Saturday, April 24, 2021
Independent Bookstore Day, a national celebration that usually features scavenger hunts, giveaways, frosted goodies, and so forth and so on, will, like everything else, be subdued in 2021 because of the corona virus. Although many stores are open, there are severe limits on the number of people that can gather safely, and hours of operation.
So...the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame facilitated a live “Inside for Indies” program featuring author Faisal Mohyuddin and also pop-ins at some of our cherished indpendent stores, including Women & Children First bookstore, Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore, Seminary Co-op Bookstore, The Dial Bookshop, and Bookie’s bookstore. Jim Garner will host. The event was free and open to the public.
Jim Garner and a cast of Chicago authors joined together early in this pandemic to raise awareness and money for Chicago’s struggling independent bookstores. Jim called his creation, “Inside for Indies,” and each episode featured an author showing off his home and writing space. A concerted effort was made to direct donations to local stores like The Book Cellar, and also to the American Booksellers Association, which was distributing funds to bookstores in need.
Faisal Mohyuddin reads for the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame on Independent Bookstore Day
Jim Garner interviews Roberta Rubin during the live, “Inside for Indies” program. They talk about the bookstore business, authors, and the American Writers Museum.
Thursday, April 1, 2021
Free and Open to the Public
Advanced Registration Required
Our themed series of Chicago Classics continues, with a proper celebration of the start (hopefully) of a new baseball season. Our beloved baseball teams have inspired a whole canon of great literature, from memoirs to short stories to detective novels to plays like Bleacher Bums. An all-star lineup of readers will share some of their favorite Chicago baseball passages. Pulitzer Prize winner Ira Berkow, born and raised in Chicago and a New York Times columnist these past four decades, will lead a lineup of notable literary baseball people. John Freyer will give tribute to Chicago's contribution to the Negro Leagues, in honor of its recent, official recognition by Major League Baseball as a Major League concern. Barbara Gregorich will give us a sampling from She's on First, her novel about the first female Major League player, before she reads her Classic selection. Billy Lombardo and Julia Borcherts will serve as our co-hosts.
March 13, 2021
Renowned writer Sandra Cisneros receives the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame's Fuller Award for lifetime achievement.
Sandra Cisneros, the poet, short story writer, novelist, essayist, performer, and artist whose work beautifully and profoundly explores working class lives and landscapes, will receive the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame’s Fuller Award for lifetime achievement. If the Zoom webinar reaches capacity and you cannot join, you can view the full program on YouTube here.
Carlos Cumpián will serve as the master of ceremonies for the evening, and a lineup of speakers that includes Jorge Valdivia and Richard Bray, will give short tributes. Donna Seaman will interview Sandra after her acceptance speech, with audience members invited to submit questions. More speakers and details will be added throughout the next couple of weeks. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required in advance.
Women & Children First have put together a list of Cisneros’ most popular titles for purchase. Browse here!
The American Writers Museum, Chicago Public Library, and National Museum of Mexican Art will co-present the award. Literature For All of Us, Guild Literary Complex, Chicago History Museum, Loyola University Chicago Creative Writing Program, StoryStudio Chicago, Open Books, Sarabande Books, Make Literary Productions, the Chicago Poetry Center, Greater Reach Consulting, Josephinum Academy of the Sacred Heart, Vintage & Anchor Books, the Hawkins Project, and Kaye Publicity, Loyola University Chicago Women's Studies/Gender Studies, DePaul University English Department, and 826CHI are among the partners for the event. Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation has also provided support to the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame.
Saturday, March 13, 2021
Free and Open to the Public
Register in Advance
Sandra Cisneros, the poet, short story writer, novelist, essayist, performer, and artist whose work beautifully and profoundly explores working class lives and landscapes, will receive the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame’s Fuller Award for lifetime achievement. The event is free and open to the public, but you must register in advance. A native Chicagoan, Cisneros started her illustrious career with the 1980 publication of the poetry chapbook Bad Boys, and soon rose to the top of the literary stratosphere with her 1984 young adult novel, The House on Mango Street. The coming-of-age story, which follows, in a series of vignettes, a year in the life of Esperanza Cordero, quickly became one of the most adored books of her generation, an almost must-read at schools throughout the country. Her literary outpouring continued with an incredible array of poems, stories, memoirs, and essays, including her most recent work, A House of My Own: Stories from My Life (2015). Cisneros is the recipient of many of the literary world’s most prestigious awards, including the American Book Award, a MacArthur Fellowship, a Lannan Literary Award for Fiction, and an Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Fiction. The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame's honor reflects upon Cisneros’s rightful place as one of our greatest contemporary authors, and also acknowledges the enormous influence she has had on our literary and cultural life. Carlos Cumpián will serve as the master of ceremonies for the evening, and a lineup of speakers that includes Norma Alarcón, Jorge Valdivia, Sonia Saldívar-Hull, and Richard Bray, will give short tributes. Donna Seaman will interview Sandra after her acceptance speech, with audience members invited to submit questions. The complete speaker lineup will be posted soon. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required in advance.
The American Writers Museum, Chicago Public Library and National Museum of Mexican Art will co-present the award. Literature For All of Us, Guild Literary Complex, Chicago History Museum, Loyola University Chicago Creative Writing Program, Loyola University Women's Studies/Gender Studies, StoryStudio Chicago, Open Books, Sarabande Books, Make Literary Productions, the Chicago Poetry Center, Greater Reach Consulting, DePaul University English Department, the Hawkins Project, Josephinum Academy of the Sacred Heart, 826CHI, Vintage & Anchor Books, and Kaye Publicity are among the partners for the event. Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation has also provided support to the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame. Register through Eventbrite.
Saturday, February 13, 2021
In the first of several themed Chicago Classics this year, a group of extraordinary writers will read to us about love. Chicago natives Jacquelyn Mitchard, Peter Orner, and Dipika Mukherjee lead a lineup filled with authors with much to say on the subject. Each will treat us to a sampling of one of her or his own books as well as a favorite Chicago book. Michele Morano, whose recent memoir Like Love, takes a deep and fascinating dive into the subject, will emcee the event. The event, held virtually via Zoom, is free and open to the public. Registration is required.
Friday, January 29, 2021
This interactive seminar is open to the public, with a suggested donation of $25 for those who want to contribute. We want you to attend whether you decide to donate or not. Register through Eventbrite.
For Sterling North and Carl Kroch's recipe collection, So Red the Nose, Oak Park native Ernest Hemingway contributed a cocktail named for his book, Death in the Afternoon: “Pour one jigger absinthe into a Champagne glass. Add iced Champagne until it attains the proper opalescent milkiness. Drink three to five of these slowly." Chicagoan Edgar Rice Burroughs contributed "Tarzan Cocktail" to that same recipe book. Raymond Chandler, a Chicago native, mentions a Champagne Cocktail in his masterpiece The Big Sleep. F. Scott Fitzgerald, who modeled a variety of his characters on well-heeled Lake Forest friends he made on several visits during his Princeton days, calls out the Gin Rickey in his novel, The Great Gatsby.
These and other Chicago literary-themed concotions will be part of the menu as mixologist Ryan Prindle, formerly of Band of Bohemia and other watering holes, leads an interactive, virtual class in bartending. Consider it a combination happy hour and seminar, as participants drink along to Ryan's instructive, entertaining class.
Register in advance; limited number of spots available.
Monday, January 18, 2021
Register to receive link
AmeriCorps Project YES!, a program of the Northwestern Settlement House, connects caring adults with youth in the West Town community through mentorship, including educational, service, artistic, and recreational activities, to support academic achievement. Its 14th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Literacy Fair will be held on Monday, January 18, 2021 from 12:30-4 p.m. The theme this year is “Today A Reader, Tomorrow A Leader,” a tribute to the power of literacy as a foundation for understanding and leadership. This event allows members of the community to interact, learn, and have fun while exploring the different aspects of literacy. Participants will have the opportunity to partake in a variety of literacy-based activities, including games, arts and crafts, and creative writing! Families with readers of every age are invited and encouraged to attend! Register here: https://forms.gle/Uj5FDy9dqDDorTMB9
Thursday, December 10, 2020
Via Zoom Webinar
January 10, 2020
The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame's major 2020 fundraiser features three live auctions, readings by Carlos Cumpian, Haki Madhubuti, and Toya Wolfe, and even some literary trivia. Auctioneers Brian Hieggelke and Elizabeth Gomez will entertain you as the bidding for original artwork, a vacation package, and a unique virtual cooking experience with Vu Tran heats up.
Bid early on a range of items, including books, artwork, dining certificates, conference registrations, and a lot more:
We will be adding new items daily from now until the Zoom event, so keep checking back.
September 15-December 1, 2020
Chicago Literary Hall of Fame Fit/Lit returns for the fall and early winter, and the new session is open to all ages. After a successful inaugural session (and requests from the adults to be included) we decided to expand the program.
What It Is: A community of Chicago book lovers reading Chicago literature and plotting excursions based upon local writers and their books. The idea is to read about and see more of Chicago to deepen our appreciation of our city’s history (literary and otherwise) while reaping the health benefits of some good walks (or bike rides).
How it Works: Register for the session (it is one small fee for your entire family). Use our Discord Channel to post reactions (in writing, pictures, or video form) to what you’re reading and seeing. View and respond to the posts of others. In other words, engage with others in our community. Join us on our weekly socially distanced outings to places like the Eugene Field Memorial in the Lincoln Park Zoo or the Gwendolyn Brooks statue in Brooks Park. Let others know about your own outings and if you feel comfortable inviting group members to meet up. (We always wear masks). Then, once a week, on Sunday evening, join our Zoom session to talk about the week behind and ahead.
Where to Find Ideas: We will use the Discord Channel to post resources, like suggested reading lists, that will help you shape your self-guided reading and touring activities. The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame website is a primary source of materials on literary sites, authors, and books.
Why You Should Do It: This is a way to set goals and focus on activities that are both enrichening and entertaining. Just as some people record their steps as a way to monitor their fitness activity, we will (optionally) record our pages read and steps taken. For example, a daily goal might be 100 pages and 10,000 steps.
Signing Up: Use this Eventbrite page to register. Or else email Don Evans and he'll tell you where to send a check. Cost is $40 for the entire family. As always, the CLHOF does not want to exclude anybody because of cost: if the cost is prohibitive, or you just cannot rationalize the expense, especially during these difficult times, just send Don an email. Your fee will be waived and we will welcome you into our community. If you can afford the registration fee, know that it allows us to administer this and other similar programs.
Monday, July 13 through Monday, Aug. 17
Zoom Meeting Room and Discord Channel.
In this Summer of Covid, we find ourselves struggling to maintain a healthy body and mind while also entertaining ourselves. Parents, especially, want to engage their children with activities outside the television screen. Our new online summer program, Chicago Fit/Lit combines physical fitness (walking or biking), reading (Chicago books) and writing (responses to literary experiences). Video narratives are also an option. The idea is, one week you read The Wizard of Oz, take a trip to Oz Park to see the statue of the Tin Man, and then tell (through writing or video) a little about what you experienced. Share what you learned. The next week you read Blue Balliett’s The Wright3, go check out The Robie House in Hyde Park (probably only from the outside), then tell us your thoughts. After that, maybe you read Marianne Malone’s The Sixty-Eight Rooms, stroll over to the Art Institute, and let us in on your experience. A library is a literary site, as is a bookstore, or even an educational institution like Englewood High School that produced writers Lorraine Hansberry, Gwendolyn Brooks, Sam Greenlee, Willard Motley, and Oscar Brown, Jr., among others.
Using our Discord channel, participants will log in and comment on activity throughout the week, leading to a Monday Zoom session in which participants share their achievements. Points will be awarded for visits to literary sites (list of options available on Discord), finished reading (book list also available on Discord), and responses (written or videotaped). The best responses will be published on the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame website, and prizes will be awarded to the most active participants. Registration for this program is $75, but scholarships are available for those in financial need. Email Founding Executive Director Don Evans; we don’t want price to inhibit young readers.
The program begins Monday, July 13 and runs five weeks until Monday, Aug. 17. The weekly check-in meetings are from 1-2 p.m. every Monday during the program. A registration fee of $75 is required; registration closes Sunday, July 12.