Recent TallGrass Writers Guild Open Mics

 Since February, 2021, TallGrass Open Mics have featured award-winning talents including poets Cynthia Gallaher, Caroline Johnson, and Marjorie Skelly.

Visit this site often to stay current on TallGrass events. 

June 26, 2021 — Special Event: National PRIDE Month. Chicago Native Diane Williams holds a BA and MA from Columbia

College-Chicago in Writing and Literature, and a Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from Concordia University. Her extensive teaching experience of includes the College of Lake County as full-time faculty for 14 years. She has taught at these Chicago colleges; Columbia and Kendall, and National Louis University. Williams is a faculty member at Harold Washington  College; her 

poetry, essays, and dramas have been published in magazines and anthologies across the country, and her plays have been

performed on stages in Chicago and Off-Broadway in New York City. She was also the Featured Author at the 2019 Black History Month Program at Chicago’s Sulzer Regional Library.

January 23, 2021— East Coast author Patti Cavaliere has headlined TWG's Open Mic, and since 2003 her stories have been in literary and national publications such as Listen Magazine, Yankee Magazine, and the TallGrass Writer’s Guild’s annual Black and White Anthologies. Her story, "Three Horses," published in Pen Works, won First Place in the 2011 Trumbull Literary Arts Festival. Cavaliere has also won First Prize in the prestigious Writer’s Digest contest in 2012 for “Anonymous,” subsequently made into a short film and featured in the national Art of Recovery Film Festival. Her novel, Looking for Leo, is a women’s fiction title published three years ago that uses astrology as a premise for a woman’s journey to true love. Most recently her creative non-fiction, “A Peace-Keeping Mission,” about an online military scam, was a finalist in the Iowa Review.

December 19, 2020 — Well traveled Marcy Darin, Featured Author, presented her writings inspired by her recent trip to Alaska, not only including her observations, photos, and anecdotes about her journey, but about the many things Alaska taught

her. Included were her photos of breath-taking arctic landscapes accompanying her riveting talk about the region and

its immense influence on her writing.

Saturday, November, 21, 2020Yvonne Zipter of Chicago headlined our monthly Open Mic, introducing her

latest poetry collection, Kissing the Long Face of the Greyhound. She has also authored The Patience of Metal 

(a Lambda Literary Award Finalist). Her poems have appeared in numerous periodicals over the years including 

Poetry, Crab Orchard Review and several anthologies. She is also the author of two nonfiction books: Diamonds

Are a Dyke’s Best Friend and ​Ransacking the Closet. In addition, she wrote a syndicated humor column on lesbian life

called “Inside Out,” which ran for ten years in newspapers from Washington, DC, to Oklahoma City to San Diego after 

its ​debut in Chicago’s ​Windy City Times. 

For details on events, email: tallgrassguildATsbcglobalDOTnet or call 219-322-7270

​​​​​​​Outrider Press Small Press Publishing & Writing Contests

Outrider Press small press publishing w/editorial, design & typeset support plus writing contests & anthologies  


Diane Williams 

Yvonne Zipter

Martin Altman

Yvonne Zipter

Recent Open Mic Featured Authors

Bob Weinberg 

Willa Moore

RJ Nelson

Marjorie Skelly

David Stowe

​​​​​​Joe Weintraub

Brittany Roque

Allan Johnston

Events ​

Unless otherwise noted, Open Mics and Special Events are held at Chicago's Sulzer Library, 4455 N Lincoln Ave., where FREE parking is available. TallGrass events are FREE and open to the public. Open Mic readers follow the featured author. Details at 219-322-7270.

Maureen Connolly

Cynthia ​Gallaher

Whitney Scott

Caroline Johnson 

Michele Williams

Tricia Crisafulli

Susan Baller-Shepard

Tracie Padal

Bob Lawrence

Harker Brautighan

Catherine Underhill


Jerry Pendergast

Gay Guard-Chamberlin

Diane Williams 

Tina Jens

​​​​​​​​Upcoming TallGrass Writers Guild Events

Virtual Open Mics — 1 P.M. to 3:30 P.M. 

July 24, 2021, 1 P.M.  — The West Coast's Harker Brautighan is a writer and editor who lives and works in California's Sonoma

County wine country. Her work has appeared in numerous TallGrass Writers Guild Black-and-White anthologies, including "Best Seat

in the House," which earned Third Place for prose in Music in the Air; in Quill and Parchment; and in the Redwood Writers Club anthologies: Endeavor, Untold Stories, And Yet, and Beyond Distance. She has edited a textbook, four children's books, a short play,

and a book of poetry. She is currently finishing her second collection of personal essays. 

August 28, 2021, 1 P.M. — Suellen Wedmore is the Poet Laureate emerita for the small seaside town of Rockport, Massachusetts. She has been awarded First Prize in the Woman on the Edge Contest for her chapbook, Mind the Light, (Quill’s Edge Press) and First Prize for her chapbook, Deployed, (Greyson Books).  Three of her poems have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and she recently won First Place in the Writer’s Digest Non-Rhyming Poem National Contest. She holds an MFA in poetry from New England College of Massachusetts. 

September 25, 2021, 1 P.M. (Rescheduled from May 22) — David Stowe of Michigan teaches American Studies at

Michigan State U,  and has had work published in prestigious academic journals including Journal of American History and 

American Historical Review. His literary writings appear in Musomania, Wooden Teeth, Ampersand, and LOON MAGIC and Other

Night Sounds. His 2020 novel is Learning from Loons, about a freelance scholar  struggling to resolve his problems by drawing

on the wisdom of loons. Stowe is at work on an historical novel based on the life of the pioneering 18th century American

composer, William Billings. In addition to teaching and writing, Stowe plays drums and saxophone in a country-American trio

called Jackalope.

Harker Brautighan

Patti Cavaliere

Emily Dagostino

Timothy David Rey

Kathleen McElligott

​TallGrass Writers Guild - Chicago Open Mics, Readings, & Annual Anthologies 

TallGrass Writers Guild is a Chicago-based, independent arts organization serving writers at all levels of development for 30 years. TWG provides local, regional, national, and international performance and publication opportunities. ​

Performance Opportunities — ​Chicago's Most Supportive Open Mic for over 25 Years

  • Open Mics — ​Chicago's Sulzer Regional Library, 4455 N Lincoln Ave, usually the 4th Saturday of each month (varies with holidays) at 1 p.m. Open Mic readers follow the Featured Author's program, and can present 6 to 7 minutes of work. FREE to all; virtual Open Mics on the 4th Saturday during the Corona Virus until further notice. Contact Jeff Nowak at Sulzer Library for ZOOM details: 
  • Themed Readings —  Four FREE programs a year by TallGrass members at Book Cellar, 4736 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago;
  • Special Programs —  Include February's Black History Month, April's National Poetry Month, and October's National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, FREE to all. 
  • Yearly Tri-State readings  — At venues throughout Illinois, Indiana, and recently at Milwaukee's Historic Central Library; and 
  • Seasonal/Holiday Programs by the TallGrass Performance Ensemble at libraries, nature centers, and universities throughout the Tri-state region. These Performance Ensemble shows of poetry and short fiction are free to all, and have earned a listing in The Best of the Best, the programming guide librarians use to present quality special events to library patrons throughout Illinois.