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2019 Red Hen Nonfiction Award
Release date: 10/19/21

"I don't think I've ever read a book like this one. I hadn't known some live haunted by their own blood ghosts. It will be medicine for those wounded by their own births; and illuminating for anyone who thought they understood notions of home and kin. It's as if Beatty's lived homesick for herself. American Bastard is as brutal and beautiful as Beatty's poetry. A surgery of the self. Precise and invasive, exploratory and celebratory, debilitating and transformational."
- Sandra Cisneros, House on Mango Street, A House of My Own: Stories from My Life

Jan Beatty's American Bastard starts with a threat - with razor like prose she backs you up against the wall of your naive assumptions. A monumental work of wild innovative storytelling, wholly original, American Bastard would be unbearable in its pain were it not rendered with such exquisite craft and beauty. As a reader you're either in or out, I suggest you stay in for one of the decade's premier memoirs.
- Sapphire, Push, The Kid

American Bastard dares and succeeds at reimaging and redefining memoir as a genre where stream of consciousness meets essay, meets magical realism, meets reportage, meets poetry to create an epic mosaic only possible through the literary genius of Jan Beatty. And as if that weren't enough, an enthralling yet gracious exposé about adoption that confronts and educates us through a voice that is at times tender and broken, at times angry and fierce, but always unflinchingly honest with herself, the people in her life, and her readers.
- Richard Blanco, Presidential Inaugural Poet, The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Memoir
American Bastard
2019 Red Hen Nonfiction Award
Release date: 10/19/21
October Fall Book Festival
George Mason University, VA
Virtual Reading

October 7-9, 2021
Lit Youngstown Fall Literary Festival
In Person

September 30, 2021
Columbia College Chicago
Virtual Reading

October 20, 2020
San Francisco State University
Virtual Reading

October 1, 2020
Book Launch for The Body Wars
White Whale Bookstore, Pittsburgh, PA

Jan Beatty's new book, American Bastard,
to be released Fall 2021

Skydog Chapbook, Lefty Blondie Press
to be released August, 2021

Jan Beatty's The Body Wars
released Fall 2020
University of Pittsburgh Press

Jan Beatty wins 2019 Red Hen Nonfiction Award for her memoir, American Bastard

Winner of the 2018 Paterson Poetry Prize

My Father Disappears Into Flowers

The apple tree in the backyard with white waterfall blossoms:

my father's body disappearing in his sickness down to 90 lbs,
his hat floating on his head:

my father falling into the clothes rack trying to buy
smaller pants to fit -

he's not gone
The air heavy with waterfall, and him -
vaulting down the front steps in spring:

New York Times Magazine Published Aug. 13, 2020


"Jan Beatty's ... poems shimmer with luminous connection, travel a big life and grand map of encounters."
- Naomi Shihab Nye, The New York Times

"What would it be like to be stormless?" asks Jan Beatty early in The Body Wars, a collection riddled with bullets and natural disasters: fire storms, bush fires, fire tornadoes, flash floods, "deranged air." Man-made disasters, too: the heroin crisis, the aids pandemic, "Trump Care." But it is in the midst of crisis that Beatty finds her strength as artist, as witness, as poet. This is not a book that offers answers; rather, it offers important questions: "can I tell you that we mourned?" And "are there too many drowned trees?" These are the questions we all must be asking "as we crack into the mad ocean." What an extraordinary book."
- D.A. Powell

"The Body Wars is unsurprisingly concerned with the human body; the body as it moves through space, the body as a site of pleasure, illness, and frailty; the body as a communicator of truths and betrayer of secrets."
- Kristofer Collins


Coming in August from Lefty Blondie Press
image copyright Carlos Hernandez, "New Country"


"Nobody has a better sense of the colloquial American idiom. Nobody among her contemporaries writes better poems about urban working-class life."
-Ed Ochester, Pitt Poetry Series

Jackknife: New and Collected Poems named by
Sandra Cisneros as her favorite book of 2019

"One of ten 'advanced women poets for required reading.'"
-The Huffington Post

Jan Beatty, poet