ALYSSA, Writer

Writing  •   performance   •   travel  


I'm happy to host artists, show them around the neighborhood, and take advantage of the amazing cafe culture here for creative conversations.




Maximum 2 guests.
+ € 10 per Extra Guest.
Responds within 24hrs.


My husband and I live in a lovely artistic apartment that is very spacious, clean and bright. The apartment is a split level, with our bedroom downstairs so you have a good amount of privacy outside of the common living space. Many paintings done by our landlady decorate the space, giving it an inspiring quality. Your bedroom would be her former studio space in the apartment. We are a 15-minute walk to the bottom of Montmartre, nearby cool areas like Republique and Belleville, and very close to transit.

The neighborhood is very convenient with lots of options for food (everything from typical French cafes to cheap Indian food), pharmacies, grocery stores (a Franprix is right around the corner). There is a historic indoor gran marché by several cafes a few minutes from the apartment. If you want a gym or a pool, those are also easily accessible and cheaply priced for a day or two of use. The neighborhood is lively and diverse. It is not a touristy area, but it's very easy to access other parts of the city through our metro.



✓ Wi-Fi
✓ No smoking allowed
✓ No pets allowed
✓ Towels

✓ Hair dryer
✓ Clothes washer
✓ Ironing set



I'm a creative nonfiction writer who loves telling stories out loud. My writing is published or forthcoming in Calyx, PANK, Talking Writing, Creative Nonfiction (Magazine), Queen Mob’s Teahouse, Nine Lives: A Life In 10 Minutes Anthology, and elsewhere. My essay "Don't Borrow Trouble" was listed as "Notable" in The Best American Essays 2015. 

I've performed my stories internationally and around Chicago including for 2nd Story, StoryClub, and You’re Being Ridiculous at venues such as City Winery and Steppenwolf Theatre. I also developed interactive performance pieces including "ScreamCoach" and "How to Be a Lady (with Pictures)", and performed them in various festivals and venues such as Latitude Festival (UK), the Young Vic (UK), and THAW (Links Hall- Chicago). 

My partner Dan and I recently finished traveling the world for 10 months, and we now live in Paris. While I run an Airbnb out of our guest room, I'm also extremely interested in hosting artists. I recently fundraised over $2000 to bring an artist from Chicago to Paris for a private writing residency in our apartment. I love working with artists of all kinds and have collaborated across disciplines. I've also coached artists of multiple disciplines in arts integration work, and have extensive experience as a teaching artist. 

Some other things I love are cats, writing (duh), intersectional feminism (double duh), windows that frame trees, cats again, cooking for large groups of people, my dead mother, tattoos, and women.

As a creative nonfiction writer, I interrogate the meaning and expectations of gender roles and sexuality, the significance and impact of familial relationships, and the effect of trauma on the mind. I am particularly drawn to experimental and flash forms of creative nonfiction that disrupt the traditional narrative telling. Through these forms, I capture a visceral sense of trauma or intensity, using other types of information such as journal entries, lists, interviews, etc. to balance the story’s emotional impact. In some cases, this outside information allows me to integrate humor and absurdity into the story, providing lightness and juxtaposition for the reader, and with it, a renewed energy to dig deeper into challenging narratives.

Regarding performance, I've gravitated most towards two avenues: live literary performance (live lit) and performance art, because they are interactive and collaborative. My live lit teeth were cut in Chicago's scene, and the process has become foundational in my artistic practice. Live lit is an outlet for writing that wants to have an immediate impact and palpable connection with its audience. It helps me continuously generate writing because of performance deadlines, and often I work in collaboration with a director to refine both the content and performative aspects of the piece. I prefer performing live lit from the page (as opposed to memorized or oral telling) because it keeps me focused and connected to the written word.

At the center of the work is a community of artists who deeply believe in the transformational power of storytelling, and want to disrupt and dismantle the dominant narratives in our society that exclude anyone who is not a cis-het, able-bodied and mind white male. The live lit I support amplifies the voices and stories of women, youth, people of color, LGBTQIA folks, the differently abled, and others at a cross-section of multiple identities and marginalized lives. 

My performance art pieces are few but mighty. And really fun. As I tend to tackle more serious content in my live lit practice, my performance art is a chance to engage the audience in a completely different way. I use humor and high energy and get people physically involved in the content onstage. Performance art is not my primary medium which makes me feel freer to play and experiment. While I recognize these elements are essential in all parts of my practice, they are easier for me to access from within the performance art modality. Thus, I am able to nurture a love of play and experimentation that replenishes my writing and live lit practices.