Honors for Stephen Sondheim and Eric Charles May


We thank all of our corporate partners and donors who generously contributed to the Carl Sandburg Literary Award Dinner on October 21, 2015 honoring legendary composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim with the Carl Sandburg Literary Award. Sondheim is universally heralded for his immense contributions to musical theater in a career spanning more than 50 years. 

Novelist Eric Charles May received the 21st Century Award, which salutes authors who have released few but exceptional books. An associate professor in the Fiction Writing program of Columbia College, the native Chicagoan’s debut novel Bedrock Faith was published in 2014 to widespread acclaim.

A highlight of the evening was an insight-filled onstage conversation with the esteemed Mr. Sondheim moderated by National Public Radio host and author Scott Simon. In addition, 70 celebrated Chicago Authos were seated with guests for a night of energetic conversation. 

We generously thank the Presenting Sponsor of the Sandburg Literary Awards Dinner, BMO Harris Bank and our Dinner Co-chairs, and Library Foundation Directors, Dina Yaghmai Payvar and Bob Wilsow. Thanks to their efforts, the Sandburg Dinner raised just over $1.5M in support of the Chicago Public Library Foundation and innovative programs at the Chicago Public Library.

View our album from the memorable night with Stephen Sondheim, Eric Charles May and 70 Chicago authors.

The Carl Sandburg Literary Award is presented annually to an acclaimed author in recognition of outstanding contributions to the literary world and honors a significant work or body of work that has enhanced the public's awareness of the written word.

The 21st Century Award honors significant recent achievement in writing by a Chicago-based author. In presenting this award, the Foundation's Directors hope to encourage the creation of new works and increase public awareness of the writer's talents.