Lyzette Wanzer is a San Francisco writer, editor, and writing workshop instructor. Her work appears in over twenty-five literary journals, magazines, books, and newspapers. Library Journal named her book, TRAUMA, TRESSES, & TRUTH: Untangling Our Hair Through Personal Narratives, a Top 10 Best Social Sciences Book. Her articles have appeared in Essay Daily, The Naked Truth, and the San Francisco University High School Journal. Her research interests include professional development for creative writers, Black feminism, critical race theory, and the lyrical essay form.

Lyzette serves as judge of the Soul-Making Keats Literary Competition’s Intercultural Essay category and the Women’s National Book Association’s Effie Lee Morris Writing Contest’s Fiction category. She presents her work at conferences across the country, including the American and Popular Culture Association, Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP), College English Association, Desert Nights, Rising Stars (Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing), Empowering Wom[x]n of Color Conference, Louisville Conference on Literature & Culture Since 1900, Grub Street’s Muse & The Marketplace, San Francisco Writers Conference, The Society for the Study of African American Life and History, and Southern Humanities Council. In August 2021 and 2023 she produced her own two-day virtual conference, Trauma, Tresses, & Truth: A Natural Hair Conference, featuring panels, workshops, and readings examining the policing, perception, politics, and persecution of Black women’s natural hair.

A National Writers’ Union and Authors Guild member, Lyzette has been awarded writing residencies at Blue Mountain Center (NY), Kimmel Harding Center for the Arts (NE), Playa Summer Lake (OR), Horned Dorset Colony (NY), Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Writers' Colony at Dairy Hollow (AR), Headlands Center for the Arts (CA), The Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in Canada, PlySpace (IN), The Anderson Center (MN), and Santa Fe Arts Institute (NM). Montalvo Arts Center has named her a 2023-2025 Lucas Arts Fellow. Her work has been supported with grants from Center for Cultural Innovation, San Francisco Arts Commission, California Arts Council, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Black Artist Foundry, The Awesome Foundation, and California Humanities, a National Endowment for the Humanities partner.

Other Works

  • “Signatures.” Lyric Essay As Resistance: Truth from the Margins. (Wayne State University Press)

  • “Taking Liberties.” The Write Launch

  • “Yellow.” Blue Literary Magazine

  • “Third Eye.” Natural Bridge.

  • “Jaywalking.” Maryland Literary Review

  • “Tracks of Passage.” Midnight & Indigo

  • “Twisted.” Civil Liberties United: Diverse Voices from the San Francisco Bay Area. (Pease Press)

  • “Finding A Way In: Teaching the Lyric Essay.” Essay Daily

  • “The Human Development Program 2.0.” and “The UHS Presence Program.” University High School Journal. Vol. XXIV, No. 2

  • “Saddest Tale.” The Los Angeles Review

  • “’Signatures’” Five Years Later.“The Naked Truth: America’s Voice Unfiltered

  • “The Sudden Essay Fitness Center.” Essay Daily

  • “Escheresque” and “Precipice.” Journal of Advanced Development

  • “Seasons.” Journal of Experimental Fiction

  • “Signatures.” The Chalk Circle: Intercultural Prizewinning Essays. (Wyatt-MacKenzie)

  • “Portrait.”The Ampersand Review

  • “Freight.” The MacGuffin

  • “Grandma’s Four Stories.”Callaloo


Awards and Recognition

  • Impact Grant Awardee, California Arts Council. Sept 2022-Sept 2024
  • Cultural Pathways Awardee, California Arts Council. Sept 2022-Aug 2023
  • Black Artist Foundry. April 2022
  • San Francisco Artist Grant, San Francisco Arts Commission. July 2021-Dec 2022
  • Fellow, Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing Teaching Fellowship, Arizona State University. February 2021
  • Grantee, California Humanities, a national Endowment for the Humanities partner. January 2021
  • Individual Artist Commission, San Francisco Arts Commission 2019- 2020
  • Grant recipient, Center for Cultural Innovation. March 2019
  • Individual Artist Commission, San Francisco Arts Commission. July 2017-Sept 2018
  • Fellowship, Horned Dorset Colony Foundation. July 2014
  • Individual Artist Commission, San Francisco Arts Commission 2013-2014
  • Investing in Artists Grant, Center for Cultural Innovation 2012
  • National League of American Pen Women 2011

Press and Media Mentions