Bard Events Calendar

Sandra Allen

Written Arts Program Presents

Monday, March 26, 2018
A Reading by Sandra Allen
László Z. Bitó '60 Conservatory Building
7:00 pm
The author reads from their book, A Kind of Mirraculas Paradise: A True Story about Schizophrenia

On Monday, March 26, at 7 p.m. in the László Z. Bitó '60 Conservatory Performance Space, Sandra Allen will read from their book, A Kind of Mirraculas Paradise: A True Story about Schizophrenia. The reading will be followed by a Q&A and is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are required. 

In 2009, writer Sandra Allen got something in the mail from their uncle Bob. It was his autobiography, typed on 60 pages in all-capital letters. Bob was a self-described "hermit" who lived in a Californian desert. Allen didn't know him well. On the phone, he said he wanted to get his story "out there" because it was "true." In A Kind of Mirraculas Paradise: A True Story about Schizophrenia, Allen shares Bob's story with the world. AKOMP is written in two fonts. In one, Allen tells their uncle Bob's life story faithfully to his account—animating his childhood and teenage years in tumultuous late-'60s Berkeley, California. His world was changed irrevocably when one day, at age 16, he was driven to a mental hospital, locked in a cell, and injected with antipsychotics. In a second font, Allen interlaces familial, historical, and medical contexts, seeking especially to better understand the "label" Bob received: "psychotic paranoid schizophrenic." The result is an utterly unique and electrifying work, one poised to change conversation about schizophrenia and about mental illness generally.

"Thrilling writing . . . The interest and the quality of the story make honesty about each aspect of this strange life worth including. . . . A watershed in empathetic adaptation of 'outsider' autobiography." —The New Republic

Sandra Allen grew up in Northern California, studied nonfiction writing at Brown, and received an MFA from the University of Iowa's Nonfiction Writing Program. In 2009, they cofounded the digital literary quarterly Wag's Revue, which they ran for many years until its final issue in 2015. From 2013 to 2015, they were deputy features editor at Buzzfeed News. Allen's own features and essays have appeared in Pop-Up Magazine, BuzzFeed News, and elsewhere, and are forthcoming in Pacific Standard and them. They live in the Catskills and are non-binary (pronouns she/them). More at

For more information, call 845-752-4454, e-mail,
or visit

Time: 7:00 pm

Location: László Z. Bitó '60 Conservatory Building