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Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality

Lacy Johnson squareLacy M. Johnson  

Assistant Professor of Creative Writing, Department of English  



Professor Johnson is author of the memoir The Other Side (Tin House, 2014). For its frank and fearless confrontation of the epidemic of violence against women, The Other Side was named a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Autobiography, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, an Edgar Award in Best Fact Crime, the CLMP Firecracker Award in Nonfiction; it was a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writer Selection for 2014, and was named one of the best books of 2014 by KirkusLibrary Journal, and the Houston Chronicle. She is also author of Trespasses: A Memoir (University of Iowa Press, 2012), which has been anthologized in The Racial Imaginary (Fence Books, 2015, edited by Claudia Rankine et al.) and Literature: The Human Experience.

Professor Johnson worked as a cashier at Wal-Mart, sold steaks door-to-door, and puppeteered with a traveling children’s museum before earning a PhD from University of Houston’s Creative Writing Program, where she was both an Erhardt Fellow and Inprint Fondren Fellow. Her writing has appeared in GuernicaTin House, Los Angeles Times, Dame, Fourth Genre, Creative Nonfiction, TriQuarterlyGulf Coast, GOOD, and elsewhere. As a writer and artist she been awarded grants and residencies from the Sustainable Arts Foundation, the Houston Arts Alliance, the Kansas Arts Commission, Millay Colony for the Arts, and the University of Houston’s Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts.   

In the English Department at Rice University, Professor Johnson teaches Creative Nonfiction, with an emphasis on social justice writing, environmental writing, and contemporary feminism. She is currently at work on The Reckonings, a book that draws from philosophy, law, religion, music, literature, mythology, anthropology, film, and personal experience in pursuit of a more nuanced understanding of justice.The Reckonings will be published by Scribner in 2018.