Guild Literary Complex




The Guild Literary Complex is a 30-year-old grassroots literary arts organization creating performance-based events in and around the Chicagoland area.

We partner and collaborate with other community groups on social and restorative justice issues, providing arts and advocacy programming for marginalized voices. 

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Chicago Literary Hall of Fame Fuller Award: Patricia Smith

July 11, 2024 | 6:00 PM @ The Poetry Foundation

Co-presented with the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, American Writers Museum, and Guild Literary Complex, the ceremony will present Chicago poet Patricia Smith with the Fuller Award for her lifetime contributions to literature. Chicago Poet Laureate avery r. young will lead a lineup of presenters that includes Nora Brooks Blakely, Reginald Gibbons, Poetry Out Loud National Champion Niveah GloverAdrian Matejka,  Marc Smith, and Jamila WoodsLynne Thompson will moderate a conversation with Ms. Smith at the end of the program. 

The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame’s (CLHOF) Fuller Award was inspired by Henry Blake Fuller (1857-1929), author, editor, poet, critic, and composer, one of Chicago’s earliest novelists, and the author of The Cliff-Dwellers (1893) and With the Procession (1891). It is awarded annually to a writer with strong Chicago roots who has made a significant lifetime contribution to literature. CLHOF’s’s mission is “To honor and preserve Chicago’s great literary heritage—past, present, and future.”CLHOF is a not-for-profit organization. 

PATRICIA SMITH was born in Chicago and raised on the city’s West Side. She attended Southern Illinois University, Northwestern University, and the University of Southern Maine. She has had a distinguished literary career as a poet, spoken-word performer, author, and teacher. Individual awards include four National  Poetry Slam championships, the 2023 Aiken Taylor Award, and the 2021 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize from the Poetry Foundation. Smith is a 2022 inductee to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences,  Guggenheim fellow,  Civitellian,  National Endowment for the Arts grant recipient,  finalist for the Neustadt Prize,  two-time winner of the Pushcart Prize, and a former fellow at both Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony.  


Chicago Literary Hall of Fame (CLHoF)

The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame’s mission is to honor and preserve Chicago’s great literary heritage through educational programming, awards, exhibits, and other special events like their annual induction ceremony. They are in the process of creating a repository of detailed information about Chicago’s past, present and future literary life through such projects as the Chicago Literary Map and Chicago Literary Tours.


James Stewart III

We are excited to welcome James Stewart III as the Guild Complex’s new Board President!

JAMES STEWART III is a Black writer from Chicago whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in Midwest Review, Lampblack, Zone 3, The Forge, 580 Split, and Another Chicago Magazine, among others. He earned an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MA from North Central College. He is also co-founder of the text-based performance series Exhibit B and board president of the Guild Literary Complex.