Other than stories by and about the South Side, we don’t do themes at The Frunchroom. But sometimes – more through happenstance than intention – we end up with motifs. Last time, we had two authors from Englewood. For the next Frunchroom on July 21st, we have two educators from the Avalon Park neighborhood. The first is Kelly Norman Ellis.
Kelly is an associate professor of English and creative writing at Chicago State University. She is Chairperson of the department of English, Foreign Languages and Literatures and the director of the MFA in Creative Writing program at CSU.
Kelly is also a poet whose work has appeared in Sisterfire: Black Womanist Fiction and Poetry; Spirit and Flame; Boomer Girls; Essence Magazine; Obsidian; Calyx; The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South; PMS: Poem, Memoir, Story; Sou’wester; Crab Orchard Review; and Fire and Ink: An Anthology of Social Action Writing. Her first collection of poetry Tougaloo Blues was published by Third World Press in 2003. She is co-editor with M.L. Hunter of Spaces Between Us: Poetry, Prose and Art on HIV/AIDS (Third World Press) and her second collection of poetry, Offerings of Desire (Willow Books), was published in 2012. That same year Essence Magazine voted her one of their 40 favorite poets.
She lives in Avalon Park on Chicago’s South Side with her partner Kevin and their daughter Naomi Zora. Her piece will be about the experience of teaching at Chicago State University and the students she meets there. Please join us at Beverly Woods on July 21st at 730pm to hear Kelly and four other great readers at The Frunchroom.