ISP is thrilled to include Mary Karr in our evening of special guests and storytellers at the 25th Anniversary celebration of the Company of Grace on March 9, 2023. Mary Karr is an award-winning poet, essayist, songwriter, and memoirist from East Texas.

She rose to fame in 1995 with the publication of her bestselling memoir, The Liars’ Club, which documented her hardscrabble Texas childhood, kick-started a memoir revolution, and won nonfiction prizes from PEN and the Texas Institute of Letters.Karr followed up The Liars’ Club with two more bestselling memoirs, Cherry, which recounted her tumultuous teens and sexual coming-of-age, and Lit, the story of her descent into the inferno of alcoholism and madness–and to her astonishing resurrection.

In 2015, Karr released the bestselling The Art of Memoir, in which she synthesizes her expertise as professor and therapy patient, writer and spiritual seeker, recovered alcoholic and “black belt sinner,” providing a unique window into the mechanics and art of the form that is as irreverent, insightful, and entertaining as her own work in the genre.

But first and foremost, Karr is a poet. “From a very early age,” she says, “when I read a poem, it was as if the poet’s burning taper touched some charred filament in my rib cage to set me alight.” She has written five critically acclaimed poetry collections to date, along the way receiving a Whiting Writer’s Award, an NEA, a Radcliffe Bunting Fellowship, and a Guggenheim. Her most recent book of poetry is Tropic of Squalor.

Karr welcomes conversation with her audience and she is known for her spirited, lively, and engaging Q&A sessions. ISP is delighted she’ll be with us to share some of her sacred story at the Company of Grace this year.