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.
Thursday, September 30, 2021
60 W. Walton Street
Chicago, IL 60610
Reginald Gibbons’s prolific writing career has included publication of ten full-length poetry collections; a short story collection and a novel; numerous essays, reviews, columns, and translations; and as editor a myriad of anthologies. His work is widely anthologized and has earned Gibbons many prestigious literary honors, including the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, the Carl Sandburg Prize, and the Folger Shakespeare Library’s 2004 O. B. Hardison Jr. Poetry Prize. Reg will become the tenth Chicago author to receive the Fuller Award for his lifetime achievements as an author, scholar, teacher, and institution builder. The event is free and open to the public. Ydalmi Noriega will emcee the event, which includes speakers Michael Warr, Angela Jackson, Chris Abani, and Stuart Dybek. Alex Kotlowitz will lead a conversation with Reg following his acceptance speech. Registration is now open.
The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame co-presented this award with the Newberry Library, American Writers Museum, Poetry Foundation, Northwestern University, Chicago Public Library, Guild Literary Complex, The MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College, Four Way Books, Third World Press, The University of Chicago Press, Columbia College Chicago, The Association of Writers & Writing Programs, Louisiana State University Press, Greater Reach Consulting, and the National Museum of Mexican Art. The Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation provides ongoing support.
Sunday, September 19, 2021
In this, our 11th season, and after a year-long posponement due to the health pandemic, the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame will induct a new class on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021 at City Lit Theater. Frank London Brown, Jeannette Howard Foster, and Carlos Cortez represent the 2019 class, along with Gene Wolfe, who, as a former Fuller Award honoree, gained automatic induction upon his death. Co-presenters for the ceremony include the American Writers Museum, Poetry Foundation, Guild Literary Complex, National Museum of Mexican Art, Third World Press, Open Books, Chicago History Museum, Columbia College Chicago and Cliff Dwellers. The Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation provides ongoing support.
Kathie Bergquist will emcee the ceremony. Kathleen Rooney, Carlos Cumpián, Tracy Baim, and Valya Dudycz Lupescu will be among the speakers. Debra E. Brown-Thompson, the oldest daughter of Frank London Brown, and Therese Wolfe-Goulding, Gene Wolfe’s daugher, will be on hand to accept statues. The event is free, but open only to those vaccinated against Covid-19. Registration is required. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.; program begins at 7. City Lit Theater, a 99-seat venue, will fill up quickly, so we recommend advance registration to guarantee your place.
Saturday, Sept. 11 and Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021
10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Between Federal Street and Plymouth Court, just a little south of Harrison Street
Printers Row Lit Fest is back after a year’s hiatus due to the pandemic. This all-weekend festival draws authors, booksellers, and other literary people from across the country. CLHOF for the first time has a tent. Our partners under the tent are After Hours, Rhino, Chicago Poetry Center, Chicago Quarterly Review, Stories Matter Foundation, Guild Literary Complex, and an author table with Melanie Weiss, Carolyn Armstrong, and Amerlia Forczak. We’ll be passing out literature, chatting with whomever wants to chat, and generally making ourselves available. Come see us. Authors include Colson Whitehead, Faisal Mohyuddin, Nancy Johnson, Vu Tran, Christine Sneed, Ben Tanzer, and many others.
Sunday, August 1, 2021
Oak Park Brewing Company
155 S. Oak Park Ave.
Oak Park, IL 60302
Edward Hopper’s painting Nighthawks, which hangs in the Art Institute, has been the subject of much literary exploration. Stuart Dybek and Joyce Carol Oates are among the authors who’ve used the painting in their own fictional explorations. Hopper himself was inspired, according to some reliable accounts, to create the masterpiece after reading Ernest Hemingway’s The Killers, a short story set near Chicago at a diner much like the one in the painting. The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame will team up with Phantom Collective, the Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park, and Oak Park Brewing Company to create an intimate staged reading. June Sawyers’s original script Nighthawks: A Theatrical Meditation on Solitude and Loneliness brings Hopper’s 1942 iconic painting to life through the intersection of music, poetry, and fiction. Bookended by the songs of Tom Waits and incorporating the work of Hemingway and Dybek, among others, Nighthawks is a hybrid theatre piece directed by J. R. Sullivan and starring acclaimed Chicago actors Si Osborne as Edward Hopper and Amy Montgomery as his wife, and fellow artist, Jo Hopper. Doors opened at 5 p.m. for those wishing to dine off of OPB’s menu.
Thursday, June 24 to Thursday, July 22
4-5 p.m. CST
Jerakah Greene, recent recipient of the Pen America 2021 Emerging Voices Fellowships, will lead this summer's Chicago Literary Hall of Fame virtual creative writing workshop for high school students. "Chicago Voices" is free, but registration is required. Throughout this one-month workshop, high school-aged students from across Chicagoland will form their own writing community engaged in reading and writing exercises related to the city. Jerakah will help students find and develop their own voices as they produce and elevate work inspired by their lives, their city, and a diverse selection of notable Chicago literature. The workshop meets 4-5 p.m. CST every Thursday from June 24 until July 22.
Greene graduated from Columbia College with a degree in Creative Writing and a double minor in Literature and Gender Studies. Greene was nominated for two Pushcart Prizes and a Best of the Net Prize in 2019 for stories published in Crabfat Magazine (October 2019) and Impossible Archetype (Issue 6). Greene moved back to their hometown, Tulsa, Oklahoma, after they were awarded a position in Tulsa Service Year, a pilot program aimed at pulling recent college graduates from all over the country to better the Tulsa community. Greene has started work at Tulsa Public Schools.
Read more about Greene in an interview on our blog.
Saturday, June 12, 2021
7 p.m. CDT
Cyrus Colter's 1970 short story "The Lookout," in which aspiring socialite Mildred stalks a Woodlawn street to witness the goings on at a party to which she was not invited, was dramatized in a special theatrical reading. Mardra Thomas directed and starred in a staged reading of Sandra Seaton's adaptation. Eric May introduced Colter and his work. Afterward, Mardra and Sandra, who has written two other one-act plays based on Colter stories, participated in a question and answer with the Zoom crowd. The Guild Literary Complex, Cliff Dwellers, and Chicago Writers Association teamed up with the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame to present this program.
Friday, June 4 through Saturday, September 4
Evenings and Weekends, Mostly
Chicago Literary Hall of Fame Fit/Lit returns for the summer, and the new session is open to all ages.
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 (there is a totally optional suggested donation; donate for yourself, donate for your family, or just join our group). 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). Once, every other week, usually on a Sunday evening, join our Zoom session to talk about some of what we've seen and read.
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.