Nancy Hightower is an award winning author, editor, and college teacher. She has published short fiction, nonfiction, and poetry in journals such as Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Heavy Feather Review, storySouth, Sundog Lit, Entropy, Gargoyle, Prick of the Spindle, and Word Riot. Her novel, Elementarí Rising (2013) received a starred review in Library Journal and was chosen as Debut of the Month. In October 2015, Port Yonder Press published The Acolyte, her first collection of poetry that rediscovers myth and ritual through a surreal, feminist interpretation of biblical narratives. Kinds of Leaving, her short story collection, was shortlisted for the Flann O’Brien Award for Innovative Fiction in 2014.
She has guest curated readings for HIP Lit, St. Peter’s Chelsea, and the Hi-Fi Reading Series, bringing in writers such asCarmen Machado, Alice Kim, , Brendan Kiely, David Burr Gerard, and Mensah Demary. From 2014-2016 she was the science fiction and fantasy reviewer for The Washington Post and for much of 2016 was cohost for the live literary journal Liars’ League NYC with Andrew Lloyd Jones. Currently, she is working on a book about digital fictions with Paul D. Miller (aka DJ Spooky) as well as a memoir about growing up in the evangelical South, and is on the board of directors for Epiphany Magazine.
“In The Acolyte, Hightower reimagines the lives of biblical figures, particularly women, so that they stand out in unexpected beauty and strangeness. Vivid, uncompromising, and saturated with spiritual longing, these poems offer both a critique of our old readings of the Bible, and a passionate series of new ones.” — Sofia Samatar, author of A Stranger in Olondria
“Hightower’s collection moves elegantly between the mythic and the personal, plumbing her distinctive taste for the surreal and the feminine. It’s spiritual, questioning and provocative, often roaring with a primal urgency.” –Bryan Thao Worra, author of Demonstra
“In The Acolyte, Hightower writes with fury and fervor, weaving between a personal, contemporary narrative and ancient voices of the Bible which rise from the page in raw wildness…These poems bring words to the hardest darknesses. Like the sleepers in ‘Insomnia,’ they are full to the brim/ with nightfall. –Sally Rosen Kindred, author of Book of Astors