Lisa Schamess

Consultant, Writer, and Teacher in Washington, DC

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Lisa Schamess is a writer of considerable range, spanning fiction, essay, and writing about urban and community affairs.

Her first novel, Borrowed Light, was published in 2002 by SMU Press and won that year’s Texas Institute of Letters prize for Best First Novel, along with a nomination for Best Novel of the Year from TIL. Borrowed Light was also a finalist for the Paterson Fiction Prize. She has published short stories and essays in Creative Nonfiction, TOSKA magazine, Defunct, welter, and The Antietam Review. Her columns on grief and family life appeared online at Beliefnet from 1999 through 2003. She is at work on Lucky Us, a memoir.

As a public policy writer, she has worked with the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech, National Vacant Properties Campaign, Center for Community Progress, Smart Growth America, the Ford Foundation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the American Institute of Architects, and The National Building Museum. Her areas of expertise include social justice in the context of post-industrial cities and transitioning economies, sustainable transportation, and the built environment.

Photo: American Visionary Art Museum exterior, Baltimore, Maryland. (c) Lisa Schamess, 2013.