S166. The Triumph of Lucia Berlin

E147-148, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1
Saturday, March 30, 2019
10:30 am to 11:45 am


The publication of A Manual for Cleaning Women in 2015 catapulted the late Lucia Berlin from relative obscurity to international acclaim. Her autobiographical stories and jazz-influenced prose reveal the grit and grace of life in the margins and are masterpieces of the form. This panel of five people intimately connected to Berlin and her publishing legacy discuss and pay tribute to her extraordinary life, her influence as a writer and teacher, and her triumphant posthumous success.



Elizabeth Geoghegan studied fiction writing under Lucia Berlin at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and her remembrance "Smoking with Lucia" appeared in The Paris Review. She is the author of The Marco Chronicles and Natural Disasters. Her story collection eightball is forthcoming.

Emily Bell is a senior editor at Farrar, Straus & Giroux and the director of FSG Originals. She publishes Lucia Berlin, Amelia Gray, Catherine Lacey, and Laura van den Berg, among others. Prior to Farrar, Straus & Giroux, she worked at Riverhead Books.

Jennifer Dunbar Dorn, a close friend of Lucia Berlin from the ‘60s onward, taught with her and published her work in several magazines at the University of Colorado, as did her late husband, the poet Ed Dorn. Books include Galactic Runway and Eastward Ho, both poetry.

Stephen Emerson is the editor of A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories of Lucia Berlin and was her close friend and steady correspondent. His books include Neighbors (stories) and The Wife (short novel). After a hiatus, he is now writing new stories steadily, but slowly.

AK is the author of twelve books of poetry and three essay collections. He divides his time between San Francisco, his home base for the past thirty-seven years, and the Lincoln Harbor Sheraton in Weehawken, New Jersey. He enjoyed a lengthy correspondence with Lucia Berlin during her years teaching in Boulder


March 8–11, 2023
Seattle, Washington

Seattle Convention Center