Lara Messersmith-Glavin is an editor, an essayist, and a storyteller. Her styles range from creative nonfiction about the commercial fishing industry in Alaska, radical politics, and magical realism to myths and bedtime stories for children.
She co-edited the anthology Life During Wartime: Resisting Counterinsurgency (AK Press: 2013), and edited Walidah Imarisha’s forthcoming book, Angels With Dirty Faces: Three Stories of Crime, Prison, and Redemption (AK Press: 2016).
She also serves on the editorial collective for Perspectives on Anarchist Theory, the journal of the Institute for Anarchist Studies. Lara’s essays can be seen in numerous publications in the US and abroad, including the piece “Aftershock,” which appeared in MaLa, the premier English-language journal in China, and for which she received the 2008 Chinalyst award for best travel writing. She also received a 2015 development grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council.
Lara performs prose and memoir at the annual Fisherpoets Gathering in Astoria, Oregon, and at a variety of other venues and festivals around the Pacific NW. Much of her work explores questions of memory and identity as it digs into her upbringing in the commercial fishing fleet of Kodiak, AK, with observations veering between the childlike and the corrupt.
Called by one reviewer “the Luc Sante of the Fisherpoets,” her work exposes the dark underbelly of power, sexuality, and class in the salmon industry, unearthing secrets both filthy and sublime. Due to her insistence on authentic language in her performances, she was recently banned from a prominent venue in Olympia, WA for obscenity, and for being just plain “offensive and loud.” She teaches developmental reading and writing at Portland Community College.