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Powell's Books Presents Tiana Clark, Vanessa Friedman & Shayla Lawson in Conversation With Katherine Morgan
In May 1962, Helen Gurley Brown's Sex and the Single Girl sent shockwaves through the United States, selling more than two million copies in three weeks. The future Cosmopolitan Editor-in-Chief’s book promoted the message that a woman’s needs, ambition, and success during her single years could actually take precedence over the search for a husband. While much of Brown’s advice is outdated and even offensive by today’s standards, her central message remains relevant. In their exceptional anthology, Sex and the Single Woman (Harper Perennial), editors Eliza Smith and Haley Swanson bring together insights from many of today’s leading feminist thinkers and writers to pay homage to Brown’s original work and reinterpret it for a new generation. These contributors provide a much-needed reckoning while addressing today’s central issues, from contraception and abortion (topics the publisher banned from the original) to queer and trans womanhood, racial double standards, dating with disabilities, sexual consent, singlehood by choice, single parenting, and more. Written for today’s women, this revisionist anthology honors Brown’s irreverent spirit just as it celebrates and validates women’s sexual lives and individual eras of singlehood, encouraging us all to reclaim joy where it’s so often been denied. This event will feature a panel discussion with Sex and the Single Woman contributors Tiana Clark, Vanessa Friedman, and Shayla Lawson, in conversation with Katherine Morgan, author of No Self-Respecting Woman.
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Tiana Clark
Tiana Clark is the author of the poetry collection I Can’t Talk About the Trees Without the Blood, winner of the 2017 Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize, and Equilibrium, selected by Afaa Michael Weaver for the 2016 Frost Place Chapbook Competition. Clark is a winner of the 2020 Kate Tufts Discovery Award (Claremont Graduate University), a 2019 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellow, a recipient of a 2019 Pushcart Prize, a winner of the 2017 Furious Flower’s Gwendolyn Brooks Centennial Poetry Prize, and the 2015 Rattle Poetry Prize. She was the 2017–2018 Jay C. and Ruth Halls Poetry Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute of Creative Writing. Her writing has appeared in or is forthcoming from The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Poetry Magazine, The Washington Post, Tin House Online, Kenyon Review, BuzzFeed News, American Poetry Review, Oxford American, and elsewhere. She is the Grace Hazard Conkling Writer-in-Residence at Smith College.
Vanessa Friedman
Vanessa Friedman (she/her) is a queer dyke writer living in Portland, Oregon. She’s the community editor at Autostraddle and a teaching artist with Literary Arts and 826NYC. She received her MFA in creative nonfiction from Sarah Lawrence College, and she is a Tin House Summer Workshop alum and a Hedgebrook Spring Retreat alum. Vanessa writes about friendship, home, loneliness, grief, sex, and the body; her work has been published in Autostraddle, Nylon, Catapult, Alma, Shape, and elsewhere. Vanessa is currently at work on her first novel. You can find her online at vanessapamela.com.
Shayla Lawson
Shayla Lawson is that bitch. You can find more words at her regular column for Bustle magazine or in her 2020 essay collection This Is Major: Notes on Diana Ross, Dark Girls, and Being Dope (Harper Perennial, 2020).
Katherine D. Morgan
Katherine D. Morgan is the author of the debut chapbook No Self-Respecting Woman. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming at Huffington Post, Bitch Media, LitHub, The Rumpus, and HelloGiggles, among others. Katherine’s work has been nominated for the two Best of Net awards. She lives with her cat Ramona in Portland, Oregon, where you can find her working at Powell’s Books, and snuggling with her cat Ramona while crying during the series finale of Frasier.