The Authors of Printers Row Lit Fest on WTTW

Daniel Hautzinger
Printers Row Lit Fest: Rita Dove, Jason Wambsgans, Mary Schmich, Amy Dickinson, Michael Eric Dyson, Scott Simon, Gillian Flynn.

This weekend is the annual Printers Row Lit Fest, which brings hundreds of booksellers and authors to the South Loop, once the center of Chicago's publishing and bookmaking business. Founded in 1985, the Fest was taken over by the Chicago Tribune in 2002 and features interviews, panels, and more over June 10 and 11 both outdoors and at the Harold Washington Library and Jones College Prep High School.

With over 200 authors participating, there are a lot of events to choose from. Here's a sampling of some of the writers, through interviews on WTTW's Chicago Tonight and My Chicago

Rita Dove

Dove was the first African American U.S. Poet Laureate, a position created in 1986 that she held from 1993-95. She received the Pulitzer Prize in 1987 for her collection of poems entitled Thomas and Beulah. In February of this year, she appeared on Chicago Tonight to discuss Chicago poet Gwendolyn Brooks, whose centenary was being honored through readings by Dove and other Pulitzer-winning poets. She receives the Harold Washington Literary Award on June 10, and converses with Mary Schmich as part of the Lit Fest.


E. Jason Wambsgans

Wambsgans won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography for his images in the Chicago Tribune documenting Chicago's gun violence. He has been a staff photographer at the Tribune since 2002. In April of this year, he talked with Chicago Tonight's Phil Ponce about winning the Pulitzer and his work. On June 10 he is interviewed by Mary Schmich as part of the Lit Fest.


Mary Schmich

Both Jason Wambsgans and Rita Dove will be interviewed by Schmich at Printers Row. Like them, she is a Pulitzer Prize winner, having been award the Prize for Commentary in 2012. She has been a columnist for the Chicago Tribune for more than twenty years. In 2014, she joined My Chicago's Odette Yousef to share her love of Chicago as the two drove from the neighborhood of Lincoln Square to a church in Cabrini Green. She takes part in a meet-and-greet coffee event during the Lit Fest on June 11.


Amy Dickinson

Dickinson is the author of the "Ask Amy" advice column, which appears in more than 150 newspapers across North America and replaced Ann Landers's column in 2003. She appeared on Chicago Tonight in April of this year to discuss her memoir Strangers Tend to Tell me Things. During the Lit Fest, she talks with Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!'s Peter Sagal on June 10.


Michael Eric Dyson

Dyson wears many hats: he's a professor of Sociology at Georgetown University, an ordained Baptist minister, and a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times. He talked to Chicago Tonight's Brandis Friedman in January of this year about his book Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America. He is interviewed by WBEZ's Jennifer White on June 10 as part of the Lit Fest.


Scott Simon

Simon is the host of NPR's Weekend Edition and has won both Peabody and Emmy Awards. He has contributed to NPR for more than 30 years, and is a lifelong Cubs fan. He spoke about his new book, My Cubs: A Love Story, on Chicago Tonight  in April of this year. On June 11, he talks to Irvine Welsh, the author of Trainspotting, as part of the Lit Fest.


Gillian Flynn

Flynn is a best-selling author of dark, thrilling novels such as Gone Girl (which she adapted for a movie) and Sharp Objects (which she is turning into an HBO series). She is also developing a female-driven heist film set and shot in Chicago with Steve McQueen. Flynn and her husband took a ride with My Chicago's Mark Bazer around their neighborhood of Logan Square while talking about their marriage and nerdy sides. She interviews author Elise Paschen as part of the Lit Fest on June 11.

Printers Row Lit Fest
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