Big Shoulders Books Presents: Literary Citizenship and the Power of Collaborative Storytelling, Tuesday April 19 at DPAM

Big Shoulders Books, a new publishing venture whose goal is to produce quality works of writing by and about Chicagoans whose lives might not otherwise be shared, invites the DePaul English community to a discussion with the amazing writers/editors Audrey Petty, Peter Orner and Michele Morano. The event, “Literary Citizenship and the Power of Collaborative Storytelling,” takes place at 6 p.m. at the DePaul Art Museum, 935 W. Fullerton (next to the Fullerton Red Line stop).


Named the 2013 Chicagoan of the Year in literature by the Chicago Tribune, Audrey is the editor of the oral-history collection High Rise Stories: Voices of Chicago Public Housing.

An acclaimed novelist and short-story writer, Peter is the editor of two oral-history collections, including Underground America: Narratives of Undocumented Lives.
Michele Morano is the author of Grammar Lessons: Translating Life in Spain and serves as the director of the MAWP here at DePaul. 

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DePaul Professors Michele Morano and Kathleen Rooney Featured in NewCity’s Lit 50 2015: Who Really Books in Chicago

DePaul is making its mark in the thriving Chicago literary scene lately! First George Saunders, and now, two of our professors–one of whom, Michele Morano, is the director of the M.A. in Writing & Publishing program–have been featured in NewCity‘s Lit 50, a roundup of movers and shakers in the Chicago literary community.


28 Michele Morano

Director of the Graduate Program in Writing and Publishing, DePaul University

” In the past four years, Director Morano helped transform DePaul’s Creative Writing MAWP from a general writing program into one that injects life into the Chicago literary and social landscape. Students have been research assistants for Eula Biss and Alex Kotlowitz, and helped orchestrate interviews for “How Long Will I Cry: Voices of Youth Violence.” That book, which later became an acclaimed Steppenwolf play, was the first from Big Shoulders Books, a company Morano created with colleagues to help give students publishing experience at every level. Strengthening both the focus on community and publishing, Morano says this fall, DePaul plans to offer creative writing classes open to anyone with a bachelor’s degree, and is debuting a graduate certificate in publishing soon. “

joe-mazza-brave-lux-chicago-newcity-lit-50-2015-screen-res-123237 Kathleen Rooney

Co-Founder, Rose Metal Press

” If Kathleen Rooney played baseball, scouts would call her a “five-tool player”: novelist, poet, essayist, editor, publisher, live-lit performer and professor at DePaul University. Rooney, with Abigail Beckel, co-founded Rose Metal Press, which has published hybrid genre works (by other writers only) since 2006. Rooney also co-founded Poems While You Wait, a diverse collective of poets who write poems to order on manual typewriters at public events, and she performs as Vivian Nightwood with the Poetry Bordello. Rooney says “Chicago is a city full of innumerable talented people doing innumerable interesting things.” Few cover as many bases as Rooney. “

Head on over to the LitCity website to check out the full story here. Note our nifty ad at the top of the page!

(Both photos © Joe Mazza/Brave Lux)

Professor and DePaul MAWP Director Michele Morano Reading at Sunday Salon this Sunday, May 31st!

A Literary Series in Chicago

May 31 at 7 PM

Riverview Tavern, 1958 W. Roscoe Street

in the Roscoe and Damen Room


Jeffrey Condran, Aviya Kushner, Jillian Lauren, and Michele Morano

We’ll be bringing you four outstanding authors this month.

Please join us!


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Jeffrey Condran is the author of the story collection, A Fingerprint Repeated. His debut novel, Prague Summer, was published by Counterpoint in August 2014. His fiction has appeared in journals such as The Kenyon ReviewThe Missouri Review, and Epoch, and has been awarded the 2010William Peden Prize and Pushcart Prize nominations. He is an Assistant Professor of English at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and the Co-founder of Braddock Avenue Books.

Aviya Kushner’s first book, The Grammar of God, about the experience of reading the Bible in English after a lifetime of reading it in Hebrew, will be published by Spiegel & Grau (Random House) on August 18, 2015. Her essays and stories have appeared inThe Gettysburg ReviewGulf CoastPartisan ReviewPoets & WritersA Public Space, The Wilson Quarterly, and Zoetrope: All-Story. Her poems, reviews, and translations have appeared nationally and internationally. She teaches in the MFA program in nonfiction at Columbia College Chicago and is a contributing editor at A Public Space.

Jillian Lauren is the author of the upcoming memoir Everything You Ever Wanted, the New York Times bestselling memoir Some Girls: My Life in a Harem, and the novel Pretty, all from Plume/Penguin. Jillian has an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University. Her writing has appeared in The Paris ReviewThe New York TimesThe Los Angeles TimesVanity FairLos Angeles MagazineElle and Salon, among others. She is a regular storyteller on The Moth. Jillian blogs about motherhood and writing at the award-winning She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and son.

Michele Morano is the author of the travel memoir, Grammar Lessons: Translating a Life in Spain, and her essays have appeared in many publications, including Fourth GenreNinth Letter, Georgia Review, Chicago Tribune, and Best American Essays. Her work has been supported by grants and fellowships from the Rona Jaffe Foundation, the American Association for University Women, the Illinois Arts Council, MacDowell Colony, and others. She lives in Chicago, where she directs the graduate program in writing and publishing at DePaul University.


Sunday Salon Chicago is a literary reading series held on the north side of Chicago at the Riverview Tavern, located at the corner of Damen and Roscoe. The Riverview is accessible by the brown line El, the Addison bus, and the Damen bus. Street parking is also available.