Mel Livatino

Mel Livatino
Born in 1940, Mel Livatino grew up on the northwest side of Chicago. For lack of money, he worked in a printing plant from 1958, when he graduated from high school, till 1966, when he graduated from the University of Illinois. He took his M. A. in English at Loyola University in Chicago, and thereafter taught for 36 years in the City Colleges of Chicago. During the last 19 years his essays have been published multiple times in the following magazines: Under the Sun (14), The Sewanee Review (9), Notre Dame Magazine (8), Writing on the Edge (4), Portland Magazine (1), and River Teeth (1). Twelve of these essays were named Notable Essays of the Year by Robert Atwan’s Best American Essays annual (2005, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020, 2022). "Wintry Rooms of Love" (Notre Dame Magazine, 2012) was given the 2013 Case Circle of Excellence Gold Award for Best Articles of the Year. "Crossing Borders" (Notre Dame Magazine, 2012) was given the 2013 Case Circle of Excellence Silver Award for Best Articles of the Year. Mel has recorded more than 50 of his essays for Recorded Recreational Reading for the Blind in Sun City, AZ. He is currently seeking book publishers for several collections of essays: Long Cry of Goodbye (about the loss of his wife to Alzheimer’s and then to death), Going Home Again (about all the ways we are always going home without knowing we are doing so), and A Girl in Summer (another collection of essays about going home again).

Recent Essays

The Final Prayer of Jim Barry  

—it took 40 years for me to begin to realize these words Jim silently put into my hands on that last day of class were a prayer.

New Beginnings: A Conversation with David Heddendorf about his Novel, The Terra Cotta Camel

David Heddendorf’s novel, The Terra Cotta Camel, is, as the subtitle accurately puts it, about “hope, new beginnings, and Des Moines.”...