Flannery O’ Connor said, “Anybody who has survived his childhood has enough information about life to last him the rest of his days.” Writer and teacher Alexis Paige survived a tri-coastal upbringing, a large, colorful family, and the accompanying eccentricity that is useful, if not a prerequisite, for creative nonfiction work. After studying English and African-American literature at Rutgers University and the University of New Hampshire, Paige covered select-board meetings and chowder cook-offs for a small newspaper in Maine before chronic wanderlust drew her west.
In San Francisco, she received an MA in Creative Writing and Poetry from San Francisco State University, while tending bar at various venues that should have bored her with their stylishness. She moved to Houston in 2004 for no good reason/ it’s a long story, and was arrested in 2005 for Felony Intoxication Assault after causing a car crash in which a Houston society bride broke her leg. This experience—including quitting alcohol, serving two months in the Harris County jail, and confronting her own racial privilege—is the subject of her memoir-in-progress, The Right to Remain.
Since leaving Texas in 2007, Paige began teaching writing at colleges and universities throughout New England. Winner of the 2016 Vine Leaves Press Collection Award, her first book, Not a Place on Any Map, was published in December 2016. Her essay, “The Right to Remain,” published in The Rumpus in 2015, was named as a Notable in the 2016 Best American Essays anthology. Essays and other work appear in multiple anthologies and journals, including the New Madrid Journal, The Pinch, The New Mexico Review, rawboned, Passages North, Fourth Genre, The Rumpus, Pithead Chapel, 14 Hills, and on Brevity’s blog, where she serves as assistant editor. Her essays have been featured on Freshly Pressed and Longform, nominated for Sundress Best of the Net, and thrice nominated for a Pushcart Prize. In 2013, Paige won the New Millenium Writings Nonfiction Prize. Twice a top-ten finalist of Glamour Magazine’s essay contest, Paige completed an MFA in Nonfiction from the Stonecoast creative writing program in 2014, where she was Creative Nonfiction Editor of the Stonecoast Review. In addition to publishing, Paige has spoken widely at national writing conferences, served as visiting artist at Saint Lawrence University in 2014, and as writer-in- residence at Bay Path University in 2015. She lives on the dark side of the moon, in central Vermont, with her husband and their mash-faced dogs, Jazzy and George.