Notebook)

Mark Turcotte (Hawk Hour)

Luis Alberto Urrea (The Signal-to-Noise Ratio: Chicago Haiku)

Frank Varela (The Raccoons of Humboldt Park)

Johanny Vázquez Paz (A World of Our Own)

Michael Warr (Hallucinating at the Velvet Lounge)

Rachel Jamison Webster (Our Lady of The Underpass)

Phillip B. Williams (Homan and Chicago Ave.)

Keith S.Wilson (53rd street)

Rose Maria Woodson (Lawndale)

Emily Jungmin Yoon (Field)

avery r. young (base(d)on a prompt from Phillip B. Williams)

Reggie Scott Young (Crime in Bluesville)

Susan Yount (Chicago 2004)


Carlo Rotella (Foreword)

Donald G. Evans (Introduction)

Wherever I’m At

Wherever I’m At: An Anthology of Chicago Poetry, launched on Monday, June 13, 2022, promises to be an important literary event in our city and beyond. It is the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame’s first major publication, a project done in collaboration with two of our city’s finest publishers, 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 150 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.

Events celebrating the book are announced on our home page.

Wherever I’m At: An Anthology of Chicago Poetry

$25, plus shipping and handling

Purchase the Poetry Anthology link


A Shared Oneness, Faisal Mohyuddin

A Shared Oneness, Faisal Mohyuddin

The Artists

René Arceo (La Búsqueda)

Vidura Jang Bahadur (untitled photo)

Rashayla Marie Brown (Chocolate City (Chicago: Johnson Publishing Co))

John Brzezinski (untitled photo)

Paul D’Amato (Open Pump, Pilsen 1993)

Nicolás de Jesús (En El Tren)

Alma Domínguez (We Are Here to Stay)

Terry Evans (Summer Bur Oak, Jackson Park)

Angela Davis Fegan (Letterpress posters at the Empty Bottle)

Tony Fitzpatrick, cover art (Chicago Moth)

P. Hertel (untitled photo)

Jayne Hileman (Beverly to Calumet markers, Calumet area map)

Priscilla Huang (Andersonville)

Tonika Lewis Johnson (6329 S. Paulina)

Laura Letinsky (Time’s Assignation)

Mary Livoni (Ashland #8)

Kerry James Marshall (untitled—policeman)

Faisal Mohyuddin (A Shared Oneness)

Xavier Nuez (Step Through the Light)

Mary Phelan (Catching The Sun)

Dmitry Samarov (Inside/Outside)

Leopold Segedin (Three Men with Microphone (c. 1945))

Diana Solís (Entrance to Central Barberia,18th and Laflin Street)

Frank Spidale (North Ave. Bridge)

Chuck Walker (Sunday at The Green Line)

Santiago Weksler (untitled photo)

Amanda Williams (Cadastral Shakings (Chicago v1, 2019))


Andersonville, Priscilla Huang

Andersonville, Priscilla Huang


Video by Ravensvoyage Productions

Thursday, November 24, 2022 — RHINO Poetry  RHINO Reviews — Wherever I’m At: An Anthology of Chicago Poetry  Reviewed by Susanna Lang.  “I should start by admitting that this anthology celebrates the city where I’ve lived for 45 years, and that I know many of the poets whose work has been included. So I may not be the most objective reviewer; but I read with the lens of discovering poems that translate the city I know more clearly than I can do myself—and also finding poems that reveal a city I don’t know despite my history.” Read more

Thursday, November 17, 2022 — LitReactor  A Poetry Roundup Both Raw and Alive by Ben Tanzer  “…a gorgeous monstrosity of Chicago love…” Read more

Thursday, September 15, 2022 — The Writer Shed A LITERARY HALL OF FAME  David W. Berner.  “Chicago has a Literary Hall of Fame. Why? What's its purpose? Why is this important? The founder of the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, Donald Evans has the answers to these questions and they are far deeper than simply honoring great writers.” Listen now

Thursday, September 1, 2022 — Cultural Daily John Brantingham Reviews Wherever I’m At: An Anthology of Chicago Poetry.  “…my guess is that anyone who has lived in a big city as I have will understand the complication of these poems and the beauty in them as well. This is an exceptional anthology, and not just for the residents of this one town.” Read more

Wednesday, August 31, 2022 — Hypertext Magazine  One Question: Donald G. Evans by Donald G. Evans. “The poems… excite me. They inspire me. They sometimes make me laugh. They give me new perspective and insight on a city that I’ve known since birth.” Read more

Friday, August 19, 2022 — Windy City Reviews  Book Review: Wherever I’m At: An Anthology of Chicago Poetry Reviewed by Gail Galvan. “Seeing and feeling the city of Chicago through the poet’s eyes is like touring across America on a bicycle rather than in a car.” Read more

July 2022 Issue — Booklist Review by Donna Seaman. “more than 150 living poets ‘with strong ties to Chicago’ present poems resplendently diverse in form, voice, and perspective about myriad aspects of ‘the beautiful cruel city’.” Read more

Tuesday, July 12, 2022 — Chicago’s Poetic History: Richard Guzman leads a panel discussion at the Chicago History Museum that ties history and verse found in a new, exciting anthology of Chicago poetry. Ticket info

Saturday, July 2, 2022 — Great Lakes Review: Review of “Wherever I’m At: An Anthology of Chicago Poetry” by Emily Updegraff.  …each poem serves as a point on a map of imagination, offering the reader a place alongside the poet from which to experience Chicago. Read more

Wednesday, June 29, 2022 — Playtime with WC Turck: Wherever I’m At: An Anthology of Chicago Poetry  Podcast hosted by WC Turck. We hear from Wherever I’m At editor Donald G. Evans, artist Mary Livoni and writer, filmmaker and educator Rey Andujar. Plus, featured Indie artists Crown Vic Royal and AJ Rosales. Listen now

Wherever I'm At book cover on display at The Book Table in Oak Park, IL

Photo by Al DeGenova

Saturday, June 25, 2022 — Poetry Spoken Here: Episode #194 Donald G. Evans and Al DeGenova on New Chicago Anthology WHEREVER I’M AT by Charlie Rossiter. Donald G. Evans and Al DeGenova join host Charlie Rossiter to talk about a new mega-anthology of Chicago poetry WHEREVER I’M AT: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CHICAGO POETRY. They discuss the book’s long gestation process, the list of contributors, and even read some selected works. Listen now

Wednesday, June 23, 2022 — Newcity Lit: My Kind of Town: A Review of “Wherever I’m At: An Anthology of Chicago Poetry” by Mary Wisniewski. The anthology is, in short, full of startling and various riches... Read more

Wednesday, June 15, 2022 — WBEZ Chicago: In the hands of these poets, Chicago is a collection of scintillating everyday moments by Elly Fishman. A blockbuster anthology, just out, gives a star turn to 134 living poets with deep ties to the city. Meet three standouts. Read more

Tuesday, June 14, 2022 — Wednesday Journal: Poems where you can find yourself by Michelle Dybal. Being whisked away on a journey through Chicago — its neighborhoods, its establishments, its parks and natural habitats, across time... Read more

Monday, June 13, 2022 — Third Coast Review: Myriad Chicagos, Wherever I’m At: An Anthology of Chicago Poetry, edited by Donald G. Evans and Robin Metz by Patrick T. Reardon. Read the review

Monday, June 13, 2022 — Official Launch Event: Wherever I’m At: An Anthology of Chicago Poetry at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts.

Monday, June 13, 2022 — Chicago Tribune: Chicago as a poem: The birthplace of slam poetry finally gets a contemporary anthology of poetry by Christopher Borrelli. Some days the hardest thing in the world is explaining Chicago to someone not from Chicago... Read more

Sunday, June 12, 2022 — Chicago Sun Times: A deathbed promise from one writer to another by Stefano Esposito. Donald Evans, who lives in Oak Park, promised his friend and fellow writer, Robin Metz, that he’d finish Metz’s Chicago poetry anthology. Read more

Saturday, June 11, 2022 — Classic Chicago Magazine: Read All About Us  Judy Carmack Bross says, “This vibrant anthology launches June 13 at the University of Chicago’s Logan Center, and with it the combined voices of 150 living Chicago poets, with several illustrations by local artists and photographers.” Read more

Thursday, June 9, 2022 — Another Chicago Magazine  “In Search of Butterflies” by Jennifer Steele, excerpted from Wherever I’m At: An Anthology of Chicago Poetry Read more

Monday, June 6, 2022 — WGN Radio: Remembering Both Chicago and Robin Metz Through Poetry  Author Don Evans joined Rick Kogan to discuss his new book, ‘Wherever I’m At: An Anthology of Chicago Poetry’ and its release on June 13th at the Logan Center for the Arts on University of Chicago campus. Don highlighted and honored the late poet Robin Metz who co-authored the anthology. Listen

Thursday, June 2, 2022 — Another Chicago Magazine  “Wild Abandon” by Viola Lee, excerpted from Wherever I’m At: An Anthology of Chicago Poetry Read more

Thursday, May 19, 2022 — Another Chicago Magazine  “Rainbow Shoes” by Eduardo Arocho, excerpted from Wherever I’m At: An Anthology of Chicago Poetry Read more

Wednesday, January 18, 2023 — Wherever I’m at: An Anthology of Chicago Poetry was nominated for the Reader’s poll: Best of Chicago under “best new poetry collection” in Arts and Culture.

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