The poetry anthology Wherever I’m At, published this year, features more than 100 writers with connections to Chicago. Touted as a definitive collection of living local poets, its pages contain odes to Humboldt Park, the Quincy “L” station, and the Smart Bar dance floor.
WBEZ invited seven poets to our studios to read their work from the anthology. Click any player to listen to the poems below. Since poetry is always evolving, some poems read aloud here may differ slightly from the printed versions in Wherever I’m At.
Johanny Vázquez Paz “A World of Our Own: to the people of Humboldt Park”Johanny Vázquez Paz is a retired Harold Washington College professor, whose publications include I Offer My Heart as a Target / Ofrezco mi corazón como una diana, Sagrada familia, Querido voyeur and Streetwise Poems / Poemas callejeros.
Bob Chicoine “The Quincy Stop”Bob Chicoine is the writer of such films as The Wrecking of Old Comiskey Park and Wrigley Field: Beyond the Ivy.
avery r. young “base(d) on a prompt from Phillip B. Williams: a poem written in de voice of a parent Bunk 1973-1994”
avery r. young is a co-director of the Floating Museum arts collective. His writing has appeared in The BreakBeat Poets, In the Company of Black, Poetry magazine and Teaching Black.
Naoko Fujimoto “Lake Michigan”Naoko Fujimoto is an editor for RHINO Poetry and the author of the poetry collections Glyph: Graphic Poetry=Trans. Sensory, Where I Was Born, and Mother Said, I Want Your Pain.
Raúl Niño “February on Eighteenth Street”Raúl Niño is the author of Still Life With Hands, A Book of Mornings and Breathing Light, and a regular reviewer for Booklist magazine.
Rachel DeWoskin “chance, chicago”
Rachel DeWoskin is an associate professor at the University of Chicago. She wrote the novels Banshee, Someday We Will Fly, Blind, Big Girl Small and Repeat After Me; the poetry collection Two Menus; and the memoir Foreign Babes in Beijing.
Marvin Tate “Memories of a Dance Floor: The Smart Bar 1987”
Marvin Tate is a multidisciplinary artist who has performed with Angel Bat Dawid, Circuit Des Yeux, Mike Reed’s Separatist Party, Theaster Gates’ Black Monks, Tim Kinsella and members of the jazz experimentalists the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians.