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November 26 @ 2:30 pm

A Room of One’s Own welcomes MELISSA FALIVENO and K. IVER for a conversation on SEX AND THE SINGLE WOMAN.
About Sex and the Single Woman:
A feminist anthology inspired by legendary Cosmopolitan editor Helen Gurley Brown’s Sex and the Single Girl, featuring twenty-four new essays on the triumphs and heartbreaks of modern singlehood. Sixty years ago, Helen Gurley Brown’s Sex and the Single Girl sent shockwaves through the United States, selling more than two million copies in three weeks. Helen’s message was radical for its time: marriage wasn’t essential for women to lead rich, fulfilling lives.
Now, in these critical, wry, and expansive essays, twenty-four writers reconsider Helen’s advice and how it applies to their own paths, fielding topics that she couldn’t—or wouldn’t—conceive of in 1962: contraception and abortion (an omission demanded by her publisher), queer and trans womanhood, polyamory, celibacy, interracial dating, bodies of all kinds, consent, sex work, IVF, and the pop culture that both saves and fails us.
Eliza Smith and Haley Swanson’s revisionist anthology honors Brown’s irreverent spirit while also validating our modern experiences of singlehood, encouraging us all to reclaim joy where it’s so often been denied.
MELISSA FALIVENO is the author of the essay collection TOMBOYLAND, which was named a Best Book of 2020 by NPR, the New York Public Library, O, the Oprah Magazine, and Electric Literature, and received a 2021 award for outstanding literary achievement from the Wisconsin Library Association. Her essays and interviews have appeared in Esquire, Paris Review, Bitch, Ms., Lit Hub, Brooklyn Rail, and Prairie Schooner, among others, and received a notable selection in Best American Essays. The former senior editor of Poets & Writers Magazine, she was the 2020–21 Kenan Visiting Writer at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and is currently a visiting assistant professor of English at Kenyon College. You can find her online at
K. IVER is a nonbinary trans poet from Mississippi. Their poems have appeared in Boston Review, Gulf Coast, Puerto del Sol, Salt Hill, TriQuarterly, The Adroit, and elsewhere. Their book Short Film Starring My Beloved’s Red Bronco won the 2022 Ballard Spahr Prize for Poetry and is forthcoming from Milkweed Editions. Iver is the 2021-2022 Ronald Wallace Fellow for Poetry at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. They have a Ph.D. in Poetry from Florida State University.


August 12
6:00 pm
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A Room of One’s Own
315 W. Gorham St.
Madison, WI 53703 United States
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