Two-time Pulitzer Prize winning author Colson Whitehead to headline Printers Row Lit Fest in Chicago

Printers Row Lit Fest, the largest free outdoor literary showcase in the Midwest, announced two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and National Book Award winner Colson Whitehead—author of The Underground Railroad and The Nickel Boys—will appear on the closing day of this year’s festival and discuss his new book Harlem Shuffle in a conversation with Dr. Ivy Wilson.

This event is presented by the American Writers Museum on Sunday, Sept. 12 at 4 p.m. with 400 pre-signed copies of Harlem Shuffle provided to attendees in advance of the book’s publication date, with the support of the Joseph and Bessie Feinberg Foundation. Advance registration is required, and all attendees must show proof of vaccination with a valid photo ID on site. Unvaccinated individuals will not be admitted to this event. Registration opens to the public on Friday, August 27 at 10 a.m. at No other festival events require advance registration.

Award-winning journalist and novelist Dawn Turner will open the festival in a conversation about her new memoir Three Girls from Bronzeville: A Uniquely American Memoir of Race, Fate, and Sisterhood, on Saturday, Sept. 11 at 10 a.m. Previously announced festival headliner Ta-Nehisi Coates is no longer able to travel to Chicago for the festival.

Wintrust is the major program sponsor for Printers Row Lit Fest. As in past years, the festival presents 100% free programming and includes blocks of diverse booksellers—with old, new, rare and hard-to-find literary treasures offered rain or shine in tents stretching out over five blocks of Dearborn Street in Chicago’s historic Printers Row neighborhood. Special programs include: a BookTok panel, exploring the growing influence of popular book reviewers and content creators on TikTok; events commemorating the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and the 150th anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire; and dozens of events with national and local award-winning authors.

The 36th Printers Row Lit Fest takes place on Saturday, Sept. 11 and Sunday, Sept. 12 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily, in Chicago’s historic Printers Row neighborhood along Dearborn Street from Polk Street north to Ida B. Wells Drive. All festival programs are free and open to the public. For more information and the most up-to-date programming details, visit

Printers Row Lit Fest is produced and created by the Near South Planning Board, with major programming support from Wintrust and significant support from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation. Additional sponsors include Alphawood Foundation, American Writers Museum, Joseph and Bessie Feinberg Foundation, Sourcebooks, Better, BritBox, Poetry Foundation, Chicago Public Library, 4th Ward Alderman Sophia King, Grace Place, Hotel Blake, 3L Living and Hilton Chicago. Media partners include WBEZ Chicago, Hyde Park Herald, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Reader and Newcity.


All attendees at Printers Row Lit Fest are encouraged to wear masks when not actively eating or drinking. Printers Row Lit Fest is monitoring the latest CDC and City of Chicago guidelines and will follow all requirements to ensure the health and safety of its guests, staff and artists.

For programs hosted inside tents and indoor venues, masks will be required and guests over the age of 12 are required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test result within the last 48 hours, along with a valid photo ID. Unmasked children will not be allowed in program tents or indoor venues.

The Colson Whitehead event on Sunday, Sept. 12, requires advance registration and all guests must show proof of vaccination with a valid photo ID. Unvaccinated individuals will not be admitted to this event.

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