About

Lyzette Wanzer is a San Francisco writer, editor, and writing workshop instructor. She received her MFA in Fiction from Mills College. A flash fiction connoisseur and essay aficionado, her work has appeared in over twenty-five literary journals, magazines, books, and newspapers. Trauma, Tresses, & Truth: Untangling Our Hair Through Personal Narrative, is due out from Chicago Review Press in Fall 2022. The Independent Publishers Group has already selected the title as one of its Top-Shelf Picks for the Fall 2022 season. Lyzette is a contributor to Lyric Essay As Resistance: Truth From the Margins (Wayne State University Press 2023), Civil Liberties United: Diverse Voices from the San Francisco Bay Area (Pease Press 2019), and the multi-award-winning The Chalk Circle: Intercultural Prizewinning Essays (Wyatt-MacKenzie 2012). 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 presented her work on panels at conferences across the country, including the American and Popular Culture Association, Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP), College English Association (CEA), Desert Nights, Rising Stars (Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing), Empowering Wom[x]n of Color Conference (EWOCC), Louisville Conference on Literature & Culture Since 1900, Muse & The Marketplace, San Francisco Writers Conference, and the Society for the Study of African American Life and History. She produced her own conference, Trauma, Tresses, & Truth: A Natural Hair Conference, in August 2021. Her conference offered a two-day schedule of panels, workshops, speakers, and poetry and essay readings, all examining the policing, perception, and persecution of Black women’s natural hair.

Lyzette is a member of the National Writers’ Union and The Authors Guild. 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), and The Anderson Center (MN). She is the recipient of 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)

    2023
  • “Third Eye.” Natural Bridge.

    2020
  • “Tracks of Passage.” Midnight & Indigo

    2020
  • “Jaywalking.” Maryland Literary Review

    2020
  • “Taking Liberties.” The Write Launch

    2020
  • “Yellow.” Blue Literary Magazine

    2020
  • “Twisted.” Civil Liberties United: Diverse Voices from the San Francisco Bay Area. (Pease Press)

    2019
  • “Finding A Way In: Teaching the Lyric Essay.” Essay Daily

    2018
  • “The Human Development Program 2.0.” and “The UHS Presence Program.” University High School Journal. Vol. XXIV, No. 2

    2018
  • “Saddest Tale.” The Los Angeles Review

    2017
  • “’Signatures’” Five Years Later.“The Naked Truth: America’s Voice Unfiltered

    2016
  • “The Sudden Essay Fitness Center.” Essay Daily

    2014
  • “Escheresque” and “Precipice.” Journal of Advanced Development

    2014
  • “Seasons.” Journal of Experimental Fiction

    2012
  • “Signatures.” The Chalk Circle: Intercultural Prizewinning Essays. (Wyatt-MacKenzie)

    2012
  • “Portrait.”The Ampersand Review

    2012
  • “Freight.” The MacGuffin

    2011
  • “Grandma’s Four Stories.”Callaloo

    2011

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

Press and Media Mentions