Saturday, September 9 and Sunday, September 10
9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Dearborn between Ida B. Wells and Polk
Printers Row Lit Fest returns for its 38th year. The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame will again be active throughout the weekend under our tent and as part of the programming. More details to come.
Sunday, August 6, 2023
Oak Park, IL
The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame survives and thrives because of our wonderful army of supporters, including volunteers, board members, associate board members, our advisory council, and donors. Throughout the year, speakers and writers and educators and administrators lend their time to our various programs. Our regular independent contractors, such as printers and designers, go above and beyond the call of duty. We are only here because of the enormous generosity and talent of these people. Least we could do was throw them a party. We gathered in an Oak Park backyard in a few gracious hours between one rainstorm and another. Other than a light drizzle and lots of clouds, it was a fine summer day. We ate, drank, and listened to Anne-Marie Akin's superb music, including her original, "What Do You Do with a Drunken Writer?" and a duet with Ugochi Nwaogwugwu of Bob Marley's "Three Little Birds."
Tuesday, July 11, 2023
1543 W. Division Street
Chicago, IL 60642
The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame’s 14th class officially joined the canon of our city’s all-time literary greats at an induction ceremony and reception hosted by the stupendous Chopin Theatre. Nella Larsen, Bette Howland, and Finley Peter Dunne were honored and celebrated for their important literary contributions to Chicago and beyond. Larsen, born in the Levee District in 1868, published just two novels in her lifetime, but regard for her work has only increased over the decades. A librarian and active part of Harlem’s interracial arts scene, Larsen received critical acclaim for both novels, in particular the bold, important Quicksand (1928), an exploration of cross-cultural and interracial themes set partly in Chicago. A MacArthur Fellowship recipient, Howland’s relatively small output, like Larsen’s, made a vital, lasting impact, as her reputation only increased over time. Her debut effort, the memoir W-3 (1974), details her experiences as a patient in a Chicago hospital's psychiatric wing. Dunne, a celebrated Chicago newspaper columnist, won over legions of fans with his creation Martin Dooley, a South Side, Irish saloonkeeper who espouses wisdom and wit on any variety of current events and socially significant themes. Eight volumes of Dunne’s Dooley sketches were reprinted in book form.
Emcee J-L Deher-Lesaint led a speaking lineup that included Brad Armacost, Martha Bayne, Chaz Ebert, Mike Houlihan, Jennifer Smith, James R. Sullivan, and Rachel Swearingen as well as Howland’s sons Jacob and Frank Howland.
2022 Chicago Literary Hall of Fame Inductees: Finley Peter Dunne, Bette Howland, and Nella Larsen
Saturday, May 13, 2023
Harold Washington Library Center
400 S. State Street
Reception Hall (lower level)
In keeping with our commitment to encouraging and promoting young writers in and around the city, the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame hosted an awards ceremony honoring the winners of the Randall Albers Young Writers Award. The event was held at the Harold Washington Library Center and featured a presentation of awards along with readings from our winners. A reception followed.
Professor and Chair Emeritus of Fiction Writing at Columbia College Chicago, Randall Albers was founding Producer of the long-running Story Week Festival of Writers, received the Columbia College Teaching Excellence Award, and, as chair of the Fiction Writing Department, fostered innovative interdisciplinary and community-based arts work in Chicago, and led development of abroad programs in Moscow, Prague, Florence, Bath, and Rome. A Story Workshop® Master Teacher, he has been a visiting professor at England’s Bath Spa University, has lectured at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, and has presented at numerous national and international conferences on the teaching of creative writing. His fiction, creative nonfiction, and scholarly work have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Chicago Review, TriQuarterly, Writers Digest, Writing in Education, Brevity, F Magazine, and Briefly Knocked Unconscious by a Low-Flying Duck, among others. With Steve May, he authored the lead article in Creative Writing and Education, edited by Graeme Harper; and two chapters from his novel-in-progress, All the World Before Them, have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
As an educator, volunteer, advocate, and mentor, Randall has long supported helping young writers find, develop, and amplify their voices, finding ways for their words and voices to gain a wider audience and full inclusion into local arts and letters.
Randall’s tireless efforts to enhance the city’s literary profile and honor the great diversity and legacy of Chicago writers through encouragement, education, and philanthropy has earned him a cherished place in the hearts and minds of Chicago Literati.
Please consider supporting Chicago’s young writers by making a tax-deductible donation here, or by sending a check to: Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, 4043 N. Ravenswood Ave., #222, Chicago, IL 60613. (Please note your preference to designate your donation to the Randall Albers Young Writers Award.)
Saturday, April 29, 2023
Harold Washington Public Library
400 S. State Street
After Hours Press, co-publisher of Wherever I’m At: An Anthology of Chicago Poetry, hosted a one-hour reading at the Harold Washington Library Poetry Festival on Saturday, April 29. The reading also celebrated the release of the new issue of After Hours magazine, Issue #45. Featured poets were Marvin Tate, Viola Lee, Nina Corwin, and Patrick Reardon. All were included in either the anthology or the magazine. The event was free and open to the public.
Thursday, April 27, 2023
Oak Park Public Library
834 Lake Street
Oak Park, IL 60301
Wherever I'm At: An Anthology of Chicago Poetry features a large variety of artists from throughout the Chicago area. The poems move around, from Hyde Park to the West Side to the Gold Coast to Evanston, etc. Perhaps no neighborhood, or adjacent suburb, boasts better representation than Oak Park. The village boasts an enormously talented artistic community and heritage, some transplants, some natives. On Thursday, April 27, we celebrated Poetry Month at the Oak Park Public Library's main branch with a discussion about Oak Park and the poetic arts. Al DeGenova, Patricia McMillen, Rebecca Morgan Frank and Samina Hadi-Tabassum each read some poems before joining anthology editor Donald G. Evans in a discussion.
Thursday, April 20, 2023
Chicago Public Library
4024 N. Elston Avenue
Chicago, IL 60618
Carlos Cumpian emceed a reading centered around our Chicago poetry anthology, Wherever I'm At. Cynthia Gallaher, Ruben Quesada, Raúl Niño, Paul Martínez Pompa, Mike Puican and Vincent Romero each read a selection of poems. All of the participants contributed poems to the anthology. There was also a short open mic that included a reading by Mary Hawley.
Thursday, April 13, 2023
200 S. Michigan Ave.
Penthouse (22nd Floor)
For more than a century, the Cliff Dwellers Club has promoted and celebrated fine arts in Chicago. It's fitting that the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame partnered with the Cliff Dwellers to put on a special celebration in honor of Poetry Month. Several contributors to Wherever I'm At: An Anthology of Chicago Poetry, including Naoko Fujimoto, Elise Paschen and Kathleen Rooney read poems and discussed their art. In addition, the Club mounted a modest exhibit of Wherever I’m At visual artists that included works by Mary Livoni and Chuck Walker.
Friday, March 31, 2023
Mrs. Murphy & Sons
3905 N. Lincoln Ave.
The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame celebrated the arrival of a new baseball season and spring with Opening Day, a festive themefest of song, story, poetry, and comedy at Mrs. Murphy & Sons on Friday, March 31 at 7:30 p.m.
This themefest included performances of songs like Go, Cubs, Go, Take Me Out to the Ballgame, and Centerfield; baseball readings of poetry and prose; and a live auction of Cub tickets, copies of the anthology, Cubbie Blues: 100 Years of Waiting Till Next Year autographed by various combinations of players and authors; and other baseball souvenirs, maybe even a vintage bobblehead or two.
Free peanuts and Crackerjacks, were passed out to all attendees.
Hosted by J.B. Pariah. Special guests included Donald G. Evans, Salli Berg Seeley, Dave Kossy, James Finn Garner, Michele Morano, Dave Cihla, and McKenna Liesman.
Tuesday, March 14, 2023
Dominican University Performing Arts Center
7900 West Division Street
River Forest, IL 60305
Event and registration are free, but registration is required.
Harriette Gillem Robinet, the acclaimed author of 11 historical novels for young adults, received the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame's Fuller Award at a ceremony on Tuesday, March 14. The ceremony took place at Dominican University's Blake Recital Hall; a reception with appetizers and drinks followed. Speakers included Linda Robinet, Nora Brooks Blakely, Athena Williams, Frank Lipo, Glennette Tilley Turner, and Tsehaye Geralyn Hébert. In addition, Timothy Rey and several Beye Elementary School students read two very short stage adaptations based on the author's work. The event was free and open to the public.
Robinet was the 14th recipient of CLHOF's highest honor for living writers. Over the past three decades, she earned recognition from such prestigious organizations as the Friends of American Writers and Midland Authors. She won a Carl Sandburg Award and a Scott O'Dell Award, and been a finalist for an Edgar Award, a Willam Allen White Award, a Texas Bluebonnet Award, and a Rebecca Caudill Young Readers' Book Award. Walking to the Bus-Rider Blues was recognized as Jane Addams Award Honor book in 2001.
Born in Washington D.C., Robinet spent her childhood summers in Arlington, Virginia, where her mother's father had been a slave under General Robert E. Lee. She attended the College of New Rochelle in New York and received graduate degrees in microbiology from Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
Robinet has long been a Chicago-area resident; in fact, she and her husband Mac have lived in the same Oak Park house since 1965. The couple, newlyweds, then, were among the first integrators to Oak Park. As part of the movement to expose the real estate industry’s racially-motivated practices, the Robinets joined the North Shore Project, which documented the unequal treatment of Black couples and white couples. Last year, the Robinet family was honored by the Historical Society of Oak Park-River Forest with its annual Heart of Our Villages Award.
Robinet's novels explore various themes related to social justice, often using historically significant moments as a springboard. Chicago appears as a primary setting in several books, notably Children of the Fire and Missing From Haymarket Square. In addition, Ride the Red Cycle fictionalizes aspects of Gillem's experience as a mother raising a handicapped child.
In addition to the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame and Dominican University, the Oak Park River Forest Museum, Oak Park Regional Housing Center, American Writers Museum, Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park, Housing Forward, and The Happy Apple Pie Shop helped present this honor. Contributing partners included River Forest Public Library, Oak Park Public Library, Sisters in Crime Chicagoland, and Mystery Writers of America.