Buffalo is evolving. Trendy restaurants and a thriving waterfront have placed the City of Good Neighbors on the radar. But Jody K. Biehl, director of the journalism program at UB, had a different vision for “Right Here, Right Now,” an anthology of personal essays, poems, illustrations and more. “This is the book I wish existed when I moved to Buffalo,” she writes in her introduction.
It is not a guidebook for the curious visitor, but an intimate look at the best—and worst—of the Queen City. The stories in this collection celebrate the city’s resilience, rich history and diversity, while also taking a hard look at the ugliness of racial divides and a deficient public school system. Contributors hail from different sectors, from Buffalo-born Washington Post cartoonist Tom Toles (BA ’73) to UB’s Center for Urban Studies director Henry Louis Taylor Jr. Not all the writers have UB ties, and not all still reside here, but each story comes with refreshing perspectives—on good chicken wings, struggling sports teams and the residents who make change happen. And with that, we ask ourselves: Where else would we rather be than right here, right now in Buffalo? (Belt Publishing, 2016)