Upcoming Past

TUE., FEB 14: Valentine’s Day Author Event with Chicago Novelist Joseph G. Peterson

Join us for February’s Society of Midland Authors event featuring books + wine.

Come out and mark the Valentine’s Day holiday with Chicago author Joseph G. Peterson and his latest novel, Memorandum from the Iowa Cloud Appreciation Society, an exploration of love. Enjoy a glass of wine + a reading + booksigning.

WHAT: SMA ventures into Lincoln Square, to one of the best neighborhood bookstores in the city

WHERE: Book Cellar, 4736 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago

WHEN: Tuesday, February 14, 2023, 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m.

ABOUT THE BOOK: When his girlfriend, Rosemary, asks about his life, Jim Moore, a successful salesman whose territory covers the entire continental United States and parts of Canada, doesn’t think there is anything to say and so he tells her “nothing happened,” or maybe he doesn’t know how to put it all into words or maybe he doesn’t want to.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joseph G. Peterson is the author of several books of fiction and poetry, including most recently, The Rumphulus and Ninety-Nine Bottles. He grew up in Wheeling, Illinois, and received his B.A. from the University of Chicago. He works at The University of Chicago Press and is a longtime resident of Hyde Park.

IN CONVERSATION WITH: Carol Saller. Carol is a contributing editor to The Chicago Manual of Style and, before her retirement, a longtime colleague of Joseph G Peterson at the University of Chicago Press. The New York Times called her book The Subversive Copy Editor “the book Oprah would write if her vocation were saving writers from embarrassment.” Saller’s young-adult novel Eddie’s War was named a Best Book of the Year at Kirkus Reviews, a Horn Book Recommended Verse Narrative, and a Chicago Public Library Best Fiction for Teens. Carol currently writes the “Writer, Editor, Helper” newsletter for aspiring writers and self-publishers. Visit Carol at subversivecopyeditor.com/blog.

COST: Free and open to the  public. Books available for purchase and signing after the event.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Visit MidlandAuthors.org or BookCellarinc.com.

February 2023 SMA Event

TUE., JAN 10: Join us for our Mystery Panel event with authors Tracy Clark, Michelle Cox, Mia Manansala, and Lori Rader-Day


WHAT: Midland Authors invites you to join us for our January Mystery Panel event! Kick off the new year with four exciting & award-winning authors: Tracy Clark, Michelle Cox, Mia Manansala, and Lori Rader-Day

WHEN: 6-7 p.m. Tuesday, January 10, 2023
WHERE: Harold Washington Library’s Pritzker Auditorium, 400 S State St, Chicago, IL 60605
COST: Free and open to the public

Join us after for book signing! Learn more at MidlandAuthors.org

Our four authors are award winners and best sellers:

Tracy Clark, a native Chicagoan, is the author of the Cass Raines Chicago Mystery series, featuring ex-cop turned PI Cassandra Raines. A multi-nominated Anthony, Lefty, Edgar, Macavity, and Shamus Award finalist, Tracy is also the 2020 and 2022 winner of the G.P. Putnam’s Sons Sue Grafton Memorial Award and the 2022 Sara Paretsky Award, which honors crime writers from the Midwest. Tracy was also nominated for the 2022 Edgar for Best Short Story for “Lucky Thirteen,” which was included in the crime fiction anthology Midnight Hour. She is a proud member of Crime Writers of Color, Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime and serves on the boards of Bouchercon National and the Midwest Mystery Conference. HIDE, her new, police procedural, featuring Det. Harriet Foster of the Chicago Police Department, released in January 2023. The second entry in that series, FALL, releases in 2024. Visit her online at TracyClarkBooks.com.

Michelle Cox is the author of the Henrietta and Inspector Howard series as well as “Novel Notes of Local Lore,” a weekly blog dedicated to Chicago’s forgotten residents. Her books have won over 60 international awards and have been praised by Kirkus, Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Foreword, Elle, Redbook, Brit&Co., POPSUGAR, Buzzfeed, and many others. Unbeknownst to most, Michelle hoards board games she doesn’t have time to play and is, not surprisingly, addicted to period dramas and big band music. Also marmalade. She lives in Chicago with her husband, three children, and one naughty Goldendoodle and is hard at work on her latest novel. Visit her at www.miapmanansala.com.

Mia P. Manansala (she/her) is a writer and certified book coach from Chicago who loves books, baking, and bad-ass women. She is the author of the multi-award-winning Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery series, and uses humor (and murder) to explore aspects of the Filipino diaspora, queerness, and her millennial love for pop culture. Find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @MPMtheWriter, or check out her website at www.miapmanansala.com.

Lori Rader-Day is the Edgar Award-nominated and Agatha, Anthony, and Mary Higgins Clark award-winning author of Death at Greenway, The Lucky One, Under a Dark Sky, and others. She lives in Chicago, where she co-chairs the Midwest Mystery Conference and teaches creative writing at Northwestern University. Visit her at www.LoriRaderDay.com.


Questions? Visit MidlandAuthors.org
or contact Claire Hartfield:
[email protected]

TUE., NOV 15: In this virtual program, Deborah Cohen (Last Call at the Hotel Imperial) and Kim Todd (Sensational) talk about their books exploring legendary reporters of World War II & the Gilded Age. In conversation with Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Mary Schmich.

What: In this virtual program, Deborah Cohen (Last Call at the Hotel Imperial) and Kim Todd (Sensational) talk about their books exploring legendary reporters of World War II & the Gilded Age. In conversation with Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Mary Schmich.
When: 7-8 p.m., Tuesday November 15
Where: Online via Zoom. Here’s the meeting link.

Free and Open to the Public. Use code SMA15 for 15% off at BookishChicago.com/adult/midland-authors

Deborah Cohen‘s Last Call at the Hotel Imperial: The Reporters Who Took on a World at War (Random House 2022) is an account of a close-knit band of famous American reporters who took on dictators and rewrote the rules of modern journalism. She is the Richard W. Leopold Professor of History and Chair of the History Department at Northwestern. deborahcohen.com

Kim Todd‘s Sensational, the Hidden History of America’s “Girl Stunt Reporters” (Harper 2021) was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award, Richard Frisbee Adult Nonfiction Award, and the American Journalism Historians Association Book of the Year Award. She is on the creative writing MFA faculty at University of Minnesota, where she teaches literary nonfiction. kimtodd.net

Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Mary Schmich was a longtime columnist for the Chicago Tribune, as well as author of the comic strip Brenda Starr, Reporter for nearly 30 years.

Questions? Visit MidlandAuthors.org
or contact Claire Hartfield:
[email protected]

TUE., OCT 11: Dipika Mukherjee discusses her new book of poetry, Dialect of Distant Harbors

What: Dipika Mukerjee discusses her new book of poetry, Dialect of Distant Harbors, in conversation with poet Marty McConnell and accompanied by Ishti Collective, a Chicago-area fusion dance troupe.
When: 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, October 11th
Where: Cliff Dwellers Club, 200 S. Michigan Ave., 22nd floor penthouse

Free, open to the public; Suggested donation $5

Join us for a night with the award- winning poet as she discusses her themes of home, grieving, and kinship. As the world recovers from a global pandemic and the failure of modern government, these poems are incantations to our connections to the human family.

“Mukherjee’s latest poetry collection is a penetrating, intercontinental, and reflective sheaf of poems on aging, illness, faith, and family written in a keen diasporic music.”
— Maya Marshall, author of All the Blood Involved in Love

Questions? Visit MidlandAuthors.org
or contact Claire Hartfield:
[email protected]

Ray Long discusses his new book, The House That Madigan Built

What: Ray Long discusses his new book, The House That Madigan Built
When: 6-7 p.m. Tuesday, September 13
Where: Cindy Pritzker Auditorium, Harold Washington Library, 400 S.State St., Chicago, IL
Free, open to the public; no need to register

CAN TV will be videoing the event.

Questions? Visit MidlandAuthors.org
or contact Claire Hartfield:
[email protected]

Rick Kogan in conversation with Peter Nolan on Mayor Harold Washington’s Legacy

Rick Kogan in conversation with Peter Nolan as they discuss Mayor Harold Washington’s Legacy on the 100th anniversary of his birth

Wednesday, April 20, 2022;   Cocktail hour: 6-7 pm;  Presentation: 7-8 pm

Cliff Dwellers Club, 200 S. Michigan Ave., 22nd floor Penthouse

Free and open to the public  ~  Free appetizers, cash bar  ~  No advance registration required

Parking: $16 for 24 hours at the southwest corner of Adams & Wabash.

Get a validated ticket at the Cliff Dwellers bar.

Join us as acclaimed Chicago Tribune columnist and After Hours WGN Radio host Rick Kogan chats with retired veteran NBC5 political reporter Peter Nolan, author of Campaign! The Election that Rocked Chicago. Peter covered Washington extensively over the course of his long television journalism career. Campaign! transports you to that tumultuous, historic mayoral election. Join us as Rick and Peter trade memories and share their insights.         

Dick Simpson and Mayor Lori Lightfoot on “Democracy’s Rebirth: The View from Chicago”

Author Dick Simpson and Mayor Lori Lightfoot

will discuss his new book, “Democracy’s Rebirth: The View from Chicago”


What:       Midland Authors monthly program

When:      Thursday, April 21, 2022, 6-7 p.m.

Where:     Cindy Pritzker Auditorium, Harold Washington Library, 400 S. State St.

Free, open to the public; no need to register

What are the challenges confronting Americans in their struggle to build the United States as a multiracial, multiethnic nation? Dick Simpson, a long-time political activist and former Chicago alderman, uses the Windy City to examine how the political, racial, economic and social inequalities dividing us play out in our neighborhoods and cities. His new book “Democracy’s Rebirth: The View from Chicago” is a blueprint for repairing democracy in America.

Now a professor of political science at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a former president of Midland Authors, Simpson is an expert on Chicago politics, political reform and elections. He has published widely and affected public policy. He has built a 50-year career as a legislator, campaign strategist, government advisor and challenger of the status quo.

Democracy’s Rebirth: The View from Chicago helps illuminate both our past and our way forward toward a government and society that are more fair, equitable and effective for all its residents, and a successful future that we can all equally engage and benefit from.” – Lori Lightfoot, from her Foreword to the book.

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For more information, contact Greg Borzo: (312) 636-8968; [email protected]




Edgewater Beach Hotel, with author John Holden

A look back at Chicago’s preeminent playground with author John Holden

 Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022 Cocktail hour: 6-7 pm; Panel discussion: 7-8 pm

Cliff Dwellers Club, 200 S. Michigan Ave. 22nd floor penthouse ­ —  with a great view of Millennium Park!

Free, open to the public; free appetizers, cash bar. Mask and proof of vaccination required.


Nothing epitomized the glamour and excitement of Chicago’s Jazz Age and war years like the fabled Edgewater Beach Hotel, a world unto itself – the only urban resort of its kind  in the country. It was the place to go for dinner and dancing, fabulous floor shows, theater and some of the best jazz and swing music ever. It was patronized not only by the rich and famous but also by ordinary people who wanted a taste of the high life.

Remembering Edgewater Beach Hotel is a new book by John Holden and Kathryn Gemperle, students of Chicago history and board members of the Edgewater Historical Society. Holden is a lifelong Chicagoan and has been actively involved in numerous community improvement organizations and historical societies for the past 30 years. He’s vice president of the Edgewater Historical Society and a past president of the Uptown Historical Society. A long-time journalist and public relations professional, Holden has witnessed much Chicago history in the making.

For more information contact: Greg Borzo: (312) 636-8968; [email protected]

Anthology of Black American Literature from the Chicago Quarterly Review


Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Cocktail hour: 6-7 pm; Panel discussion: 7-8 pm

Cliff Dwellers Club, 200 S. Michigan Ave., 22nd floor penthouse­—overlooking Millennium Park!

Free, open to the public; Free appetizers, cash bar

Syed Afzal Haider,  Moderator, is a prolific author and founder of the Chicago Quarterly Review.

Tsehaye Hébert is a nationally acclaimed citizen playwright and a cultural architect whose work nuances and centers the African American experience. Her devotion to craft, and access brings her unique voice to the fore with hybrid, quirky stories of Black American life.

E. Hughes received her MFA+MA from the Litowitz Creative Writing Program at Northwestern University. She has been published in Guernica Magazine, Poet Lore and Wildness Magazine, ang others. Her first manuscript of poems is titled Black Women Standing Ankle-Deep in Pacific Water.

LeVan D. Hawkins is a performance artist and a published poet and writer. His prose has appeared in many prominent publications, and he has received several fellowships. Currently, he’s working on What Men Do, a memoir.

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For more information, contact Greg Borzo: (312) 636-8968; [email protected]

Midland Authors presents Connie Goddard

Midland Authors presents

Training Hands as Well as Educating Heads

Revisiting Industrial Education:
Lessons from Three Distinctive Progressive Era Schools

Tuesday, Nov. 16th, 2021; 7:00-8:15 pm


Before there were vocational-education programs, there was manual training and industrial education, which emphasized the practical instruction of the hand and eye. Manual training improved perception, observation, dexterity and visual accuracy. It combined practical with academic education.

Goddard’s forthcoming book, Revisiting Industrial Education: Lessons from Three Distinctive Progressive Era Schools, examines influential schools in North Dakota, New Jersey and Chicago. Chicago’s innovative Manual Training School (CMTS), was created in 1884 and influenced dozens of similar schools before being incorporated into John Dewey’s department of education at the University of Chicago in 1901; once there, it lost its distinctive identity. Why Dewey ignored CMTS – as well as complementary ideas from Frank Lloyd Wright and W.E.B. Du Bois – are among the fascinating questions Goddard asks in her “rich contextualization of educational activities around the turn of the century,” as an early reviewer said of her book.

Goddard will also discuss:

  • Getting published
  • Writing during Covid
  • Lessons from writers who guided her research

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For more information, contact event chair Greg Borzo at (312) 636-8968 or [email protected]