Announcing a New Chicago Book Prize from the Newberry Library and The Pattis Family Foundation | Newberry

Announcing a New Chicago Book Prize from the Newberry Library and The Pattis Family Foundation

August 2021

The Newberry Library and The Pattis Family Foundation are pleased to announce a new annual book award for published works that transform public understanding of Chicago, its history, and its people.

Starting in July of 2022, The Pattis Family Foundation Chicago Book Award at the Newberry Library will celebrate a publication that opens new perspectives for a wide audience of readers. The $25,000 prize will be open to writers working in a variety of genres, including history, biography, social sciences, poetry, drama, graphic novels, and fiction, and will not be limited by discipline or time period.

“Our goal in this partnership with The Pattis Family Foundation is to bring attention to books that reflect the Newberry’s mission of supporting inquiry and learning across the humanities,” said Daniel Greene, President and Librarian of the Newberry. “The Newberry encourages all readers to use our collections and experience our programs and exhibitions. This book prize will embody the same openness and accessibility by considering a range of publications that help audiences see Chicago in new ways. We’re grateful to The Pattis Family Foundation for their vision and their generosity.”

“The Pattis Family Foundation is delighted to partner with the Newberry to celebrate and honor a book annually that deepens the understanding and appreciation of Chicago, its history, and its people,” said Lisa Pattis, Director of The Pattis Family Foundation and Trustee of the Newberry. “We believe the Newberry, with its commitment to advancing the collective understanding of our city and its role in the world, is ideally situated to highlight exceptional books that help us understand Chicago from unique and different vantage points. We look forward to a long and productive partnership which will draw attention to the great work of the Newberry as well as the authors receiving the awards.”

The inaugural presentation of The Pattis Family Foundation Chicago Book Award will take place in July of 2022. Recipients of the award will be honored at a public event at the Newberry, where they will present a lecture or participate in a conversation focused on their book.

Nominations may be made by authors, publishers, or members of the general public.

The Newberry’s extensive collection includes maps, city directories, printed histories, newspapers and periodicals, and archival materials documenting business, journalism, publishing, activism, and the arts across Chicago and the Midwest. Every year, thousands of writers, artists, scholars, teachers, and students visit the Newberry, contributing to its diverse community of learning.

With a history originating from book and magazine publishing, The Pattis Family Foundation actively supports programs that elevate the value of the written word and intellectual inquiry.

In addition, The Pattis Family Foundation supports various health, educational, and cultural initiatives as well as programs which help bridge the opportunity gap for talented students with limited financial resources.