The 82 is the Creative Writing minor's reading series, featuring distinguished Chicago writers of all genres, Northeastern faculty members and Northeastern student writers. The series hosts four to six events per academic year, and is named after the CTA's Kimball bus line, which gets many Chicagoans to our Main Campus and El Centro locations. 

Upcoming Events


Tuesday, Apr. 6
5 p.m.
Via Zoom
Email Olivia Cronk,, to request the link

Join NEIU's Creative Writing instructors, students and friends for The 82's Spring 2021 Writers Reading event, featuring three established, award-winning Chicago writers. The guest writers/speakers will read from their own works and answer questions from attendees.

Guest Writers/Speakers

Tara Betts

Tara Betts is the author of "Break the Habit," "Arc & Hue," and the forthcoming "Refuse to Disappear." In addition to her work as a teaching artist and mentor for young poets, she has taught at several universities, including Rutgers University and University of Illinois-Chicago. Recently, she taught poetry workshops for three years at Stateville Prison via Prison + Neighborhood Arts Project. Tara is Poetry Editor at The Langston Hughes Review, and is also in the process of establishing the nonprofit organization The Whirlwind Learning Center on Chicago’s South Side.

Audrey Petty

Audrey Petty writes fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction. Her stories have been published in such journals as African American Review, StoryQuarterly, Callaloo, and The Massachusetts Review. She is the editor of "High Rise Stories: Voices from Chicago Public Housing" (Voice of Witness/McSweeney's) and co-editor of "The Long Term" (Haymarket Press). She has taught extensively in the fields of African American literature and creative writing. Formerly on faculty in the Creative Writing Programs at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Knox College, she currently directs the Odyssey Project at Illinois Humanities.

Michael Zapata

Michael Zapata is a founding editor of MAKE Literary Magazine and the author of the novel "The Lost Book of Adana Moreau," winner of the 2020 Chicago Review of Books Award for Fiction, finalist for the 2020 Heartland Booksellers Award in Fiction, and a Best Book of the Year for NPR, the A.V. Club, Los Angeles Public Library, and BookPage, among others. He is the recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Award for Fiction and the City of Chicago DCASE Individual Artist Program Award. He is on the core faculty of StoryStudio Chicago and the MFA faculty of Northwestern University. 

Past Events

Lit & Luz Festival: "Remix: Respond, rebuild"

Oct. 3-9, 2020
Full schedule

Northeastern will serve as a community partner of this year’s Lit & Luz Festival, a one-of-a-kind series of events featuring renowned authors and visual artists from Chicago and Mexico in cultural exchange and conversation. Every October, Chicago hosts readings, conversations, artist talks and performances all over the city, and every February, Mexico takes a turn. In years past, Northeastern has hosted bilingual Lit & Luz participant events featuring Mexican writers such as Natalia Toledo and Verónica Gerber Bicecci.

The events have been organized in collaboration with the Creative Writing Minor, the English Department, the Angelina Pedroso Center for Diversity and Intercultural Affairs, and the Department of World Languages and Cultures. This year, the festival has gone virtual under the theme of “Remix: Respond and Rebuild,” and it will run from Oct. 3-9, featuring a keynote from award-winning writer Cristina Rivera Garza, and continuing with master classes, conversations, poetry readings and studio visits. Northeastern Spanish instructor and author Raúl Dorantes will take part in “Literatura en español en Chicago,” a panel discussion at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 6. Additionally, NEIU student and Independent journalist Leslie Hurtado will serve as an audio producer for the festival. Hurtado's audio documentary, "When Art is Action/Cuando el arte es acción," featuring Sandra Cisneros and Kristiana Rae Colón, will air Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. The week will culminate with the “live magazine” show, a series of collaborations and translations between the participating writers and artists, including recent visitors to campus such as poet José Olivarez and writer/performer Jessica Anne

All events are virtual, free and open to the public. 

Student Writers End of Semester Reading

Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020
3 p.m.
Email Olivia Cronk,, for Zoom link

Get excited for the Creative Writing Minor's Biannual Student Writers Reading! Come celebrate the hard, great work you've been doing all semester long and take part in our special community. 

The reading will feature Israa Abbas, Cathy Colton, Mike Fudacz, Xochitl Garcia, Nathan Kaplin, Zahra Sajwani, Ana Santillan and Joanna Vaklin

Contact Us