Photo: Kristi Alyssa

I am a writer and editor based in Chicago, and the senior acquisitions editor for regional trade books at the University of Illinois Press. In recent years I’ve edited three anthologies of writing about Chicago and the Midwest, all published by Belt Publishing, and my reported work and essays have appeared in local and national outlets including the Chicago Reader, the Chicago Reporter, the Baffler, the Rumpus, Eater, Belt Magazine, and PRI/The World.

Currently I’m also a senior editor with South Side Weekly, a nonprofit newspaper dedicated to supporting culture and civic engagement on Chicago’s South Side, a member of Theater Oobleck‘s artistic ensemble, and the founder of the long-running community meal project Soup & Bread. My narrative cookbook, Soup & Bread Cookbook: Building Community One Pot at a time, is now out in its second edition.

I have a Substack newsletter here. On Instagram I’m @marthabayne, and I’m over on Bluesky.