Lauren Russell, assistant director of the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics, is a research assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Her first full-length book, What’s Hanging on the Hush, is just out from Ahsahta Press. A Cave Canem fellow, she was the 2014-2015 Jay C. and Ruth Halls Poetry Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, the 2016 VIDA Fellow to the Home School, and a 2017 NEA Creative Writing Fellow in poetry. Russell's chapbook Dream-Clung, Gone came out from Brooklyn Arts Press in 2012, and her work has appeared in boundary 2, The Brooklyn Rail, jubilat, and Tarpaulin Sky, among others, and in Bettering American Poetry 2015. Her reviews may be found in publications including Aster(ix), The Volta, and Jacket2. Russell holds an MFA from the University of Pittsburgh, where she served as co-editor-in-chief of Hot Metal Bridge and received a Distinguished Teaching Award in the English Department.
Russell is currently in the middle of a book-length poetic hybrid work, tentatively entitled “Descent.” The project began when she acquired a copy of the diary of her great-great-grandfather, a Confederate veteran who fathered twenty children by three of his former slaves, black women who have been silenced by history. “Descent” is at once an investigation, a reclamation, and an insistence on making history as a creative act.
Links to Russell's work:
- Interview for Voices of Bettering American Poetry
- Russell reading in Better, Issue 5
- "From the Horns" in Spark and Echo
- Excerpt from "Descent" in The Brooklyn Rail
- Excerpt from "Descent" in Hyperallergic
- Selections from What’s Hanging on the Hush in Tarpaulin Sky
- “Than Cake” in EK • PHRA • SIS
- "Unit” in Cricket Online Review
- “The Wind Is Rising” and "Interstate" in boundary 2
- "Free Is Not a Negro Doused in White," a review of Charif Shanahan's Into Each Room We Enter Without Knowing, for the CAAPP Blog
- “Unraveling the Grand Cliché,” a review of Yona Harvey’s Hemming the Water: Aster(ix) Journal, November 2013
- “Bordering on Madness,” a review of Bhanu Kapil’s Schizophrene: Jacket2, June 2013
- Review of Barbara Henning’s Looking Up Harryette Mullen: The Volta, October 2012