Mary Anne Mohanraj is a writer & artist, English professor, and parent. She’s been blogging her life since December 1995, so is possibly the most transparent candidate you’re likely to run across. She’s lived in Oak Park for about 10 years, with her partner, Kevin, two children (currently attending 8th grade Brooks and 5th grade Holmes), and assorted pets.


Since she’s running for school board, you might care about Mary Anne’s educational background and teaching experience:

Educational Background:

  • University of Chicago B.A. English
  • Mills College MFA in Creative Writing
  • University of Utah Ph.D. in English Lit. and Writing

Teaching Experience

  • Mills College (all women’s undergrad institution)
  • Salt Lake City Community College
  • University of Utah
  • University of Vermont MFA (remote distance learning)
  • Roosevelt University Visiting Professor
  • Northwestern University Visiting Professor
  • University of Illinois at Chicago (10+ years), Clinical Associate Professor of Fiction and Literature


Mary Anne has a long history of community service spanning decades:

Community Service:

  • was elected to local office in 2017 and currently serves on the Oak Park library board; her four-year term will be ending this spring
  • serves as Executive Director of both DesiLit ( and the Speculative Literature Foundation (, and directs the Kriti Festival of Art and Literature (
  • has served on the futurist boards of the XPrize, Chicago‚Äôs Museum of Science and Industry and the international Plurality University
  • founded the Hugo-nominated and World Fantasy Award-winning speculative literature magazine Strange Horizons
  • served for ten issues as editor-in-chief of Jaggery, a South Asian literary journal (, which she continues to publish (2013-2019)
  • has served locally on the board of the Oak Park Garden Club and moderates three large community Facebook groups (Oak Park Area Garden Club, Oak Park Area Cooking Club, and Oak Park Area Neighbors)


Her publications will give you a sense of her interests and accomplishments:


  • A Feast of Serendib (a Sri Lankan cookbook)
  • Bodies in Motion (HarperCollins)
  • The Stars Change (Circlet Press), and twelve other titles

Bodies in Motion was a finalist for the Asian American Book Awards, a USA Today Notable Book, and has been translated into six languages. The Stars Change was a finalist for the Lambda, Rainbow, and Bisexual Book Awards.

Mohanraj is a recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Prose, has received a Locus Award and a Breaking Barriers Award from the Chicago Foundation for Women, and has been Guest of Honor at numerous conventions.


More on Mary Anne:


Her writer’s website: