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Lorene Cary

Lorene Cary was graduated from St. Paul’s School in 1974 and received B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Pennsylvania in 1978. She won a Thouron Fellowship for British-U.S. student exchange and studied at Sussex University. She has received Doctorates in Humane Letters from Colby College in Maine, Keene State College in New Hampshire, Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia, Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pa., and Arcadia University in Glenside, Pa.

In 1998 Lorene Cary founded Art Sanctuary, a unique non-profit lecture and performance series that brings black thinkers and artists to speak and perform at the Church of the Advocate, a National Historic Landmark Building in North Philadelphia; a diverse audience of 10,000 participates each year.

Currently a senior lecturer in creative writing at the University of Pennsylvania, where she was a 1998 recipient of the Provost’s Award for Distinguished Teaching, Cary has lectured throughout the U.S. She began writing as an apprentice at Time in 1980, then worked as an Associate Editor at TV Guide, served as Contributing Editor for Newsweek in 1993 and freelanced for such publications as Essence, O Magazine, and Mirabella .

In 2003, Cary received the Philadelphia Award, a Philadelphia Historical Society Founder’s Medal for History in Culture; in 1999. She’s received writing fellowships from Pew Fellowship in the Arts Fellowship and the Leeway Foundation and residencies at Yaddo and Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Italy. She serves on the usage Panel for The American Heritage Dictionary and the Union Benevolent Association board. Cary is a member of PEN and the Author’s Guild. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband, Robert C. Smith, and daughters Laura and Zoe.

Philadelphia Mayor Nutter on Oct 10th, 2011 named Lorene Cary to the five-member governing body of the Philadelphia School District - a group dogged by controversy in recent months for backroom deals and a $629 million budget gap.

Learn more at Lorene Cary’s official website


5 Books by Lorene Cary






Black Power Line










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