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

Coming Events


Saturday, February 23, 2019
10 a.m.

Newberry Library, Ruggles Hall
60 West Walton Street
Chicago, IL 60610

Back of the Yards

The Shakespeare Project of Chicago reads Kenneth Goodman’s 1914 play Back of the Yards; Florice Whyte Kovan (Snickersnee Press) and June Sawyers (The Phantom Collective) give related presentations. I'll lead a talkback with director Peter Garino and actors from the reading. The event is free and open to the public but requires registration.

Sunday, March 10, 2019
5-7:30 p.m.

Private Home
Hyde Park

Great Chicago Books Club: Rosellen Brown

Rosellen will be our special guest at this fundraiser dinner. Ronne Hartfield is hosting at her place in Hyde Park, and in the second half of the evening I'll lead a discussion with Rosellen about her historical novel, The Lake on Fire. Registration information for the event is on the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame website.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019
7 p.m.

Facebook Live!

The Wednesday Cafe

My good friend and fellow writer JoAnn Fastoff hosts a weekly author chat live on Facebook. She's invited me to be her guest on Wednesday, March 27, and I'm honored to do it.


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