Loyola University Chicago

Midwest Modern Language Association

Previous Winners

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.
Donald G. Evans is the author of the novel Good Money After Bad and the short story collection An Off-White Christmas. He is editor of two anthologies, one of Chicago Cubs literature and the most recent of contemporary Chicago poetry. His reviews and features often appear in Newcity and other publications. He is the Founding Executive Director of the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame.
Carlo Rotella is a journalist, scholar, and author of The World is Always Coming to an End: Pulling Together and Apart in a Chicago Neighborhood.
MMLA ConventionPublication CategoryScholar(s)Title of Award-Winning Book
2022 Creative Eds. Donald G. Evans and Robin Metz, with a Foreword by Carlo Rotella Wherever I'm At: An Anthology of Chicago Poetry
2021 Scholarly  Leah Milne, the University of Indianapolis Novel Subjects: Authorship as Radical Self-Care in Multiethnic American Narratives
2019 Scholarly  Derrick Spires, Cornell University The Practice of Citizenship: Black Politics and Print Culture in the Early United States