top of page



LESLIE JILL PATTERSON's prose is forthcoming or has appeared in Kenyon Review, Fourth Genre, The Rumpus, Texas Monthly, Hotel Amerika, Hunger Mountainunder the gum tree, River Teeth, Brevity, Sweet, Gulf Coast, Colorado Review, Baltimore Review, Essay Daily, Bring the Noise: the best pop culture essays from Barrelhouse, A Harp in the Stars: An Anthology of Lyric Essays, and other journals and anthologies. Her awards include two Kimmel-Harding Nelson residencies; a Texas Commission on the Arts fellowship; an Embrey Human Rights Fellowship; the Everett Southwest Literary Award (judged by Lee K. Abbott); the Time and Place Prize in Brittany, France; the Prime Number Magazine Award in Short Fiction (judged by David Jauss); a Soros Justice Fellowship (funded by the Open Society Foundations in New York); the Able Muse Write Prize for Fiction (judged by Jill Alexander Essbaum); the Richard J. Margolis Prize for Social Justice Writing, and a 2018 Pushcart Prize. 


Patterson holds degrees from Oklahoma State University (PhD, Creative Writing), Texas A&M University (MA, Creative Writing), and Abilene Christian University (BA, English). 

In 1993, she joined the full-time faculty in the Creative Writing Program at Texas Tech University, where she founded and continues to edit Iron Horse Literary Review. She also served as copy editor for Creative Nonfiction from 2004-2019.


Today, she has a growing interest in social justice literature and works as the case storyteller for attorneys representing indigent men and women charged with capital murder and facing the death penalty in the state of Texas. Since the fall of 2009, Patterson has assisted defense teams on over forty capital murder cases.


She frequently teaches at CLE clinics on the use of storytelling and narrative law in criminal defense trials and habeas appeals. Seminars and presentations include events hosted by the ACLU; The Center for International and American Law in Dallas, Texas; Deep South Capital Defenders; the Federal Capital Habeas office in Las Vegas, Nevada; the Juvenile LWOP Sentencing Forum at the USC Gould School of Law; the national Federal Defender Capital Habeas Unit; the NAACP; the Legal Defense Fund; Scribes: The American Society of Legal Writers; the Southern Center for Human Rights; Southern Poverty Law Center; as well as public defender organizations in Alabama, California, Florida, Indiana, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Virginia.

She lives in Lubbock, Texas--except in the summer, when she lives in Chicago and the mountains of Colorado.

bottom of page