Audrey Petty is a writer and educator. She writes fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction. Her stories have been published in such journals as African American Review, StoryQuarterly, Callaloo, and The Massachusetts Review. Her poetry has been featured in Crab Orchard Review and Cimarron Review, and her essays have appeared in Saveur, ColorLines, Columbia Journal, The Southern Review, Oxford American, Cornbread Nation 4, Gravy, and the Best Food Writing anthology. She is the editor of High Rise Stories: Voices from Chicago Public Housing (Voice of Witness/McSweeney's).
Petty has been awarded a residency at the Hedgebrook Colony, the Richard Soref Scholarship from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, and the Tennessee Williams Fellowship from the Sewanee Writers' Conference. Her fiction has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and she's been the recipient of fellowships and grants from the Ford Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council and the Hewlett Foundation.
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, Petty has also been an instructor for the Education Justice Project, Project FYSH (Foster Youth Seen and Heard), and Continuing Studies Programs at University of Wisconsin-Madison and Northwestern University. She also served as the Simon Blattner Visiting Assistant Professor of Fiction at Northwestern. She currently teaches for the Illinois Humanities' Odyssey Project and the Prison + Neighborhood Arts Project, and she lives with her family in Chicago.