about & events

Lorene Cary’s new play, My General Tubman, imagines the iconic freedom fighter showing up in a contemporary Philadelphia prison, looking for men to fight with her---and finding one who wants more. The world premiere at the Arden Theater in Philadelphia runs from January through March 2020. Harriet, time travel, love, war, iambic pentameter, prison, Universoul Circus. It's theater! Coming? Use code: carytubman10 (no spaces) to get $10 off individual tickets online. Click here for group ticket sales.


Cary's recent memoir, Ladysitting: My Year with Nana at the End of Her Century, from W.W. Norton Books, published to stunning reviews. It's also available as an audiobook recording, and comes out in paperback in June 2020. 


As a resident in American Lyric Theater’s Composer & Librettist Development Program, Cary wrote a libretto that takes off from Ladysitting. Composer Liliya Ugay set a lyrical score and produced her own recording. The one-act opera is titled The Gospel According to Nana.  Cary and Ugay have begun work on an opera called Robeson in Concert.

Cary’s non-fiction includes her best-selling memoir Black Ice and a collection of stories for young readers titled Free! Great Escapes from Slavery on the Underground Railroad. Having started her career on staff at mass market mags--TIME, TV Guide, and Newsweek--she continues to write articles. Her blogs appear on Medium.com. Novels include The Price of a Child, chosen as the first One Book One Philadelphia offering;  Pride; and If Sons, Then Heirs. Cary has written scripts for videos at The President's House exhibit on Independence Mall in Philadelphia, which tells the stories of nine enslaved Africans in the household of President Washington.


For 20 years Cary has taught fiction and non-fiction at the University of Pennsylvania, in the Departments of English and Africana Studies; she's twice received the Provost’s Award for Distinguished Teaching, most recently in 2017.  She invites her students to publish on SafeKidsStories.com, which she created to focus on children’s safety and wholeness. That project spawned #VotethatJawn, a project that worked with passionate youth and educators to help double youth registration in Philadelphia in 2018. Contact Cary to join the the 2020 reboot, starting with #TrendThatJawn on March 25th.


In 1998 Cary founded Art Sanctuary to enrich urban Philadelphia with the excellence of black arts. To create an intentional transition, she stepped down as director in 2012. She served as president of the Union Benevolent Association; and, from 2011-2013, and as a member of Philadelphia's School Reform Commission, where, as chair of the Safety Committee, she worked to eliminate zero-tolerance punishments for children.


Other honors include: The Philadelphia Award, and honorary doctorates from Swarthmore, Muhlenberg, Colby, and Keene State Colleges, and Arcadia and Gwynedd Mercy Universities. 

Jane Dystel, of Dystel, Goodrich, and Bourret, has been a great literary agent and friend since before Black Ice. 

Jodi Solomon's speakers' bureau schedules my lectures: fast and friendly!

. . . More? Read and download:

Upcoming events: Please join me!

At the Rosenbach with Terry Nolen
The Rosenbach
Radio Times LIVE


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