Chicago Literary Hall of Fame Fourth Annual Silent Auction

I have two longer blog posts to finish up, but I wanted to be sure to tell you about an important literary event coming up in Chicago this weekend. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ve heard me mention various things about the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, an organization dear to my heart. This Sunday, August 24, the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame is holding their fourth silent auction at the Haymarket Pub & Brewery from 5-8 p.m. The gracious and talented David Eigenberg is our special guest.

David Eigenberg, as Christopher Herrmann, on Chicago Fire
David Eigenberg, as Christopher Herrmann, on Chicago Fire

A Chicago-area native, David Eigenberg  graduated from Naperville Central in 1982. He was attending Washburne Trade School at 31st and Kedzie when they went on strike, an event that changed the course of his life.

“I had nothing to do,” David recalls. “Didn’t know how long the strike was going to be. A week into it, there was an audition.”

David tried out and was cast in the chorus of the play, One Shining Moment, and that put him on the path that lead from the U.S. Marine Corp Reserve, to acting school in New York, to one-off parts on shows like Homicide: Life on the StreetsERKing of QueensGhost Whisperer and NCIS, and his eventual breakthrough role of Steve Brady on the popular show Sex in the City. 

Three years ago, David was cast in the role of Christopher Herrmann on Chicago Fire, a show filmed entirely in Chicago. He returned to Chicago, and together with his wife, Chrysti, their five-year-old son Louie, and five-month old daughter Myrna,  they now call Chicago home from their Bucktown bungalow.

We are so grateful for David’s time and support of the auction.  I hope that you’ll take this opportunity to come to Haymarket and say hello, meet David, and support the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame.

With the money raised, the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame will come closer to realizing their potential of being the primary champion of Chicago literature, finding additional ways to celebrate Chicago’s literary heritage and honor the writers who have shaped it.

Later this year, on October 4, we will present the 2014 Fuller Award to Harry Mark Petrakis at the National Hellenic Museum; and on December 6, 2014, we will hold our fifth annual induction ceremony honoring Margaret Anderson, David Hernandez, Edgar Lee Masters, Shel Silverstein, Willard Motley and Margaret Walker.

I hope to see you there this Sunday! You can buy your tickets at:



Join Us for the 4th Annual Chicago Literary Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

CLHF logo

Tonight is the 4th Annual Chicago Literary Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at Roosevelt University. We will be inducting six important historical Chicago writers: L. Frank Baum, Leon Forrest, Edna Ferber, Ben Hecht, John H. Johnson, and Thornton Wilder.

The ever-charming Elysabeth Alfano, host of The Dinner Party and Fear No Art, will be the emcee, and friends and family of the inductees will be there to celebrate, with an after-party to follow the event.

Tickets are free but must be reserved online. 

Over the last four years, the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame has assembled an amazing group of inductees, and I love this opportunity to celebrate their work: the unforgettable characters and worlds they created, the ideas they challenged, the books and plays that inspired generations, and the multitude of ways they have left their mark on Chicago’s literary landscape.

I hope you can join us this evening!

Conglomerations and Creative Ripples

Some moments make creative ripples in the Universe.

They may be quiet affairs of a half dozen or less people. They may be large gatherings, well-publicized and documented for posterity. Sometimes all we have are whispers, hints of an evening in letters and diaries.

• In the 1930s, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis and the other “Inklings” met on Thursday evenings in C.S. Lewis’s rooms at Magdalen College. They also met on Tuesday nights at the Eagle and Child pub (affectionately known as the “Bird and Baby”) in a private back room for conversation and drinks.

• In Paris in the early 1900s , Gertrude Stein and her brother Leo hosted Saturday night dinner parties at their home. On any given Saturday, Picasso, Ezra Pound, Ernest Hemmingway, Alice B. Toklas, and others gathered.

• In Taos, New Mexico, Mabel Dodge Luhan and her husband welcomed poets and writers into their home for the second half of the twentieth century. Their guests included D. H. Lawrence, Ansel Adams, Willa Cather, Georgia O’Keeffe, and more.

• The Algonquin Round Table was the infamous setting for the wisecracks and witticisms of Dorothy Parker, Alexander Woollcott, Robert Benchley, Edna Ferber, and 24 other members.

• On June 11, 1965, American and European beat poets performed at the Royal Albert Hall for an impromptu event – the International Poetry Incarnation – that some argued marked the birth of London’s gestating counterculture.

Creative ripples.

Sketch of Gene Wolfe by Murray Ewing

On March 17, 2012, the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame will present its first-ever Fuller Award to Gene Wolfe, a brilliant writer whose work engages the imaginations of readers all over the world.

At the Sanfilippo Estate, guests are coming from all over the country to honor Gene Wolfe. In attendance will be: Neil Gaiman, Peter Sagal, Gary K. Wolfe, Audrey Niffenegger, Peter Straub, Michael Swanwick, Michael Dirda, Luis Urrea, and more.

There will be writers, artists, dancers, musicians, photographers, journalists, chefs, knitters, sculptors, and patrons from around Chicago—steampunk to hippy, gothic to folk, some in college and others well into their retirement. It’s going to be an incredible gathering of creative people, and you are invited.

When people talk about the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame’s first Fuller Award Ceremony, will you be able to recount your memory of Gene Wolfe receiving the award statue from Neil Gaiman? Or share a snippet of your conversation over the sweet table with one of your favorite living writers? Or recall the moving speeches and witty toasts given by some of Gene’s closest friends?

When people talk about an Evening to Honor Gene Wolfe at the steampunk mansion with the living marionettes and Gene’s words brought to life on stage and accompanied by the world’s largest restored five manual Mighty Wurlitzer, will you be able to say that you were there?

I hope you will.

Because like the musical machines collected by Jasper Sanfilippo at his “Place de la Musique,” this event is made more remarkable by the diversity of its parts, an audience coming together not only to honor a brilliant writer, but also to celebrate the whimsy and delight of art and imagination.

Join us for an evening that is sure to be wonder-filled.

Register for An Evening to Honor Gene Wolfe at the Sanfilippo Estate in Barrington Hills, IL  on Eventbrite