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Photo of Leesa Cross-Smith, and book cover of So We Can Glow

Leesa Cross-Smith, So We Can Glow

From Kentucky to the California desert, these forty-two short stories expose the glossy and matte hearts of girls and women in moments of obsessive desire and fantasy, wildness and bad behavior, brokenness and fearlessness. “Leesa Cross-Smith is a consummate storyteller who uses her formidable talents to tell the oft-overlooked stories of people living in that great swath of place between the left and right coasts.” —Roxane Gay, author of Bad Feminist

The Oxford American is proud to conclude its 2019-2020 South Words readers series with Leesa Cross-Smith, author of So We Can Glow: Stories. Moderating the discussion is OA contributor and author of A Few Seconds of Radiant FilmstripKevin Brockmeier. Doors open at 6:00 PM, and there will be a book signing after the reading. Books will be for sale onsite.

This special event is free to attend.  Please reserve your RSVP tickets on this page.

Our Presenting Sponsor for South Words is the UCA College of Fine Arts & Communication, and the reading series is presented in partnership with the Central Arkansas Library System’s Six Bridges Book Festival. Additional season partners include the Clinton School of Public Service, Arkansas Arts Council, Department of Arkansas Heritage, and Villa Vue at SoMa.

Leesa Cross-Smith is a homemaker and writer from Kentucky. She is the author of Whiskey & Ribbons (Hub City Press, 2018) and Every Kiss a War (Mojave River Press, 2014) and the forthcoming short story collection So We Can Glow (Grand Central Publishing, 2020) and the forthcoming novel This Close To Okay (Grand Central Publishing, 2021.) Every Kiss a War was a finalist for both the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction (2012) and the Iowa Short Fiction Award (2012). Her short story “Whiskey & Ribbons” won Editor’s Choice in the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest (2011) and was listed as a notable story for South‘s Million Writers Award. The novel Whiskey & Ribbons was longlisted for the 2018 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and listed among Oprah Magazine’s “Top Books of Summer.” She was a consulting editor for Best Small Fictions 2017. Her work has appeared in Oxford AmericanBest Small Fictions 2015NYLONAlaska Quarterly ReviewPoets & WritersThe RumpusSmokeLong QuarterlyLittle FictionWigleaf Top 50Longform FictionCarve MagazineSynaesthesia MagazinePaper DartsHobartPithead ChapelGigantic SequinsFolioAmerican Short Fiction (online), Midwestern GothicJukedWord Riot, and many others. She and her husband Loran run a literary magazine called WhiskeyPaper.

Kevin Brockmeier is the author of three novels, two story collections, two children’s novels, and a memoir. His next book, The Ghost Variations: One Hundred Stories, is forthcoming in 2020. He lives in Little Rock, Arkansas.


Date and Time

March 31 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm