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Lyzette Wanzer, Trauma, Tresses & Truth Untangling Our Hair Through Personal Narratives
Lyzette Wanzer, Trauma, Tresses & Truth Untangling Our Hair Through Personal Narratives

Wed, Jun 19


Collected Works Bookstore & Coffeehouse

Lyzette Wanzer, Trauma, Tresses & Truth Untangling Our Hair Through Personal Narratives

In honor of Juneteenth, CW is thrilled to be collaborating with the Santa Fe Art Institute, where Lyzette Wanzer is currently in residence. Lyzette will be in conversation with fellow SFAI resident, Emalohi Iruobe

Date, Time & Location

Jun 19, 2024, 6:00 PM MDT

Collected Works Bookstore & Coffeehouse, 202 Galisteo St, Santa Fe, NM 87501, USA

About the Event

This will be an in-store event and live streamed to Zoom, register for Zoom here.

Order Trauma, Tresses & Truth (paperback, $19.99) from CW online here or call the store (505) 988-4226 to order. Signed copies will be available after the event.

Library Journal Best Social Science title of 2022   

Black women continue to have a complex and convoluted relationship with their hair.  

From grammar and high schools to corporate boardrooms and military squadrons, Black and Afro Latina natural hair continues to confound, transfix, and enrage members of White American society. Why, in 2022, is this still the case? Why have we not moved beyond that perennial racist emblem? And why are women so disproportionately affected?  Why does our hair become most palatable when it capitulates, and has been subjugated, to resemble Caucasian features as closely as possible? Who or what is responsible for the web of supervision and surveillance of our hair? Who in our society gets to author the prevailing constitution of professional appearance?  

Particularly relevant during this time of emboldened White supremacy, racism, and provocative othering, this work explores how writing about one of the still-remaining systemic biases in schools, academia, and corporate America might lead to greater understanding and respect.

About the Author

Lyzette Wanzer is a San Francisco writer, editor, and writing workshop instructor. Her work appears in over thirty 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 and in August 2021 and 2023 she produced her own two- day virtual conference, Trauma, Tresses, & Truth: A Natural Hair Conference

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.

About the Interlocuter

Emalohi Iruobe is an interdisciplinary artist, researcher and community organizer whose practice investigates the ideological perspectives of African women. Her art manifests itself through a community-engaged practice, sculpture, performance, installation, and assemblage; inspired by and constructed from her late mother's personal belongings and other found items in the oldest tradition of African American sculpture. She is the founder of Tribe XX Lab, the first co-working, creative, and community space for women in Nigeria. Emalohi has committed her life to the service and affirmation of Black people and their indigenous belief systems. From Africa to Europe to America, her curatorial, audio-visual, and community-building practices have motivated critical discourse, healing, and prosperity for the communities she has built. Emalohi has a Juris Doctor from Villanova University's Charles Widger School of Law, where she was awarded the Dorothy Day Award for Public Service.  She was awarded the Equal Justice Fellowships in 2008 and 2009 and a Martin Luther King Fellowship in 2009. Emalohi was a 2022 Echoing Green Fellowship Finalist for her project Represent Black Girls, for which she won the People's Choice category of the 2022 Barclays Bank Social Innovation Challenge. She has been an adjunct lecturer at Lincoln University, PA, Rutgers University, and LIM College.

About Santa Fe Art Institute (SFAI)

SFAI is an independent arts organization forging critical inquiry and cultural exchange among artists, creative practitioners, and the broader community. We support and amplify dynamic artistic practices that engage complex social issues, inspire individual transformation, and inform collective action.

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