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Black Lawrence Press @ City Lights

December 11, 2023 @ 6:00 pm

Join City Lights in celebrating this innovative indy press.

Showcasing four of Black Lawrence Press’ authors, Lisa Dordal, Nancy Welch, JoeAnn Hart, and Sara Johnson Allen, each of these women write in radically different styles, but they all have the same concerns—survival.

In JoeAnn Hart’s Highwire Act & Other Tales of Survival, this is more acute, and more obvious; her stories of climate crisis quite literally address our failing planet. In Lisa Dordal’s Water Lessons, personal narratives about grief and loss become a “lovely fiction,” and ultimately, a tale of survival and possibly even healing. In each of these women’s writing, whether it be about lost children, such as in Sara Johnson Allen’s Down Here We Come Up, or about the way illness can devastate a family and test social consciousness, as in Nancy Welch’s Ten More Things About Us, there is something to be learned about how to carry on, even when it becomes unfathomably difficult. These readings will not only teach, they will inspire, and provide listeners and readers with both the tools for survival themselves, but also with the tools to thrive.

JoeAnn Hart is the author of the story collection Highwire Act & Other Tales of Survival, the true crime memoir Stamford ’76: A True Story of Murder, Corruption, Race, and Feminism in the 1970s, as well as the novels Float, a dark comedy about plastics in the ocean, and Addled, a social satire. Her novel Arroyo Circle is forthcoming from Green Writers Press in October 2024.Her short fiction and essays have appeared in a wide range of literary publications, including Slate.com, Orion, The Hopper, Prairie Schooner, The Sonora Review, Terrain.org, and many others. Her work most often explores the relationship between humans, their environments, and non-human creatures. She lives in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

Nancy Welch’s short stories have appeared in Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, North American Review, and elsewhere with citations in Best American Short Stories, Best American Nonrequired Reading, O. Henry, and Pushcart. Her debut collection, The Road from Prosperity, was published by Southern Methodist University Press. Professor Emerita of English at the University of Vermont, she lives in Hanover, New Hampshire.

Lisa Dordal is a Writer-in-Residence at Vanderbilt University and is the author of Mosaic of the Dark, which was a finalist for the 2019 Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry; Water Lessons, which was listed by Lambda Literary as one of their most anticipated books for 2022; and Next Time You Come Home (2023). Lisa is a Pushcart Prize and Best-of-the-Net nominee and the recipient of an Academy of American Poets Prize, the Robert Watson Poetry Prize, and the Betty Gabehart Poetry Prize. Her poetry has appeared in The Sun, Narrative, Image, Christian Century, Best New Poets, New Ohio Review, Greensboro Review, RHINO, and CALYX. Her website is lisadordal.com.

Sara Johnson Allen was raised (mostly) in North Carolina. Down Here We Come Up, winner of the Big Moose Prize from Black Lawrence Press, is her debut novel. A recipient of the Marianne Russo Award for Emerging Writers by the Key West Literary Seminar, the Stockholm Writers Festival First Pages Prize, an artistic grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation, and MacDowell fellowships, her work has appeared in PANK Magazine, SmokeLong Quarterly, and Reckon Review among others. When she is not teaching or shuttling her three kids around, she writes about ‘place’ and how it shapes us.

This event is made possible by support from the City Lights Foundation. To learn more visit: https://citylights.com/


December 11, 2023
6:00 pm


City Lights Bookstore
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