Belt’s city anthologies are written by and for Rust Belt communities. The books take you on tours led by natives, and elevate and amplify the stories of over overlooked and under-written about communities.

Each title in the series is edited by a native or resident of that city, and contributions are solicited from experienced writers, students, public servants, and engaged citizens. The essays, poems, and images that comprise the final product are personal, visceral accounts of individual lives lived in places that have been too often stereotyped and misrepresented elsewhere. The books resonate with anyone who has lived or currently lives in a Rust Belt city, be they a young professional new to town or a retiree who left decades ago. For outsiders, they offer intimate access to the complicated truths of the region.

Read below to learn more about our anthologies about Akron, BuffaloCincinnati, Cleveland, DetroitFlintPittsburgh, and Youngstown. Stay tuned for anthologies about Chicago and Grand Rapids coming in 2017. Shop our store to purchase the entire series, join the Belt Book Club, and buy individual copies.



Right Here, Right Now: The Buffalo Anthology ISBN: 978-0997774269
Belt Publishing, 2016
Edited by Jody K. Biehl. With contributions by Lauren Belfer, Wolf Blitzer, Marv Levy, John Lombardo, Mary Ramsey, Robby Takac, and others.

“Right Here, Right Now” is absolutely one of the best books about Buffalo ever created — a genuinely essential book to be put on the same shelf as Lauren Belfer’s “City of Light” and Verklyn Klinkenborg’s “The Last Fine Time” and very few others. No literate Buffalo home should be without one.” – Buffalo News

The Akron Anthology ISBN: 978-0996836739
Belt Publishing, 2016
Edited by Jason Segedy, with an introduction by David Giffels. With contributions by Denise Grollmus, Andrew Poulson, Emilia Sykes, and others.

“The collection of 22 essays is a must-read for anyone who cares about this city…Much of the writing is beautiful — what else would you expect in a book that includes a chapter by Rita Dove and an introduction by David Giffels?”—Akron Beacon Journal

Happy Anyway: A Flint Anthology ISBN: 978-0996836715
Belt Publishing, 2016
Edited by Scott Atkinson. With contributions by Gordon Young, Jan Worth-Nelson, Connor Coyne, Layla Meillier, Andrew Morton, and others.

“Each essay draws from rich personal experience that captures the bitterness and resignation of loss along with a chaser of hope. Galvanizing the essays are thoughtful meditations on the meaning of place and situatedness as experienced in the midst of a radical, neoliberal downshift.”—New York Journal of Books

The Pittsburgh Anthology  ISBN: 978-0985944193
Belt Publishing, 2015
Edited by Eric Boyd. With contributions by Robert Gibb, David Newman, Bob Qualters, Amy Jo Burns, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Terrance Hayes and dozens of others.

“Characterizing a place can be an elusive project, but The Pittsburgh Anthology is a diverse, surprising, eloquent, playful, scrappy, and tenacious effort to capture one city’s “proud contradictions.” — Ploughshares

Car Bombs to Cookie Tables: The Youngstown Anthology ISBN: 978-0985944186
Belt Publishing, 2015
Edited by Jacqueline Marino and Will Miller. With contributions by Christopher Barzak, Rochelle Hurt, Eric Murphy, Ed O’Neill, Sarah Sepanek, David Skolnick, Sarah Stankorb, C Lee Tressell, Jay Williams, Andrea Wood & 35 others

“The city’s corrupt and bullet-riddled history and its post-industrial struggle have made Youngstown notorious. But what sometimes gets drowned out in this deluge of words are the stories of actual Youngstowners. In a new book titled “Car Bombs to Cookie Tables: The Youngstown Anthology,” residents share the moments that define the city in a series of essays, profiles, poems and photographs.”–

A Detroit Anthology ISBN:978-0985944148
Belt Publishing, 2014
Edited by Anna Clark. With contributions by Grace Lee Boggs, John Carlisle, Desiree Cooper, dream hampton, Steve Hughes, Jamaal May, Tracie McMillan, Marsha Music, Shaka Senghor, Thomas J. Sugrue and others.
A Michigan Notable Book of 2015

“A Detroit Anthology is one of the surprise hits of the year. While many books have been written on and about Detroit by writers who have visited, this anthology of prose, poetry, and essays is written by the metro area’s residents themselves … it’s the wide ethnic array of voices that truly shows the facets of Detroit life. – Ebony Magazine

The Cincinnati Anthology  ISBN: 978-0985944124

Belt Publishing, 2014
Edited by Zan McQuade. With contributions by Katie Laur, Curtis Sittenfeld, David Falk, Sam LeCure, Michael Wilson, John Curley, Scott Devendorf and others.

“Intent on chronicling the place she’s called home since 2011, McQuade went about masterminding The Cincinnati Anthology, a deft, well-considered collection of essays, illustrations and photographs that represents, as she writes in her intro to the book, ‘the visions of those who have fallen madly in love with the city of Cincinnati, either for the first time or all over again.’ “ – Cincinnati CityBeat.

Rust Belt Chic: The Cleveland Anthology, 2nd edition ISBN: 978-0985944162
Belt Publishing, 2014
Edited by Richey Piiparinen and Anne Trubek, with a new introduction by Dave Lucas. With contributions by Connie Schultz, Michael Ruhlman, Mansfield Frazier and others.

“Trubek and Piiparinen were keen to assemble a Cleveland snapshot that felt more authentic to them: No mindless boosterism or “ruin porn,” that artistic fetish for fallen-down manufacturing towns. This book reads like a rebuttal to Richard Florida’s argument for Creative Class cool filling cities with young elites.” — Cleveland Plain Dealer


To propose a city anthology, contact Anne Trubek at

Titles are distributed through IPG; for wholesale queries, email