Photo by Michael Dantzler
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Len Lawson is the author of Chime (Get Fresh Books, 2019) and the chapbook Before the Night Wakes You (Finishing Line Press, 2017). He is also co-editor of Hand in Hand: Poets Respond to Race (Muddy Ford Press, 2017) and The Future of Black: Afrofuturism and Black Comics Poetry (Blair Press, 2021). His poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. He has received fellowships from Callaloo, Vermont Studio Center, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and others. His poetry appears in African American Review, Callaloo, Mississippi Review, Ninth Letter, Verse Daily, Yemassee, and elsewhere. Len is also a Ph.D. candidate in English Literature and Criticism at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, earning the 2020 IUP Outstanding Doctoral Student Award. He has taught English in South Carolina higher education for ten years.
Len Lawson received a B.S. in Business Administration from Winthrop University, an M.A. in English from National University, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in English Literature & Criticism at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, earning the 2020 IUP Outstanding Doctoral Student Award. He was the 2011-12 Morris College Advisor of the Year and 2012-13 Professor of the Year, along with being a 2013 Excellence in Teaching Award winner from South Carolina Independent Colleges & Universities (SCICU). He has taught English in South Carolina higher education for over ten years.
His scholarly article "Back to the Future: Approaches to Best Practices in Reflective Teaching" appeared in Cultivating Visionary Leadership by Learning for Global Success: Beyond the Language and Literature Classroom (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2015). His essay "Love and Terror: Sharan Strange's South Carolina" is forthcoming in Limelight Vol. 3: A Compendium of Carolina Writers (Muddy Ford Press, 2020). Len is the author of the chapbook Before the Night Wakes You (Finishing Line Press, 2017), co-editor of Hand in Hand: Poets Respond to Race (Muddy Ford Press, 2017), and the full-length poetry collection Chime (Get Fresh Books, 2019).
Len won the 2016 Jasper Magazine Artist of the Year Award in Literary Arts and was named among "Ten South Carolina Poets to Watch" by the Richland County Library in 2018. He was also named a nominee for Sumter's Top 20 Professionals under 40 in 2018. Len has been a multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee as well.
He earned a fellowship to the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop in Barbados facilitated by 2015 Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Greg Pardlo. He has also earned fellowships from Vermont Studio Center, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and became the inaugural winner of the 2018 Susan Laughter Meyers Poetry Fellowship at the Weymouth Center for the Arts sponsored by the North Carolina Poetry Society. In 2019, he received the Alice Conger Patterson Scholarship from the Emrys Foundation. In 2020, he received a scholarship from Pen Parentis to the AWP Conference and earned the Carrie McCray Nickens Fellowship in Poetry from the South Carolina Academy of Authors.
Len has been a finalist for the 2015 inaugural Berfrois Poetry Prize, the 2016 Mississippi Review Poetry Prize, the 2016 Yellow Chair Review Chapbook Competition, and the 2018 Gigantic Sequins Poetry Prize. His poetry has also been featured in coffee shops and transit buses in the Columbia, SC metro area.
His poetry has appeared in several anthologies and journals including Callaloo, African American Review,[PANK] Magazine, Verse Daily, Winter Tangerine Review, Connotation Press, Cosmonauts Avenue, The Baltimore Review, and Charleston Currents, selected by South Carolina Poet Laureate Marjory Wentworth.