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2018 Carl Sandburg Literary Awards Recipients REVEALED!

We’re excited to announce the recipients of this year’s Carl Sandburg Literary Awards –– Judy Blume and Neil DeGrasse Tyson!

The Carl Sandburg Literary Awards Dinner is an annual event where we recognize the literary and artistic achievements of established and emerging writers and artists. The Carl Sandburg Literary Award is presented to authors for outstanding contributions to the literary world. In addition to honoring the achievements of these writers, the dinner also raises funds for the Chicago Public Library Foundation and innovative programs at the Chicago Public Library.

This Year’s Recipients

This year, the Carl Sandburg Literary Awards Dinner will be held on October 9th, 2018 at the UIC Forum. This partnership event between the Chicago Public Library Foundation and Chicago Public Library will present the Carl Sandburg Literary Award to two esteemed writers: Neil DeGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist and author of Death By Black Hole and Other Cosmic Quandaries and Astrophysics for People In A Hurry; and Judy Blume, known best as the author of many acclaimed novels for children and young adults such as Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, Here’s To You, Rachel Robinson, and Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. We are excited to honor Judy Blume and Neil DeGrasse Tyson, two individuals whose literary works have shaped generations.
In addition, the 21st Century Award will be presented to native Chicagoan, author, and poet Erika L. Sánchez. This award honors significant recent achievement in writing by a Chicago-based author. In presenting this award, Library Foundation directors hope to encourage the creation of new works and increase public awareness of the writer’s talents. Sánchez earned tremendous acclaim for her 2017 poetry collection, “Lessons on Expulsion,” and her young adult novel, “I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter,” was a finalist for the 2017 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature.

Other Highlights

Legendary Chicago newscaster Bill Kurtis will serve as host, and the evening’s highlight will be an intimate onstage conversation with the two Sandburg Award honorees moderated by best-selling author and National Public Radio host Scott Simon. An acclaimed author with ties to Chicago is also seated at each table, making the evening even more unique. This year’s dinner will also pay tribute to Library Foundation President & CEO Rhona Frazin, who retires in April after 14 years leading the organization.
The 2018 Sandburg Award Dinner will be chaired by Charles Matthews and Michelle Rindt, executive leaders of Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas, and Marcus Wedner of CIVC Partners. Library Foundation board member Donna La Pietra will produce the evening’s festivities.

Erika L. Sánchez Photo credit: Robyn Lindemann

Interested In Learning More?

Tickets for the 2018 Carl Sandburg Literary Awards Dinner, what Crain’s Chicago Business has coined as “the smartest event in town”, go on sale in July of 2018. To receive updates on this event, you can sign up here. For more details, head here.
We extend a heartfelt thanks to our presenting sponsor BMO Harris Bank. Sponsorship packages are available. For more information contact Samantha Courter at (312) 201-9830 x25 or
The Chicago Public Library’s many initiatives are made possible with donations from corporate sponsors, and also individuals like you. To support life changing programs at Chicago Public Library, donate here.