For Immediate Release
Maggie Killackey Jurgensen
Chicago Public Library
POET NIKKI GIOVANNI TO RECEIVE 2007 CARL SANDBURG LITERARY AWARD
Sara Gruen to be honored with 21st Century Award by Chicago Public Library Foundation on October 17
June 18, 2007
World-renowned poet, writer, commentator, activist and educator Nikki Giovanni will receive the 2007 Carl Sandburg Literary Award from the Chicago Public Library Foundation and the Chicago Public Library on October 17 in the Winter Garden of the Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State Street, Chicago.
The Carl Sandburg Literary Award pays tribute to a writer whose work has helped enhance the public’s awareness of the written word and reflects the Library’s commitment to the freedom of all people to read, to learn and to discover. Previous honorees include David Mamet, John Updike, David McCullough, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Kurt Vonnegut, Robert Caro and Joyce Carol Oates.
Sara Gruen, writer of the critically acclaimed bestseller Water for Elephants, Flying Changes and debut novel Riding Lessons, will be honored with the 21st Century Award, traditionally presented to a writer with ties to Chicago whose work the Foundation hopes to encourage. Water for Elephants, which is currently #2 on the New York Times Paperback Bestseller list, was presented with the Book Sense Book of the Year Award for Fiction from the American Booksellers Association and was nominated for two Quill Book Awards.
Nikki Giovanni published her first book of poetry in 1968. Over the course of more than 30 books and three decades of publishing and lecturing, she has come to be called both a “national treasure” and more recently, one of Oprah Winfrey’s twenty-five “Living Legends.” Her biography, Gemini, has been honored as finalist for the National Book Award and her poetry has been recognized with the NAACP Image Award and the Langston Hughes medal for poetry. Her recent children’s book Rosa, about civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks, was named a prestigious Caldecott Honors Book. Recently Ms. Giovanni was an inspirational force on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Virginia, following the tragic shootings there. She serves as a University Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech.
Co-Chairs of the Carl Sandburg Literary Awards Dinner are Sherry Barrat, Desiree Rogers and Audrey Tuggle. Marshall Field is Honorary Co-Chair. Northern Trust is the Lead Sponsor of the Carl Sandburg Literary Awards. More than 500 leaders in the corporate, civic and literary community are expected to attend the dinner, which last year raised a record-breaking $520,000 to benefit the Chicago Public Library Foundation and the collections and programs of the Chicago Public Library.
Tables of ten are now available at $25,000, $15,000, $10,000 and $6,000. Individual tickets will be available at $500 in early September. Tables and tickets may be purchased on-line at www.chicagopubliclibraryfoundation.org. For reservations and information contact Rebecca Spence at 312.201-9830, ext. 25 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Chicago Public Library Foundation was founded in 1986 as a true public/private partnership with the City of Chicago to ensure the margin of excellence for Chicago’s outstanding 79-branch Library. In the past 20 years, the Foundation has provided more than $20 million in support to Chicago’s Public Library. Through the support of many civic-minded individuals, corporations and foundations, the Foundation has provided start-up funds for new programs including public-access to technology and expanded service hours that are now included in the Library’s city-funded budget. The Foundation also provides on-going funding for collections and a variety of community-responsive programs, including the Summer Reading Program, Teachers in the Library, CyberNavigators, and One Book, One Chicago/Chicago Book Festival, which promote the freedom of all Chicagoans to read, to learn and to discover.
The Chicago Public Library is comprised of the Harold Washington Library Center, two regional libraries and 76 neighborhood branches. The Chicago Public Library offers a rich resource of books, DVDs, audio books and more, provides free access to the Internet and WiFi in all of its locations, as well as free public programs for children, teens and adults.
The Harold Washington Library Center, Carter G. Woodson Regional Library and Conrad Sulzer Regional Library are all open 7 days a week, the remaining 76 branch libraries are open 6 days a week and patrons can access all of the libraries’ collections online 24 hours a day. For more information, please visit the website at chicagopubliclibrary.org or call the Chicago Public Library Press Office at (312) 747-4050.