San Antonio Book Festival - Jan Beatty
Beth Kukucka
Book Festival Author

Jan Beatty

Jan Beatty is the author of eight books, including the forthcoming Dragstripping. Her memoir, American Bastard, won the Red Hen Nonfiction Award. Other books include Jackknife: New and Selected Poems, which received the Paterson Poetry Prize and was named Sandra Cisneros’s favorite book of 2019. Beatty has worked as a waitress, an abortion counselor, and in maximum security prisons. She is Professor Emerita at Carlow University in Pittsburgh, where she directed the Madwomen in the Attic Writing Workshops and the MFA program. She is a contributor to Texas, Being: A State of Poems. Her most recent book is The Body Wars, praised by The New York Times: “…Beatty’s new poems shimmer with luminous connection, travel a big life and grand map of encounters.” 


More About Jan Beatty

Schedule Of Events:

Books by Jan Beatty

  • The Body Wars: Poems by Jan Beatty

    The Body Wars: Poems

    What would it take to be home in one’s body, to walk around the world as oneself, knowing the pain within and without us? Jan Beatty boldly answers that question by making a fire map of the body. These roiling poems smack into walls of meditation, only to slide down the smooth concrete into the flatline of joy. These are vital poems of dimension, of both psychic and literal travel, of the elasticity of truth and struggle, of the daily nature of desire that brings us to our knees—then shotguns us back to the heart’s center.

  • Texas, Being: A State of Poems by Jan Beatty

    Texas, Being: A State of Poems

    "Texas, Being: A State of Poems" collects more than forty-five poems from a beautiful and brutal state. Some are about the music of their languages. Some speak to the dead, some to the sun, and others to omissions of history. One concerns a hedgehog cactus, and another a roller rink. From "Happy, Texas" to "Palestine, TX," from seashores to skeletons to Selena, all are in one way or another about Texas, but good poems are always about more than one thing.

    Selected by Jenny Browne, 2017 poet laureate of Texas, these poems draw a picture of one of America's vastly sublime yet most audaciously independent corners. In these diverse voices, the state is a lovely and painful contradiction of space and meaning. Texas is a place "where blind catfish cruise" and wild asters grow. It's a frame of mind where Jenny Boully writes "the history is unending" and Mexican American studies professor Christopher Carmona can "feel the slowness of time." Jorge Luis Borges wrote of it as "an endless plain / Where a man's cry dies a lonely death." Victoria Chang writes that "there is so / much sky that even birds / get lost."

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