This Writer’s On Fire: Lisa Mecham -The Toast

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Who she is

“A midwesterner at heart,” Lisa Mecham lives in Los Angeles and is working on a novel. Her poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction have appeared in The Rumpus, Juked, and Barrelhouse Online, among other publications. Honors include a nomination for the James Kirkwood Award through the UCLA Extension Writing Program and a nomination for the Pushcart Prize for her piece “A Long Walk Through Belmont” in Digital Americana.

Lisa has also served as an editor with Origins Literary Journal, a reader for Tin House Magazine, and a grant writer for non-profit organizations such as Urban Strategies and The Mixed Remixed Festival. But you probably know her from Lisa’s Book Round-Up at The Rumpus.

Why you should read her

Because Lisa Mecham writes about the quiet places, the in-between spots, the pauses where we would catch our breath, but she never quite lets us. Her poetry, fiction, and essays take place in closets and cars, sickbeds, hospitals and spaces we don’t usually think about or even notice. Hiding places. Spaces we go to regroup and recover and eventually (we hope) forget.

She is teaching us how to be hurt, how to recover and how to keep going if we can’t. She is telling us the difficult things in words made of breath, with images so bright they hurt to look at. Even her non-fiction, like Reckoning, is hard to distinguish from her poetry, her fiction. It all feels like magic that is so grounded in the world and the real things that are so much a part of our everyday that we don’t see them until someone returns them to us, unveiled. When she tells us the world from the point of view of a child, the world is monstrous, threatening, and wonderful simultaneously, the way it is when you’re small (and powerless) and the world is so big. Her prose and poetry, her essays tread so lightly on the worlds she (re)creates that there’s room for us, for everyone to enter and finally experience the specific gravity of those moments and places we’ve lost or forgotten. Her touch may be light, but it soaks in, leaves a deep mark.

Where to find her work:


A Long Walk Through Belmont in Digital Americana.

At the Foot of the Unmade Bed at Bodega.

Refraction in Bodega.

Jetsam at chaparral.

Mercy at WordPlaySound.

The Gravity of a Clear Blue Sky at Word Riot.



Reckoning at Midnight Breakfast.

Lisa’s Book Round-Up at The Rumpus.



Asylum in Juked.

You Get What You Get at The Drum Literary Magazine.

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