About Lisa

Lisa Birnbaum, Associate Professor of English at the University of Tampa, is the author of the novel Worthy, published in May 2016 by Dzanc Books.

Her work in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and spoken word performance has been supported by numerous grants and writers’ residencies. Her writing has appeared in such journals as Connecticut Review, Puerto del Sol, Quarter After Eight, and Kestrel. She has been a resident fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and her spoken word performances have been featured at a variety of festivals. For many years, she served as a fiction editor at Tampa Review and at the University of Tampa Press.




Widow, mother, bigamist, “former” con artist— Ludmila, a.k.a. Worthy, now manages a failing strip club in Tampa.




In Lisa Birnbaum’s Worthy, once we climb aboard the angular poetry of Ludmila’s acquired language, her story claims us with its vivid parade of tribulations; it’s often like a traveling game of musical chairs as her pretty options diminish—and then sometimes re-appear! Key is that the setbacks do not set her back for long. She is a heroine worthy of the old school—retaining her stamina and optimism as she confronts every obstacle in her American education.
— Ron Carlson, author of Return to Oakpine

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