Chicago Tribune announces 2014 Literary and Heartland Award Winners - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Chicago Tribune announces 2014 Literary and Heartland Award Winners

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SOURCE Chicago Tribune Media Group

CHICAGO, July 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Patti Smith, known as the "Godmother of Punk" for her ability to fuse rock music and poetry, has been honored with the 2014 Chicago Tribune Literary Award. The award will be presented on November 1 as part of a day of literary events co-presented by the Chicago Tribune's Printers Row program and the 25th annual Chicago Humanities Festival.

Hailed as the queen of the American punk movement, Smith is an author, poet, artist and singer-songwriter who recorded her debut album, Horses, in 1975. She was born in Chicago and spent the first few years of her life in the city before her family moved to the East Coast. Celebrated for her 1978 hit single "Because the Night" (written with Bruce Springsteen), Smith was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007. Smith's wide-ranging work includes Cowboy Mouth, a play co-written with Sam Shepard in 1971, "Auguries of Innocence," her most recent collection of poetry, and "Just Kids," her 2010 memoir of 1970s Manhattan-a book critically acclaimed and twenty years in the making. 

"In selecting Patti Smith for the Chicago Tribune Literary Award, we honor a Chicago original-a woman who moved across the genres of rock music, poetry, visual arts and literature, leaving her unmistakable mark on all," said Gerould Kern, Chicago Tribune editor and executive vice president. "Across her career, she demonstrated the courage and creativity to transcend boundaries and challenge us to think and see the world anew."

Other past recipients of the Literary Prize, which was first awarded in 2002, include Elie Wiesel, Margaret Atwood, Tom Wolfe, Joyce Carol Oates and Stephen Sondheim.

Heartland Prizes

The Chicago Tribune also will present the winners of the 2014 Heartland Prizes for fiction and non-fiction at the Chicago Humanities Festival.

American author Daniel Woodrell will be awarded the Heartland Prize for fiction in celebration of his most recent novel "The Maid's Version". Inspired by the rumors surrounding the explosion of his hometown's dance hall in 1928, this newest fiction is also his most personal. Most of his eight novels are set in the Missouri Ozarks, where Woodrell was born and raised. There, the gritty plot of his fiction unfolds, defining a genre that Woodrell calls "country noir." Two of his novels have been adapted for film, most notably Winter's Bone, which received four Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture.

Jesmyn Ward will be honored with the Heartland Prize for non-fiction for her third book, "Men We Reaped," in which she shares her experiences of growing up and escaping the poverty of small-town Mississippi. In her memoirs, the destructive pressures of race and masculinity come to a head as Ward focuses on the deaths of five young men close to her, all of whom fall victim to suicide, accidents or drugs over the course of four years. Ward's past work includes "Salvage the Bones", which won her the 2011 National Book Award for fiction.

"Our Heartland awards go to gifted stylists who write about people on the margins of society, and they give voice to those who have been so often silenced," said Elizabeth Taylor, Chicago Tribune literary editor at large. "Ward and Woodrell guide us to corners of the nation that have been obscured from view, and they transform life into story."

Chicago Tribune established the Heartland Prizes in 1988 to annually recognize a novel and work of non-fiction that reinforce and perpetuate the values of heartland America.  The Literary and Heartland Prizes are a part of the Tribune's ongoing commitment to the written word and support of literacy.

These literary awards, along with the Nelson Algren Short Story Award and Young Adult Literary Prize, are part of the Tribune's Printers Row program, an effort to inspire reading and readers throughout the year through its weekly Printers Row Journal, fiction inserts, monthly author talks and annual Printers Row Lit Fest.

About Chicago Tribune Media Group: 

Chicago Tribune Media Group is a media and business services company that publishes the Pulitzer Prize-winning Chicago Tribune. CTMG also produces related print and interactive media serving Chicagoland like RedEye, Hoy, Chicago Magazine, Naperville Magazine, TribLocal, The Mash,, and Reaching 4.8 million adults each week in the greater Chicago area, CTMG is the leading news and information destination in Chicagoland. 

About the Chicago Humanities Festival:

For 25 years, the Chicago Humanities Festival (CHF) has celebrated the questions that shape and define us as individuals, communities, and cultures. For the intellectually curious, CHF's vibrant year-round programming and robust Fall Festival offer the opportunity to engage with some of the world's most brilliant minds. Collaborating with leading arts, cultural, and educational organizations, CHF presents scholars, artists and architects, thinkers, theologians, and policy makers that change how we see the world, where we're from, and where we're going. CHF also presents the spring Stages, Sights & Sounds, Chicago's only international children's theater festival. Under the leadership of Executive Director Phillip Bahar and Artistic Director Matti Bunzl, CHF has become an institution central to the fabric of the city.

This fall the Chicago Humanities Festival will celebrate 25 years of arts and ideas with its 25th Anniversary Festival: Journeys, with more than 100 events taking place Oct. 25–Nov. 9, in and around downtown Chicago. For more information and to view a complete scheduled (available in mid-August), visit

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