Great Lakes Reading Series


The Great Lakes Reading Series celebrates the writers and writing of and about the Great Lakes region.

Inaugural Reading: July 31

Natalli Amato
Natalli Amato is a poet and journalist from Sackets Harbor, New York. She is the author of two books of poetry, On a Windless Night and Burning Barrel, which is forthcoming in 2022Her poems have appeared in several anthologies and numerous literary journals and magazines, and she is a poetry reader for CARVE Magazine. In 2019, she was awarded the Edwin T. Whiffen Poetry Prize from Syracuse University. She is a regular contributor to Rolling Stone and Taste of Country. She lives on Lake Ontario, which serves as a constant inspiration for her poetry.

William Burtch
William Burtch is from Columbus, Ohio. In addition to Great Lakes Review, his recent work has appeared in American Fiction Volume 17 (New Rivers Press), Schuylkill Valley Journal, Barren Magazine, Montana Mouthful and others. More information can be found at

Carey Millsap-Spears
Carey Millsap-Spears, Professor of Communications/Literature at Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Hills, IL, writes poetry, academic articles, and fiction. Carey’s poetry has appeared in Great Lakes Review, Coffin Bell, The Community College Humanities Review, Spirits (forthcoming) and GNU journal. Her academic work has been published the journals Aeternum: The Journal of Contemporary Gothic Studies, Studies in Popular Culture, The Dark Arts Journal, Fantastika and Queer Studies in Media & Popular Culture and in the book collections Set Phasers to Teach, Strange Novel Worlds (forthcoming), The Routledge Handbook to Star Trek (forthcoming), and “This Shark, Swallow You Whole”: Fifty Years of Jaws (forthcoming). Carey also wrote and edited pieces for Consumers Digest magazine where she published numerous feature articles and won three journalism awards. She has an MFA in creative writing, poetry and a Master of Arts in English. She tweets @cmillsapspears.

Mitchell Nobis
Mitchell Nobis is a writer and K-12 teacher in Metro Detroit. His poetry has appeared in Rise Up Review, Hobart, Dunes Review, The Hopper, and others. He is a co-director of the Red Cedar Writing Project and hosts the Wednesday Night Sessions reading series. Find him at @MitchNobis or

Greg Sendi
Greg Sendi is a Michigan native who lives in and writes from the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago. His career has included broadcast and trade journalism as well as poetry and fiction and a stint as fiction editor of Chicago Review. In the past year, his work has appeared or been accepted for publication in a number of literary magazines and online outlets, including Apricity, Beyond Words, The Briar Cliff Review, Burningword Literary Journal, Clarion, CONSEQUENCE, The Masters Review, Plume, San Antonio Review, and upstreet. He can be found on Twitter at @gsendi.

Kerry Trautman
A lifelong Ohioan, Kerry Trautman is a founder/admin for and the “Toledo Poetry Museum” page on Facebook, both of which serve to promote Northwest OH poetry events. Since 2016, she has served annually as judge or workshop leader for the NW region of Ohio’s “Poetry Out Loud” competition. In 2020, her one-act play “Mass” was selected for production as a staged reading through The Toledo Repertoire Theater’s “Toledo Voices” competition. Kerry’s poetry and short fiction have appeared in various anthologies and literary magazines such as Slippery Elm, The Fourth RiverMidwestern GothicThimble, and Gasconade Review. Her poetry books are, Things That Come in Boxes (Kingcraft Press 2012), To Have Hoped (Finishing Line Press 2015), Artifacts (NightBallet Press 2017), and To Be Nonchalantly Alive (Kelsay Books 2020).

John S. O’Connor
John S. O’Connor teaches English at New Trier High School and in the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University. He is the author of two books on the teaching of writing (Wordplaygrounds and Things Being What They Are), a chapbook of poems called Rooting and two chapbooks of haiku. O’Connor’s essays and reviews have appeared in Colorado ReviewHarvard Review; Michigan Quarterly; Ploughshares; Sport Literate; Schools; and Under the Sun. His poetry, fiction and nonfiction have all been nominated for Pushcart Prizes. He is also the creator and host of an education podcast called Schooled: the Podcast.