Write This Down
Chicago is not a city that can be crisply explained, neatly categorized, or easily understood.
Yet through our literature we strive to define our place in the world. Our literature speaks to our city’s diversity, character and heart. In our literature can be found all we love and hate, frozen snapshots of our vast terrain over the years, commentary on our ever-changing culture. In our literature can be found who we are and what we do and where we do it. The value and character of our city is not only reflected in but shaped by our great books.
Our mission is to honor and preserve Chicago’s great literary heritage.
We do this through educational programming, awards, exhibits and other special events, particularly our annual induction ceremony. We are also in the process of creating a repository of detailed information about Chicago’s past, present and future literary life, through such projects as the Chicago Literary Map, the Chicago Book of the Day, and the Chicago Literary Calendar.
Board of Directors
Donald G. Evans
Founding Executive Director
Don Evans founded the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame in 2010 as a project of the Chicago Writers Association, where he had been a board member. The CLHOF branched out and became its own nonprofit organization in 2013. As executive director of CLHOF, he conceives and enacts the diverse endeavors of the organization—providing educational programming, mounting literary exhibits and events, collaborating with other literary and arts groups, and most notably, leading the planning and production of CLHOF’s annual induction ceremony.
Complementing his CLHOF duties, Don serves as Chicago editor of the literary magazine
Great Lakes Review
and contributes his expertise to the American Writers Museum and its pop-up exhibits. For the past four years, he has served on the Near South Planning Board committee to select the winner of its annual Harold Washington Literary Award. Don cultivates CLHOF’s many partners through his active membership in an array of organizations, including Chicago Writers Association, Society of Midland Authors, Cliff Dwellers, Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature, and Associated Writers Programs. Don is the author of the novel
Good Money After Bad
and was editor of
Cubbie Blues: 100 Years of Waiting Till Next Year
. He has been listed three times as a
Newcity Lit 50: Who Really Books in Chicago.
Board President and Programming Committee Chair
Richard Reeder is the author of
, a personal memoir that spans five decades of literary life in the city. Born and raised in Chicago and educated in Chicago Public Schools, Richard has been a caseworker, elementary school teacher, employment counselor, research assistant, and executive in government and nonprofit agencies. Today, he teaches literature in the Oakton Community College Emeritus Program and moderates the monthly book club at Cliff Dwellers. He is the founder and moderator of the Chicago Jewish Authors Literary Series and a member of the Chicago Jewish Historical Society and the Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society. Richard is proud to have been the moving force behind the renaming of Chicago’s Augusta Boulevard to Saul Bellow Way.
Bob Boone began his teaching career in the 1960s, and over the years has taught English Literature to students of all ages in many locales, including New York City, Germany, Chicago, and the Chicago suburbs. He teaches at Oakton Community College and continues to provide creative writing workshops throughout the city. He is coauthor of three books on creative writing—
Moe’s Café, Joan’s Junk Shop
Write Through Chicago
—along with several textbooks. He is the author of
Inside Job: A Life of Teaching
, a memoir;
, a biography of baseball superstar Hack Wilson; and
, a collection of short stories. Among his most notable achievements as an educator was his founding of Young Chicago Authors in 1991, which today cultivates the creativity of more than 10,000 local teens annually through programs of writing and publication and performance education.
Kenneth Warren is the Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago, specializing in African American literature and nineteenth and twentieth century American literature and critical theory. Subjects of his work include Henry James, William Dean Howell, Leon Forrest, and Ralph Ellison. Ken is a member of the editorial boards of the Cambridge Series of American Literature, American Literary History, and nonsite.org, as well as a board member of the DuSable Museum of African American History. He is the author of
What Was African American Literature?, So Black and Blue: Ralph Ellison and the Occasion of Criticism
Black and White Strangers: Race and American Literary Realism
. He has also coedited two volumes:
Jim Crow, Literature, and the Legacy of Sutton E. Griggs
(Georgia, 2013) with Tess Chakalakkal; and
Renewing Black Intellectual History: The Ideological and Material Foundations of African American Thought
with Adolph Reed, Jr.
Margot McMahon is an artist, sculptor, and teacher whose work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in museums and galleries in Tokyo, Paris, Chicago, New York, Washington, DC, Santa Fe, Cincinnati, Texas, and Connecticut. Among the notable institutions that have collected Margot’s work are the Smithsonian Institution, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Chicago History Museum, the Chicago Botanic Garden, and DePaul University. She has taught at the School of the Art Institute, DePaul, and Yale University. Margot is a founding commissioner of Oak Park’s Public Art Advisory Commission and a founding committee member of Ragdale Foundation’s Cornerstone Fund. She is also an Association of Yale Alumni National Delegate, a board member of Yale Club of Chicago and the Chicago chapter of YaleWomen, and co-vice president of Chicago Sculpture International.
Shahari Moore grew up in the Bronzeville neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side, the community that inaugural CLHOF inductees Gwendolyn Brooks and Richard Wright called home. Shahari’s career in academia spans more than 18 years. Her research led to the City of Chicago granting landmark status to the Bronzeville home of Richard Wright, which subsequently led to the landmarking of Lorraine Hansberry’s and Gwendolyn Brooks’s South Side homes. Shahari coordinated the first annual Brooksday, a Chicago-based event sponsored by Third World Press, Guild Literary Complex, and Brooks Permissions held every June 7 to honor the life and works of Gwendolyn Brooks. Shahari has received fellowships with the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Hurston/Wright Foundation, and has published a number of essays and short stories with Third World Press. In 2011, her short story,
, was adapted as a short film and screened at the Cannes Film Festival before winning the Black Harvest International Film Festival. In 2013, she received a fellowship with the Diverse Voices in Docs, organized by Kartemquin Films and the Community Film Workshop.
Like Ernest Hemingway, Paul Hamer is a native of Oak Park, Illinois, on the border of Chicago’s West Side. In the mid-1970s, Paul founded Hamer Guitars, which over the years built custom guitars for diverse rock bands across two continents, including luminaries such as The Beatles, The Who, Jethro Tull, and The Ramones. After selling his guitar company, Paul returned to Oak Park to start a custom frame business in the village’s historic arts district, while continuing his many other pursuits: artist, civic crusader, author, and arts advocate.
2014 Rutledge Writing Award
Friday, April 04, 2014
Are you a Chicago high school student with a story to tell about your neighborhood? You could win a 2014 Rutledge Writing Award.
2013 CLHOF Inductee Class Announced
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Six new inductees elected into the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame
$2000 Writing Contest for HS Students Announced
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Budding Literary Masters prizes to celebrate the talents of young Chicago writers
You Can Help!
Chicago Literary Hall of Fame © 2014 |
The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame is a federally registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. All donations are tax deductible.