Hello, it's me. I know the name looks complicated. I would like to help you with that:
My first name is pronounced BLAZE, my middle name is just ALISON but with some
different letters, and my last name sounds like KEEER-S-LEE.
That's it for this first section of my website. It's been pretty demanding already.
I'm a Black-biracial writer and teacher and the creator, producer, and host of How I Learned, a long-running storytelling/comedy and reading series. I've appeared on stage at The Moth, Risk, Mortified, Story Collider, The Liar Show, Literary Death Match, Gotham Storytelling Festival, and at various New York venues that serve booze and sometimes snacks.
My writing has appeared in Longreads, VICE, Midnight Breakfast, Electric Literature's The Nervous Breakdown, Elle.com, The Boston Globe, three anthologies including Nonwhite and Woman (forthcoming in September 2022), Cringe: Teenage Diaries, Journals, Notes, Letters, Poems, and Abandoned Rock Operas, and in several magazines and online outlets a long time ago that are perhaps not worth mentioning by name and probably don't even exist anymore.
In another life I took a lot of pictures with cameras and some of those pictures were published in places like New York Magazine, Playbill, JPG Magazine, Nerve, An-Mag, The Morning News, Gothamist, and Gawker.
I teach mostly creative nonfiction and I'm currently a contributing editor at Vestal Review, a journal of flash fiction. I live in Brooklyn but if you need me for something somewhere else, maybe I'll go there.
[ select writing
🜃 Finding Oneself in 'Surviving the White Gaze' (The Boston Globe)
🜃 Why Mr. Bauer Didn't Like Me (Longreads)
🜃 "The First Time It Happened": Nonwhite and Woman Anthology (forthcoming from Woodhall Press, 2022)
🜃 The Mail Club (Midnight Breakfast)
🜃 3 Songs About Being Young and Disenfranchised Before The Internets (The Weeklings)
"Blaise's class made me a stronger writer.
It was the hardest workshop I've ever done,
but also one of the most important."
"Her workshops are led by a writer,
not an academic, so there is a real-world,
practitioner feel to the class. It attracts people
committed to the art of the practice."
I teach public workshops for Gotham Writers and independently design and lead my own curated series of workshops for emerging and advanced writers. I teach memoir, personal essay, autobiographical fiction, and flash memoir. I coach writers at all levels and I occasionally lead workshops for aspiring teen writers.
My workshops are creatively rigorous but safe spaces in which we not only think critically about the tools of the craft, but we dig deeper for the real story, the nuance, and the singular voice that's sometimes simmering below the surface.
We lean into both the heartache and hilarity that good storytelling and intimate, vital learning communities require.
The work of many of my students has appeared in outlets like The New York Times, NYT's Modern Love, The Root, Dame, The Rumpus, Blavity, McSweeney's, Man Repeller, 12th Street, and Manifest Station.
But getting published isn't always the ultimate goal. Most people join my workshops because it forces them to write. Sometimes it's hard to stick to a practice when no one's expecting you to.
So they get closer to the goals they've identified for themselves, whatever those may be. They connect with other writers. They watch their own work evolve. They walk out of the workshops or one-on-one sessions a little differently than they walked in.
Writing Super-Short Memoir (FULL)
[ how i learned
Blaise Allysen's Kearsley's HOW I LEARNED series was born on the Lower East Side in 2009. The series has featured Aparna Nancherla, Janelle James, Alexander Chee, Anna Sale, Ophira Eisenberg, Isaac Fitzgerald, Nick Flynn, Mira Jacob, Amanda Duarte, Sasheer Zamata, Isaac Oliver, Jo Firestone, Mike Albo, Phoebe Robinson, Choire Sicha, Dan Kennedy, Rob Sheffield, and many, many, many, many others.
Named one of "Five Best Comedy Shows Hosted By Women" by CBS New York and one of the Best Storytelling Series and Best Reading Series by Time Out New York.
"Hostess Blaise Allysen Kearsley makes sure to keep it awkwardly funny." -CBS New York
"...Always hilarious, sometimes touching, and without fail entertaining." -Brooklyn Magazine
"This show has renewed my faith in this whole storytelling endeavor and what it means in the world." -David Crabb, The Moth
"Blaise Allysen Kearsley is a charming host with an irrepressible, humming little laugh that seems to be a compromise she’s made with some wicked guffaw within." -LitWrap
Whew. This is the end of my website. You did a great job.