DePaul University Newsline > Sections > DeBuzz > Chicago magazine 'Newcity Lit' honors seven DePaul faculty

Chicago magazine 'Newcity Lit' honors seven DePaul faculty

The founding editors of DePaul’s Big Shoulder Books, the co-founder of Rose Metal Press, the founder and editor of Poetry East, the poetry editor of The Langston Hughes Review, and an award-winning author are among seven DePaul faculty who were recently honored by NewCity Lit in the publication’s annual Lit 50 rankings.

Chris Solis Green, Miles Harvey and Michele Morano are founding editors of Big Shoulders Books, a nonprofit, social-justice-focused press that has distributed more than 100,000 copies of its publications for free. Big Shoulders Books aims to produce books that connect the Chicago community by allowing Chicagoans whose voices might not otherwise be shared to contribute to the works. It also gives DePaul students hands-on, practical experience in book publishing. 

“Our students are coming out of our program knowing how to produce books,” Harvey told Newcity Lit. 

Founded in 1980 by DePaul professor Richard Jones, Poetry East  has published 100 issues and “is committed to an art that is immediate, accessible and universal,” according to its website. 

“It will always be Poetry East’s mission to gather poems and art that celebrate life, endurance, and all those many unsung things which sustain us,” Jones told Newcity Lit. 

Kathleen Rooney, a senior professional lecturer in English, was again selected to Newcity Lit’s Hall of Fame, awarded to “folks who are so well-established and foundational to the literary world of Chicago that they are always near the top of the list,” the publication notes. 

Rooney is the founding editor of Rose Metal Press, a nonprofit publisher of literary work in hybrid genres. She’s also a founding member of Poems While You Wait, a team of poets and their typewriters who compose commissioned poetry on demand.

Tara Betts, the poetry editor of The Langston Hughes Review and an adjunct faculty member in English and The Theatre School, founded “The Whirlwind Learning Center” on Chicago’s South Side. Her goal is to help young people have an outlet for self-expression. 

“You need a place to articulate some of what you’re witnessing, sometimes just to make sense of the world or to vent,” she told Newcity Lit. 

Erika Sánchez is an author and the Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz Chair in DePaul’s Latin American and Latino Studies Department. Her first novel, “I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter,” was a National Book Award Finalist, a New York Times bestseller and is being turned into a Netflix show. Her most recent memoir, “Crying in the Bathroom​,” was published in July. 

Solis Green, Harvey, Jones, Morano and Rooney were ranked in the Lit 50 2022: Publishers, Services and Other Media category, while Betts and Sánchez were ranked in the Lit 50 2022: Advocates, Educators and Changemakers  category. 

Newcity Lit has covered Chicago’s culture of writing for more than 30 years.