Chicago Deep Dish August 2022

Deep Dish is a reading series of Science Fiction, Speculative Fiction and Fantasy! It is a crazy good event, with some incredible authors working in and out of this genre. This event was held on August 18, 2022 at The Book Cellar in Chicago, IL. Since the pandemic hit at the beginning of 2020, this has been our first Deep Dish reading in over 2 years, with more in the works for the future!

Featured Readers

Mary Anne Mohanraj – Mary Anne Mohanraj has co-edited several anthologies dedicated to speculative fiction, including Survivor, Invisible, and The Stars Change. Mohanraj is author of the cook book A Feast of Serendib, the breast cancer memoir Perennial, Bodies in Motion (HarperCollins), and several other titles. Bodies in Motion was a finalist for the Asian American Book Awards, a USA Today Notable Book, and has been translated into six languages. Previous titles include Aqua Erotica and Wet (two erotica anthologies edited for Random House), Kathryn in the City and The Classics Professor (two erotic choose-your-own-adventure novels, Penguin), and The Best of Strange Horizons. Mohanraj founded the Hugo-nominated magazine, Strange Horizons. She was Guest of Honor at WisCon 2010, received a Breaking Barriers Award from the Chicago Foundation for Women for her work in Asian American arts organizing, and won an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Prose. Mohanraj has taught at the Clarion SF/F workshop, and is now Clinical Assistant Professor of fiction and literature and Associate Coordinator of Asian and Asian American Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She serves as Executive Director of both DesiLit ( ) and the Speculative Literature Foundation ( ). Recent publications include the collection Without a Map (Aqueduct Press, co-authored with Nnedi Okorafor), and the Lambda-award-finalist science fiction novella, The Stars Change (Circlet Press). Mohanraj lives in a creaky old Victorian in Oak Park, just outside Chicago, with her partner, Kevin, two small children, and a sweet dog.

Meghan Lamb – Meghan Lamb is the author of COWARD (2022), Failure to Thrive (2021) All of Your Most Private Places (2020) and Silk Flowers (2017). She recently served as the Philip Roth Writer-in-Residence at Bucknell University, and has previously taught courses at University of Chicago Eötvös Loránd University, Interlochen Center for the Arts, and Washington University in St. Louis. Her work has appeared in Quarterly West, DIAGRAM, Redivider, and Passages North, among other publications. In addition to teaching with the University of Chicago, she currently leads online workshops through GrubStreet and Story Studio. She also runs the shadow text reading series Significant Others, and serves as the fiction editor of Bridge, a Chicago magazine of literature, art criticism and cultural reporting, and the nonfiction editor of Nat. Brut, a Whiting Award-winning journal of art and literature dedicated to advancing inclusivity in all creative fields.

Rapid Fire Readers

Olivia Lilley – Olivia Lilley is a director, writer, and producer. Her work runs the gamut from irreverent takes on classic texts (Faust: Save me or I’ll die, Neverland) to biographical (The Party House, In Sarah’s Shadow) to new plays that tackle contemporary intersectional issues (Mary Shelley Sees The Future, The Winter &; The Whiskey, Expectations [for little mixed girls]). Lilley is the founding artistic director of the Runaways Lab Theater (voted Best New Theater Company by Chicago Reader in 2014). Lilley is the creative director of Pop Magic Productions, an artistic associate with Pivot Arts, and the artistic director of Prop Thtr. She attended Interlochen Arts Academy for music composition and received her BFA in directing from Carnegie Mellon School of Drama.

Kendrick Lee – Kendrick Lee is a 4th year student at the University of Chicago, majoring in Creative Writing. He writes short stories in science and surreal fiction. When he’s not writing or thinking about writing, Kendrick skateboards, rewatches 30 Rock, or makes people sing with him on his roof. He occasionally suffers from delusions of grandeur.

Darius Vinesar – Darius Vinesar (he/him) is a writer with a love for the fantasy and post-apocalyptic genres. He’s currently working on a fantasy novel set in an alternate world during a late Victorian-esque era with guns, swords, airships, and an ancient and dangerous magic system that uses writing. As the Managing Director of the SLF, Darius is dedicated to making sure the organization is running smoothly and efficiently from day to day. Darius is also an editor and producer for the podcast, Mohanraj and Rosenbaum Are Humans, a show sponsored by the SLF. On Saturdays, Darius co-hosts with Victor Raymond at the SLF’s weekly co-writing sessions.

Robert Kloss – Robert Kloss’s published works include: The Alligators of Abraham (2012, 2016), The Desert Places (2013), and The Revelator (2015). His novels, The Woman Who Lived Amongst the Cannibals, A Light No More, and the Genocide House are all forthcoming from the press Inside the Castle.

Daniel Boyd – Daniel Boyd majored in creative writing at Otterbein College. After college he continued to write and participate in the storytelling communities he lived in until finally settling in Chicago. He is now the president of the organization Story Luck, which includes a podcast, and Sunday potluck, and all kinds of stuff.

KinZirrelli Kensey – This next one hit wonder can’t watch television without seeing someone he knows personally… Or has worked with. OSCAR NOMINATED WITH MOTOWN. NBC introduced him in 2005 as “King of the Streets” with art and films in 2 major museums… The Famed KENZIRRELLI.

Reina Hardy – Reina Hardy is a playwright (mostly) who specializes in bringing fantasy and sci-fi to the stage. Her sci-fi play for families “Annie Jump and the Library of Heaven” won the Kennedy Center TYA prize, was on the Kilroy’s List, and was published in 2021 by Broadway Play Publishing after a four-theatre NNPN Rolling World Premiere. Her fantasy play “Glassheart” is coming out from TRW Plays in 2022. Reina’s other genre plays include “Glassheart,” “Changelings,” and musicals “Fanatical” and “Agent Andromeda: the Orion Crusade.” Her prose has also appeared in Electric Literature, Fantasy Magazine and MFA UT Austin as Michener Fellow.

August 2022 Deep Dish Playlist

August 2022 Deep Dish Photos


Are you a writer of speculative fiction? Want to read your latest work in front of an audience? We’d love to have you join us! Please fill out the form below and we’ll consider you for our reading series!