Wednesday, June 21, 2017
61 W. Superior St.
Eugene Field will be inducted into the seventh class of the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame on Wednesday, June 21, at the Poetry Foundation (61 W. Superior St., Chicago). The induction ceremony begins at 7 p.m.; doors open at 6:30 p.m. Paul Durica, Laurie Lawlor, Thomas Joyce and June Sawyers will speak about the Field’s contributions to American letters, in particular his significance here in Chicago. Student poets, including Oak Park-River Forest’s Jeanese Shanks and Hands On Stanzas' Ireland Costello and Norah Ludwig (both from Skinner West Elementary), will dramatize some of Field’s better known poems for children. Whitney Field will accept the award on behalf of his great grandfather.
For fifty dollars a week, the Chicago Morning News lured popular newspaper columnist Eugene Field to relocate from Denver. In 1883, Field was already widely known, and his new column, Sharps and Flats, would continue his reputation for humorous essays. Living near the intersection of North Clarendon and West Hutchinson in the Buena Park neighborhood, Field chided current events and people, often in the arts and literature, and made a habit of criticizing his new city’s materialism. He called Chicago, “Porkopolis.” Soon, Field’s production of children’s verse increased, and his audience broadened. Field’s first poetry publication was in 1879, and more than a dozen volumes followed. Though Field’s intended audience appeared to be largely adults, his nostalgic recollections of growing up earned him the nickname “Poet of Childhood.” He also wrote a substantial number of short stories. Field died of a heart attack in Chicago at the age of 45, and is buried at Kenilworth’s Church of the Holy Comforter. The Eugene Field Memorial in the Lincoln Park Zoo features “Dream Lady,” an Edwin Francis McCartan sculpture based on the poem, “The Rock-a-By Lady from Hush-a-By Street.” The granite base depicts scenes from other Field poems, including “The Fly Away Horse” and “Seein Things.” His famous “Wynken, Blynken, and Nod,” as well as parts of “The Sugar Plum Tree” are carved into the sides. Other local memorials include an Albany Park field house named after the writer; Chicago, Elmhurst, Park Ridge, Wheeling, Rock Island and Normal elementary schools bearing his name; and Field Park in Oak Park.
Saturday, June 17, 2017
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts at University of Chicago
915 E. 60th Street, Chicago
Gwendolyn Brooks was raised and educated on the South Side, taught at several local colleges, and set much of her poetry in the city. With the publication of A Street in Bronzeville in 1945, Brooks won a Guggenheim Fellowship, became one of Mademoiselle’s “Ten Young Women of the Year,” and generally triggered an avalanche of praise that would continue unabated until her death. With Annie Allen, in 1950, Brooks became the first African-American to capture a Pulitzer Prize; she was poet laureate of Illinois and the United States; she was named National Endowment for the Arts’ Jefferson Lecturer; is a member of the National Women’s Hall of Fame; and has four Illinois schools and a library named in her honor. In conjunction with her 80th birthday in 1997, Mayor Richard Mr. Daley declared Gwendolyn Brooks Week, at which 80 performers and writers from around the world presented her gifts.
This year, on June 7, Brooks would have turned 100.
To honor this momentous occasion, Our Miss Brooks 100 has put together a sensational year of programming. The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame is contributing to the rich tapestry of events with a June 17 tour of Gwendolyn Brooks’ Bronzeville haunts, followed by a reception, discussion and exhibition viewing at the Logan Center.
The bus tour begins at 10 a.m. from the Logan Center. The bus will make stops at Gwendolyn Brooks’ childhood home, her longtime Chicago residence, Third World Press, The Defender, the park named in her honor, and her gravesite, among other highlights. Along the way, we’ll pause to observe other significant sites associated with Brooks and other legendary South Side writers.
At noon, we’ll return to the Logan Center, where a reception awaits. We’ll encourage guests to eat and drink while they view Cultural Families: Chicago Writers and Their Communities. Sculptress Margot McMahon’s exhibit features four CLHOF inductees who were instrumental in shaping unique communities: Brooks with her many student protégés; Alice Hayes with her artistic residency; Richard Wright with radical thinkers; Hemingway with ex-patriots. All four writers were committed to making families of artists, and all four were committed to social justice.
At one p.m., Chicago Literary Hall of Fame Founding Executive Director Donald G. Evans, who will narrate the bus tour, leads a panel discussion about Brooks’ life and legacy. Nora Brooks Blakely, Quraysh Ali Lansana, and Haki Madhubuti will provide insight into all things Gwendolyn Brooks, including stories about the sites just seen on the bus tour and exhibition. These three writers and scholars form Brooks’ close personal circle: Nora is her daughter, Haki is her “cultural son,” and Quraysh is her protégé. All three are keepers of her legacy.
Registration is required for the bus tour. Registration fee for adults is $25; registration fee for children (under 18) and seniors (over 65) is $15. We will meet in the Logan Center café to sign in for the bus tour, leave for our first stop at 10 a.m. and return at noon.
Saturday, June 10, 2017
June 10 through 11, 2017
The Printers Row Lit Fest is this weekend, all day Saturday and Sunday, June 10 & 11. The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame will be around all weekend, at our table under the Poetry Foundation tent. Stop by. Printers Row Lit Fest is considered the largest free outdoor literary event in the Midwest-drawing more than 125,000 book lovers to the two-day showcase. Now in its 32nd year, the festival includes non-stop programming and a wide variety of vendors, taking up five city blocks (South Dearborn Street from Harrison to Polk, Harold Washington Library Center and Jones College Prep High School), in the city’s former bookmaking hub.
Thursday, May 11, 2017
5 to 7:30 p.m.
Ruggles Hall at Newberry Library
60 W. Walton Street, Chicago
Fanny Butcher: (September 13, 1888 – May 1987), for four decades a writer and critic for the Chicago Tribune, will be inducted into the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame on May 11, 2017 at Newberry Library’s Ruggles Hall. Liesl Olson will give the keynote presentation, and John Bokum will accept the award on his aunt’s behalf. Elizabeth Taylor, Linda Bubon, Marianne Wolf-Astrauskas, Toni Nealie, and, Emily Victorson will also give tributes.
Guests are encouraged to arrive an hour before the program start for refreshments and a chance to view the Butcher exhibit (including highlights from the Fanny Butcher Papers). Sponsors for the event include the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, Newberry Library, The Guild Literary Complex, Chicago Writers Association, and Illinois Woman’s Press Association.
Butcher moved to Chicago as a child and graduated from the University of Chicago. Throughout her career at the Tribune, she worked as a society editor, club editor, crime reporter, and fashion editor. She was also a praised book reviewer, and published her memoir Many Lives, One Love in 1971.
Monday, May 8, 2017
7 to 8:30 p.m.
Evanston Public Library
1703 Orrington Ave., Evanston
Director Tim Rhoze and author Sandra Seaton bring to life the frustrations and triumphs of 1960s Black life on Chicago’s South Side, in a powerful adaptation of Cyrus Colter’s prize-winning short stories.
The trilogy begins with A Chance Meeting, a two-person play about an accidental meeting between two African Americans who worked for the same wealthy white Chicago family. Their conflicting reminiscences reveal contrasting attitudes about race, class, sexuality and art. The trilogy continues with The Lookout, a solo play that takes place on a snowy Saturday afternoon on Woodlawn Avenue, where Mildred’s determination to spy on her friend’s exclusive bridge luncheon reveals attitudes about marriage, social status, envy, and interracial divisions. Finally, in Black For Dinner, Anita Hill’s obsession with her dinner party attire contrast with her husband’s worries over his health. In the process, the play explores mortality and the pettiness of surface realities.
Thursday, May 4, 2017
Noon to 1:30 p.m.
200 S. Michigan Ave., Penthouse, Chicago
Ron Rapoport, longtime sportswriter and author, will be the honored guest at a special Cliff Dwellers luncheon on May 4. Ron is in town from Los Angeles to give keynote remarks at Ring Lardner’s induction into the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame later that evening at Newberry Library, and also to promote his new book, Ring Lardner’s Lost Journalism. A buffet lunch will be served at noon, and around 1 p.m. Ron will deliver a talk about Ring Lardner’s legendary literary and journalistic career. Volumes Bookcafé will be on hand to sell his new book, which the University of Nebraska Press is releasing later this month. Ron will happily sign copies of the book at the conclusion of his talk.
The price for the luncheon and program is $30. Reservations are required, and can be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or calling 312.922.8080.
Ron was a sports columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times and the Los Angeles Daily News and was sports commentator for National Public Radio's "Weekend Edition Saturday." He also wrote about sports for the Los Angeles Times and the Associated Press in New York and San Francisco. He is the recipient of the Ring Lardner Award for Excellence in Sports Journalism. The Lost Journalism of Ring Lardner, which contains the best of Lardner’s journalism from his earliest days at the South Bend Times through his years at the Chicago Tribune and his weekly column for the Bell Syndicate, which appeared in 150 newspapers and reached eight million readers. In these columns Lardner not only covered the great sporting events of the era—from Jack Dempsey’s fights to the World Series and even an America’s Cup—he also wrote about politics, war, and Prohibition, as well as parodies, poems, and penetrating observations on American life.
Thursday, May 4, 2017
5 to 7:30 p.m.
Newberry Library's Ruggles Hall
60 W. Walton Street, Chicago
Ring Lardner (March 6, 1885-Sept. 25, 1933) will be inducted into the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame on May 4, 2017 at Newberry Library's Ruggles Hall. Ron Rapoport, veteran sports journalist and editor of a the newly-released The Lost Journalism of Ring Lardner, will give the keynote address, and James Lardner (The Nation) will accept the statue on his grandfather’s behalf. Brian Bernardoni, Don DeGrazia, James Finn Garner, Christina Kahrl and Fred Mitchell will also speak. Guests are encouraged to arrive an hour before the program starts for refreshments and a chance to view the Lardner exhibit (including highlights from the Ring Lardner Papers). Sponsors for the event include the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, Newberry Library, Guild Literary Complex, Chicago Writers Association, Society for American Baseball Research—Emil Rothe Chicago Chapter, Chicago Baseball Museum and Bardball.
Free and open to the public.
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
6 to 7:30 p.m.
Ruggles Hall, Newberry Library
60 W. Walton Street, Chicago
One hundred years ago, Bohemian author and editor of the radical Masses magazine, Floyd Dell, began a passionate affair with a newcomer to Greenwich Village—the yet to be discovered “girl poet,” Edna St. Vincent Millay. In the years that followed, both Dell and Millay became symbols of early twentieth century feminism, rebellion, and literary freedom.
A century later, while poring over her grandfather Floyd’s papers at Chicago’s Newberry Library, Jerri Dell discovered hundreds of handwritten letters and an unpublished memoir about his love affair with Millay. Finding him as outlandish, entertaining, and insightful as he was when she knew him fifty years before, she chose to bring him and his poet lover back to life within the pages of Blood Too Bright. Admirers of Edna Millay—as well as literary and political history buffs, Bohemian Village enthusiasts, and readers interested in writers who famously influenced social norms—are sure to enjoy this eyewitness account of a fascinating woman and exceptional poet.
On Wednesday, April 26, Jerri Dell will discuss and read from her new book in the Newberry Library's Ruggles Hall as part of its Meet the Author series. The event starts at 6:30, and afterward Jerri will sign copies of the book in the Newberry lobby. Blood Too Bright will be available for purchase in the Newberry Bookstore. Your purchase helps support the Newberry Library and this program’s featured author.
This program, which is co-sponsored by the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, is free and open to the public; no registration required.
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
6 to 9 p.m.
200 S. Michigan Ave., Penthouse, Chicago
The fabulous private club, Cliff Dwellers, whose mission for more than a century has been to support Chicago’s cultural life, welcomes Chicago Literary Hall of Fame supporters for The Stories We Tell Ourselves: A Salon with Scott Turow.