I’m a writer, audio producer, editor, and teacher living in Western Massachusetts.
My first book, The Country of the Blind: A Memoir at the End of Sight, about the world of blindness (and figuring out my place in it), was published in July 2023 by Penguin Press. You can find links to order a copy here.
If I have any readings, panels, or talks scheduled, you will find them at the link in this sentence; good web accessibility dictates that you should make the text of a link descriptive (as above) instead of just linking the word “here”–as a screen-reader user I appreciate this practice but as a writer of HTML I find it syntactically challenging.
Press inquiries can be directed to Juliana Kiyan at [email protected].
I wrote a web feature for the New Yorker about Protactile—a way of communicating through touch, a political movement for DeafBlind autonomy, and (some argue) a new language in a new modality—that’s radically transforming the lives of DeafBlind people across the U.S. This story won the 2023 Linguistic Journalism Award from the Linguistic Society of America.
I wrote about the complexities of acting blind on TV (and in my own life) for the New York Times Magazine. My writing has also appeared in the New York Review Daily, McSweeney’s Quarterly, the San Francisco Chronicle, BOMB magazine, the catalog for the 2014 Whitney Biennial, and elsewhere.
I’ve produced audio for a range of entities, including an interview with the DeafBlind poet John Lee Clark for the New Yorker Radio Hour; a story about disabled astronauts for Radiolab; and a story about reading technologies for the blind for 99 Percent Invisible.
From 2013–2019, I hosted and produced the Organist, an arts-and-culture podcast, for KCRW.
I’ve taught nonfiction writing, radio, and “digital storytelling” (?) at Smith College, UMass-Amherst, and the University of Missouri.
I’ve been an editor at the Believer since 2003, and I’ve edited books for McSweeney’s and Chronicle Books.
I have an email newsletter that I almost never use to send email updates about new writing.
My email address is aleland at gmail dot com.