Richard Guzman, professor of English and coordinator of master in liberal studies program, served on the Committee of Nominators and Selectors for the new Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, which held its first induction ceremony Nov. 20, hosted by the Chicago Writers Association at Northeastern University in Chicago. The ceremony drew together some of Chicago’s greatest writers to honor Saul Bellow, Lorraine Hansberry, Gwendolyn Brooks, Nelson Algren, Richard Wright and Studs Terkel. Legendary photographer Art Shay accepted for his friend Nelson Algren, and close relatives of all the other inductees were present to accept the honors. Among the presenters were influential poet and publisher Haki Madhubuti, one of America’s most prominent fiction writers Stuart Dybek, and author Audrey Niffenegger, whose novel “The Time Traveler’s Wife” was made into the 2009 film of the same name. WGN’s Rick Kogan emceed the event.
Earlier this year, Guzman spoke at the memorial for National Book Award nominee Carolyn Rodgers. Attending the ceremony were some of the country’s most respected black writers who have articulated the life and concerns of blacks not only in Chicago but around the world. Guzman was invited to participate in these events because of his last two books, anthologies and studies of Chicago writing and “Black Writing from Chicago,” which helped established a canon of Chicago writers and their importance in world literature.