James Michelin Distinguished Visitors Program
Thompson-Spires is an associate professor of creative writing at Cornell University. She earned several honors for her first book, Heads of the Colored People, including a 2019 PEN America Literary Award, the Whiting Award, the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction, and a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. It was included in "Best Books of 2018" lists from National Public Radio, Vanity Fair, and Chicago Tribune, among others, and it was a finalist for the 2018 Kirkus Prize. Other work by Thompson-Spires has appeared in The Paris Review Daily, Dissent, and The White Review. She holds a PhD in English from Vanderbilt University and an MFA in creative writing from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.