The Oct. 23 Carl Sandburg Literary Awards Dinner was one for the books: A record-setting 750 guests turned up to celebrate the written word alongside 74 esteemed authors. In a nod to the evening’s theme, the cocktail hour offered canapés served on old-fashioned bookcases and trays decorated with pencils, pens and keyboard keys. During dinner, books written by the award recipients — as well as the authors seated at each table — were displayed under reading-lamp centerpieces. Emcee Bill Kurtis then took the stage to introduce the honored authors: Isabel Allende (The House of the Spirits, Island Beneath The Sea) and Michael Lewis (Moneyball, The Blind Side, Boomerang), who won the Carl Sandburg Literary Award for fiction and non-fiction, and Chicago-based novelist and short-story author Christine Sneed, who received the 21st Century Award for significant achievement in writing. The evening raised $1.5 million for the library’s programming.
The Sun-Times was the media sponsor of this event. The Sun-Times Foundation and the Chicago Community Trust will match every dollar donated to the Carl Sandburg Literary Awards, up to a total of $50,000. Up to $1,000 can be matched per individual donation.
Photos by Dan Rest and Johnny Knight