Called “one of the finest writers of her generation” by the Boston Globe and "simply stunning" by the New York Times Book Review, Dorothy Allison was born in Greenville, South Carolina. She now makes her home in Northern California where she lives with her partner Alix Layman, and their son, Wolf. Member of the Board of the Fellowship of Southern Writers, and a past member of the boards of both PEN International and Feminists for Academic Freedom, Allison has taught at some of the most prestigious universities in the country. She continues to be a sought after lecturer and teacher.
Spring 2012: 20th anniversary edition of Bastard Out of Carolina published.
Fall, 2011: Residency at Berea College, Berea, Kentucky
September, 2011: Duke University hosts the papers of Dorothy Allison.
June, 2011: Writer in Residence, John Cabot University, Rome, Italy Spring 2011: Guest with Ron Rash, PEN/Faulkner at the Folger Shakespeare Theater.
2009, Davidson College, McGee Professor in Creative Writing- writer in residence.
2008, Emory University Center for Humanistic Inquiry’s Distinguished Visiting Professor.
2007 Robert Penn Warren Award for Fiction.
2007 Member, Fellowship of Southern Writers.
2007 Famosa, Macondo Writers Program, San Antonio, Texas.
2006, Writer in Residence, Columbia College, Chicago, IL.
2005 Martin Luther King Keynote, Dartmouth College.
2004, Literary Laureate, San Francisco Public Library.
2004, Keynote, Univ. of Chicago “Generations of Feminism”.
The Best Short Stories of 2003, “Compassion”.
The Best Short Stories of the South 2003, “Compassion”.
2002 American Library Association Prize for Lesbian and Gay Writing.
2001 Tanner Prize In Ethics and Community, Stanford University.
1998, Cavedweller, Lambda Literary Award for fiction.
1997. Cavedweller, New York Times Notable Books (New York Times Bestseller list).
1994 New York Times Notable Books, Skin, Talking About Sex, Class & Literature.
1995, Colorado Review, Evil Companions Award.
1993, Winner, Bay Area Book Reviewers Awards for fiction, Bastard Out of Carolina.
1993, Winner, Ferro Grumley prize for fiction, Bastard Out of Carolina.
1992, New York Times Notable Books for Bastard Out of Carolina.
1992, National Book Awards, Finalist for Bastard Out of Carolina.
1989, Winner, Best Lesbian Ficiton, Lambda Literary Award for Trash.
1989. Winner Best Small Press Book, Lambda Literary Award for Trash.
1986, Ginny Moore Fellowship in fiction, George Washington University.
She Who. A novel, forthcoming (Penguin Putnam)
Trash, A Collection of Short Stories, 2002, Plume.
Cavedweller. Dutton, 1998.
Two or Three Things I know for Sure. Dutton, Fall, 1995.
Skin—Talking about Sex, Class & Literature, Firebrand Books, 1994. A collection of narrative essays.
Bastard out of Carolina, Dutton, 1992. A finalist for the National Book Award, a selection of the B. Dalton Discovery program, and winner of both the Ferro Grumley and Bay Area Book Reviewers Awards for fiction, Bastard Out of Carolina has been translated into more than a dozen languages and published in more than a dozen countries. In 1995, it was made into a movie directed by Angelica Huston and premiered on Showtime.
The Women Who Hate Me, Poetry 1980-1990. A chapbook. Firebrand Books, Ithaca, New York, 1991.
Trash, Short Stories by Dorothy Allison, Firebrand Books, Ithaca, NY, 1988.
The Women Who Hate Me, Poems by Dorothy Allison, Long Haul Press, 1983.
Selected Lectures & Appointments
Spring 2008: Emory University Center for Humanistic Inquiry’s Distinguished Visiting Professor, Atlanta, Georgia
August, 2007: Famosa in residence, Macondo Writing Program, San Antonio, Texas
July, 2007,Guest Lecturer, Goddard College / Port Townsend Creative Writing Program
March, 2007, Keynote Address, Conference on College Composition & Communication.
February, 2007, University of Cincinnati - Modern Love – What we say and do not say…
October, 2006, Seattle, WA Mentor - BENT Writing Program
June, 2006 - Book tour for the Italian translation of Trash by Il Dito e la Luna
Spring, 2006, Writer in Residence, Columbia College, Chicago, IL
2005 Featured Guest, Appalachian Lecture Series, Maryville College
2005 Squaw Valley Writers Community instructor & speaker "The Story Arc"
;June 2005, Dordogne, France Writers Abroad Workshop, "Women and Creativity"
2005, 30th "Scholar and The Feminist" Barnard College - All Us Revolutionaires
2005 Conference on Southern Literature, Chattanooga Tennessee "Outsiders Looking In: Out, Says Who?" with Allan Gurganus, John Reed & Elizabeth Spencer
January, 2005 Martin Luther King Lecture at Dartmouth College: “Until Justice rolls down like Water”
October, 2004, Clinton, New York, Kirkland Lecturer at Hamilton College.
july, 2004, Instructor, Tin House Writers Workshop, Portland Oregon
June 2004, Aegean Arts Circle Writing Workshop, Andros, Greece
February, 2004, Keynote address, University of Chicago Gender Studies “Back to the Future: Generations of Feminism”
October, 2003, Plenary, Speaking For Her: The Empathic Narrative Voice, Southern Festival of Books, Nashville, Tennessee
October, 2003, Keynote: “A sense of self, a sense of Place: Sacrament and Vindication in Southern Women’s Writing,” Southern Women Writers Conference: Berry College, Mount Berry, Georgia.
August, 2003, Guest Instructor, Maui Writers’ Retreat; Presentation, Maui Writers Conference
July, 2003, Guest presentation, Tin House Literary program, Portland, Oregon
June, 2003, Instructor, Centrum Writing program, Port Townsend, Washington
May, 2003 Stage version of Cavedweller premieres at NY Theater Workshop
May, 2003, Guest lecturer, Louisiana State university. Baton Rouge, Louisiana
March, 2003, Fact & Fiction: Women writing form life—Tennessee Williams Festival, New Orleans, Louisiana
March, 2003, Keynote: “The dream of justice. The literature of liberation,” Columbia History Conference, NY, NY
February 2003 “8 miles and Counting” Educator’s Conference. at Humboldt College, Arcata, California
November, 2002, Residency, Guest Instructor, Ohio State University Creative Writing department
October, 2002 “A Little Grace, A little Gratitude,” 92nd Street Y, New York, New York.
June, 2002, National Book Award Summer Program- instructor and lecturer
April 2002, Guest lecturer, “Mean Stories and Stubborn Girls: A litany for the living,” Miami College, Cincinnati Ohio.
March-April, 2002, Instructor, International Writing Program, Rome, Italy.
January 2002, Key West Literary Conference: A sense of place. Lecture: "That place was nasty" The impact of place in Working class literature.
October, 2001, University of Pennsylvania: McFee Lecture in Women’s Studies.
September, 2001, The Loft Program, Minneapolis, MN. – Instructor in the mentor program, and Judge for the McKnight Fellowships
August, 2001, Guest Instructor, Maui Writers’ Retreat; Presentation, Maui Writers Conference
August, 2001, Judge in the fiction series, Oregon Book Awards
July, 2001, Instructor, Napa Valley Writing Program; Speaker Napa Valley Writers Conference
June 2001, Breakfast Keynote, American Library Association Meetings, San Francisco, CA
May, 2001 UCLA Commencement speech For Women’s Studies Program
May, 2001: 2001 Tanner Prize, and residency, Stanford University, California
April, 2001, Guest Lecturer, Washington Jefferson College, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
March 28, 2001. Master class - Story Week Festival of Writers at Columbia College, Chicago, Illinois. In Conversation with
Sherman Alexie at Harold Washington Public Library.
February 1, 2001, City Arts and Lectures On Art & politics: Dorothy Allison in conversation with Michael Patrick MacDonald on the subject of the unspoken— class assumptions in America.
January, 2001, Master Class for invited students, Univ. of Arkansas Writing department.
October, 2000, Hamilton College, Special Invited guest; Voices from the South program.
August, 2000, Guest Instructor, Maui Writers’ Retreat; Presentation, Maui Writers Conference
July, 2000, Visiting Distinguished Writer in Residence, Emory College Summer program, Atlanta, Georgia.
April 7, 2000, Keynote, Southeastern Women’s Studies Conference at Appalachian State University, Boone, NC. “Feminist, Womanist, grrrls–together we imagine the future.”
February 2, 2000 "Nothing for sure and everything in question—the southern working class writer" The McGee Lecture (by invitation) at Davidson College, Davidson, N. C.
January 24th, 2000 “The writer, the musician, the artist.” With Danny Glover, Charles McPherson and Quincy Troupe for the San Jose Museum of Art.
Fall, 1999 Judge in Fiction for the 1999 National Book Awards
October, 1999 “The world we dream in words, how our work reflects the world in which we live--as well as the world in which we want to live” Writers Guild of Chicago lecture Social Issues.
October, 1999 Telling Lies, Telling Truth—Between fiction and real life .Keynote to the Conference, Challenging Rhetoric: Cross Disciplinary sites of feminist discourse, University of Minnesota.
June, 1999: Art Workshop International—Narrative workshop, Assisi, Italy
Spring, 1999 Guest lecturer, Furman College, Department of English, Greenville, SC
April, 1999 Keynote, Women and Philanthropy 22nd annual meeting in New Orleans.
March, 1999 “Art as social change” Presentation for the annual Children’s Defense Fund meetings, Haley Farm, Clinton, Tennessee.
February, 1999 UCLA Regents Lecture, Los Angeles.
February, 1999 "An American Writer” lecture – by invitation – John Adams Institute, Amsterdam.
January, 1999 Guest lecture, Stanford. Three day Seminar sponsored by feminist studies.
November, 1998 Guest lecture—Seminar with the Wallace Stegner Fellows, Stanford.
July, 1998: Dorothy Allison in Conversation with Toni Morrison, Palace of Fine Arts, SF, CA.
April, 1998: Evil Companion’s Award, Sponsored by Colorado Review. Bounder, Colorado
May, 1997 Monument Valley Arizona—three days teaching young people on the Navaho/Hopi Reservation at Kayente, for PEN’s Readers & Writers program.
Spring, 1997 City Arts & Lectures, San Francisco Opera Plaza
"What your professors never told you about working class literature”
March, 1997 Tennessee Williams Literary Festival: New Orleans
“Southern Women, Southern Families” With Gail Godwin & Ann Patchett.
October 1996: Guest lecturer, Duke University, seminar with Allen Gurganus & Jim Grimsley
Conference on Family Violence, keynote: A Cure for Bitterness.
November, 1996: In conversation with Sandra Cisneros, L. A., sponsor, the Lannan Foundation.
June 1996, Wesleyan College Writing Conference, Instructor.
April, 1996: Guest Lecturer, Contemporary American Literature, Univ. of California at Santa Cruz..
Spring 1996: Guest lecturer, University of Arizona at Flagstaff. Part of Arizona Book Festival
January- Febuary 1996: Six weeks residency at the MacDowell Writers colony, New Hampshire.
Fall, 1995: Judge with Jane Hamilton, PEN/Hemingway Award.
October- November, 1995: Zale Writer in Residence, Newcomb College at Tulane, New Orleans.
June, 1995: “Why write? We write to save our lives.” Keynote, Association of American Booksellers, Chicago, Illinois. (conversation following with Studs Terkel And Colin Powell.)
May 5, 1995: “The Writer as Activist” Dartmouth College
With Grace Paley, Cherrie Moraga, Toni Cade Bambara, and Leslie Marmon Silko.
April 25, 1995: “Autobiographical Narrative and the creation of the writer’s life”
The Getty Center for the History of Art, Los Angeles, California
April 5, 1995: Reading & Guest Lecture, Mills College, San Francisco, California
March 16, 1995: “Truth & Lies & Literature” Lecture & Reading, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri.
March 4, 1995: “2 or 3 Things,” Performance in the Maladjustment Series,
Kresge Theater, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, Massachusetts.
February, 1995: “Death & all those hard places,” With Tony Kushner & Armistead Maupin.. Benefit for Operation Concern, San Francisco.
February, 1995: Guest Lecturer, Sonoma State University.
August, 1994: Novelist Workshop, for The Poetry Flash, San Francisco, Califor nia
July, 1994: Featured Writer, The American South, with Reynolds Price and Bobbie Ann Mason, South Bank Centre. By Invitation. London, England.
July, 1994: Featured Artist & Instructor, Feminist Women's Writing Workshops, Hobart Smith College, Geneva, New York.
June, 1994: Keynote, National Women’s Studies Conference, Ames, Iowa.
April, 1994: “South of Stonewall” Lecture & Reading, DeKalb College, Dunwoody, Georgia.
March, 1995: “Grit Lit, Writing About Poor White Southerners,” With Bobbie Anne Mason, Larry Brown, Lewis Norden. Tennessee Williams Literary Festival. New Orleans, Louisiana.
March, 1995: “What must not be said,” Guest Lecturer, University of South Carolina.
January, 1994: Guest Lecturer, Gender Studies, Denison University, Granville Ohio.
January, 1994: Guest Lecturer, Kenyon College, Literature Department.
Winter, 1994: Judge, with Joyce Carol Oates & Ann Jones, Barnes & Noble Discovery Award.
1992 - 1993: California Arts Council, Writer in Residence, The LAB, San Francisco, California. Classes in writing for performance, special classes for young and beginning writers from working class family backgrounds.
December 7, 1993: Visiting Associate Professor, guest lecture "Naked in the act of Writing" San Francisco State, Literature Department.
November1, 1993: WBAI Radio, Biblical Truth & Gospel Revelation—reading & interview, New York, New York.
October, 1993: Keynote Speaker, University of Kentucky Women's Writers' Conference, Lexington Kentucky. The Inherently Political Nature of Writing,
April, 1993: Guest Instructor, Workshop series for younger writers, Stanley Issacs Settlement House, New York City, sponsor: the National Book Foundation.
April, 1993: Guest Lecture, Writing out of Grief, Loyola College, Baltimore, Maryland.
April, 1993: Keynote speaker, Gay Studies Conference, University of Boulder, Boulder, Colorado.
March, 1993: Guest Speaker, All Things Considered, National Public Radio.
February 19, 1993: Guest Lecturer, State University of New York at Purchase, New York.
Fall, 1992: Judge, Astraea Foundation Lesbian Writers Awards.
November, 1992: Finalist, National Book Awards, Manhattan Theater Club.
September, 1992: Visiting Associate Professor, Daniel Klagsburn Symposium, Connecticut College.
October 10th, 1992: Guest Lecturer, Family Ties & Unties, Southern Festival of Books,
Co-sponsored by University of Tennessee, Nashville, Tennessee.
Summer, 1992: Featured Writer, Cameraworks, San Francisco, California.
June, 1992: Guest Lecturer, American Library Association Meeting.
April, 1992: Guest lecturer, "Literature and the Question of Pornography," Yale University.
March 20, 1992 Keynote, "Survival is the Least of My Desires.” OutWrite, Boston MA.
February, 1992: Guest Lecturer, University of California at Los Angeles, Literature Program. Premier Writers Series.
February, 1992: Guest Lecturer, Does Secrecy Perpetuate Sexual Abuse?, National Women's Caucus for Art Conference, Chicago, Illinois.
November, 1991: Guest Instructor, Transgressions and the act of writing, Literature department, University of Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, California.
August 30, 1991: "Two or Three Things I know For Sure" Hard Words Series at The LAB, S.F.
1990 - 1991: Visiting Associate Professor, San Francisco Art Institute.
1988 - 1990: Editor, Out/Look Magazine.
1985 - 1990: Contributing Writer, The Village Voice, and Voice Literary Supplement.
December, 1990: Guest instructor, Beyond Baroque, Los Angeles, CA.
August, 1990: Words Without Borders, panel, workshop and reading, Vancouver, BC Canada.
November 1, 1989: Guest Lecturer, New School For Social Research, New York, New York,
October 27, 1989: Guest Lecturer, Yale University, "Radical Voices in New Narrative Forms"
March, 1989: University of California at Sacramento, Lecturer.
Fall, 1987: Visiting Associate Professor, San Francisco Art Institute.
May 17th, 1988: Guest lecturer, Univ. of California at Santa Cruz in the History of Consciousness Program.
1981 - 1987: Director, The Information Center at Poets & Writers Inc., New York
1984 - 1986: Board Member, New York Women Against Rape, New York, N.Y.
1982 - 1986: Editor, Conditions Magazine, Brooklyn, New York.
March, 1986: Fiction Seminar, Lesbian & Gay Center, SUNY/Purchase.
Spring, 1986: Guest Lecturer, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT.
Spring, 1986: Guest Lecture, Rutgers College, "Autobiographical Elements in Fiction".
1981 - 1985: Contributing Editor & Columnist, The New York Native.
Spring, 1985: Guest Lecturer, Vassar College.
Fall, 1985: Guest Instructor, Hampshire College, Amherst, Massachusetts.
February, 1984: Guest Lecturer, Brooklyn College, "The Writer & Her Public: The Implications of Self-revelation in Literature"
Spring, 1983: Guest Lecturer, State University at New York. “Southern Writers in Context."
1979 - 1982: Director of Communications Poets & Writers Inc, New York, New York.
Spring, 1982: Guest Lecturer, Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, New York.
Spring, 1981: Guest Lecturer, Columbia University, NY NY, (Feminism and Fiction)
1976 - 1979: Editor, Quest: A Feminist Quarterly, Washington, D.C.
1975 - 1976: Office Manager, Washington Area Feminist Federal Credit Union, Washington, D.C.
1975: Instructor, "Feminist Political Theory" Women's Studies Department George Washington University, Washington D.C.
1974 - 1975: Founding Manager, Herstore Feminist Bookstore, Tallahassee, Florida.
1973 - 1974: Instructor, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, "Radical Perspectives on Anthropology" Comprehensive Public Education program.
1973 - 1974: Director, The Women's Center, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, and editor of the Center Newsletter.
1973 - 1974: Editor, Amazing Grace, A Feminist Magazine, Tallahassee, Florida.
“The Necessity of Impertinence,” a preface to the new edition of Nightwood. Random House, Spring 2000 (forthcoming)
“Our lives in full,” A preface to My Dangerous Desires, by Amber Hollibaugh, Duke University Press, forthcoming, fall 2000.
“Talking about Blanche Boyd,” an introduction to the new edition, A Redneck way of Knowledge, Vintage Books, 1994.
"Promises" A Geography of Hope, The Nature Conservancy/Pantheon, Viking 1995.
"A River of Names” New American Voices, edited by Jay McInerny, ICM, 1995.
“Putting myself in the world” The Writer’s Notebooks, edited by Howard Junker, Harper, 1995.
“Gospel Song” Down Home: An Anthology of Southern Women Writers, edited by Suie Mee, Harcourt Brace & Company, 1995.
"Writing as Transformation" panel presentation with for the symposium, Critical Condition, edited by Amy Scholder, City Lights, 1994.Vintage, Fall 1995.
“Believing in Literature” —an essay from Skin—excerpted in the New York Times Book Review, July 1994.
“A Lesbian Appetite” Olivia Plus Chole, editor, Lillian Fadermann. Viking, 1994.
“Monkeybites” The Second Gates of Paradise, editor Alberto Manguel, Macfarlane, Walter & Ross, 1994.
"Figuring it Out" Review of Alligator Dance, New York Times Book Review. (9 January 1994; page 9)
“Deciding to Live” Writing Women’s Lives, autobiographical narratives, edited by Susan Cahill, Harper Perennial, 1994.
“The Questions about Censorship,” Glamour Magazine. December 1994.
“River of Names” Picador Book of Contemporary Short Stories, Edited by Tobias Wolf, Picador/Pan MacMillan, London, 1993.
"A Question of Class" Sisters, Sexperts, Queers Edited by Arlene Stein,Penguin/Plume, 1993.
"Beth Brandt" Contemporary Lesbian Writers of the United States Edited by Sandra Pollack and Denise D. Knight, Greenwood Press, 1993.
"A Lesbian Appetite" The Penguin Book of Lesbian Short Stories, Edited by Margaret Reynolds, Viking Penguin, 1993.
"Talking About Sex" Wild Women, Edited by Sue Thomas, The Overlook Press, 1993.
"Regarding Oklahoma" Out Magazine. June July 1993, page 120.
"Bastards make their own rules" (short story) Disorderly Conduct, anthology of fiction from the Village Voice Literary Supplement, edited M. Mark, Serpents Tail Press, 1991.
"Colder Than Her Eyes," Discontents, edited by Dennis Cooper, Amethyst Press, 1992.
"Her Thighs," The Persistent Desire, edited by Joan Nestle, Alyson Press, 1991.
"Her Body, His and Mine," (performance piece) Leatherfolk, edited by Mark Thompson, Alyson Press, 1991. First published in All But The Obvious, the catalog for the Lesbian Art Show at LACE in Los Angeles, November 1990.
"Private Rituals," High Risk, edited by Amy Scholder and Ira Silverberg, New American Library, 1991.
"A Lesbian Appetite," Women on Women, edited by Joan Nestle and Naomi Hollach, New American Library, 1990.
"Mama," Calling Home, Working-Class Women's Writings, edited by Janet Zandy. Rutgers University Press, 1990.
"The Future is Female: Octavia Butler's Mother Lode," Reading Black, Reading Feminist, edited by Henry Lewis Gates Jr., New American Library, 1990 (reprinted from the Village Voice).
Southern Exposure: Mint Juleps, Wisteria & Queers, Southern Exposure, Vol. XVI, #3, Fall, 1988.
"To The Bone" and other selections, Open Lines: Gay and Lesbian Poetry In Our Time, ed. Joan Larkin & Carl Morse, St. Martins, 1988.
"To The Bone" and other selections, Naming the Waves: Contemporary Lesbian Poetry, edited by Christian McEwen, Virago Press, London, 1988.
"Demon” Coming to Power, edited by the Samois Collective, Alyson Press, 1987.
"When I Drink I Become The Joy of Faggots," Editor's Choice Anthology, edited by Morty Sklar & Mary Biggs, The Spirit that Moves Us Press, 1986.
"A Bastard Out of Carolina," The Village Voice Literary Supplement, Fiction Selection, October 1986.
"Public Silence, Private Terror,” Pleasure and Danger, edited by Carole Vance, Routledge & Kegan Paul, Boston and London, 1984.
"Tomato Song,” Southern Exposure, Vol. XII, #4, July 1984.
"Anonymous Letters,” On Our Backs, Vol. I, # 2, Fall, 1984.
"My Career As A Thief,” Conditions Nine, Spring, 1983.
"River Of Names" and "I'm Working On My Charm,” The Lesbian Fiction Anthology, edited by Elly Bulkin, (Persephone Press, 1982, reprinted by Gay Presses of New York, 1984).
"Boston, Massachusetts", The Lesbian Poetry Anthology, edited by Elly Bulkin and Joan Larkin, Persephone Press, 1982, (reprinted by Gay Presses of New York, 1984).
"I'm Working On My Charm,” Conditions Six, Spring, 1980.
"Demon Lover," Off Our Backs Fiction/Poetry Supplement, July 1979.
1979 - 1981 New School For Social Research, New York, New York.
Masters program in Urban Anthropology.
1978 Ginny Moore Contest Writing Workshop (Susan Shreve and John Gardner),
George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
1975 The Sagaris Institute, Lyndon State College, Lyndonville, Vermont.
Seminars with Bertha Harris, Blanche Boyd, and Rita Mae Brown.
1973 Florida State University, graduate courses in Anthropology.
1967 - 1971 Florida Presbyterian College, St. Petersburg, Florida, B. A.
Membership in Professional Organizations
Board Member, Fellowship of Southern Writers, 2007
Literary Board Member, Macondo 2007
Board Member, PEN International, 1993-2000.
Advisory Board member, Tin House Magazine.
Advisory Board Member, the James Tiptree Jr. Memorial Award.
Editorial Board, Tin House, a literary journal.
Editorial Board, Crowd, a journal of contemporary narrative.
Member, Fellowship of Southern Writers
Member, Pen American Center.
Member, National Writers Union.
Advisory Board, National Coalition Against Censorship.
Advisory Board, Feminists for Free Expression.
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