The first issue of After Hours was unveiled in June of 2000. The mission of this new semi-annual magazine was to create a forum, a showcase and gallery for the voices and visions of Chicago poets, fiction writers, artists, and photographers. For all of us who live it, feel it, see it ... there is a Chicago voice, there is a Chicago School of literature and art. A decade later, we continue that mission.
Poetry, fiction, drama, painting, photography -- all are alive and thriving in Chicago. After Hours is willing to go the distance to turn the spotlight on the Chicago literary renaissance that is happening as we live, breathe, write and create this city of big shoulders, this city on the N
We have quite a legacy ... Nelson Algren, Carl Sandburg, Richard Wright, Sandra Cisneros, Stuart Dybek, Gwendolyn Brooks, Saul Bellow, Sherwood Anderson, Ernest Hemingway (if he hadn’t left town), and so many others. These are writers in whose words you could hear the roar of the el passing behind your apartment, could smell the lake, could see the tired souls who work their way through life. These are writers who shed the illusions spun from ivory towers and took up the sound and fury of neighborhood taverns, back yards and front stoops.
It is this voice that defines the Chicago School ... the voice of writers who let the city get under their skin and into their blood. And it is through these writers that the city comments on the social condition, the political condition and the human condition. It’s time for this school to be recognized by the country, the world, and by universities and major publishers.
After Hours intends to be the artist’s view from street level ... the close-enough-to-taste-it view ... the common voice that tells the truth firsthand.
And now, we have started a series of book publications. After Hours Press has one mission and that is to promote the work of Chicago area (and Chicago-affiliated) writers and artists. Since our inception, the Press has created a showcase of Chicago writers and artists at the beginning of the 21st century. That platform has found a home at several universities, including the University of Chicago Library permanent archive.
Issue #1, Summer 2000
© After Hours Press 2021, Elmwood Park, IL