The 2019 Author Challenge has begun!

Author Challenge Grant

Every dollar donated by December 31st will be fully matched
by this group of esteemed writers!


These authors have donated $5,800 and we’re calling on you
to help meet and exceed their challenge! Together, your donations will further
the Guild’s important programming in 2020.

Your generosity and support mean so much to us!

Sign up for our mailing list here

* indicates required



Since 1989, the Guild Literary Complex has served the Chicago community through innovative programming that highlights the intersections of marginality, the power of community, and the impact of arts and activism. We build on Chicago’s rich literary traditions through vibrant storytelling and radical inclusion, advancing access to and from the margins. The Guild Literary Complex supports and encourage voices of all backgrounds and experiences to tell their truths, whether they are literary powerhouses or talented newcomers. We view literature as a vehicle of connectivity, and aim to merge seemingly disparate groups across Chicago's 50 wards. The Guild Literary Complex is a 501c3 nonprofit organization working in collaboration with the City of Chicago and organizations like the Poetry Foundation, The Museum of Contemporary Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, The Southeast Asian Center,  Brooks Permissions, Third World Press, Sones de Mexico and many others, creating dynamic programming highlighting our varied and robust literary community of voices speaking from the margins.
Facebook: @GuildLiteraryComplex
Instagram: @guild.literary.complex
Twitter: @guildLITcomplex

Help raise $30k for 30 years!
Donate Today


On the occasion of the Guild's 30th Anniversary, we are pleased to introduce 30 new writers identified by our extended community and selected by The Guild as 30 individuals whose careers represent the future of the literary arts in Chicago and beyond, and whose work reflects the spirit and values of the Guild Complex today:

Tara Betts
Emily Thornton Calvo
Kimberly Dixon-Mays
Raul Dorantes
Michael Fischer
kwabena foli
Ricardo Gamboa
Jan-Henry Gray
Ames Hawkins
Tsehaye Geralyn Hébert
Timothy J. Hillegonds
Nate Marshall
John McCarthy
Patricia Ann McNair
Ciara Darnise Miller
Faisal Mohyuddin
Cheswayo Mphanza
Nikki Patin 
Frances de Pontes Peebles
Ruben Quesada
Christine Rice
Jennifer Roche
Kenyatta Rogers
J. Howard Rosier
Natania Rosenfeld
Mojdeh Stoakley
Rachel Swearingen
Naomi Washer
Valerie Wallace
Jeremy T. Wilson

Read their full bios here!

26th Annual Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mic Awards

This year's winner: Sharon Powell!

Sharon Powell is a Chicago poet and performance artist working solo and with ensembles. Her work has been showcased and adapted for stage at numerous local venues including Guild Complex, the Green Mill Lounge, the Park West, the Metro, the Printers Row Book Fair, and DuSable Museum. Powell has also performed in Atlanta, Milwaukee, Amherst, Boston, and Miami as well as been published in Catalyst and Mosaic magazines.

The event took place on September 17, 2019

The Promontory

2019 GBOMA Finalists - Read full bios here!
(In alphabetical order)

Arturo Alvarez
Alice Brown
Chirskira Caillouet
Steven Hollander
Isaiah Mākar
David Mathews
Sharon Powell
Kelly Raymundo
Erin Roux
Xenia Ruiz
Myron Stokes
Erin Sweeney
Stasa Wade
Erin Watson
Arne Weingart

With so much excellent work to choose from, the judges’ selections exceeded even the list of finalists to include a couple honorable mentions. These poets did not compete, but their poems were worthy enough to be mentioned along with this great group of finalists.

Honorable mentions
J. Weintraub
Ava Serra