Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Nafissa Thompson-Spires  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Adult;


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Illinois Connection

Thompson-Spires is a Professor of English at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. 

Biographical and Professional Information

Nafissa Thompson-Spires earned a PhD in English from Vanderbilt and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Illinois. Her work has appeared in Story Quarterly, Lunch Ticket, East Bay Review, Compose, Blinders, FLOW, The Feminist Wire, among other publications. She is a 2016 fellow of the Callaloo Writer's Workshop.

Watch an interview with Nafissa on NBC's Late Night with Seth Meyers at this link -

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library


Heads of the Colored People

  • Longlisted, National Book Award for Fiction, 2018
  • Finalist, Kirkus Prize, 2018

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability: Yes