Sandy Ernest Allen is an author, essayist, speaker, teacher, farmer, and sourdough bread baker. Their writing and speaking focuses on dismantling oppressive constructs of normalcy, especially to do with madness and gender.
Their first book, A KIND OF MIRRACULAS PARADISE was initially published by Scribner in 2018 (paperback 2019). A formally innovative work of radical hybrid nonfiction, AKOMP was published to critical acclaim, including being named one of the best nonfiction books of the year by Esquire. It became the first book published in the French language to feature a gender neutral pronoun in the author's bio.
Sandy has published numerous reported features, essays and radio stories for outlets such as 99% Invisible, BuzzFeed News, Pop-Up Magazine, Guernica, Lit Hub, Gay Magazine and Mad in America and them.
Sandy hosts the podcast Mad Chat, which they co-created with producer Lee Mengistu. On it, Sandy unpacks our pop culture's messages about madness / mental health.
Sandy is originally from a small beach town in northern California. They studied nonfiction writing at Brown University and received their MFA from the University of Iowa's Nonfiction Writing Program. They previously co-founded and ran the online-only literary quarterly Wag's Revue. From 2013-2015, they were the Deputy Features Editor of BuzzFeed News. Sandy has taught nonfiction writing and literary analysis in a variety of contexts to a variety of people, from teenagers to retirees (most recently, they taught for Catapult).
They've received such recognition as an 11th Hour-UC Berkeley Food & Farming reporting fellowship and a residency at the MacDowell Colony.
Sandy is nonbinary and trans. They live in the Catskills with their husband, too many cats, a dog named Saturn (as in the Stevie Wonder song) and an ever-expanding number of garden beds.
Here's a photo of Sandy holding a gigantic potato they grew