Lacy M. Johnson is a Houston-based professor, curator, activist, and is author of the essay collection The Reckonings, the memoir The Other Side — both National Book Critics Circle Award finalists — and the memoir Trespasses. She is editor, with the graphic designer Cheryl Beckett, of More City Than Water: A Houston Flood Atlas. Her writing has appeared in Best American Essays, Best American Travel Writing, Best American Science and Nature Writing, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Orion, Paris Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Tin House, and elsewhere. She is a contributing editor at Orion and is Founding Director of the Houston Flood Museum. Her fifth book, “The Uncollected Wonders,” is forthcoming from Scribner.
Johnson worked as a cashier at Wal-Mart, sold steaks door-to-door, and puppeteered with a traveling children’s museum before earning a PhD from University of Houston’s Creative Writing Program, where she was both an Erhardt Fellow and Inprint Fondren Fellow.
More recently, Johnson has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in General Nonfiction, as well as grants and residencies from the Houston Endowment, Sustainable Arts Foundation, Houston Arts Alliance, the Kansas Arts Commission, Millay Colony for the Arts, and University of Houston’s Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts.
At Rice, Johnson serves on the Faculty Council of the Humanities Research Center, the Steering Committee of the Center for Environmental Studies, and on the Faculty Advisory Board of the Program in Writing and Communication. In the English Department, she currently serves as Director of Undergraduate Studies and teaches Creative Nonfiction.