Announcing the 2020 CHIRBy Awards Shortlist

Congratulations to these Chicago writers!

For the fifth year in a row, the Chicago Review of Books is thrilled to present the CHIRBy Awards to recognize the best fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and short essays published by Chicago-based writers.

Below are the finalists in each category for 2020, along with a list of this year’s judges. Congratulations to all of these incredible writers!

Starting Sunday, November 29, we’ll be posting short excerpts from the nominees reading from their work. The winners in each category will be announced at a virtual ceremony on December 3rd. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased here. All funds raised will help support the Chicago Review of Books. Hope to see you there!


Everywhere You Don’t Belong
By Gabriel Bump
Algonquin Books

Stateway’s Garden
By Jasmon Drain
Random House

By Catherine Lacey
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

The Beauty of Your Face
By Sahar Mustafah
W. W. Norton & Company

The Lost Book of Adana Moreau
By Michael Zapata
Hanover Square Press


Having and Being Had 
By Eula Biss
Riverhead Books

Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot
By Mikki Kendall

Golem Girl: A Memoir 
By Riva Lehrer
One World

Between Everything and Nothing: The Journey of Seidu Mohammed and Razak Iyal and the Quest for Asylum 
By Joe Meno
Counterpoint LLC

Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir 
By Natasha Trethewey
Ecco Press


Two Menus
By Rachel DeWoskin
University of Chicago Press

American Gun: A Poem by 100 Chicagoans edited
By Chris Green
Big Shoulders Books

Too Much Midnight
By Krista Franklin
Haymarket Books

Central Air
By Mike Puican
Triquarterly Books

So Forth
By Rosanna Warren
W. W. Norton & Company


Ode to a Chicago Public School: The lessons learned in CPS go beyond what’s taught in the classroom
By Nina Li Coomes
Chicago Reader

What Happened July 17? A document of the conflict in Grant Park
By Jim Daley, Martha Bayne, and Jason Schumer; Web interactive by Bea Malsky
South Side Weekly

For Decades, Chicago’s Black Cowboys Have Kept An Overlooked History Alive. Now, Thanks To Lil Nas X, People Are Paying Attention
By Maxwell Evans
Block Club Chicago

The Coyote’s Dance
by Austin Gilkeson
Tin House

When Reporting on Movement Actions, Revolutionary Joy Must be Given the Same Space as the Struggle
By Matt Harvey
The Triibe


Amy Brady, CHIRB Editor-in-Chief

About Amy Brady

Amy Brady is the Editor-in-Chief of the Chicago Review of Books and Deputy Publisher of Guernica Magazine. Her writing has appeared in Oprah, The Village Voice, Pacific Standard, The New Republic, McSweeney's, and elsewhere. Follow her on Twitter at @ingredient_x.

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