Literary Crime and Punishment in Chicago

I will be teaching a seminar at the Newberry Library entitled “Crime and Punishment in Chicago: Richard Wright’s “Native Son.” and Meyer Levin’s “Compulsion.” Both novels have been listed among the 101 publications that most shaped Chicago’s image. Five Wednesday evening sessions from 5:45 until 7:45 will be held beginning September 25 and ending October 30. Registration is now open at or call 312-255-3700.


A Seminar on Ben Hecht’s “1001 Afternoons in Chicago” at the Newberry Library

I am pleased to announce that I will be teaching a seminar on Ben Hecht’s book “1001 Afternoons in Chicago” at the Newberry Library in five Thursday evening sessions, starting February 15 and ending March 15, from 5:45 to 7:45. The sixty-four incredibly imaginative sketches in the book capture the heart and soul of Chicago’s bustling urban landscape during the early 1920s. There couldn’t be more of an appropriate venue to have this seminar, since the Hecht archives are housed at the Newberry, and Walnut and Dearborn, where the library is located, is designated “Honorary Ben Hecht Way” by the city of Chicago. For registration information go to or call 312-255-3700.

Floyd Dell’s Chicago Years Discussed at the Newberry Library

ffloyd dell

Although he lived in Chicago for just five years, from 1908-13, Floyd Dell had a major role in the emergence of the Chicago Literary Renaissance, especially in his role as editor of the Friday Weekly Review. He was a colleague and advocate for Carl Sandburg, Sherwood Anderson and Margaret Anderson, just to mention a few of the literati in Chicago during his time in the city. My friend, Craig Sautter, who compiled a wonderful collection of Dell’s essays in the Friday Weekly Review states that he was “one of the most flamboyant, versatile and influential American Men of Letters of the first third of the 20th Century.”
Please join Craig, Don Evans, and Ian Morris on April 21 at 6:00 pm for a panel discussion moderated by Liesl Olson on Dell’s Chicago years at the Newberry Library. There will also be readings by Vitalist Theater actors. This is a free event co-sponsored by the Newberry, the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame and the Vitalist Theater.