Morristown, N.J. (March 7, 2016) – Paul Lisicky, an award winning author, offered his prose to a standing-room-only event in early March 2016.
Introducing him, Dr. Laura Winters, professor and chair of the English department noted that his work speaks to the constant transformation of the human soul. "Transformation never ceases in his writing," she said. "His readers constantly evaluate and reevaluate their lives while involved in his words."
As he was reading, Lisicky informed the audience that his works tend to have conversations with one another, both within a book and between books. While his prose feels easy to read, the deeper meaning behind the words causes one to pause and think of the symbolism and metaphors used to explain the transformation.
Lisicky read from his book, The Narrow Door, explaining along the way his style of writing and self-reflection. "I try to get to know myself within my environment," he said. "This process inspires my writing."
"He seems so at ease with his writing that is so intense," said one student. "I hope that at some point I am as comfortable with myself and my craft as he is."
Lisicky is the author of five books: The Narrow Door, Unbuilt Projects, The Burning House, Famous Builder, and Lawnboy.
Meredith Maran, critic for The Chicago Tribune said of the Narrow Door, "You know you're reading an exceptional book when, approximately two sentences into it, you start panicking at the thought of its ending. Be forewarned: This is likely to happen to you, as it did to me, reading the opening pages of The Narrow Door, the achingly gorgeous, wildly ambitious memoir by Paul Lisicky."
His work has appeared in The Atlantic, BuzzFeed, Conjunctions, Ecotone, Fence, The Offing, Ploughshares, Tin House, Unstuck, and in many other magazines and anthologies. His awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the James Michener/Copernicus Society, the Corporation of Yaddo, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, where he was twice a Fellow.
He has taught in the creative writing programs at Cornell University, New York University, Rutgers-Newark, Sarah Lawrence College, the University of North Carolina Wilmington, and elsewhere. He is the editor of StoryQuarterly and serves on the writing committee of the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. He also composed sacred music in his early adulthood.
One student queried about his musical inspiration. "How many of you have heard of Joni Mitchell?", he asked before explaining that it was her compositions and chord structure that inspired his music.
The students in attendance were enthralled and were eager to have him sign their copies of his books. Lisicky also gave a master class with tips on creative writing and a writing prompt for the students to start their own creative writing process.