Celebrating 50 Years of
Writing the Midwest:
A Symposium of Scholars and Writers

The Newberry Library
60 W. Walton St.
Chicago, IL 60610

With sadness, we announced today, March 24, that we must cancel the May Symposium for this year. Read all the details here.

Please stay tuned for information about the 2021 Symposium, which will be held in Chicago next May.


Previously . . .

Programs from previous years’ conferences are available¬†here.

We’re on ¬†Facebook

The 2020 Mark Twain Award for outstanding contributions to Midwestern literature is awarded to Marilynne Robinson. Robinson has written four highly acclaimed novels: Housekeeping (1980), Gilead (2004), Home (2008), and Lila (2014). Gilead was awarded the 2005 Pulitzer. She has also received the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award, the National Book Critics Circle award for Fiction, a National Humanities Medal, and the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction. Robinson was named in Time magazine’s list of 100 most influential people. Her numerous articles, essays, and reviews can be found in Harper’s, The Paris Review, and The New York Review of Books, which includes a two-part conversation between¬†Robinson and former President Barack Obama.

Dr. Liesl Olson, director of Chicago Studies at the Newberry Library, has been chosen to receive the 2020 MidAmerica Award for distinguished contributions to the scholarship and study of Midwestern literature. Among her many scholarly contributions, Olson is author of Chicago Renaissance: Literature and Art in the Midwest Metropolis (Yale UP, 2017). Olson has led several seminars sponsored by the NEH focused on Chicago art, literature, and culture.



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