Wednesday, July 20, 2022
The First Presbyterian Church of Chicago
6400 S. Kimbark Ave.
Chicago, IL 60637
The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, in partnership with Stories Matter Foundation and The First Presbyterian Church of Chicago, will offer a one-day workshop with acclaimed Southside author, poet and educator Tara Betts. The workshop, open to young people between the ages of 12 and 18, expects to draw attendees from the greater Woodlawn community. Stories Matter Foundation will lead students in discussing and creating original creative work, using, in part, readings from some of our great Chicago writers. The First Presbyterian Church of Chicago is one of, if not the, oldest churches in the city, and for well over a century and a half has been a leader and innovation in issues regarding education, social justice, and multi-culturalism. "Woodlawn is rich with wonderful stories from its deep heritage of Black immigrants from the Great Migration, along with many more recent immigrants from around the world," says Rev. David Black of First Church. "This partnership with Stories Matter Foundation and the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame is an important initiative to harness the voices and stories of young people and to share it with the world." SMF Youth Programs Manager Sahar Mustafah said that SMF's goal is to provide access to young Chicagoans so that they can become storytellers who "question, explore, celebrate, and change their worlds using the power of story." Betts is the author of the poetry collections Refuse to Disappear, Break the Habit and Arc & Hue. She was also commissioned to write the Illinois Bicentennial poem by Illinois Humanities. In addition to her work as a teaching artist and mentor for young poets, she has taught at Rutgers University, University of Illinois-Chicago, DePaul University, Northwestern University, and at Stateville Prison via Prison + Neighborhood Arts Project. she is the inaugural Poet for the People Practioner Fellow at University of Chicago. Tara is the Poetry Editor at The Langston Hughes Review and founder of the non-profit organization The Whirlwind Learning Center on Chicago's South Side. Spaces for this special free workshop are limated and allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. To register, participants or their parents must complete a registration form. For further information, please contact Rev. David Black (717.608.1710), Randall Albers or Sahar Mustasfah.
Sunday, July 17, 2022
The Hungry Brain
2319 W. Belmont Ave.
The Sunday Reading Series at Chicago's iconic Hungry Brain will feature four readers from Wherever I'm At: An Anthology of Chicago Poetry. Simone Muench and Kenyatta Rogers host this memorable evening of iconic poets including Kristiana Rae Colón, Viola Lee, Tara Betts, and Rachel Galvin.
Tuesday, July 12, 2022
Chicago History Museum
1601 N. Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60614
Author, critic and scholar Richard Guzman leads a panel discussion that ties history and verse, with several contributors to the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame’s new poetry anthology. Panelists include 2015 Fuller Award winner Haki Madhubuti, along with poets Vida Cross, Yolanda Nieves, and Virginia Bell. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required.
About the panelists:
Dr. Richard R. Guzman is professor emeritus at North Central College where he taught writing, literature, race/ethnicity, and social change, and led in establishing programs that shaped virtually every aspect of college life. He twice won awards for outstanding teaching and leadership. He has published music, poetry and essays. His first book, Voices and Freedoms: A History of Jazz, was made into a nationally syndicated radio series, while a more recent one, Black Writing from Chicago, was hailed as a "work of great importance and a sheer delight." He has volunteered in homeless shelters for decades, currently leading his church's homeless program, and led in bringing a diversity plan to one of Illinois' most prominent school districts, a project for which he was honored by the state. He is consultant on racial justice and equity initiatives for the Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church and headed the committee that produced the Becoming the Beloved Community anti-racism workshop. He is active in his family's foundation Emmanuel House. Founded by his eldest son Rick and his wife Desiree in memory of Dr. Guzman's youngest son Bryan Emmanuel, it was named one of the Top 100 Most Innovative social change organizations in the world in 2016. Now The Neighbor Project, it leads families, many of which are families of color, towards financial stability and onto the path of home ownership. Lack of equitable home ownership opportunities is the single greatest factor in our country's immense racial wealth gap. He has been involved with the CLHOF nearly from its beginning, being on the first panel of nominators and giving several of the Hall's induction speeches.
Haki R. Madhubuti is an award-winning poet, and one of the architects of the Black Arts Movement. He founded Third World Press in 1967 (the oldest continuously publishing in- dependent Black book publisher in the world). His first four books of poetry from the Black Arts Movement, Think Black (1967), Black Pride, with an introduction by Dudley Randall (1968), Don't Cry, Scream! with an introduction by Gwendolyn Brooks (1969), and We Walk the Way of the New World (1970), all published by Broadside Press of Detroit, Michigan, sold over 140,000 copies between 1967-1971, making him one of the best-selling poets in the world. Madhubuti has published over 36 books (some under his former name, Don L. Lee). His book, Black Men: Obsolete, Single, Dangerous? The African American Family in Transition (1991) has more than one million copies in print. His poetry and essays have been published in over 100 anthologies and journals between 1997-2022. Madhubuti has taught at many colleges and universities, including Columbia College Chicago, Cornell University (making him the first Black poet- in-residence at an Ivy League University), Howard University (first poet-in-residency), Chicago State University (first Black male faculty member to be named University Distinguished Professor), and DePaul University (the last Ida B. Wells-Barnett University Distinguished Professor). He has shared his poetry and essays on four continents and over thirty-eight states in the United States. His latest book, Taught By Women: Poems As Resistance Language, New And Selected (2020), pays hom- age to women who influenced him. He is currently completing We Are a Hated People: Poems and Essays of Who We Are. In 2015 the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame presented Madhubuti with the Fuller Award for lifetime achievement.
Vida Cross is a blues poet and a Pushcart nominee for 2021 and 2018. Her book of poetry, Bronzeville at Night: 1949 (Awst Press) was published in 2017. Vida is on the board for the Milwaukee Center for the Book and the Poet Laureate Commission. She is the chairperson for the Creative Writing Division of the English Department and the Stormer Connect Mentoring Programs at Milwaukee Area Technical College. She is a Cave Canem Fellow who holds an MFA in Writing and an MFA in Filmmaking from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, an MA in English from Iowa State University and a BA from Knox College. Her work has appeared in several journals and anthologies including A Civil Rights Retrospective, Tabula Poetica, Transitions Magazine, The Literary Review, Reed Magazine, The Journal of Film and Video, Through this Door: Wisconsin in Poems, MilwaukeeNoir, Wising Up Anthology: Creativity and Constraint, and Cave Canem Anthology XII.
Yolanda Nieves, born and raised in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood, is an award- winning poet, playwright, director, educator, actress, and founder of the Vida Bella Ensemble. Author of two highly acclaimed poetry books, Dove Over Clouds (Plain View Press, 2007) and The Spoken Body (Plain View Press, 2010), Nieves’s research and poetry have been featured in journals including Hunter College’s prestigious El Centro Journal for Puerto Rican Studies. She is an associate professor at Wright College, and holds a bachelor’s degree from Loyola University Chicago, a master’s degree in Organizational Development from Loyola University Chicago, a master’s degree in Reading from Northeastern Illinois University, and an Ed.D. in Adult Education from National-Louis University.
Virginia Bell won a Chapter One Competition, sponsored by Arch St. Press in 2021, won the Creative Nonfiction Prize from NELLE in 2020, and received Honorable Mention in the RiverSedge 2019 Poetry Prize, judged by José Antonio Rodríguez. Bell’s poems, essays, and re- views have also appeared in Hypertext, Kettle Blue Review, Fifth Wednesday Journal, Rogue Agent, Gargoyle, Spoon River Poetry Review, Poet Lore, The Keats Letters Project, Blue Fifth Review, Wicked Alice, Cider Press Review, and Voltage Poetry, among other journals and anthologies. Bell is the author of the poetry collection From the Belly (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2012), serves as co-editor of RHINO, and teaches at Loyola University Chicago.
Monday, June 13, 2022
7 p.m. CDT
Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts
The University of Chicago
915 E. 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
A new poetry anthology, edited by Chicago Literary Hall of Fame Founding Executive Director Donald G. Evans and the late Robin Metz, was celebrated at this official launch party. More than 100 Chicago poets are included in the anthology, and many were present to join in the release. There were short readings, music, and drinks. This collaboration between After Hours Press and the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, with support from Third World Press and March Abrazo Press, marks the CLHOF’s debut publishing effort.
Order the book now.
Video by Ravensvoyage Productions
Photos by Don Seeley
Thursday, May 19, 2022
7 p.m. CDT
The Poetry Foundation
61 W. Superior Street
Chicago, IL 60654
When the pandemic shut down live programming back in early 2020, we held over an induction class. Then last year, with conditions not dramatically improved, we held the rescheduled ceremony but not the latest class. Finally, this year, we were determined to get up to date on all our new inductees.
The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame Class of 2020 includes three extraordinary Chicago literary figures: Harry Mark Petrakis, Era Bell Thompson, and Lisel Mueller. Petrakis, a prolific prose author for more than a half century, received the CLHOF’s Fuller Award back in 2014; upon his passing the CLHOF board unanimously voted his ascension to our canon of important historical writers. Thompson was a memoirist and trailblazing journalist; she worked for Negro Digest and Ebony, among other prominent publications. Mueller was a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet.
The ceremony featured presentations and readings by Maria Karamitsos, Beverly Cook, Elizabeth Metzger Sampson, Marty McConnell and Raquel Flores-Clemons. Lucy Mueller and John Petrakis were among the family members on hand to accept the induction statues.
Registration is limited.
Sunday, May 15, 2022
Chicago Cultural Center
78 E. Washington
Chicago, IL 60602
Carlos Cumpián leads a discussion of Chicago poetry as he and panelists Angela Jackson, Faisal Mohyuddin, and Johanny Vázquez Paz give a sneak preview of the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame's soon-to-be-released Wherever I'm At: An Anthology of Chicago Poetry. Though the official release date is Monday, June 13, a limited number of books will be on sale before and after the event. This will be one of the culminating events of the American Writers Festival, which has full details about the program on its website. The Chicago Public Library is in partnership with the CLHOF in staging this program; it also has more details on its website.
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.
Ace mixologist Ryan Prindle will be back behind the bar to teach us Chicago literary-themed drinks such as Dandelion Wine, Farenheit 451, the Lena Younger Cocktail, and the Goat-Milk Cocktail.
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.
Literary Magazines and Journals
Chicago Literary Hall of Fame
Email: Don Evans
4043 N. Ravenswood Ave., #222
Chicago, IL 60613