CHICAGO (August 12, 2021) Printers Row Lit Fest, the largest free outdoor literary showcase in the Midwest, returns for its 36th year with 100% free programming for book lovers the weekend after Labor Day, Saturday, Sept. 11 and Sunday, Sept. 12, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., in Chicago's historic Printers Row neighborhood. Old, new, rare, and hard-to-find treasures will be offered, rain or shine, by a diverse collection of booksellers in tents stretching out over five blocks of Dearborn Street. For more information, visit printersrowlitfest.org
Printers Row Lit Fest will be headlined by New York Times bestselling author and National Book Award winner Ta-Nehisi Coates, recipient of the 2021 Harold Washington Literary Award. Coates kicks off Printers Row Lit Fest with a free public event on Saturday, Sept. 11 at 10 a.m. at the Harold Washington Library auditorium. Other nationally acclaimed authors include Pulitzer Prize winner Marcia Chatelain (Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America) and National Book Critics Circle Award winner Amy Stanley (Stranger in the Shogun's City: A Japanese Woman and Her World).
Special programs include: a BookTok panel, exploring the growing influence of popular book reviewers and content creators on TikTok; a commemorative 9/11 event with John Bodnar (Divided by Terror: American Patriotism after 9/11) in conversation with University of Illinois Chicago professor Nadine Naber (Arab America: Gender, Cultural Politics, and Activism); and a commemoration of the 130th anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire with Northwestern University professor Carl Smith (Chicago's Great Fire: The Destruction and Resurrection of an Iconic American City).
Diverse Chicago stories also take center stage at this year's festival, with events featuring Michelle Duster, the great-granddaughter of crusading journalist Ida B. Wells who honors her life in a celebratory biography (Ida B. the Queen: The Extraordinary Life and Legacy of Ida B. Wells); and Elly Fishman, with a book based on her immersive reporting at Chicago's Sullivan High School, where half of the student population are refugees or new immigrants (Refugee High: Coming of Age In America).
The 36th Printers Row Lit Fest takes place on Saturday, Sept. 11 and Sunday, Sept. 12 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily, in Chicago's historic Printers Row neighborhood along Dearborn Street from Polk Street north to Ida B. Wells Drive. All festival programs are free and open to the public. For more information and the most up to date programming details, visit printersrowlitfest.org .
Presented by the not-for-profit Near South Planning Board, the highly anticipated 2021 Printers Row Lit Fest follows an unprecedented cancellation last year for the first time in the festival's 36-year history, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Plans for this fall's literary celebration will follow city health guidelines, with all necessary safety precautions in place.
Ta-Nehisi Coates is an author, journalist, screenwriter, executive producer and professor. He is the author of the bestselling books The Beautiful Struggle, We Were Eight Years in Power, The Water Dancer, and Between the World and Me, which won the National Book Award in 2015. In April 2018, Between The World And Me was adapted for the stage and premiered at the iconic Apollo Theater. In November 2020 it was adapted for film and aired on HBO, and for which Ta-Nehisi was an Executive Producer. His novel The Water Dancer will be turned into a film adaptation with Ta-Nehisi writing the screenplay and will be produced by Plan B Entertainment, Harpo Productions and MGM Studios. He is also the current author of the Marvel comic Captain America. Ta-Nehisi is the recipient of a 2015 MacArthur Fellowship. He is currently in his fourth year as a distinguished writer in residence at NYU's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute.
Ta-Nehisi Coates will be honored at the 2021 Harold Washington Literary Award gala, a ticketed fundraiser that supports the not-for-profit Near South Planning Board's literary programs and officially launches Printers Row Lit Fest. The event takes place on Friday, Sept. 10 at 6 p.m. For more information, visit thenspb.org .
2021 PRINTERS ROW LIT FEST PROGRAMMING, to date
Headline programs held at the Harold Washington Library auditorium include Ta-Nehisi Coates, recipient of the 2021 Harold Washington Literary Award, Saturday, Sept. 11 at 10 a.m.
C-SPAN programs to feature authors including:
- Amy Stanley, Stranger in the Shogun's City: A Japanese Woman and Her World
Pulitzer Prize finalist, National Book Critics Circle Award winner, PEN Award winner
- Marcia Chatelain, Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America
Pulitzer Prize winner
- Rick Perlstein, Reaganland: America's Right Turn 1976-1980
TIME Magazine's "100 Must-Read Books of 2020"
- Wayétu Moore, The Dragons, the Giant, the Women
National Book Critics Circle Award finalist
- Geraldo Cadava, The Hispanic Republican: The Shaping of an American Political Identity, from Nixon to Trump
- Dawn Turner, Three Girls from Bronzeville: A Uniquely American Memoir of Race, Fate, and Sisterhood
- Miles Harvey, The King of Confidence: A Tale of Utopian Dreamers, Frontier Schemers, True Believers, False Prophets, and the Murder of An American Monarch
- Reuben John Miller, Halfway Home: Race, Punishment, and the Afterlife of Mass Incarceration
- Kristy Nabhan-Warren, Meatpacking America: How Migration, Work, and Faith Divide the Heartland
- Tamika Y. Nunley, At the Threshold of Liberty: Women, Slavery, and Shifting Identities in Washington D.C.
- Rachel Marie-Crane Williams, Run Home if you Don't Want to be Killed: The Detroit Uprising of 1943
- Elly Fishman, Refugee High: Coming of Age In America
- Commemorative 9/11 event with John Bodnar (Divided by Terror: American Patriotism After 9/11) in conversation with University of Illinois Chicago professor Nadine Naber (Arab America: Gender, Cultural Politics, and Activism)
- "Artists as Activists and Agitators in Chicago" with Thomas Bradshaw, Zayd Dohrn and À�zge Samanci
- Lauren Michele Jackson, White Negroes: When Cornrows Were In Vogue… And Other Thoughts on Cultural Appropriation
- Orville Vernon Burton and Armand Derfner, Justice Deferred: Race and the Supreme Court
- Kate Masur, Until Justice Be Done: America's First Civil Rights Movement, from the Revolution to Reconstruction
- Carl Smith, Chicago's Great Fire: The Destruction and Resurrection of an Iconic American City
- Michelle Duster, Ida B. the Queen: The Extraordinary Life and Legacy of Ida B. Wells
- Adam Cohen, Supreme Inequality: The Supreme Court's Fifty-Year Battle for a More Unjust America
- Rosanna Warren, Max Jacob: A Life in Art and Letters
- Martha C Nussbaum, Citadels of Pride: Sexual Abuse, Accountability, and Reconciliation
- Brenda Myers-Powell, Leaving Breezy Street
- Roy Richard Grinker, Nobody's Normal: How Culture Created the Stigma of Mental Illness
- Rachel DeWoskin, Julie Iromuanya and Vu Tran, Crossing Borders: Reading, Researching, and Writing on Migration
Additional author events for new and recent releases, including Mona Awad, All's Well; Christina Clancy, Shoulder Season; Rita Dove, Playlist for the Apocalypse; Naomi Hirahara, Clark and Division; Clay McLeod Chapman, Whisper Down the Lane; Shawna Kay Rodenberg, Kin: A Memoir; Renee Rosen, The Social Graces; Paris Rosenthal, Dear Teacher; and Rafia Zakaria, Against White Feminism.
Near South Planning Board, founder of the Printers Row Lit Fest, is a not-for-profit community-based organization serving businesses, institutions and property owners of the Near South Side of Chicago since 1946.
The Harold Washington Literary Award recognizes diverse and stimulating authors who address issues of contemporary life and whose literary achievements include a significant body of work that has touched the public mind and imagination. Harold Washington, the first African American mayor of the City of Chicago, revered literature and epitomized the diversity of the American experience. The award, which bears his name, celebrates this spirit. The goal of this award is to present examples to the public of creative use of the written word. Recipients of this prestigious award are selected by a cross-cultural committee of representatives from Chicago's literary community.
Past Harold Washington Literary Award recipients are: Alex Kotlowitz (2019), Rabih Alameddine (2018), Rita Dove (2017), Marilynne Robinson (2016), Edward P. Jones (2015), Stuart Dybek (2014), Art Spiegelman (2013), Sara Paretsky (2012), Edwidge Danticat (2011), Barbara Ehrenreich (2010), Dave Eggers (2009), Scott Turow (2008), Walter Mosley (2007), E.L. Doctorow (2006), Garrison Keillor (2005), Jules Feiffer (2004), Margaret Atwood (2003), Grace Paley (2002), August Wilson (2001), John Hope Franklin (2000), Robert Pinsky (1999), Joseph Epstein (1998), Cynthia Ozick (1997), Isabel Allende (1996), Doris Kearns Goodwin (1995), Zbigniew Brzezinski (1994), Garry Wills (1993), Ralph E llison (1992 ), Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (1991), Saul Bellow, Ray Bradbury, Gwendolyn Brooks, Cyrus Colter, William Maxwell and Studs Terkel (1990), and Susan Sontag (1989).
For more information and the most up to date programming details, visit printersrowlitfest.org .