Former DePaul student publishes poetry anthology

On behalf of everyone here at The Underground, a heartfelt congratulations goes out to former 51FQnkGbQcL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_DePaul University student and Underground alum Katie Rose Brunner for publishing her first anthology, Lulliloo. 

Edited by Lasan Seni Darboe, illustrated by Roberto P. Lozano, and published by Scorpion Publishing, Lulliloo is a collection of poems written by Brunner when she was between the ages of 15 and 18. It is her first complete work of literature, but will certainly not be her last.

Though Brunner has recently transferred to the University of California, Irvine, where she studies Comparative Literature, she says her experiences here at DePaul and most of all the guidance she received from DePaul professors has proved invaluable, including Professor Chris Green.

“Professor Green encouraged my poetic voice to be heard out loud, rather than just on paper,” Brunner remembers. “I did not feel as though I needed to force my creativity in his Reading and Writing Poetry class. Rather, he allowed his students to find their individual voices naturally.”

Brunner also has high praise for DePaul’s Dr. Eric Selinger, her Romance and Love Poetry professor.

“Each of his classes was like attending a theatric performance. Simply hearing him speak so passionately about the literature we focused on that day, you could tell that he was affected by each word that he read, as well as each comment made by his students,” Brunner says of Dr. Selinger. “He always gave me the time I needed to finish an assignment, and made time to meet with me if I needed his opinion (which was always one-hundred-and-ten percent helpful). He taught me never to be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to literature.”

Professor Kathleen Rooney, an accomplished poet in her own right, has also had a profound impact on Brunner and her work, the young poet explains.

“Never have I met someone so passionate about poetry and the literary world as she,” Brunner says of Professor Rooney. “I made sure to sit in front each day, so as to jot down each and every brilliant concept that she would bring to light. I could tell that she was genuinely intrigued with what her students had to say. And by the end of the term, I walked away with a million and one new ideas for poems and prose, saddened that the class had ended.”

Brunner hopes current DePaul students get the chance to learn from these professors just like she did.

“I would recommend all of these professors to any aspiring writer, poet, or simply anyone who would be interested in having their mind be blown by incredible intelligence and different ways of thinking,” Brunner adds.

Are you interested in checking out Katie Rose Brunner’s great work? Copies of Lulliloo are available for purchase on Well done, Katie!

Nelson Algren Short Story Contest

Calling all short story writers!

tribuneThe Chicago Tribune is currently taking submissions for its annual Nelson Algren Short Story Contest. All stories are judged blind and, in even better news, there is no entry fee!

The Tribune awards one winner with $5,000, three finalists with $1,500 each, and six runners-up with $500 each. Plus, all stories will be considered for publication in the Chicago Tribune.

Interested writers can submit up to two stories for consideration. Stories should be previously unpublished short fiction written in English and totaling 8,000 words or less. Send your submissions via the Nelson Algren Short Story Award submissions manager. And get those stories polished — the deadline for submissions is coming up February 1!

Click here for a list of detailed rules and requirements. Good luck to you all!

Undergraduates: venture UNDERGROUND with us!

The leaves are falling, the air is crisp, and everywhere you go here on campus you hear the familiar sound of students flipping through syllabi and wondering just how they are going to finish all that work before finals roll around….

ID-100148176Ah, yes, the Autumn quarter is in full swing, and here at The Underground that can only mean one thing–it’s time to put together our undergraduate writing staff for the 2013-2014 academic year. If you are an undergraduate English major, minor, or are just interested in all things literary, then we want you on our team!

As a staff member for The Underground, you will get the chance to….

  • Cover English department events, visiting author readings, conferences, and other literary goings-on here at DePaul and across Chicagoland
  • Review new books, films, and music that would be of interest to DePaul English majors and other students interested in writing, literature, and the humanities
  • Interview faculty, alumni, and persons of interest for featured profiles
  • Have your writing featured on our popular newsletter/blog
  • Gain some valuable experience creating written content for the web and working under deadlines
  • Network with other students interested in the field of English

Interested students should contact editor Melissa Culbertson at by October 1. Please include a short application letter describing your qualifications, writing experience, interests, an idea of what kind of time commitment you will be willing to put in as a part of our staff, and, very importantly, your vision for The Underground. 

New staff members will be notified via email by Friday, October 4. We look forward to an exciting year!

Threshold is Looking for Editors!

THRESHOLD%20poster-page-0Threshold, DePaul University’s award-winning, all-student journal of literature and art, is soliciting applications for editors for its upcoming 2014 issue. Interested candidates should prepare a 1-2 page application letter describing relevant experience, available commitment, and a vision for the magazine. Applications can be submitted via email to Professor Borich at between now and October 7, 2013, at 12:00 noon. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity!

Enter the Guild Complex Writing Contest

Calling all writers! The Guild Literary Complex is accepting submissions for their Annual Prose Awards. Both emerging and established writers are encouraged to submit their fiction or non-fiction pieces for consideration. There are no restrictions on subject or theme, but submissions should be typed, limited to 1,000 words or less, and writers must be Illinois residents 18-years of age or older.

prose-contest-2013-digital-final-2The 2013 judges include Cristina Henríquez (Fiction) and DePaul’s own Prof. Miles Harvey (Non-Fiction).

Winners of the Annual Prose Awards will be announced live October 23 at the Guild Literary Complex Prose Awards event, which will take place at Chicago’s historic Chopin Theatre. A $250 cash prize will be awarded to the winner of each category.

To submit, send a single piece of short fiction or non-fiction to There is a $5 submission fee–which includes admission to the Prose Awards event–payable using the PayPal donation button on the contest page. All submissions must be sent by 5 p.m. on October 1, 2013.

Applications available for the Cork Writers’ School Summer Program 2014

Do you love writing? If you’re an avid reader of The Underground, well then of course you do. But wouldn’t that next work of written genius come a whole lot easier if you could immerse yourself in a beautiful and faraway locale steeped in rich literary history?

If so, then the new Cork Writers’ School Summer Program sounds like your cup of Irish Breakfast Tea.

Nestled in lovely Mitchelstown, Ireland in the idyllic County of Cork, the Cork Writers’ School offers budding writers the unique opportunity to dive into the timeless work of Cork’s many great poets, novelists, painters, and musicians while crafting works of their very own. Learn about paragons like Frank O’Connor, Gerald Griffin, Elizabeth Bowen and others from preeminent scholars before immersing yourself in creative writing workshops on the memoir, novels, poetry, and the short story. Write the work you’ve always wanted to under the guidance of distinguished facilitators, such as the award-winning playwright and memoirist John MacKenna; Leanne O’Sullivan, poet and winner of the 2010 Rooney Prize for Irish Literature; Nuala Ní Chonchúir, a writer of four renowned short story collections and the 2010 highly-praised novel, Youand James Joyce Award recipient Mary O’Donnell, an author, translator, and university instructor.

The Cork Writers’ School 2014 Summer Program will be held from July 21 to August 1, 2014. Don’t let this amazing opportunity pass you by! For more information, a full program agenda, and an application, visit the Cork Writers’ School website today at

Free Community Creative Writing Class: The Apprentices

The Apprentices: Free Community Creative Writing Classes
at Northwestern University, School of Continuing Studies
Saturday, December 1 & Sunday, December 2, 2012
Evanston Campus–405 Church Street
(Davis St. L stop, Purple Line; free parking on street and in back lot; handicapped-accessible ramp at entrance near parking lot)

All include discussion and in-class writing and are for writers with various levels of experience.

9am Turn off Your Brain: Automatic Writing for Inspiration
(taught by Patrick Bernhard)
10am From the Page to the Stage: How to Read Your Work in Front of an Audience
(taught by Dana Norris)
11am A Past that Bears Repeating: Writing Historical Scenes (Rebecca Bald)
12pm Sneaking Past the Gatekeeper: Generating Ideas & Welcoming Creativity (Heather Cunningham)
1pm It’ll be Funny Someday: A Dark Humor Workshop (Michelle Cabral)
2pm Embracing Ekphrasis: Writing Poetry about Art (Dane Hamann)
3pm It’s Not Stealing if it’s a Centro: a Poetry Workshop (Aaron DeLee)

All include discussion and in-class writing and are for writers with all levels of experience.

9am Back to the Future: How Flashbacks Can Help Your Story (Ross Ritchell)
10am Fragmented Narrative in Fiction and Nonfiction (Jesse Eagle)
11am To Tell True Stories, You Must Lie (Alex Higley)
12pm How I See It: Changing Meaning by Changing Point of View (Lydia Pudzianowski)
1pm Great Expectations How to Subvert Readers’ Assumptions (Alisa Ungar-Sargon)
2pm Smash-Band: Increase Your Story’s Impact by Ramping Up Conflict (Michael Anson)
3pm Hookers I Have Loved: Writing Catchy Openings (Eric Grawe)
4pm Techniques for Writing About Emotion in Prose (Mercedes Lucero)

Classes are for writers with various levels of experience. You may register for a maximum of FIVE workshops/classes. Each is taught by a graduate student in creative writing at Northwestern. To register, please email or call 847-491-5612. Classes are 50 to 55 minutes long. Please bring paper, pen or pencil; or laptop.
*Classes are free, but accepting donations to benefit Young Chicago Authors.

Student Poetry & Short Fiction: October 2012

Each month The Underground will publish various creative writing pieces by The Underground writers–some of our DePaul English majors!

This month we have published pieces featuring poetry by sophomore, Katie-Rose Brunner and short fiction by freshman, Russell Nye; junior, Leigh Martin; and freshman, Gabbie Zeller.

Use our right menu bar located on our homepage to view their work or use the following links to go directly to their individual pages! Leave a comment or “like” their work:

Sancturary & Introduction, Katie-Rose Brunner
Damp and Cold, Russell Nye
Time Management, Leigh Martin
Torrential Downpour, Gabbie Zeller

Wanted: 2 Radio DePaul Creative Writing Co-hosts

picture of man reading want ads, depaulunderground.wordpress.comWanted: Two Co-hosts for a Radio DePaul Show

The show will feature creative writing students reading their work on air.  It will be the hosts’ responsibility to work with the student programmers at Radio DePaul to shape the show, to host the show on the air, and to select student readers for each show.  We are anticipating doing shows every other Friday morning.   Please submit a 1-page application letter to Professor Dan Stolar’s mailbox in McGaw by Wed Oct 26 if you are interested.

Note:  it is likely that there will be overlap between applications for these positions and for the Threshold Co-editor positions.  Please feel free to re-use materials from that application.  The same people will not be chosen for both in order to give more students an opportunity.

Summer Reading List–Part Tres


Since my last post, the weather in Chicago has been kinder and both the Newberry Library Book Fair and Lollapalooza have passed.  There are school buses winding their way through my subdivision in anticipation of the coming school year and the Sunday Chicago Tribune is thick with “Back to School Sale” advertisements…I’m not ready!!

So let’s keep summer rolling with the next installment of the reading list. Check out Professor John Shanahan’s suggestion here.