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 writing personal narrative. 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 studied creative writing 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 and social privilege—is the subject of her third book and memoir-in-progress, The Right to Remain.
Paige is the author of two books: Work Hard, Not Smart: How to Make a Messy Literary Life, a craft memoir-in-essays about neurodivergent creativity; and Not a Place on Any Map, a collection of flash essays about the geography of trauma and addiction—both published by Vine Leaves Press. Her essays “Common Purple Lilac” and “The Right to Remain” appeared as Notables in The Best American Essays series. Paige’s work also appears in many journals and anthologies, including Longform, Hippocampus, Fourth Genre, The Pinch, and on Brevity, where she was an Assistant Editor from 2013-2019. Winner of the New Millennium Nonfiction Prize, four-time Pushcart Prize nominee, and twice a top-ten finalist in Glamour Magazine’s essay contest, Paige holds an MA in Poetry from San Francisco State University and an MFA in nonfiction from the University of Southern Maine.
Additionally, Paige is the Nonfiction Aquisitions Editor for Vine Leaves Press, and she lectures and teaches widely on writing, writing craft, and social justice issues. Assistant Professor of English at Vermont Technical College, she also served as writer-in-residence at Bay Path University, and as visiting artist at Saint Lawrence University. Alexis writes and edits from a converted farmhouse pantry in Vermont, where she lives with her husband and a rotating cast of rescue animals.