Dorsey Nunn with Lee Romney: "What Kind of Bird Can't Fly: A Memoir of Resilience & Resurrection"

Jul 1 2024 - 7:00pm


Join us on Monday, July 1st at 7pm at Pegasus Books Downtown as we celebrate prisoners' rights movement leader Dorsey Nunn's incredible new memoir from Heyday Books, What Kind of Bird Can't Fly: A Memoir of Resilience and Resurrection, together with co-writer and LA Times reporter Lee Romney. Pegasus is so excited to welcome Nunn and Romney for this special reading and conversation.

What Kind of Bird Can't Fly, featuring a Foreword by Michelle Alexander, shares Nunn's meteoric origin story, tracing how his time spent in prison became a catalyst for the nationwide movement he nurtured to restore dignity and justice to the currently and formerly incarcerated. Nunn is codirector of Legal Services for Prisoners with Children (LSPC), and cofounder of All of Us or None (AOUON), a grassroots movement of formerly incarcerated people working on their own behalf to secure their civil and human rights.

Books will be available for signing following reading and discussion. See you there!

More about the book:

“Whoever wants to assuage their doubts that radical change is possible—from the level of the individual to that of law, culture, and society—should make time to read Dorsey Nunn’s extraordinary memoir. Follow him and those with whom he makes community as they do the formidable work of transforming themselves, while fashioning a new world out of their tears and laughter where all—including those banished to prisons—are equally welcome.”

ANGELA DAVIS, political activist and author of Are Prisons Obsolete?Abolition Democracy, and Freedom is a Constant Struggle

Dorsey Nunn is one of the grand love warriors and freedom fighters of his generation! Don’t miss his powerful and poignant story of tragedy and triumph!”

CORNEL WEST, philosopher and author of Race Matters and Hope on a Tightrope: Words & Wisdom

Written with former LA Times reporter Lee RomneyWhat Kind of Bird Can’t Fly follows Dorsey Nunn’s story from his upbringing in East Menlo Park through lockdown in San Quentin to the purpose he found in the decades following his release. Detailing along the way the structures of oppression and sources of inspiration from which Nunn would derive his revolutionary political outlook, this memoir underscores the urgency of restoring and fortifying the civil rights of the currently and formerly imprisoned, from humane living conditions and fair pay inside to access to the presumption of rehabilitation upon completion of a sentence. Influenced by philosophies of the Black power tradition and informed by his own firsthand experiences, Nunn chronicles the traumas and triumphs of his life’s work uplifting the voices of those who have been dispossessed by the criminal legal system, including the campaign to shift public consciousness during the high watermark of the U.S.’ “tough-on-crime” policy era. Anchored throughout is Nunn’s commitment to combat systemic racism and to empower every human being coming out of cages to become the architects of their own liberation.

“The vital grassroots, movement-building work to which Dorsey has dedicated his life has touched and changed countless lives,” writes Michelle Alexander in her foreword to the book, “and demonstrated the brilliance, creativity, and resilience of the very people that our nation has treated as disposable.”

About the authors:

Dorsey Nunn began advocating for the rights of California prisoners and their families while incarcerated. As codirector of Legal Services for Prisoners with Children (LSPC), in 2003 he cofounded All of Us or None (AOUON), a grassroots movement of formerly incarcerated people working on their own behalf to secure their civil and human rights. AOUON is now the policy and advocacy arm of LSPC, which Nunn has led as executive director since 2011. Collective victories include ending indefinite solitary confinement in California, expanding access to housing and employment for formerly incarcerated people, and restoring the vote to those on parole and probation.

Lee Romney spent twenty-three years as a reporter at the Los Angeles Times, where she developed expertise in criminal justice and mental health. She is currently collaborating with a former public defender on the podcast November in My Soul.


Event address: 
2349 Shattuck Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704
What Kind of Bird Can't Fly: A Memoir of Resilience and Resurrection By Dorsey Nunn, Lee Romney (With), Michelle Alexander (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Dorsey Nunn, Lee Romney (With), Michelle Alexander (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9781597146326
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Heyday Books - April 30th, 2024

Event Category: 
Shattuck Location