Painting of Bozo's Circus
Painting of Bozo's Circus
Don laughing

Coming Events


Thursay, October 24, 2019
6-9 p.m.

The Cliff Dwellers
200 S. Michigan Ave.
22nd Floor (Penthouse)
Chicago, IL 60604

CLHOF’s 9th Induction Ceremony

The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame's nine induction ceremony will honor Frank Marshall Davis, Sam Greenlee, and Salima Rivera. I'll preside over an outstanding lineup that includes speakers Pemon Rami, Maséqua MyersEduardo Arocho, Lillian Anguiano, Marta CollazoJohanny Vázquez-Nieves, Timothy David Rey, and Kenneth Warren.

Rivera's daughter Kayla Gonzalez and brother Jaime David Rivera, as well as Davis's daughter Beth Charlton and granddaughter Rebecca Charlton, will be on hand to provide insight into the personal history of the honorees. 

Registration is required to attend the program. Options include dinner/program or program only. 

Saturday, November 16, 2019
6:30-9 p.m.

Private Home
Evanston, IL 

Great Chicago Books Club: Renée Rosen’s Windy City Blues

The last author fundraiser of the year takes place on a Saturday night in Kelly Morgan's big and beautiful old Evanston home. Renée Rosen will be our featured guest for cocktails, hearty appetizers, and a discussion about her novel, Windy City Blues. I will lead the conversation, but mostly just to moderate the questions from guests; I'm sure Renée will talk about her other books, writing process, and some of the history behind her stories. Registration is required, but it's pretty informal. Just email or call (773.414.2603) me to say you're definitely coming, and then send a check for $60 to: Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, 641 W. Lake Street, Suite #200, Chicago, IL 60661. Registration is limited to about 20 guests. If you decide to come, I'll share information like the address, parking, and so forth. 

Sunday, November 24, 2019
7-10 p.m.

Roscoe Books
2142 W. Roscoe
Chicago, IL 60618

Sunday Salon Chicago

This outstanding monthly reading series usually takes place at the Riverview Tavern, but will move to Roscoe Books in order to avoid the ruckus created by the Sunday night football game. I'll read from An Off-White Christmas as part of a great lineup that includes Turi Ryder, Ines Bellina, Tony Trigilio, and a presentation of Residency on the Farm in Wisconsin by Executive Director Kathryn Kruse. The Sunday Salon features consistently interesting and accomplished writers, and is run by some of Chicago's finest literary minds. I am proud to be part of their important series. 

Monday, December 16, 2019
1:15 p.m.

The Nineteenth Century Club
178 Forest Avenue
Oak Park, IL 60301

Staged Reading of An-Off White Christmas

The Nineteenth Century Club hosts a weekly Monday enrichment series featuring a variety of humanities events. For my part, I've agreed to put on a staged reading of the story "Bah!" from my short story collection, An Off-White Christmas. I'm bringing some of the actors who did the exceptional, just-released audio recording of the story collection, including Kevin Theis and Bryan Wakefield. Reservations required for the lunch, which precedes the performance. Afterward, there will be a Q & A with myself and the actors. The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame is co-sponsoring the event, which means that the $15 suggested donation is waived for CLHOF attendees. 


Saturday, August 24, 2019
6-8:30 p.m.

Private Home

Great Chicago Books Club: Nate Marshall

This fundraiser cocktail party and discussion features author Nate Marshall and his poetry collection Wild Hundreds. Registration information available on CLHOF website.

Saturday, August 10, 2019
10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Tribune Tower
435 N. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611

Chicago Journalists Bus Tour

As we visit sites like the Tribune Tower and Billy Goat Tavern, and travel to iconic places like the Criminal Courts Building, we’ll investigate the lives and works of Chicago’s nest journalists. Registration fee required; details available on CLHOF website.

Sunday, July 28, 2019
5-7:30 p.m.

Private Home

Great Chicago Books Club: Audrey Niffenegger

The great Audrey Niffenegger will be our special guest for this evening of dinner and conversation. We'll talk about her hit novel The Time Traveler's Wife while raising money to fund all the other programming we do at the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame. Registration details are available on the CLHOF website.

Thursday, May 9, 2019
1:30-3:30 p.m.

Newberry Library
60 W. Walton Street
Chicago, IL 60610

Chicago’s Gold Coast Walking Tour

This tour takes us to former author homes, old gathering spots, current institutions, and even certain legendary mansions. Registration fee required; details available on website. Join me for the tour, and then stick around for the Fuller Award to honor Sara Paretsky shortly after the tour.

Sunday, May 5, 2019
5:30-8 p.m.

Private Home
Oak Park

Great Chicago Books Club: Jane Hamilton

Jane Hamilton is coming in from Wisconsin to visit her hometown and help the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame raise some money. This dinner/diiscussion will center around her novel Disobedience. Registration information is on the CLHOF website.

Sunday, May 5, 2019
1-3 p.m.

Oak Park-River Forest High School
210 Scoville Ave.
Oak Park, IL 60302

Oak Park Literary Walking Tour

This tour, which explores Oak Park’s signicance in literature for more than a century, includes a visit to Jane Hamilton’s girlhood home, in honor of her GCBC appearance later that night. Registration fee required; details available on CLHOF website.

Saturday, May 4, 2019
10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Kenwood United Church of Christ
4600-08 S. Greenwood Ave.
Chicago, IL 60653

Chicago’s Black Literary Renaissance Bus Tour

I'm going to lead a bus tour of the South Side, and along the way we'll visit foundational places and their associations with important Chicago writers during the Renaissance.
We'll meet at Kenwood United, across the street from Gwendolyn Brooks Park. There is a registration fee; you can find all the details on the CLHOF website.

Thursday, April 25, 2019
6-8 p.m.

City Lit Books
2523 N. Kedzie Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60647

Chicago By the Book: The Federal Writers Project’s Illinois Unit

The Caxton Club put out a fantastic collection about Chicago books last year, and one of the entries is on a subject that fascinates me: the Federal Writers Project. At City Lit on this night, I'll lead an incredibly smart group of authors and scholars—Sandi Wisenberg, Liesl Olson, Kenneth Warren, and Mary Wisniewski—in a discussion about the governmental program that employed Chicago writers ranging from Nelson Algren to Margret Walker. Sandi did an AWP panel about this years ago, and created a handy website highlighting the topic. Free and open to the public, including a modest reception.

Sunday, February 17, 2019
1 p.m.

WCGO, 15990
2100 Lee Street
Evanston, IL

Playtime with Bill Turck and Kerri Kendall

Bill and Kerry are having me on; I'm looking forward it. Playtime is a show dedicated to the arts, and both hosts do a really nice job covering a broad range of topics and supporting many, many individuals and organizations. Hopefully we'll have time to talk about the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame calendar for 2019, which kicks off in earnest less than a week later with a staged reading at the Newberry Library.

Sunday, January 27, 2019
6-8:30 p.m.


Great Chicago Books Club: Nate Marshall’s Wild Hundreds

Our first 2019 installment of our fundraising author event features a recent poetry collection that is already a Chicago classic. Nate Marshall will be the honred guest as we discuss Wild Hundreds, a book that explores the rapper and breakbeat artist's far South Side terrain between 100th and 130th Streets. The event will be held in a private home; we'll provide the location if you inquire or register. The first half of the evening is a cocktail party; in the second half, I'll lead a discussion of Nate's career and book. Registration fee is $40. The money raised supports the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame's other programming, including free events like exhibits, lifetime achievement ceremonies, and youth workshops. 

Hannah Jennings Design