Upcoming Past

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]

Lincolnomics, a new book by John Wasik


How President Lincoln Constructed the Great American Economy


Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021;  7:00 – 8:15 p.m., Free, open to the public. No need to register.

Zoom link: https://uic.zoom.us/j/7124160494

Despite the many books about Lincoln, this one is the first of its kind. It tells the story of Lincoln as a significant builder of American infrastructure―how he developed an economic ladder to democracy through national transportation, public education and market access. 

  • “This unique blend of biography and policy prescription…traces the roots of Lincoln’s support for the transcontinental railroad and other ‘internal improvements.’ Wasik convincingly argues that (Lincoln’s) economic policies deserve more credit.”Publishers Weekly
  • “Wasik presents Lincoln as ‘nothing less than our foremost architect of economic opportunity.’”– Ann Durkin Keating

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

Printers Row Lit Fest, Sept. 11-12

Midland Authors Award winners and honorees will discuss their books at noon, Sunday, Sept. 12, at the Printers Row Lit Fest, in the program tent.

In addition, authors will be signing and selling their books throughout Saturday, Sept. 11, and Sunday, Sept. 12, at the Midland Authors tent at Printers Row Lit Fest — the largest free outdoor literary event in the Midwest. The festival takes place along Dearborn Street between Ida B. Wells Drive and Polk Street in Chicago’s Printers Row neighborhood. For more details, see printersrowlitfest.org.

Amelia Cotter, who served as a judge for the children’s fiction award, will moderate the Midland Authors Awards panel discussion at noon on Sept. 12, featuring:

— Jack Shuler, who won the Richard Frisbie Award for Adult Nonfiction for his book This Is Ohio: The Overdose Crisis and the Front Lines of a New America.

— Helen Frost, who won the Children’s Fiction Award for her book All He Knew.

— Riva Lehrer, who won the Bernard J. Brommel Award for Biography and Memoir for her book Golem Girl: A Memoir.

— Amy Timberlake, a Children’s Fiction Award honorees for her book Skunk and Badger.

— Patricia Hruby Powell, a Children’s Reading Round Table Award for Children’s Nonfiction honoree for her book Lift As You Climb: The Story of Ella Baker.

— Philip Metres, a Poetry Award honoree for his book Shrapnel Maps.

After the discussion, these authors will sign their books at the Midland Authors space in Tent E, on Dearborn Street north of Harrison Street. Free copies of the award-winning books and honored books will be available in limited quantities on a first-come, first-served basis Sunday at the Midland Authors tent.

In addition to the award winners and honorees, the following authors are scheduled to sign and sell their books at the Midland Authors tent during the weekend:

Saturday, Sept. 11

10 a.m.-noon: David G. Clark, Kate Hannigan, William Hazelgrove, Kathleen McElligott, Frances McNamara, Mary Wisniewski, David Witter

Noon-2 p.m.: David G. Clark, Joe Gustaitis, Kate Hannigan, William Hazelgrove, Savy Leiser, Paul Lisnek, Frances McNamara, Pat Palella, Patrick Reardon, Nancy Nau Sullivan, David Witter, Ray Ziemer

2-4 p.m.: Daniel Burns, David G. Clark, William Hazelgrove, Libby Hellmann, Dave Hoekstra, John Holden, Savy Leiser, Edward McClelland, Frances McNamara, Pat Palella, Gerard Plecki, Michele Weldon

4-6 p.m.: David G. Clark, William Hazelgrove, John Holden, Savy Leiser, Frances McNamara, Pat Palella, Gerard Plecki

Sunday, Sept. 12

10 a.m.-noon: Sandra Colbert, William Hazelgrove, John Holden, Savy Leiser, Frances McNamara, David Witter

Noon-2 p.m.: Joe Gustaitis, Michael Haupt, William Hazelgrove, Savy Leiser, Frances McNamara, Pat Palella, Patrick Reardon, Michele Weldon, David Witter

2-4 p.m.: Amelia Cotter, William Hazelgrove, Savy Leiser, Frances McNamara, Pat Palella

4-6 p.m.: Geraldine K. Piorkowski, William Hazelgrove, Savy Leiser, Frances McNamara, Pat Palella

Masks are required both inside and outside for both vaccinated and unvaccinated visitors at the Lit Fest. According to City of Chicago guidelines, “For programs hosted inside tents and indoor venues, masks will be required and guests over the age of 12 are required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test result within the last 48 hours, along with a valid photo ID. Unmasked children will not be allowed in program tents or indoor venues.”

For a full list of the Midland Authors Award winners and honorees, see our announcement.

Chicago Collections

Midland Authors presents

Jeanne Long, Executive Director, Chicago Collections

Collaborating, Preserving, Sharing… Chicago’s history and culture

Tuesday, May 11, 2021
Presentation: 7-8 pm; Social: 8-8:30pm (Central)


Chicago Collections (CCC) is a consortium of non-profit organizations that collaborate to preserve and share the history and culture of the Chicago region. Together, CCC preserves and shares Chicago’s rich history and culture by providing free and open access to its members’ archival collections.

  • Learn about Chicago Collection’s portal, a one-stop shop for research.
  • Discover “Ask Chicago Collections,” a reference desk spanning many institutions.
  • Hear case studies of how Chicago Collections helped authors conduct research.
  • Explore opportunities to give a presentation about your book.
  • Find out why authors say, “I wish I had discovered Chicago Collections long ago.”

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

Authentic Voices:

Midland Authors presents AUTHENTIC VOICES:

Three authors on representation, writing & diversity in literature

Tuesday, April 13, 2021
Social: 6:30-7 p.m. / Panel discussion: 7-8:15 p.m. Central


Claire Hartfield, moderator, YA nonfiction
A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919.
Hartfield is the 2019 Coretta Scott King Author award winner for her account of the 1919 Chicago race riot sparked by racial inequities that remain central today.

Crystal Chan, middle grade fiction.
All That I Can Fix
Chan has written two starred review books featuring mixed-race protagonists growing up in the small-town Midwest.

Amina Gautier, adult short stories.
At-Risk: Stories
Gautier has received numerous prestigious awards for her three short story collections. She writes about the experience of African-Americans and Afro-Puerto Ricans in the northeastern United States.

Rita Woods, adult historical fiction.
Woods is a first-time author who has received much praise for her work that mixes history and fantasy to tell the stories of four Black women across 200 years.

Purchase panelists’ books via Semicolon: SemiColonChi.com

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