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

Coming Events

Wednesday, February 26, 2020
3-5:30 p.m. 
South Side Community Art Center
3831 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60653

A Conversation with Timuel D. Black Jr.

Landmarks Illinois and the South Side Community Art Center teamed up to put together a book discussion with Timuel D. Black, and asked me to facilitate the discussion. Mostly, I'll just serve up a couple of questions and let the great man launch into some of the fascinating stories he's accumulated over his 101 years. Mr. Black is a renown activist, educator, and oral historian; his memoir Sacred Ground: The Chicago Streets of Timuel Black, which was published last year, will be a focal point of the discussion. This event is honor of Black History Month featuring noted civil rights leader Timuel D. Black Jr. The event features a discussion with Mr. Black about his memoir as well as a reception. Registration is required through Landmarks Illinois.

After Hours, a journal of Chicago writing and arts, celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. In honor of its latest publication, #40, AH will hold a virtual reading with three featured readers followed by an open mic. I'm the issue's featured writer and will read along with Mary Blinn 2020 Poetry Prize Winner David Mathews and first-time After Hours contributor Erin Roux. The public is encouraged to join the reading, which is being conducted via YouTube Live. Chicago Literary Hall of Fame is co-sponsoring the event. 

After Hours #40 YouTube Live Launch


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