Nov. 14 Literary Reading and Book Signing Spotlighting One of Del Mar College’s Own Faculty, Sarah Lenz
DMC Assistant Professor of English and founder of Writers’ Studio Corpus Christi reading from “What Will Outlast Me?,” a debut essay collection that explores mortality and author’s own experiential journey
Article by DMC College Relations
From the discovery of a post-mortem photograph of her great-uncles who were killed by lightning to the daily pancake-making days with her preschooler son during the COVID-19 pandemic, Del Mar College (DMC) Assistant Professor of English Sarah Lenz confronts the complexities of being sandwiched between aging parents and a young child while also navigating her own thyroid cancer diagnosis in her debut essay collection, What Will Outlast Me? (Unsolicited Press, 2023).
Lenz will read from that body of essays as part of the Communications, Languages and Reading Department’s literary reading and book signing event scheduled Tuesday, Nov. 14, at 1 p.m. to spotlight one of the College’s own faculty members and authors.
“I think what makes this event special is that Sarah teaches Contemporary American Essays in her class, which allows her students to learn about this specific genre, to find their voice and to learn to express their opinions with informed thought and respect,” says Dr. Andrea Elizondo, Reading Instructor and Reading Lab Coordinator who organized the event. “[Her] students also get the opportunity to understand that Sarah is a human being who faces challenges and has ups and downs just like them, creating a real meaningful connection and relationship that transpires between Sarah and her students.”
Dr. Elizondo notes that research shows how these connections are critical for adult development, and connection fosters transformation, inspiration, academic motivation and college and life success. “As a READ 0305 instructor, I am also incorporating a few of her essays into my curriculum to foster critical thinking and analysis,” she says.
Lenz’s reading and book signing will take place in the College’s Reading Lab, Room 119, in the Coles Classroom Building on the Heritage Campus, 101 Baldwin Blvd. (78404), get online directions and campus map. The event includes refreshments, and the general public is invited to attend.
For more information, contact Dr. Elizondo at firstname.lastname@example.org or 361-698-1952.
Lenz’s writings have appeared in Crazyhorse, Colorado Review, New Letters, Triquarterly, The Fourth River, The Texas Review, Pen Dust Radio, Crab Orchard Review, South Dakota Review and elsewhere. Her work has been named Notable in Best American Essays three times.
What Will Outlast Me? is described as a moving, heartfelt meditation on how to face mortality and how to grieve; but most importantly, the essay collection shows readers how to awaken to the ephemeral beauty of the world and is a powerful reminder of all that will outlast us and what’s found in those we love.
While her subject matter is dark in What Will Outlast Me?, Lenz finds beauty, warmth and wisdom as she shares haunting moments in her life. The collection bares Lenz’s personal topics ranging from finding herself comforting her father, who’s fixated with where to spread his ashes, in “Driving the Section Line” to suffering postpartum depression and imagining all the ways her baby can die in “So Many Ways” to attempting a misguided effort to cook a whole hog’s head from her beloved, late grandmother’s recipe.
The author grew up in central Nebraska and earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in fiction writing from the University of Nebraska, a Master of Arts degree in literature from Boise State University and a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative nonfiction writing from Georgia College & State University.
After moving to Corpus Christi to join faculty with the College’s English and Philosophy Department, Lenz founded Writers’ Studio Corpus Christi, a community-based literary arts organization that offers free creative writing classes for writers at all skill levels. She also serves as the prose editor for the Switchgrass Review, which is a national journal of health, healing and transformation published annually by the Coastal Bend Wellness Foundation.
Lenz lives with her husband, who also teaches at Del Mar College, her son, three cats and 12 typewriters.
Del Mar College empowers students to achieve their dreams. We offer quality programs, individual attention, outstanding instruction through faculty with real-world experience and affordable costs to credit and noncredit students in Corpus Christi and the South Texas Coastal Bend area. Nationally recognized while locally focused, we’re ranked in the top two percent of community colleges in the country granting associate degrees to Hispanic students (Community College Week). Del Mar College focuses on offering our students programs that match current or emerging career opportunities. Whether students are interested in the fine arts, sciences, business, occupational or technical areas, students get the education they need for the future they want at Del Mar College.