Linsey Abrams is the author of three nationally-reviewed novels, Our History in New York, Double Vision, and Charting by the Stars. Her short stories have appeared in Glimmer Train, The New Review of Literature, New Directions annual, Redbook, Mademoiselle, BOMB, The Reading Room, Harrington Lesbian Fiction Quarterly, Kalliope, Seattle Review, 13th Moon, Colorado Review, Central Park, Christopher Street, and other publications. Her work has been anthologized in such collections as Bantam’s Best Short Fiction and Avon’s Tasting Life Twice. She has also written essays on contemporary literature for The Mississippi Review, Global City Review, Quimera (Barcelona), The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Michigan Quarterly, the anthology Writers & Their Craft, and for broadcast on WNYC Radio. Her reviews have appeared in Belles Lettres, The New York Times Book Review and The Los Angeles Times Book Review. Linsey has read her work at many venues. She was a founding member of PEN American Center’s Women’s Committee. She was writer-in-residence at the Harvey Milk School, soon after it was founded as New York’s LGBT high school in the 1980s.
Linsey received a Creative Artists Public Service Grant, multiple grants from the Titus Foundation, and grants from the New York State Council on the Arts. She was a finalist for the Nelson Algren Award. Her story “The Lost Boys” was published in the inaugural issue of The New Review of Literature. Her story “Taj Mahal,” about a pot belly pig and two drunk hog hunters, was a finalist for The Mississippi Review Fiction Prize, was next a winner of a Pushcart Prize (nominated by TMR), and was published in Mississippi Review 30, selected work from Frederic Barthelme’s thirty-year editorship. She is a member of the Authors Guild and ASCAP.
She founded and edited Global City Review, a journal that The Multicultural Review called “a rich treasury of contemporary social thought and artistic expressions, defending a humanistic view of the individual in a complex society,” from 1993-2012. Global City Press published 7 collections of fiction and poetry, and anthologies by and about women, and were nationally reviewed and distributed. A new Collective of writers plan a relaunch of the Review and Press in 2019.
Thanks go to the New York City Opera for choosing Rappaccini’s Daughter, based on the short story by Nathaniel Hawthorne, as a Finalist in a one-act opera competition. Thanks go also to The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, The Lake George Opera, The Minnesota Opera, and the Gamma Fisher Foundation for early support of this work, and its development. Personal thanks go to Art Masella, John Flaxman and Paulette Haupt. Linsey and her long-time collaborator, composer Michael Cohen, have just finished a final rewrite of Rappaccini’s Daughter, a musical tale. Several scenes of the newly-minted one-act opera, were presented in concert as part of Essential Voices USA’s “The Composer and Librettist Speak” series, thanks to Musical Director and Conductor Judith Clurman, in June, 2013, at Pearl Studios. “Just a Little Sky Away, aria and interlude, for soprano, harp, piano and flute,” was performed in a concert, Sounds of the Angels, at Enlow Recital Hall, at Kean University, in March,20103, and was later produced by Theater for the New City.
Linsey received her MA in English from The City College of New York, where she is now Professor Emerita, (fiction writing and literature), having directed the MFA Program in Creative Writing from 2001-2012. Previous to that she taught at Sarah Lawrence College, from which she earned her BA and began writing theater lyrics as well as fiction. She holds a diploma from Concord Academy, and grew up on the North Shore of Boston, where as a girl she attended her first poetry reading, by local writer John Updike.
In those early, impressionable years, her mother, Janis, introduced her to literature, visual art, and all kinds of music theater, including opera; her grandmother Velma, before marriage a concert pianist, played and sang for her; and her great aunt Verta took her to see many musicals in New York City, where she now lives with her adored wife, to whom she was engaged for 31 years. Her father, Orville, was a Southern story-teller, who imbued Linsey with a love of words and of the mysteries of life, along with the belief that she, his daughter, could and would be anything she wanted. Her older brother, Randall, always treated her as an equal, rare indeed. A golden-blonde retriever puppy with a crooked tail, named Princess, retrieved a little girl’s heart and never gave it back. Grace Paley, E.M. Broner and Marilyn French became Linsey’s literary mothers and beloved friends, all of them deeply missed.
She would be remiss in not mentioning Laurie Liss, her indispensable and cherished friend and agent (in that order) at Sterling Lord Literistic. Indispensable, too, the poet Michelle Valladares , an artist of many hats and deep humanity; and Michael Cohen, a musical collaborator so perfect it is even now hard to believe. She is sustained by Felicia Bonaparte–brilliant classicist, professor and scholar of comparitive literature (history of philosophy, intellectual historian and more)–by the amazing creativity and commitment to justice and “heart” of her life vision, and her absolute fidelity in friendship. Linsey is incredibly lucky, as an adult, to have a playmate, Fred Reynolds, with whom to recreate the best of childhood. At the same time, he was a devoted and consummate teacher and is an admirable, honest grown-up.