Kathleen McElligott

Timothy David Rey

Marjorie Skelly

Maureen Connolly

Lylanne Musselman

Willa Moore

Susan Baller-Shepard

Whitney Scott

Brittany Roque

Tina Jens

Bob Weinberg 

Martin Altman

​​​​​​Joe Weintraub

Diane Williams 

Tracie Padal

Allan Johnston

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Open Mics​​

NEW TIME — 1 P.M. to 4:30 P.M. 

​Saturday, February 22, 1 P.M.—A "Sister Act" of Award Winning Authors Carol Gloor & Marjorie Skelly. 

Carol Gloor has been writing since she was 14, mostly poetry.  Her work has appeared in many online and hard copy journals, most recently in the online journal Leaping Clear, and in the hard copy anthology, Feminine Divine.  Her poetry chapbook, Assisted Living (Finishing Line Press, 2013), won the publisher's Starting Gate Award and a Pushcart Prize nomination.  Gloor's full length poetry collection, Falling Back, was published by WordTech/WordPoetry in 2018.  Her poem "Free Throw" won first place in the Highland Park Poetry Challenge Contest in 2013, and her poem "Apple River Canyon" won second place in the same contest in 2019. 

Marjorie Skelly’s cross-genre book, The Unpublished Poet (In Extenso Press, 2015), praised by former Indiana Poet Laureate Norbert Krapf, includes poetry, essays, and short stories. She has won first place awards from Poets and Patrons and the Jo-Anne Hirshfield Poetry Contest, and twice been a finalist for the Word Works Washington Prize, and three times in the Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mike Poetry Contest. She has also earned a scholarship to the Rope Walk Writers Conference in New Harmony, Indiana, and has twice been  a scholarship recipient in Writing and Singing from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.   

Following the program are the Open Mic readers, who will have 6 to 8 minutes to present poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, music, comedy, and more. This afternoon literary event is free and open to the public; free parking is also available. For details email: tallgrassguildATsbcglobalDOTnet or call 219-322-7270. 

Saturday, MARCH 14, P.M. at Sulzer COMMUNITY ROOM — Date and Room Change! Program TBA


Emily Dagostino

Recent Open Mic Featured Authors

Susan Dewar

​Upcoming Events​

TallGrass Writers Guild

Special Events

​​Thursday, February 8, 2020, 1 P.M. in the Sulzer Library Auditorium  — TallGrass Writers Guild Honors Black History Month by showcasing two outstanding Chicago talents  — "Black Voices," featuring Shontay Luna and Timothy David Rey. 

      Shontay Luna was born in Bronzeville, grew up there and in Chatham, and most recent in resides in Pilsen for the past 27 years. She has two chapbooks, Reflections of a Project Girl (2015) and Recollections & Dreams (2018). Both are available via Amazon.
Luna’s prior publishing credits include Oddball Press, Black Book Press, The Stray Branch and AnthologyofChicago.com  among others. She was a semi-finalist in the Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mic Awards in 2010 and 2017, and is currently a member of Chicago Writers Association and F.L.O.W. (For The Love of Writing).

      Timothy David Rey, a Chicago-based poet, playwright, performer and educator has studied poetry under Pulitzer Prize

winner, Yusef Komunyakaa. Rey is a 2015 Semi-Finalist for the Guild Literary Complex’s Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mic Poetry

Award, and one of the winners of Project Exploration (The Poetry Center of Chicago 2004).  He has presented his plays and

performance pieces locally, regionally, and internationally. He has been interviewed on WBEZ regarding his writing and his

involvement in cultural and community-based arts programming, which includes his work as the Chicagoland Regional Coordinator for Poetry Out Loud!  (Poetry Foundation/ National Endowment For The Arts) and as Poet In-Residence for The

Chicago Poetry Center. He is the co-founder of the LBGT Solo Performance Showcase, Solo Homo (2002-2011), with his plays

and performances pieces at venues including New York City’s Fringe Festival and The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

        "Black Voices" is the second annual TallGrass Writers Guild Special Event honoring Black History Month. TallGrass has

also produced Special Event programming for Sulzer Regional Library in observance of National Poetry Month and National

Breast Cancer Awareness Month. ​


Saturday, April 11, 2020, in the Sulzer Library Auditorium — "Journeys," a TallGrass Writers Guild presentation

honoring National Poetry Month. Featured award winning authors include Caroline Johnson, Wiila Moore, Timothy

David Rey, Whitney Scott, Marjorie Skelly, and Joe Weintraub. Details are forthcoming.

Friday, April 3, 2020, 7 P.M.  — TallGrass' Springtime Themed Reading at Book Cellar, "Springtime Blooms,"

with TWG members performing original writings on the return of longer days, hope, and the joyous sight of daffodils

and tulips.


Recent Past Events​​ 

Thursday, December 5, 2019, 7 P.M.  — TallGrass' Winter Themed Reading at Book Cellar, "Winter Fashions," with TWG members performing original writings on wintery blasts, icy roads, and freezing rain —  from designer couture to drenched  galoshes.

Saturday, November 9, 2019, 1:30 P.M. — "Combined Voices," at the Beverly Library at 1962 W. 95th Street, Chicago.  TallGrass Writers Guild and the Longwood Writers Guild will co-host this program with participating TallGrass authors presenting original writings published in recent "Black-and-White" annual anthologies, and Longwood Guild members whose work has been published in BAC Street Journal and other publications.


Saturday, October 26  — "Writers on Breast Cancer," TallGrass' 2019 National Breast Cancer Awareness 
Performance. After 2018's record-breaking success with TallGrass' Breast Cancer reading of original poetry and

creative nonfiction, the first-ever program of its kind in the Chicago Public Library System, we were invited back to

present another life-changing presentation of original writings exploring and expressing various aspects of this

epidemic impacting untold numbers of families. Those reading were Patricia Chrisafulli, Kathleen M. McElligott, Willa

Moore and Whitney Scott.

Saturday, October 5, 2019 — The Publishing Party for LOON MAGIC and Other Night Sounds 
​at Sulzer Regional Library, when authors across the nation read their cuttings from this 2019 "Black-and-White"

collection of poetry, fiction, and essays  — 24th in the series' annual anthologies. Readers Patricia Chrisafulli,

winner of the anthology's Grand Prize, read, as well as other authors including  Gay Guard-Chamberlin, Vermont's 

Cynthia Close, Nancy Heggem, Kathleen McElligott, California's Elsa Valmidiano, and more. 

Friday, September 6, 2019  —  All Things Autumn, a themed reading from members of the TallGrass Writers Guild

including Patricia Crisafulli, Juley Harvey, Bob Lawrence, Susan Namest and more using the change of seasons as

inspiration for original poetry, fiction, memoir and creative nonfiction. Baseball, fallen leaves, and birds were just a few of

the topics addressed in the reading. Free and open to the public at Chicago's Book Cellar, 4736 N Lincoln Avenue.

Sunday, June 8, 2019 — The Kickoff Reading  for LOON MAGIC and Other Night Sounds, the most recent in the

Black-and-White series of annual anthologies was once again a high-profile Featured Event at Chicago's Printers Row Lit

Fest.  Our Kickoff Reading welcomed the prizewinners and other contributing authors from across the nation who read

cuttings from their work appearing in the 24th collection of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, LOON MAGIC, published by

Outrider Press with TallGrass Writers Guild. Anthologies are available for purchase on page 4 of this site. 

Friday, May 17, 2019 — "Spring Has Sprung— REALLY?" with poetry, fiction and essays, a group reading from

TallGrass members Harker Brautigan. Tricia Crisafulli, juley harvey, Robert Lawrence, Lynn Veach Sadler, Whitney Scott,

Marian Shapiro, and more, from several pieces on birdsong and other signs of springtime to putting a spring in your step

when the heart wants what the heart wants in Brautighan's "How to Marry a Geezer," our audience was enthusiastic

and appreciative — superb.

day,April 20, 2019, 1 P.M  — TallGrass Talent Honored National Poetry Month with a group of readers who are members of TWG including Martin Altman, Gay Guard-Chamberlin, Bob Lawrence, Susan Namest, and Diane Williams. This performance was free to all and offered free parking.

Friday, March 1, 2019— "That Rainy Day"  with members of the TallGrass Writers Guild including Martin Altman,

Gay Guard-Chamberlin, Bob Lawrence, Willa Moore, Jo Piazza, Joe Weintraub, who presented their poetry, fiction, and

creative nonfiction, plus work from TallGrass'  far-flung members, presented by Whitney Scott. This themed reading

played to a full house of attentive audience members and was especially memorable — one of the most powerful and

engrossing of TallGrass' themed readings, held quarterly at Chicago's indie bookseller, The Book Cellar.

December 8, 2018 — TallGrass Writers Guild's Tri-State Reading at the historic Milwaukee Central Library with regional

Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin contributors to THE STARS, our 2018 anthology

December 7, 2018 — "Holiday Landscapes," a program  by TallGrass members packed the house at Chicago's Book

Cellar as authors Martin Altman, Emily Dagostino, Bob Lawrence, Willa Moore, Susan Namest, and Jo Piazza presented

original poetry, fiction, and essays as the lights of the Lincoln Square Park Christmas tree shone through the

store's bay window and onto the audience.

Catherine Underhill


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.

Tricia Crisafulli

RJ Nelson

Michele Williams

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

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


Tricia Crisafulli

Bob Lawrence

with Sam

Gay Guard-Chamberlin

Timothy David Rey

Willa Moore

​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;
  • 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 flash fiction are free to the public, 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.

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​​​Publishing Opportunities

  • TallGrass Writers Guild quarterly Newsletter,which contains columns; reviews; and member news of recent publications, play readings, and other achievements; and Manuscripts Wanted, pages listing and online publications​ seeking poetry, essays, fiction, illustrations and photos.

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  • Annual anthologies published in affiliation with Outrider Press, who donates all pre-press services including editorial, design and typeset support. Publishing parties for each year's anthology are at the historic Sulzer Regional Library, 4455 N Lincoln Avenue, Chicago. ​​