Our Pledge To You


Carl Sandburg Literary Awards gala celebrates Chicago authors, honors Mavis Staples

Nearly 70 Chicago authors will be celebrated at this year’s Chicago Public Library Foundation’s Carl Sandburg Literary Awards dinner on Oct. 22 at the Forum at the University of Illinois at Chicago , 725 W. Roosevelt.

Doris Kearns Goodwin will receive the Carl Sandburg Literary Award on Oct. 22. | AP Photo/Steven Senne

Doris Kearns Goodwin will receive the Carl Sandburg Literary Award on Oct. 22. | AP Photo/Steven Senne

This year’s special honorees include: Doris Kearns Goodwin (author of bestselling biographies of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, and the Kennedy family) and Larry McMurtry, (“Terms of Endearment,” “Lonesome Dove,” “Brokeback Mountain” screenplay) who will each receive the Carl Sandburg Literary Award;  Veronica Roth (“Divergent” trilogy) who will receive the  21st Century Award, which salutes an early-career author with ties to Chicago; and Mavis Staples (the Chicagoan and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer is also the recipient of a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, National Heritage Fellowship Award, and is among Rolling Stone’s list of the “100 Greatest Singers of All Time”), who becomes the first-ever recipient of the Carl Sandburg Award for the Arts.

According to the CPL Foundation website:

“The Carl Sandburg Literary Award is presented annually to an acclaimed author in recognition of outstanding contributions to the literary world and honors a significant work or body of work that has enhanced the public’s awareness of the written word.

The Carl Sandburg Award in the Arts is presented to an individual who embodies a spirit of creativity and social consciousness.

The 21st Century Award honors significant recent achievement in writing by a Chicago-based author. In presenting this award, the Foundation’s Directors hope to encourage the creation of new works and increase public awareness of the writer’s talents.”

"Divergent" author Veronica Roth | SUN-TIMES PHOTO

“Divergent” author Veronica Roth | SUN-TIMES PHOTO

As always, guests of the event will be joined at their tables by a Chicago writer/artist. This years list includes: Susan Applebaum, Blue Balliett, Ronald Balson, Elizabeth Berg, Jeanne Bishop, Eula Biss, Roger Bonair-Agard, Bonnie Jo Campbell, Philip Caputo, Hillary Chute, Kim Clark, Herb Cohen, Rich Cohen, Elizabeth Crane, Pamela Cullerton, Jim DeWan, Doug Feldmann, Steve Fiffer, Sharon Fiffer, Jonathan Fineberg, Tony Fitzpatrick, Richard Fizdale, Virginia Gerst, Golda Goldbloom, James W. Graham, Paula Haney, Neil Harris, Miles Harvey, Margaret Hawkins, Bill Hillmann, Mark Jacob, Hollye Jacobs, Scott Jacobs, Doris Kearns Goodwin, James Klise, Bill Kurtis, Christopher Lane, Rebecca Makkai, Marianne Malone, Jonathan Marshall, Eric Charles May, Cris Mazza, Judith Paine McBrien, Kent McDill, Larry McMurtry, Patricia Ann McNair, Donna Mebane, Pamela Meyer, Alec Michod, Marja Mills, Dr. Robert Moore, Nami Mun, Caroline Myss, Sara Paretsky, Rick Perlstein, Jacquy Pfeiffer, Nancy Pick, Joyce Piven, Martin Preib, Veronica Roth, Richard Saul M.D., Christine Sneed, Mavis Staples, Julia Sweeney, Matthew Thomas, Scott Turow, Roopa Weber, Patricia Werhane and Harvey Young.

The awards ceremony will be followed by dinner and an onstage conversation with McMurtry and Kearns Goodwin moderated by author and National Public Radio host Scott Simon. A post-dinner book-signing and dessert reception concludes the evening’s festivities.

For information or to purchase tickets, tables or sponsorships, visit cplfoundation.org.