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Poetry with a Pulse


Wherever I’m At:

An Anthology

of Chicago Poetry


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 showcases Chicago’s culture, beauty, scars, joints, and landmarks. Its glory. Its sadness. In a word: life. 

The book features outstanding work by more than 150 poets and artists, who offer a range of styles that mirror Chicago’s varied and nuanced character. Every poet and artist boasts strong Chicago ties.


This anthology also showcases the incredible visuals of an equally talented group of Chicago artists, whose work amplifies the poetic musings throughout.

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.

Order your copy here

The array of voices includes: 

Elizabeth Alexander

Tara Betts

Marianne Boruch

Emily Thornton Calvo

Maxine Chernoff

Sandra Cisneros

Rachel DeWoskin

Stuart Dybek

Edward Hirsch

Angela Jackson

Tyehimba Jess

Li-Young Lee

Haki R. Madhubuti

Campbell McGrath

Elise Paschen

Sterling Plumpp

Ed Roberson

Luis J. Rodriguez

Patricia Smith

Marc Kelly Smith

Luis Alberto Urrea

                 ...and many more


Best Reviews Ever

In a school: "This was really good. I brought my phone in here thinking I'd use it the whole time, but I didn't look at it once!"    - Jason, High School Student

In a bookstore:"...sadly, poetry events are often our least well-attended. So, you can imagine my delight and surprise when our reading with Emily Calvo and Andy Karol drew a crowd of more than forty people! Their work deserves audiences of this size and even larger. Every one of us was enthralled by their multimedia presentation, featuring both visual and musical accompaniment. Crackling with energy, their deeply personal writing combined with their stage presence is fiercely engaging."

      — Sarah Hollenbeck,

                Co-owner Women & Children First

In a library:  Calvo’s poems and paintings span from topics deeply personal and profound to ones light and humorous, moving seamlessly from smiling, frivolous observation, to wincing memories of family and painful personal crises.  Her first poem, for example, is called “Hunting Down Dinner on Highway 13,” a light-hearted recollection of dinner at a Missouri café called the Beefmaster.  After speculating cheerfully that the restaurant’s patriarch—presumably the Beefmaster himself—has “a past as checkered as the tablecloths,” she turns her eye on the rest of the diner’s supporting cast: Mrs. Beefmaster, Junior Beefmaster, and the ever-attendant swarms of flies making the rounds of the tables.  Ever insightful and good-natured, Calvo’s eye transforms a decidedly prosaic event and setting into an engaging character study and contemplation on the universal experience—part awkwardness and part adventure, part drudgery and part curiosity—of traveling the countryside.   --2017


Wherever I'm at

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.

WBEZ Chicago (NPR): 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.

Third Coast Review: Myriad Chicagos, Wherever I’m At: An Anthology of Chicago Poetry, reviewed by Patrick T. Reardon. Read More

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

Wednesday Journal (Oak Park, IL): 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


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