HTS Book Cover

How to Sit

Tyrese L. Coleman’s debut collection of stories and essays, How to Sit, was published by Mason Jar Press in 2018 and nominated for a 2019 PEN Open Book Award.

“How do you pick your mom up from jail? How do you mourn the death of your grandmother, who was both a powerfully seductive and vital force in your life, but at the same time, awful and tragic? How do you wait three months for your premature twin babies to get out of the NICU without going mad from fear and guilt? With a strong voice that is at times sparse and direct, at other times poetic and knowing, Tyrese Coleman confronts these and other questions in this beautiful debut collection, How to Sit. In these stories and essays, she uncovers a paradoxical truth: that sometimes it’s the more difficult things that you can face with surprising bravery and it’s the things that are supposed to come “easy” that are the hardest to learn. How to Sit is, at root, a reflection on how to live. How to both accept and transcend your past. Coleman excavates her personal history, sometimes in stories handed down from past generations, sometimes in DNA results, and she discovers that it’s the act of writing itself that can free her from her family, her guilt, maybe even herself. For Coleman, there is ‘no way to escape except to live her own fiction.’”

—David Olimpio, Author of This Is Not a Confession


Works in Progress

Tyrese is seeking representation for a literary and/or upmarket romance novel that follows the relationship between two cousins through marriage who fall in love as teenagers and are now suddenly unencumbered with the tie that binds them. Will family and past heartache continue to keep them apart now that they are no longer related? Set in a rural Southern town, this novel explores not only love and family, but race, class and social upheaval.
She is also working on two other collections and a literary hybrid focusing on a slave experimented on by famed gynecologist, Marion Simms.