English Department Faculty and Alumnus Included on New City’s Lit50 for 2014 Chicago Authors

A number of LAS faculty members have been named among Newcity magazine’s Lit50 for 2014, the publication’s annual list celebrating some of the top Chicago authors. Included among the top 50 are LAS English department Professor Luis Urrea, who comes in at number 14; Professor Cris Mazza, number 34; and Assistant Professor Roger Reeves, who is ranked at number 40. Additionally, LAS alumna Nnedi Okorafor (PhD English) was ranked 16 on the list.

Urrea is the author of multiple novels, including his most recent novel, Queen of America (Little, Brown and Company), and Into the Beautiful North, which was recently selected for the NEA Big Read Program.

Mazza is the author of over 17 novels, including Various Men Who Knew Us as Girls, and its companion piece, Something Wrong With Her (Jaded Ibis).  Dr. Mazza serves as director of the Program for Writers at LAS.

Reeves’ debut collection of poetry, King Me (Copper Canyon), was awarded the 2014 Larry Levis Reading Prize for Debut Book of Poetry and the Pushcart Prize.  Most recently, Professor Reeves received the 2014 Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University.

Okorafor writes speculative, science-fiction and horror fiction for adults and children in the U.S. and Nigeria. Her 2007 young-adult novel, The Shadow Speaker, won the Carl Brandon Parallax Award that year, and her first adult novel, Who Fears Death, won the 2011 World Fantasy Award. She now teaches creative writing and literature at SUNY Buffalo.

More about Luis Urrea and Roger Reeves can be read in their respective AtLAS magazine profiles, available care of the magazine’s website.