Literary Arts Institute Lectures

Kendra Allen: Public Reading and Conversation

Document Type


Publication Date


Sponsoring Department(s)

Literary Arts Institute


Kendra Allen was born and raised in Dallas, Texas and has been making a name for herself in the literary world despite her relatively recent entry. In 2018, she won the Iowa Prize for Literary Nonfiction with her debut essay collection, When You Learn the Alphabet (University of Iowa Press, 2019) which delves into issues of racism and identity. Allen's most recent publication, Fruit Punch, a Memoir (Harper Collins, August 9, 2022) is an arresting and one-of-a-kind memoir about the alternately exultant and harrowing trip growing up as a Black child desperate to create a clear reality for herself in this country. She has also received praise for her debut poetry publication, The Collection Plate (Ecco, 2019). Allen is the voice of a generation—and a witness to how we come into being in the twenty-first century.

Streaming Media