Roosevelt University in Chicago, Schaumburg and Online - Logo
Audrey Petty

Writer who documented views of displaced CHA residents to read at Gage

Posted: 10/21/2013
Audrey Petty, editor and author of the recently released High Rise Stories: Voices from Chicago Public Housing, will read from her works as a part of Roosevelt University’s MFA in Creative Writing Program Reading Series, at 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24 in Roosevelt’s Gage Gallery, 18 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago.

A native of Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, Petty received gripping first-person accounts of former residents of Chicago’s iconic public housing projects through interviews. High Rise Stories describes life in the now-demolished high-rises. These stories of community displacement and poverty in the wake of gentrification give voice to those who have long been ignored, but whose hopes and struggles exist firmly at the heart of our national identity.

High Rise Stories features the account of a previous resident of the former Cabrini-Green housing project named Sabrina, whose sister was shot in the head in her family apartment when she was caught in the middle of a turf-related shooting. However, because ambulances refused to come to Cabrini-Green, and the elevators were out of order, Sabrina’s father and then-pregnant mother had to carry her sister down 13 flights of stairs to rush her to the hospital.

Petty has received a vast amount of praise for High Rise Stories and for giving members of former Chicago public housing communities a chance to tell their story.
 
“This book accomplishes its mission to give voice to public-housing residents tenfold but is equally successful as a significant work of American urban history,” stated Booklist magazine.
 
Audrey Petty is an associate professor of English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She writes fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction.  Her stories are published in such journals as African American Review, StoryQuarterly, Callaloo, and The Massachusetts Review and her poetry is featured in Crab Orchard Review and Cimarron Review; her essays have appeared in Colorlines, The Southern Review, Oxford American and more.
 
Free and open to the public, the reading is presented by the MFA in Creative Writing Program. For more information, contact Christian TeBordo at ctebordo@roosevelt.edu