Helen Elaine Lee (helee@mit.edu)

Helen Elaine Lee

Helen Elaine Lee is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. Her first novel, The Serpent's Gift, was published by Atheneum and her second novel, Water Marked, was published by Scribner. Her short story “Blood Knot” appeared in the spring 2017 issue of Ploughshares and the story “Lesser Crimes” appeared in the Winter 2016 issue of Callaloo. She recently finished The Unlocked Room, a novel about a group of people who are incarcerated in two neighboring U.S. prisons and the woman who comes to teach them poetry as she searches for her lost brother, and Pomegranate, a novel about a recovering addict who gets out of prison and strives to stay clean and get her kids back. Stories from The Unlocked Room have appeared in Callaloo, Prairie Schooner, Hanging Loose, Best African American Fiction 2009 (Bantam Books), and www.solsticelitmag.org. Helen was on the board of PEN New England for ten years, and she served on its Freedom to Write Committee and volunteered with its Prison Creative Writing Program, which she helped to start. She has written about the experience of teaching creative writing in prison in a New York Times Book Review essay, “Visible Men”. She is currently the Director of MIT’s Program in Women’s & Gender Studies.