#AWP19 Featured Presenter Q&A with Sandra Gail Lambert

AWP | February 2019

Event Title: The Strengths of Complexity and the Power of Limitations: Writers on Disability
Description: These authors are diverse in identities and disability, but each of them writes in a way that confronts what is considered normal. Their work includes the resilience of a ferociously ambitious self, the spiritual experience of a day-to-day life that can be a tug of war between chaos and order, the sometimes funny in using a wheelchair, and essential connections to the natural world, as well as an exploration of the intersection between disability, queerness, race, culture, and desire. The reading will be followed by a moderated discussion among the panelists.
Participants: Sandra Gail Lambert, Naomi Ortiz, Esmé Weijun Wang
Location: Oregon Ballroom 201-202, Oregon Convention Center, Level 2
Date & Time: Friday, March 29, 12noon – 1:15 p.m.


What are some of the conference events or bookfair exhibitors you look forward to seeing at AWP?
The bookfair is my favorite place at AWP, especially the booths of independent publishers and writers who produce books that are physically unique and gorgeous. 

If you’ve been to an AWP before, what is your favorite conference memory?
It's the squealing that happens when you turn a corner and right there is a friend you haven't seen since that last residency, conference, or reading.

What book or books that you’ve read over the last year would you most highly recommend?
Last year, just as the promotional push began for my memoir, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I ended up answering interview questions from my recovery bed after lumpectomies and scheduling radiation appointments around trips to book festivals. An author and book that went on this journey with me was Catherine Guthrie and her memoir Flat: Reclaiming My Body from Breast Cancer. Guthrie has written a story whose power comes from its honest clarity and the way it is centered on the experiences of the body. 

Has public funding for the arts made a difference in your life and career as a writer?
I was awarded an NEA Creative Writing Fellowship last year, and it came at a perfect time, since the memoir was due to be published in nine months. Now there were the resources to hire a publicist and travel to book fairs and conferences. And, of course, to shop for a new computer. 


Sandra Gail LambertSandra Gail Lambert writes fiction and memoir that are often about the body and its relationship to the natural world. She is a 2018 National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellow. Her books include A Certain Loneliness: A Memoir and the novel The River's Memory. Her writing has been widely anthologized and published in journals such as the Paris Review, the Southern Review, LitHub, New Letters, and Brevity. Lambert is a coeditor of the anthology Older Queer Voices: The Intimacy of Survival, and has mentored for AWP's Writer to Writer Program. She lives in Gainesville, Florida.

Register today to see Sandra at #AWP19 in Portland, OR!


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