Sonya Lea

Sonya Lea

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Sonya Lea writes on memory and identity. Her memoir, Wondering Who You Are, (Tin House) about what happened after her husband lost the memory of their life, was a finalist for the Washington State Book Award. Wondering has won awards and garnered praise in a number of publications including Oprah Magazine, People, and the BBC, who named it a “top ten book.” Her essays have appeared in Salon, The Southern Review, Brevity, Guernica, Ms. Magazine, Good Housekeeping, The Prentice Hall College Reader, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Rumpus, The Butter, and more. She is also an essayist in the anthology, Whiteness Is Not An Ancestor, where she interrogates her family's involvement in the last public execution in America, and the hanging of a Black man in her hometown of Owensboro, Kentucky. Lea has worked as a house cleaner, a cook, an editor, and for museums and science centers. She creates retreats and teaches writing in North America. She teaches at Hugo House in Seattle, online at Lidia Yuknavitch’s Corporeal Writing, and she developed a pilot project to teach writing to women veterans through the Red Badge Project. She speaks at conferences, universities and festivals, including the Cork Writer's Festival (Ireland) and the Association of Writers & Writing Programs. BITCHCONOCLAST is a mother-daughter podcast on sex, feminism and power that Lea created with performance artist/filmmaker Dylan Bandy. Lea’s short film, EVERY BEAUTIFUL THING, won two awards for direction and several awards for score. Her cast, crew and donors were seventy percent women. She is an Academy Award Nicholl Fellowship Finalist in screenwriting. Originally from Kentucky, she lives in Seattle and the Canadian Rockies.
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