Poet ~ Essayist
Liza Porter was born in Bethesda, Maryland, into a Marine Corps family and grew up on the West Coast. Twenty years after high school, while raising two daughters with her third husband, and working as a legal secretary, she began taking writing classes at the local community college and applying to residencies and submitting work. She dabbled in journalism in the mid-2000s and eventually realized all this new-fangled social media stuff was not for her. (Well, she does have a laptop and a flip-phone with huge digits on it!) Liza has just finished the final draft of her memoir-in-essays titled "Bruce Sringsteen Sang to Me." Her new project will involve hiking in Sabino Canyon, losing 65 pounds, meditating fiercely (hah) and caregiving with her mother who has Alzheimer's disease.
Porter's poetry chapbook, Red Stain, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2014 and was finalist for both the Arizona/NewMexico Book Award and the WILLA Award (Women Writing the West). Her essays are also out there into the world! "Reconstructing" was runner up for the Nonfiction Prize at PRISM International and was published there in 2016. "How to Survive the Dinner Table" appeared in Chautauqua in 2015. "Labyrinth," which appeared in Passages North in 2014, was listed as a Notable Essay in Best American Essays 2016. Porter received the 2009 Mary Ann Campau Memorial Poetry Fellowship from the University of Arizona Poetry Center, and was founder, and director of the Other Voices Women’s Reading Series at Antigone Books in Tucson, from 2002-2012.
Liza's memoir-in-essays manuscript (fka) Down the Tracks was a finalist for the Santa Fe Writers Project Nonfiction Book Award in 2013. Porter's poetry and essays have been published in magazines including Passages North, 2RiverView, Ilanot Review, The Meadow, The Progressive, AGNI, Diner, Cimarron Review, Barrow Street, Pedestal Magazine, and the anthologies What Wildness is this: Women Write About the Southwest (University of Texas Press: Austin, 2007), and Poets on Prozac: Mental Illness, Treatment and the Creative Process (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008). Porter’s personal essay “In Plainview” (Cimarron Review 2005) was designated a Notable Essay in Best American Essays 2006.