Leigh Gallagher is a fiction writer and teacher currently living in Los Angeles. She holds a BA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University and an MFA from the University of Michigan, where she was a Helen Zell Postgraduate Fellow and a Hopwood Award winner. Her work has appeared in the journals American Short Fiction, Beloit Fiction, Cutbank and Salt Hill, as well as in a number of alternative formats through projects with artists, curators, and musicians. Recent contributions include the text for an artist catalogue with painter Paul Wackers, a short-story-as-album insert with musicians Alexis Georgopoulos and Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, and the lyric essay “Night Reading” forthcoming in the Reading Room anthology (Dispersed Holdings, New York). She has been awarded residencies at the Lighthouse Works on Fishers Island, Wassaic Project, Ox-Bow, the Studios of Key West, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico, and Marble House Project.
Embracing curriculum design and community engagement as an extension of her practice, Leigh has led workshops through the non-profits InsideOut Detroit, the Front Street Writers in Traverse City, and Room Project Detroit, and has worked as a writing instructor at the University of Michigan, the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, and the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth.
She is currently at work on a novel that asks how storytelling affects perception, empathy, and intimacy. Through interlocking narratives of abuse and its aftermath, stories-inside-stories explore dichotomies of power and vulnerability, guilt and innocence, and the real vs. the unimaginable. Under the influence of writers like Clarice Lispector, Joy Williams, Anne Carson and many others, she’s interested in prose that magnifies sensation and utilizes syntax to bear close witness to all the comedy and tragedy of the human interior.
She is not the Leigh Gallagher who wrote the Airbnb book.