Saturday, May 7, 2022
Meet at the Nelson Algren Memorial Fountain
Intersections of Milwaukee Avenue, Ashland Avenue, and Division Street, Chicago
Join the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame as we join up with several Algren afficionados, including filmmaker Michael Caplan, biogapher Mary Wisniewski, teacher John Lillig, and DePaul University lecturer Salli Berg Seeley, on a walking tour of the author’s old neighborhood. Stops will include his old longtime residence, several of his favorite watering holes, and sites of his most important fictional scenes. Check back for details on the itinerary for the walk. This is a free event, but registration is required.
Saturday, April 30, 2022
Join Billy Lombardo as he leads the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame's roundup of Chicago bookstores. Independent Bookstore Day is a tradition meant to celebrate and support our local stores, and it always is a special and fun-packed day. Our live correspondents, including Beth Doyle, Jarrett Neal, and YA author Riley Redgate, will spotlight several of our great independents stores, including Third Coast Comics, Volumes Bookcafe, Unabridged Bookstore, and AfriWare Books. Meet Third Coast's Terry Gant, Volumes' Rebecca George, AfriWare's Nzingha Nommo; find out what giveaways and exclusive items are available at these stores; peek in at activities going on throughout the day.
Friday, April 8, 2022
11 a.m. CST
Darwin Elementary School
3116 W. Belden Avenue
Chicago, IL 60647
Chicago Literary Hall of Fame inductee Shel Silverstein (Class of 2014) is getting his own postage stamp. CLHOF Founding Executive Director Donald G. Evans will serve as Masters of Ceremonies for a lineup that includes Air Force Academy High School (Honor Guard), USPS Letter Carrier Khalid Haynes, (National Anthem), USPS VP of Corporate Affairs Judy de Torok, and author/artist Dmitry Samarov. The extraordinarily versatile Shel Silverstein (1930–1999) was one of the 20th century’s most imaginative authors and illustrators. In 1964, Harper & Row published Silverstein’s The Giving Tree, a book about a friendship between a motherly tree and a boy. As the child grows older, the tree gives him its shade, apples, branches, and trunk. The story ends with the boy, now an old man, returning to rest against the tree’s stump. The best-selling tale of selflessness, which is accompanied by the author’s black-and-white
illustrations, is considered a classic of children’s literature. Silverstein’s zany, self-illustrated books of poetry are similarly revered. Where the Sidewalk Ends (1974), A Light in the Attic (1981), Falling Up (1996), and Every Thing On It (2011) feature clever and at times playfully nonsensical verse that is adored by young people all over the world. His diverse body of work, which has been translated into 47 languages, remains beloved by adults and children alike.
The event is free and open to the public. At the conclusion of the dedication, participants will sign FDOI programs for all the stamp collectors on hand.
Friday, April 1, 2022
7 p.m. CDT
For the second straight year, the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, with hosts Michael Burke and Robert Charles, put on a virtual cocktail clinic and party featuring Chicago literary-themed drinks. After the great success of last year’s Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fonder, we were inspired to dust off the blenders and shakers and have another round.
We encouraged guests to coordinate small pods for the program—assign a bartender and a designated driver so that they were able to assemble the various cocktails and are assured safe passage to and from your Martini Chronicles pod.
April 1 is not just April Fool’s Day, it’s the day in 2031 when Ray Bradbury’s story, “The Third Expedition,” takes place. In this story, featured in The Martian Chronicles, a third rocket lands on Mars. Mars’ landscape has changed from a desert to Green Bluff, Illinois. At first, the men suspect the Mars town is earth-like from the first expeditions, until they learn that their travels took them not to Mars but back in time to 1956 Illinois.
This was a fundraiser to support the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, but donations were entirely optional. Stay tuned for a list of special literary, alcoholic and musical guests. For those putting together their own pods for the evening, we hope you’ll agree to visit us on camera to comment on activities at your house.
Thursday, March 24, 2022
7 p.m. CDT
American Writers Museum
180 N. Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60601
and via Zoom
Acclaimed author Ana Castillo was awarded the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame’s Fuller Award for her lifetime achievement as an author, activist, educator, and scholar. The ceremony was live at the American Writers Museum on Thursday, March 24, at seven p.m. It was also live streamed. The event was free and open to the public with registration.
Castillo joined an illustrious list of 11 other Chicago writers to receive the award. Poet Mark Turcotte will emcee the ceremony; author Sandra Jackson-Okopu, scholar Jane Hseu and artist global advocate Arica Hilton will give short speeches; actor/director Henry Godinez and Liza Ann Acosta will perform readings; and author/publisher Christine Rice will lead a conversation with Ana. In addition to the American Writers Museum, several partners will present the award alongside the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, including the Guild Literary Complex, DePaul University, Dominican University, Hypertext Magazine, the University of Chicago Department of English, National Museum of Mexican Art, and Hilton/Asmus Contemporary.
Castillo (June 15, 1953-) is a celebrated and distinguished poet, novelist, short story writer, essayist, editor, playwright, translator and independent scholar. Castillo was born and raised in Chicago. She has contributed to periodicals and on-line venues (Salon and Oxygen) and national magazines, including More and the Sunday New York Times. Castillo’s writings have been the subject of numerous scholarly investigations and publications.
Among her award winning, best sellling titles: novels include So Far From God, The Guardians and Peel My Love like an Onion; poetry collections include My Book of the Dead, I Ask the Impossible, My Father Was a Toltec, Women Are Not Roses, and The Invitation. Her novel, Sapogonia was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. She has been profiled and interviewed on National Public Radio and the History Channel and was a radio-essayist with NPR in Chicago. Ana Castillo is editor of La Tolteca 2.0 on her blog, an arts and literary zine, which features creatives of all backgrounds, while focusing on the marginalized.
In 2020 Castillo was the recipient of the Northeastern Illinois University Distinguished Alumnus Award, the highest alumni honor the University bestows. In 2014 Dr. Castillo held the Lund-Gil Endowed Chair at Dominican University, River Forest, IL and served on the faculty with Bread Loaf Summer Program (Middlebury College) in 2015 and 2016. She also held the first Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz Endowed Chair at DePaul University 2001-06, The Martin Luther King, Jr Distinguished Visiting Scholar post at M.I.T. and was the Poet-in-Residence at Westminster College in Utah in 2012, among other teaching posts throughout her extensive career. Castillo holds an M.A from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D., University of Bremen, Germany in American Studies and an honorary doctorate from Colby College. She received an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation for her first novel, The Mixquiahuala Letters.
Among her other awards she is the recipient of a Carl Sandburg Award and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts in fiction and poetry.
Wednesday, March 2, 2022
The Cliff Dwellers
200 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60604
Scott Jacobs, a gifted video and print journalist and a prolific writer, died suddenly of a heart attack on October 21, 2021. At the time of his death, Scott was in the latter stages of pushing out, I Told You So!: Donald Trump, The Awful Years, that he considered his finest work to date. As was his habit, Scott was doing this book on his own, through his self-publishing imprint, Dead Tree Press. He’d lined up distributors, sent out advanced review copies, and was optimistic that this project, even more than all his wonderful earlier projects, was important. He felt it would resonate with a greater audience. It’s a wonderful book, filled with insight and clarity into a complicated and murky period in American history. It is funny. Wise. Prescient.
On Wednesday, March 2 at The Cliff Dwellers, we will launch Scott’s book. It’s a book that deserves an audience, and will be an audience that deserves this book. We will also honor Scott’s memory with a series of short tributes. Many of Scott’s friends and supporters, such as Tom Weinberg and Rick Kogan, have offered their own memoriums. But Scott, through his friendship, kindness, and relenless advocacy of the Chicago cultural community, won many other fans over the years; this will be an opportunity for them to say a few brief words.
Registration is required for this event. In addition to event registration, anybody wanting to make dinner reservations must do so through Cliff Dwellers. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 312.922.8080. Dinner and cocktail hour will be between five and six p.m. Anybody wanting to give a short tribute to Scott can sign up then for the program to celebrate his life and work, which is from 6-7 p.m. Books will be available for sale throughout the evening. There is a cash bar. Register now; we will only accept registration until the Cliff Dwellers reaches its limit.
Thursday, February 17, 2022
Buy the book here.
On Thursday, February 17, the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame teamed up with contributing authors from Open Heart Chicago: An Anthology of Chicago Writers to present a special virtual reading.
The event was free and open to the public.
Thursday, February 3, 2022
Our Chicago Classics series continues with a themed program celebrating Black History Month. Ronne Hartfield, Claire Hartfield, and Tracy Clark will join host Jarrett Neal in sharing excerpts from their own work plus the work of a favorite Chicago author. Ronne’s memoir, Another Way Home The Tangled Roots of Race in One Chicago Family, tells the story of her family’s history, which spans most of the twentieth century. Claire’s nonfiction study, A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919, is an in-depth examination of a particularly horrendous period of racial strife in Chicago, triggered by an incident at a South Side beach. Tracy’s Runner was published last summer, the four installment in her Cass Raines series of Chicago crime novels. Jarrett’s What Color Is Your Hoodie? is a collection of essays centered around Black gay identity.
Friday, December 10, 2021
Thank you for joining us at our 2021 Virtual Fundraiser! Bidding started with nearly 50 items. The fundraiser helps us out while at the same time treating yourself to a night at the symphony or theatre, a collectible book, a literary consult, sports memorabilia, or the like.
The fundraiser culminated in the live event on Friday, Dec. 10. It was free and open to the public.
Thursday, October 28, 2021
National Museum of Mexican Art
1852 W. 19th Street
Chicago, IL 60608
Anyone can join us virtually by clicking here at the time of the event.
Luis Alberto Urrea will become the 11th Chicago author to receive the prestigious Fuller Award for his lifetime achievements as an author, teacher, and activist. The event is free and open to the public, with live attendance at the National Museum of Mexican Art and livestreamed. Registration is required. Live audience will be limited to 150 fully vaccinated, masked people; proof of vaccination required. Virtual audience is unlimited. Rick Najera is emcee of the ceremony; Sara Paretsky, Daniel Borzutzky and Dave Eggers will offer tributes; actress Laura Crotte will perform a dramatic reading; and Coya Paz will lead a conversation with Luis. A 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist for nonfiction and member of the Latino Literature Hall of Fame, Urrea is the critically acclaimed and best-selling author of 17 books, winning numerous awards for his poetry, fiction and essays. Born in Tijuana to a Mexican father and American mother, Urrea is most recognized as a border writer, though he says, “I am more interested in bridges, not borders.” Partners for the event include National Museum of Mexican Art, American Writers Museum, Poetry Foundation, Third World Press, University of Illinois Chicago, Chicago Public Library, The Tuesday Agency, Columbia College Chicago, The Book Group, Guild Literary Complex, Little, Brown and Company, and The Bookstore of Glen Ellyn.