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Chicago’s Literary “Prehistory”

Sunday, June 4, 2023

by Jesse Raber

Chicago’s literary history, according to most accounts, begins around 1893. The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame’s earliest writers, such as Jane Addams, Henry Blake Fuller, and Carl Sandburg, started publishing around that time, with Fuller’s 1893 novel The Cliff-Dwellers sometimes cited as the first significant work of Chicago literature. Along with writers like…

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The First Randall Albers Young Writers Award

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

by Donald G. Evans

Writers, contrary to Hollywood stereotypes, do not materialize in a magical poof, or rise to prominence on the wings of talent alone. Becoming a serious, productive writer requires labor, learning, grit, determination. And support. There is perhaps no apprenticeship longer than that which the average writer undergoes. So much reading. So many drafts to critique and be critiqued. So…

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The Book Cellar: A Pillar in Lincoln Square for Almost Two Decades

Thursday, April 27, 2023

The Book Cellar

[June 12, 2004—Present]

Owner: Suzy Takacs

Location: 4736 N. Lincoln Avenue

Neighborhood: Lincoln Square

Independent Bookstore Day Specials: Booksellers tote bags for sale; big balloon photo op; drawings for discounts; free popcorn.

by Donald G. Evans

Books and wine. A simple enough concept, but nobody else had done it, was…

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David W. Berner’s New Novella,The Islander

Monday, April 10, 2023

by Floyd Sullivan

An aging writer wishes to end his days alone on a remote island off the west coast of Ireland. Work becomes difficult; walking becomes difficult. His son seems to be concerned for his safety, but only out of perceived filial duty. A young woman, a solitary traveler, appears on the island and needs shelter from a storm. In the end it is she…

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A Month for Poetry

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

by Donald G. Evans

We celebrated Black History Month in February, then Women’s History Month in March. Poetry claims our collective attention in April. That was by design, according to the Academy of American Poets, who established National Poetry Month in 1996. There are only so many months to go around, and the Academy of American Poets wanted to stake its claim before…

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Interview with Linda Robinet

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

By Donald G. Evans

Sitting in the Oak Park family home that she has known her entire life, Linda Robinet projects and embodies a certain dignity, warmth, humility and generosity that radiate as she patiently listens to the conversation around her. She never interrupts. She always responds thoughtfully. Her intelligence is effortless. She grew up in this house and stayed through young adulthood, dropping out…

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Edward Hirsch and Stuart Dybek Meet Again in Wherever I’m At: An Anthology of Chicago Poetry

Monday, January 23, 2023

by Donald G. Evans

Stuart Dybek and Edward Hirsch were born eight years apart, Dybek on April 10, 1942 and Hirsch on January 20, 1950. Dybek was a South Sider, raised in Little Village and Pilsen; Hirsch a North Sider, his earliest years spent in Irving Park and North Park before his family settled in Skokie. Both would depart Chicago in their adulthood,…

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Donate to the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame today

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Dear Friends,

Don’t let the name of our organization fool you. Although one of the signature initiatives of the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame (CLHOF) is to celebrate the city’s rich literary legacy by inducting past writers into the Hall of Fame, it’s not all we do. We also develop programming, events, and awards to honor Chicago’s living writers and to help foster new and…

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Mark Turcotte: Looking Carefully

Monday, November 7, 2022

by Brian Clancy

Chicago is a city rich with identity, stemming from its long and complicated history and the multitudinous people who have populated it. In Wherever I’m At: An Anthology of Chicago Poetry, various poets from different backgrounds and literary styles ruminate on the Windy City, often mingling their own individual identity with that of Chicago.

Poet Mark Turcotte (author of “Hawk Hour,”…

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Interviewing the Interviewer: Rick Kogan’s Life in Words (Rick Kogan and Randy Albers in Conversation)

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Rick and I meet—where else?—in the Billy Goat Tavern. Rick’s choice. And appropriate—not only because for decades it has been a home away from home for newspaper people before they drag off to their real homes after a long day, nerves still buzzing despite the shots and beers. And not only because Rick has frequently been among them—at least until corporate “progress” resulted in closing the…

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