HarperCollins Speakers Bureau

Beth Lisick

Humorist, Performer, and New York Times Best-Selling Author


  • Helping Me Help Myself: A Year on the Brink of the Comfort Zone
  • Everyone Has a Story: The Art of Personal Storytelling
  • The D.I.Y. Artist: You Too Can Make a Film, Write a Book, or Start a Band



Beth Lisick is a writer, performer, and cultural observer from the San Francisco Bay Area. Her books include the New York Times best-selling comic memoir Everybody Into the Pool and the gonzo self-help manifesto Helping Me Help Myself:One Skeptic, Ten Self-Help Gurus, and a Year on the Brink of the Comfort Zone, as well as two collections of early performance writing, Monkey Girl and This Too Can Be Yours. In her new best-seller Helping Me Help Myself, she takes the plunge into the multi-billion-dollar self-help industry in a genuine attempt to improve every aspect of her life, and reports on her sometimes enlightening, sometimes painful, often hilarious experiences throughout her year-long journey. Lisick has recently been featured on CBS News Up to the Minute and NPR’s Morning Edition and Talk of the Nation, and in Entertainment Weekly.

Regarded as a leader in the spoken word movement, Lisick began her arts career in a bar at a poetry reading. Performing her written work from memory, she became a favorite on the San Francisco literary scene, opening for Allen Ginsberg, Neil Young, and touring with the Lollapalooza rock festival. One of her early poems, Empress of Sighs, made history when it became the first poem ever performed at a National Poetry Slam to be selected for the Best American Poetry anthology.

As the front person for the band the Beth Lisick Ordeal and member of the groundbreaking all-women spoken word show Sister Spit, she logged many miles on tours of the country’s most colorful bars, clubs, and living rooms, and landed an opening slot at the Lilith Fair, all while holding down a job as a weekly nightlife columnist for SF Gate, the website of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Lisick has appeared as an actor in films screened at the New York Film Festival, the Rotterdam International Film Festival, and on the PBS program Independent Lens. Her own short films, co-created with writer/performer Tara Jepsen, have toured extensively, screening at festivals worldwide. Porchlight, her monthly series for amateur storytellers, has been running on San Francisco stages for six years

A proponent of populist art and literature, Lisick is an experimenter extraordinaire and always an engaging speaker. Lisick lives in Berkeley, California with her husband and son.

Praise for Helping Me Help Myself

“Wildly funny… a cross between David Sedaris and Susan Orlean.”

— Seattle Times

“[Helping Me Help Myself is] a witty, disarmingly earnest account of the year [Lisick] spent test-driving renowned self-help franchises.”

Entertainment Weekly

“Beth Lisick is the funniest woman writing books today. Someone should start a self-help program that consists of reading her twice a day. I know I’m a happier person.”
—Mary Roach, author of Spook and Stiff

“A delightful, Plimptonesque exercise in immersive journalism... It is to the reader’s great benefit that Lisick is: 1) a mess, 2) cynical and horrified of cheesiness, and 3 ) effortlessly funny...palpable and highly amusing... sharp, irreverent and endearingly screwed-up... funny, perceptive and surprisingly open-hearted under the cynicism.”
Kirkus Reviews

Praise for Everybody into the Pool

“Lisick’s a wickedly sharp, poetically captivating storyteller, always fresh, and super-entertaining.”
—Po Bronson, author of What Should I Do with My Life?

“Wickedly funny.”
—Dave Eggers

“Lisick has learned to get the audience on her side through heaping portions of self-deprecating humor.”
San FranciscoChronicle Book Review