Chicago Writers Resist


On January 15, 2017, writers across the United States and in Europe will come together for WRITERS RESIST, a “re-inauguration” of our shared commitment to the spirit of compassion, equality, free speech, and the fundamental ideals of democracy.

WRITERS RESIST events, large and small, will be held in dozens of locations throughout the US and the world.

Simultaneous January 15th  events will be held around the city in The Loop, Logan Square, Humboldt Park, Albany Park/Old Irving Park, Hyde Park, and Pilsen.

See the press release for the full list of exciting events around Chicago!

The LOOP event will take place on Sunday, January 15th, Noon-3:00 PM at Open Books in the West Loop,  651 W. Lake St.

The event will include writers and community organizations from around Chicago. The growing list of readers joining the LOOP event  includes:

Audrey Niffenegger • Audrey Petty • Barrie Jean Borich • Brian Kornell • Daniel Borzutsky • Janet Burroway • Juan Martinez • Kelli Ellis • Mark Turcotte • Peggy Shinner • Quraysh Ali Lansana • Rachel Galvin • Rebecca Hazelton • Roger Reeves • Ruben Quesada • T. Clutch Fleischman • Toni Nealie • Tyehimba Jess

Visiting Writers Series Welcomes DePaul MAWP Alum Jessica Chiarella Reading from Debut Novel “And Again”

Exciting news this month for the DePaul English community: MAWP alumna Jessica Chiarella‘s debut novel, And Again, was published last week by Simon & Schuster. Chiarella is a native of Vernon Hills, IL and is currently in the creative writing MFA program at the University of California, Riverside.

The Chicago Tribune published an article last week in which Printers Row reporter Jeremy Mikula mentions that the first draft of the novel was written for Prof. Johns Trissler’s novel-writing class.

And Again explores the lives of four terminally ill medical patients who undergo an experimental medical procedure that erases their former ailments and illnesses. Check out the Kirkus Review of the novel here.

The DePaul Visiting Writers Series welcomes Chiarella for a reading at the Richardson Library next week. The event will take place Tuesday, January 26 at 6pm in Richardson 150.


DePaul Humanities Center Presents “Making the Novel Novel: Lolita”, Wednesday Jan. 20, 2016

The DePaul Humanities Center continues its radical re-thinking of novels by turning its attention to Vladimir Nabokov’s classic, Lolita. The evening begins with the world premiere of “Young Matrix, Unknown Heart,” adapted for the stage from Nobakov’s novel by Dan Christmann, and performed and directed by Evan Hill and Melissa Lorraine. The performance including author Maryse Meijer, Danielle Meijer (DePaul University), and Shari L. Savage (Ohio State University), will investigate the various artwork used as book covers for Lolita and the complicated ways in which Lolita’s age may not be really the central moral question of the novel.


A discounted parking rate is available. See Humanities Center staff at event for details.

Erin Roux Explores Short Story Vending Machines as Mending Machines of the “Literary Experience”


by Erin Roux

In an age of smart phones and e-readers, it is not often that people indulge in the beauty and simplicity that is the classic literary experience: the reading of a physical book. In the last two decades, ink on paper has been replaced by pixels and iPads. The turning of a page is now a mindless swipe. The appeal of the hard copy is diminishing as people succumb to the allure of the screen.

Interestingly, though, Inverse reports that the city of Grenoble in southeastern France has caused many to consider new directions for the intersection of literature and technology in its implementation of “vending machines” in public areas that dispense short stories: a modern concept that is bringing back the classic experience. These new and completely free devices were created from a collaboration between a publishing company called Short Édition and Grenoble’s mayor, Éric Piolle. They have been placed in eight different places around the city in an attempt to fill up various unproductive moments that are often spent scrolling on smartphones. The machines distribute original short stories that are written by members of Short Édition and are dispensed at random to the readers, though they can pick how long they want their story based on how much time that have to fill while waiting around with a choice of one, three, or five-minute stories.

This is a small yet significant return to the practice of the reading of a hard copy as opposed to spending time plugged in. Reading on anything other than a digital device—be it a slip of paper or a trade paperback—eliminates the other distractions that technology allows for. When reading on a smartphone it’s easy to reply to an incoming text or watch some video on Facebook. But with a physical copy, when feeling the pages in your hands, it’s hard not to be absorbed in the work.

The feel of a page is special and characteristic of the original experience most readers had with a physical book until digital publishing changed the sole method of delivery. It’s an experience that people generations before us have enjoyed, and also something that is on the cusp of disappearing. It’s important to remember the point of literature, which is in part to be connected with the past and to experience things that can’t all be experienced in one lifetime. Grenoble’s short story machines are proof that the future and the past can continue to coexist and that physical copies of literature won’t disappear anytime soon.

More importantly, the fact that access to these short story vending machines is free to the public allows the literary experience to be available to everyone. Instead of spending free time on social media, people can fill little moments with brilliant stories, new perspectives, and appealing prose. Much like libraries are home to free information for those who search for it, these machines are like little libraries for those who give a minute or two of their lives to experience it. The classic literary experience is not deteriorating—it is changing for the better.

The ability for the old and the new to coexist while still staying true to the tradition of literature will allow easier access to a much wider audience than ever before. And better yet, the smartphones and e-readers are out of sight, out of mind.

Internship Opportunity at Kahini (application deadline 12/1/14)


Internship Opportunity Announcement: Exclusively Offered to DePaul Students!
Organization: Kahini (
Term: January 2-September 30, 2015 

Job Description
This is a nine-month internship in program coordination and arts management. Successful applicants will work alongside, and in conversation with, Kahini program coordinators in Africa, Asia, North America, and Oceania. This position requires the intern, working closely with Kahini staff, to design, implement, and evaluate between a creative-writing workshop in Chicago, Illinois, September 18-20, 2015, using the Kahini method of workshop pedagogy.

Interns can expect to work between 1-3 hours per week leading up to the workshop weekend, and about 25 hours during the three-day program.

Applicants must be in their junior year or higher, majoring in creative writing or English literature. Equal preference is given to undergraduate and graduate students. The successful applicant will have excellent writing and communication skills, work well in collaboration with others, and be a self-starter.

This is an unpaid nine-month internship.

How to Apply
Interested applicants should submit a cover letter and resume to Please put Internship Application in the subject line. In your cover letter, please demonstrate knowledge of Kahini’s mission, programs, and strategic plan, all available online at, and discuss how your career and writing goals would be furthered by working in conversation with writers across multiple borders.

Application Deadline: December 1, 2015

Conference Opportunity and Upcoming Author Reading

Streamlines%2013-page-0The Streamlines Undergraduate Language, Literature, and Writing Conference will be celebrating its sixth year on Saturday, November 9, 2013, at the University of Dubuque in lovely Dubuque, Iowa. Sponsoring schools Clarke University, Loras College, and the University of Dubuque are encouraging interested undergraduate students to submit their best work for presentations and panel discussions.

Students are asked to submit 300-word abstracts of their papers or 1.5- to 2 page outlines of their panel presentations in literary criticism (in English or Spanish) or creative writing. A list of suggested topics is included on the conference flyer. Please note that papers longer than 7 pages will not be accepted, and students are limited to three submissions.

Iowa’s Poet Laureate Mary Swander will be presenting the conference’s keynote address, and accepted panelists can plan on arriving in Dubuque the night before the conference for a fun poetry event.

Hotel rooms have been reserved by the conference organizers at the Fairfield Inn by Marriott in Dubuque. To reserve a room at the special conference discount rate of $79 per night, make sure to mention Streamlines when booking your stay.

The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, October 16 by 5:00 p.m. Please use this online submissions system to submit your materials.


And finally, acclaimed author Jane Hamilton will be stopping by DePaul on Friday, October 11, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. for a lecture and reading.

Hamilton is the author of best-selling works such as The Book of Ruth, A Map of the Worldand The Short History of a Prince, among others. This exciting event is set to take place in the Student Center Room 120.

For those interested in a small group book discussion following Hamilton’s reading, please contact the DePaul Honors Program at (773) 325-7302.

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!

Writer Michael Paterniti to visit DePaul next week

New York Times best-selling writer Michael Paterniti will be visiting DePaul’s Lincoln Park campus next Tuesday, September 24 at 6 p.m.


Paterniti is the author of the acclaimed new book The Telling Room: A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the World’s Greatest Piece of Cheese (2013) and 2001’s Driving Mr. Albert: A Trip Across America with Einstein’s BrainHis work has also appeared numerous times in respected publications like The New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, Harper’s, Esquire, and GQ where Paterniti currently works as a correspondent. Paterniti has been nominated for the National Magazine Award a whopping eight times and is a recipient of some of the field’s most prestigious writing grants.

Don’t miss the chance to see this accomplished writer in person! Check back with The Underground in the coming days for the location of Michael Paterniti’s reading, as there has recently been a room change. We will be sure to update you as soon as we hear!

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