Loyola University Chicago

John Felice Rome Center


Elizabeth Geoghegan, Prof. of English Lit & Creative Writing

Elizabeth Geoghegan

Elizabeth Geoghegan teaches creative writing and English literature at Loyola’s John Felice Rome Center.  A genuine expatriate, Elizabeth writes in English, dreams in Italian, and wishes she could remember how to speak French. She earned an MFA in fiction writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MA in creative writing from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She is currently completing a short story collection and a novel set in Southeast Asia.  Her work explores issues of loss and the intersection between geography and intimacy. Her e-book, The Marco Chronicles was published by Shebooks, a new by-women, for-women digital publisher. Here’s what Shebooks has to say about Elizabeth’s The Marco Chronicles:

Get ready to have all your illusions of the glamorous Italian expat life shattered in this hilarious, irreverent memoir of a young American woman's romantic (or rather, unromantic) misadventures in the eternal city. Handsome, charming Roman men; perfectly made cappuccino and risotto; breathtakingly beautiful antiquities and that incomparable Italian light—none of these are perhaps quite as idyllic as they might seem to the casual traveler. With a jaded eye but an always vulnerable heart, Geoghegan gives us the anti-Eat, Pray, Love, a tale every bit as atmospheric but way funnier than the runaway best-seller. This is what life in Italy really looks like when you're a 30-something woman running from grief and trying to find the way back to love. 


Get to know her a little better!


Name:  Elizabeth Geoghegan


Hometown: Chicago, but I was born in NY and raised in the Midwest before my family relocated to the Windy City.


Years in Rome: 15


Years teaching at the JFRC: Since 2009!


Course(s) taught at the JFRC: The Writing of Fiction: Writing Rome, Special Studies in Hemingway, Human Values in Literature, Society and Literature, and Intro to Fiction.


Favorite spot in Rome: Up above it all on the Gianicolo (Janiculum) hill—on a clear day you can see past the Alban hills to the snow on the Apennine mountains, not to mention all of ancient Rome with its domes and steeples rolling out to the horizon line.


Favorite gelato flavor: I am always on the lookout for zenzero aka ginger, which is not so easy to find, but when the Gelato Gods are smiling down on me, I might come across it at Fata Morgana, Gelateria del Pigneto, al Settimo Gelo, or Gourmandise. When in doubt, a granite di caffè con panna from Bar San Calisto never fails to hit the spot. Best one in town, bar none.

Got a recommendation for the best spot to eat in Rome and why?  My terrace on a warm night, but invitations, like chairs, are sparse.


Where’s a must-see area in Italy that you would recommend to your students?  The South. Ortigia and Siracusa in Sicily. And the marvelous cities of Puglia, such as Galipoli, Lecce, and Otranto – all of which have that incomparable North African light that sets them apart from their northern counterparts. But my favorite spot is the island of Stromboli with its active volcano, black sand beaches, and cobalt blue water. Truly otherworldly, magical.


Why is it important for a student to study abroad? There is no better – or faster – way to understand yourself and your cultural identity then to leave “home” behind and live at a remove, at least for a time, from all the things you believe to be important or hold dear.


Advice for students that come to Rome to study abroad?  Unplug. Dare yourself to live a social media-free existence for a few months. Keep a journal instead.


What’s a fun fact about you? I’m an equestrian and have always had a thing for horses.