Born and raised in South Central Los Angeles, Lawrence Welsh lives in El Paso, Texas. A first generation Irish American and award-winning journalist and essayist, Welsh has published 12 books of poetry, including Begging for Vultures: New and Selected Poems, 1994-2009 (University of New Mexico Press). Now in a second printing, this collection won the New Mexico-Arizona Book Award. It was also named a Notable Book by Southwest Books of the Year and a finalist for both the PEN Southwest Book Award and the Writers’ League of Texas Book Award. In 2018, the University of New Mexico Press published Cutting the Wire: Photographs and Poetry from the U.S.-Mexico Border, a collaboration with Ray Gonzalez and Bruce Berman. This book won the 2019 Southwest Book Award from the Border Regional Library Association and was a finalist for the New Mexico-Arizona Book Award. It was also named a Southwest book of the Year by the Pima County Library system in Tucson. A winner of the Bardsong Press Celtic Voice Writing Award in Poetry and the 2017 Pen World magazine Montegrappa essay competition, Welsh is an English professor at El Paso Community College. He’s also lectured, read and taught at a wide range of universities and institutions, including UCLA, New Mexico State University, the University of Texas at El Paso, the University of Missouri-St. Louis, Murray State University and the University College Cork in Ireland. His journalism awards include the Society of Professional Journalists Bill Farr Reporting Award, the Copley Los Angeles Newspapers Award, The Jessie Steensma Endowment Scholarship, and the Women in Communications Endowment Award. In 2011, Irish America magazine in New York City named him one of the “Top 100 Irish Americans” of the year. In 1987, he received The Society of Professional Journalists/Sigma Delta Chi Outstanding Graduating Journalist Award from California State University, Long Beach. In 1979, he co-founded The Alcoholics, the L.A. punk rock band. As part of its Punk Archive Series, Sahlugg Records of Los Angeles in 2017 released East of Sepulveda: 1979-1982, a retrospective of the band’s studio and live cuts.
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