Past Events

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.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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:

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

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.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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:

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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

Writing Poetry Today

Midland Authors presents Writing Poetry Today

Tuesday, March 9, 2021; Panel discussion: 7- 8:00 pm


Angela Jackson, Illinois’ Poet Laureate, Seems Like a Mighty Long Time
Jackson is a poet, playwright and novelist who grew up on Chicago’s South Side. She is the author of numerous collections of poetry and was named the Illinois Poet Laureate in 2020. Jackson’s forthcoming collection, More Than Meat and Raiment: Poems, will be published this year. “Poetry is life distilled,” she says.

David Radavich, Moderator, America Abroad: An Epic of Discovery
Radavich describes himself as a socially committed poet, playwright and essayist. His latest narrative collection, America Abroad: An Epic for Our Time, is a companion to his earlier America Bound: An Epic for Our Time. Recent lyric collections are Middle-East Mezze and The Countries We Live In. His plays have been performed across the United States and in Europe.

Grace Bauer, Unholy Heart: New and Select Poems
Bauer’s latest collection of poems is Unholy Heart: New and Selected Poems. She was the 2015 winner of the Society of American Authors Book Award in Poetry for her collection Nowhere All At Once. Bauer is the Aaron Douglas Emerta Professor of English & Creative Writing at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and has long been known for the wide range of both her subject matter and poetic styles.

Lisa Fay Coutley, tether
Coutley is an Assistant Professor of Poetry & Creative Nonfiction in the Writer’s Workshop at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She judged the Midland Authors’ Book Award for poetry in 2018 and 2019. In tether, Coutley “engineers both recovery and healing in poems that swerve emotionally between the landing bays of grief, longing and wonder,” said Major Jackson in a review.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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

The Loop: Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021

MIDLAND AUTHORS presents Patrick T. Reardon discussing his new book

The Loop:  The “L” Tracks that Shaped and Saved Chicago       

Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021

Presentation: 7:00 – 8:00 pm (Central Time) Followed by time to socialize: 8:00 – 8:30 pm

Free, open to the public.    No registration needed.  

Just join the meeting via Zoom:

For more than three decades, Patrick T. Reardon was an urban affairs writer, columnist and editor for the Chicago Tribune. In 2000 he was one of a team of 50 staff members who won a Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting. He’sthe author of eight other books, including the poetry collection Requiem for David.

This book “tells the full and fascinating story of how Chicago built the ‘L’ and how the ‘L’ built Chicago. Read this book on the ‘L’ and you might miss your stop!” — Tom McNamee, editorial page editor of the Chicago Sun-Times

“Reardon’s thoughtful and reasoned research is both groundbreaking and long overdue. Not content with simply documenting the origin of the term (‘the Loop’), he also examines how this unique transit infrastructure has maintained its relevancy through changing times.” — Bruce G. Moffat, author of The “L:” The Development of Chicago’s Rapid Transit System, 1888-1932

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

Jan. 12, 2021 Children’s Literature


Writing and Publishing Children’s Books

Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021

Social half hour: 6:30-7 pm;  Panel discussion: 7-8:15 pm

Via Zoom:

Free, open to the public; No registration required.


Kate Hannigan,  Moderator,  A Lady Has the Floor

Author and writing coach Esther Hershenhorn admits that S is for Storyis the book she wishes she’d owned as a little girl, dreaming of a writing career. She lives in Chicago, where she teaches Writing for Children at the University of Chicago’s Graham School’s Writer’s Studio and at the Newberry Library.

Claudia Guadalupe-MartinezNot a Bean

“Martinez reveals the hidden secrets of the legendary Mexican jumping bean in her picture-book debut. Much like the seed pod’s concealed cargo, this informational picture book packs plenty of facts and learning into a thoroughly entertaining package. Engaging and fun, as all learning should be.” — Kirkus Reviews

Patrick Mc Briarty, Drawbridges Open and Close

“As a kid, I always loved books that explained a concept I didn’t fully grasp when I first saw it. Drawbridgesis one of those books…a great book for those who want to understand the world they encounter.” — Michael Higdon, Retail Manager at the National Building Museum

Eileen Meyer, TheSuperlative A. Lincoln: Poems about our 16th President

“These 19 poems demythologize A. Lincoln. An excellent use of language and recognizable rhyme schemes make this title a wonderful teaching tool for the classroom. VERDICT: A good example of how poetry can also inform. Highly recommended for elementary schools and public libraries.” — School Library Journal

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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

Jill Long Thompson discusses The Character of American Democracy

Jill Long Thompson discussing her new book The Character of American Democracy: Preserving Our Past, Protecting Our Future

Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020; Panel discussion: 7- 8:15 pm
with Richard Painter (invited) and Delmarie Cobb, moderator


Jill Long Thompson, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, is a visiting scholar with the Ostrom Workshop at Indiana University Bloomington.  During the past five years she taught ethics at the IU Kelley School of Business and the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

Richard Painter was chief ethics lawyer in George W. Bush’s White House and is now the S. Walter Richey Professor of Corporate Law at the University of Minnesota Law School. His latest book is American Nero: The History of the Destruction of the Rule of Law, and Why Trump Is the Worst Offender.

Delmarie Cobb, a veteran journalist and political consultant, owns and operates The Publicity Works, a Chicago-based public affairs, political consulting and media relations firm. She writes a column, Chicago Colors, and is often sought out by the media for her political analyses.

The Character of American Democracy, just published Sept. 15, 2020, shows a bipartisan way forward in these troubling times, when the public is losing trust in our government and confidence in our democratic system. Thompson makes the case that democracy is an ethical concept, and that the process by which we adopt policy is as important as the policies we adopt. One week after the election will be a perfect time to analyze where we stand. Join us!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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