Chicago Literary Hall of Fame Logo
Chicago Literary Hall of Fame Blog
Chicago Literary Hall of Fame Blog

38th Annual Printers Row Lit Fest

Monday, September 4, 2023

On Saturday and Sunday, September 9 and 10, Printers Row becomes all about literature. The free outdoor gathering, now in its 38th year, features author and book events in multiple locations starting at 10 a.m. each morning and going until 6 p.m. Practically the entire neighborhood is blocked to traffic to accommodate the 38th Annual Printers Row Lit Fest. Used and new book vendors, publishers, authors, illustrators, arts organizations, university writing programs, and others will sell their wares and pitch their organizations under tents and at tables. Walking up and down Dearborn between Polk and Congress, or Polk between Clark and State, you’ll find comic books, used books, rare books, small press books, university press books, self-published books, handmade books—basically, every kind of book ever made will be on sale. The complete event schedule includes an extraordinary and large array of conversations, readings, and other programs. 

The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, along with our seven fabulous partners, will occupy Tent EE, on Dearborn just south of Polk. After Hours Press, Chicago Poetry Center, Chicago Quarterly Review, Contratiempo, Guild Literary Complex, Rhino and Stories Matter Foundation join us in making this another memorable weekend. We are between the Illinois Women's Press Association and University of Illinois Press. The information tent anchors Dearborn just to the north of us.

All of us under the tent will be busy throughout the weekend.

• Chicago Literary Hall of Fame will sell copies of Wherever I’m At: An Anthology of Chicago Poetry, which we published last year in conjunction with After Hours and Third World Press. We also will feature authors Nora Brooks Blakely, Reginald Gibbons, Richard Guzman, Dmitry Samarov, and Len Tomaka will be selling and signing copies of their books.  


9 a.m.-Noon Len Tomaka

Noon-2 p.m. Dmitry Samarov

2:30-6 p.m. Reginald Gibbons


9 a.m.-2 p.m. Dmitry Samarov

2-4 p.m. Nora Brooks Blakely

4-6:30 p.m. Richard Guzman


CLHOF president Amy Danzer is the fest’s director of programming, and will be frantically coordinating the packed event schedule. Founding Executive Director Donald G. Evans will moderate The Ordinary and Outlandish in Short Stories on Saturday from 10-10:45 a.m. at Grace Place (1st Floor). Featured authors are Janice Deal (Strange Attractors: The Ephrem Stories), Ling Ma (Bliss Montage) and Cleo Qian (Let's Go Let's Go Let's Go). Also on Saturday at 2 p.m. Board Member Jarrett Neal will lead The Short Story and the Enigma of the Everyday at Grace Place (1st Floor). Featured authors are Laura Adamczyk (Island City) and Christine Sneed (Direct Sunlight: Stories). On Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Joseph & Bessie Feinberg Foundation Stage, Board Member Richard Guzman will moderate Going the Distance: Two Writers,  a conversation between Fuller Award honorees Reginald Gibbons and Ana Castillo about their latest publications, Sweetbitter and Doña Cleanwell Leaves Home. Finally, on Sunday at 3 p.m. at the North Stage, Board Member Barbara Egel leads Poetry Reading and Discussion with Mary Jo Bang (A Film in Which I Play Everyone) and Timothy Donnelly (Chariot).

Chicago Quarterly Review will sell current and past issues of CQR, plus copies of The Dog of the North by senior editor, Elizabeth McKenzie. Founder and senior editor, S. Afzal Haider, and other staff members will be on hand to sign and sell their books. Haider founded CQR in 1994, along with a group of Chicago writers committed to publishing short stories, essays, translations and poetry by both established and emerging writers. In its 29 years, Chicago Quarterly Review has published special issues on Italian writing, the South Asian American experience, Chicago writers, Australia, and, most recently, the perspectives presented in Anthology of Black American Literature. CQR’s issues and individual contributors have won inclusion in Best American Short Stories, the Pushcart Prize Anthology, Best American Essays and Ploughshares and garnered the O. Henry Prize.

StoryStudio Chicago, part of the Stories Matter Foundation, will feature its wheel of prizes. Stop by, spin the wheel, pick up a pen, candy, a bookmark, or other swag. Special for this year: sign up for the StoryStudio newsletter and receive a $10 discount code for the 2023 Writers Festival. StoryStudio Chicago is a nonprofit creative writing education center located in Ravenswood. StoryStudio, which is celebrating its 20th birthday this year, offers creative writing classes and other programming for all skill levels and ages. “We exist because we fervently believe stories matter, and we want to help you tell yours today!”

• The Chicago Poetry Center will be sharing information about its school residencies and assemblies, the Blue Hour reading series, and its Critical Conversations workplace program. It will sell broadsides, student chapbooks, and its brand new tote bag. The Chicago Poetry Center’s first readings took place at the Museum of Contemporary Art in the early 1970s. Since then, the Poetry Center has offered more than 40 years of literary readings events and 20 years of arts partnership with Chicago Public Schools. Over the past seven years, the Chicago Poetry Center has undergone restructuring and revitalization to rebuild and better supports its mission in the current climate. The changes include restructuring Hands On Stanzas to better support underserved school in economic need, and promote equitable access to arts education across Chicago. The Reading Series is a monthly in-person format at CPC’s current home, Haymarket House.

• Stop by the RHINO Poetry table for temporary tattoos, buttons, t-shirts, tote bags, and print issues.  RHINO 2023 features new work by Reginald Gibbons, Marcy Rae Henry, Khalisa Rae, Jasmine Khaliq, Jason B. Crawford, Raena Shirali, and more. On Sunday at 2 p.m. on Center Stage, join RHINO, the Guild Complex, and Hypertext for a Literary Mash-Up featuring Nazifa Islam, Jameka Williams, Sahar Mustafah, Cheryl Dyer, Luis Tubens, and Timothy David Rey.The Poetry Forum/RHINO Poetry is a non-profit literary organization, primarily devoted to the publication of RHINO Poetry, an annual high-quality print journal featuring well-crafted, diverse poetry, flash fiction, and translations. RHINO Poetry occupies a niche somewhere between academia and the emerging poetry scene – devoted to creative work that tells stories, provokes thought, and pushes the boundaries in form and feeling – while connecting with our readers and audience. It features traditional and experimental work reflecting passion, originality, artistic conviction, and a love affair with language. 

After Hours Press just published its 46th edition, featuring Fuller Award honoree Haki Madhubuti. That, along with back issues and Wherever I’m At, will be for sale at the AH table. Back issues are being offered at a special price of $5 each, or the current issue plus one back issue for $15. 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. According to the AH website, “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.” AH has featured or included Chicago’s most unique and important Chicago voices for nearly a quarter century.

• For the last 34 years, the Guild Literary Complex has been a pioneer on Chicago’s literary landscape, consistently hosting innovative and diverse events, featuring leading literary names, and welcoming new, emerging voices. It actively works with individuals and organizations from all of Chicago’s many neighborhoods to connect seemingly disparate groups and geographies through literature. The Guild Literary Complex will lead a variety of programs at this year’s lit fest, and feature a lineup of remarkable authors at its table, including Rabha Ashry, Atena O’Danner, Kathy Osberger, Alex Shapiro, and Sandi Wisenberg. The Guild will host a Mixer and Artist Talk with Jose Alemain on Friday from 6-7:30 p.m. at Epiphany Center for the Arts (201 South Ashland Ave.). The Guild will buy a drink for the first 50 guests to arrive. On Saturday at 4 p.m. at Plymouth Stage, The Guild will present Exhibit B, featuring Faylita Hicks, Nakiyah TM Jordan, Daniel Borutsky and James Stewart III. At 1 p.m. Saturday at Feinberg Foundation Stage, it will present, along with Hypertext, Going the Distance: Two Writers. Finally, at 2 p.m. Sunday at Center Stage, the Guild’s Andrea Change will emcee A Literary Mash Up with two readers each from Chicago's three long-standing literary institutions : The Guild Complex, Hypertext, and RHINO Poetry. Featured readers include poets Jameka Williams, Nazifa Islam, Sahar Mustafah, Cheryl Dyer, Luis Tubens  a.k.a. “Logan Lu”), and Timothy David Rey.  

Contratiempo is a literary and arts organization, founded in 2003, that highlights the cultural contributions of the Spanish-speaking diaspora.Its bilingual programs showcase the art, literature and journalism of immigrant communities and facilitate exchanges between poets and writers in the U.S.A, Latin America and Spain. It highlights vital immigrant stories through which help the second-generation immigrant audience to understand and experience the uniqueness of their bilingual, and bicultural identity. For 20 years of work in literary publications, Contratiempo has brought together the writers, editors, artists, translators, thinkers and creators from Chicago and its surrounding areas, as well as well-known international talents. Its pages archive two decades of cultural history of Latino communities living in the U.S. Through music, poetry and various art expressions, the artists aim to show the impact of the socio-economic system placed upon immigrants, the injustices and/or opportunities on our low-income neighborhoods, and the exploration of the dual identity and cultural landscape that takes place when two or more societies blend.From 2003 to August 2023, Contratiempo magazine has published 154 issues.

Please come visit all of us at Tent EE--we'll be there from early to late, all weekend. 

Share Facebook   Share on Twitter

The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame’s mission is to honor and preserve Chicago’s great literary heritage.
The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame is a federally registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Donations are tax deductible. © 2024 Chicago Literary Hall of Fame

Hannah Jennings Design