Celebrating BWOC Successes

Since June 2020, we’ve kept a running list of the breadth of published books, essays, poetry, plays, zines, and more by writers in the Boston Writers of Color group. Congratulations to all for the many successes below and be sure to check back as we’ll be updating this list monthly with more good news. 

Please note: If you’re a member of the Boston Writers of Color group and want your good news added to this list, please email [email protected].

DECEMBER 2020

Lisa Braxton’s novel The Talking Drum received the 2020 Best Indie Book Award from Shelf Unbound Magazine. Frugal Bookstore’s owners Leonard and Clarrissa Egerton were interviewed on The Drew Barrymore Show and are featured in Drew's Little Yellow Book of Small Businesses Gift Guide. Bettye Kearse’s memoir The Other Madisons: The Lost History of a President's Black Family was featured in Smithsonian Magazine’s “The Ten Best History Books of 2020” list.

Angie Chatman’s essay "Ode to Pound Cake", published in Pangyrus, is nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Additionally, her essay “American, Not Blonde” was published in The Rumpus. Theresa Okokon’s essay “Me Llamo Theresa,” published in Hippocampus Magazine, is nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Shirley Jones Luke’s poem “Drumming Season,” published in Wordpeace Journal, is nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

Linda Chavers’ piece "How Black women are undermined at work — and what to do about it" was published in The Boston Globe Magazine. Amanda Shea’s poetry film “RESILIENCE” is now available to view on YouTube. She is also the newest board member at MassPoetry. Jacquinn Sinclair’s review "New Repertory Theatre's 'Showstopper' Series Lives Up To Its Name With Two New Online Plays" was published in WBUR’s The ARTery.

Margo Gabriel's story on her move to Portugal was published in Byline Baddie. Nancy Johnson’s novel The Kindest Lie made The Every Girl’s list of “The 10 Most Anticipated Novels to Read This Winter.” It was also included in Marie Claire’s list of “Highly-Anticipated 2021 Book Releases.” Desmond Hall’s novel Your Corner Dark made Buzzfeed’s “2021 YA Books We're Looking Forward To Getting Our Hands On” list.  Arielle Gray’s piece "This Boston Mushroom Hunter Is Reclaiming The Forest And Teaching Food Autonomy" was published in WBUR’s The ARTery. Additionally, her piece “Keke Palmer Responds to Backlash Over Her EBT Card Comments” was published in Glamour Magazine.

NOVEMBER 2020

Candace McDuffie’s debut book, 50 Rappers Who Changed The World, is out now. Desmond Hall’s debut novel, Your Corner Dark, is now available for pre-order. Tanushree Baidya’s piece "We Married During The Pandemic. Now My Husband Is Getting To Know My Parents In India, Via FaceTime" was published in WBUR’s Cognoscenti.

Leslie-Ann Murray’s article, featuring Grace Talusan, "‘Everyone is grieving on some level’: Author Grace Talusan writes about the life of an essential worker" was published in Boston.com. Joanna Kim’s short fiction piece “So Pretty” was published in Hyphen Magazine. Jacquinn Sinclair’s theatre review "The Aspirations Of Undocumented Immigrants Meet At Company One's 'Downtown Crossing” was published in WBUR’s The ARTery. Mee Ok’s first piece of flash nonfiction "Bespoke" was published in The Cincinnati Review.

Amanda Shea’s poetry films “FACETIME” and “ENTANGLED” are now available to view on YouTube. Arielle Gray’s piece “‘Girlfriends’ Showed Us What a Toxic Friendship Looks Like” was published in Zora. Pınar Yaşar’s poems “After” and “Baba” were published in Tinderbox Poetry Journal. David W. Janey’s poem “precinct #2” was published in the Features Blog of Solstice Literary Magazine.

Ciera Burch recently signed a two-book deal. Her debut YA novel, The Inevitability of Home, is slated for publication in Winter 2023. Co-Founders and Editors Y-Binh Nguyen and Gladys Wangeci Gitau-Damaskos on their launch of Exposed Brick Literary Magazine, “a curation of quality writing and design, archiving the essence of authentic expression, started by young creatives in Lawrence, MA.”

Congratulations to 2020 Lit Up host Bethany Van Delft, Grubby Award Winner Celeste Ng, and all of the Lit Up performers Camarah Oates, Eddie Maisonet, and Kaija Langley for being a part of our annual fundraising Gala! You can view the highlights here.

OCTOBER 2020

Heloiza Barbosa launched her new bilingual podcast, Faxina Podcast, and was featured in “In a new podcast, Boston’s Brazilian house cleaners share stories ‘swept under the rug’” in The Boston Globe. Jacquinn Sinclair’s article "11 Places To Help Satisfy A Thirst For Theater This Fall Despite The Pandemic" was published in WBUR’s The Artery. Hassan Ghanny’s article "617Sessions compilation brings out the best of Boston’s indie scene" was published in The Boston Globe

Arielle Gray’s first piece in print, “How to Disrupt the Whiteness of Boston Philanthropy, One Dollar at a Time,” was published in Boston Magazine. Dariel Suarez’s debut novel, The Playwright's House, is now available for pre-order. Nancy Johnson’s debut novel, The Kindest Lie, is now available for pre-order. Tatiana Johnson-Boria’s poem “my father hums and for the first time this is art” was nominated for 2021 Best of the Net Anthology.

SEPTEMBER 2020

Autumn Allen is the recipient of the 2020-2021 Writer-in-Residence fellowship from Associates of the Boston Public Library. E. Dolores Johnson’s memoir Say I'm Dead: A Family Memoir of Race, Secrets, and Love was awarded the Outstanding Literary Award at the National Association of Black Journalists’ 2020 Convention.

Vick Breedy’s novel Selfish Women's Group is now available for purchase. Linda Chavers’s four-part poem "onethreetwofivefoursixGO!" was published in Spork Press. Leslie-Ann Murray’s essay "Dearest Tayari" was published in Poets & WritersElizabeth Anne’s essay “In Support of Cardi B’s WAP” was published on Medium.

AUGUST 2020

Mitchka Herard’s debut children’s book, TJ’s Island Adventures, is now available for pre-order. Candace McDuffie’s debut book, 50 Rappers Who Changed The World, is now available for pre-order. Hassan Ghanny’s article "Six Boston hip-hop artists in this moment: on music, activism, and maintaining momentum", also featuring Amanda Shea, was published in The Boston Globe.

Latoya Watts recently celebrated selling over 100 copies for her debut novel, Life in Words. You can order it now. Jacquinn Sinclair’s piece on Obehi Janice’s play turned TV adaptation, “Ole White Sugah Daddy,”, was published in WBUR’s The Artery. Sonya Larson’s short story Code W was published in the Summer 2020 issue of Ploughshares

Mee-Ok appears in the ayahuasca episode of the upcoming Netflix documentary series (UN)Well, premiering on August 12th. She also writes about her experience on GrubWrites. Sebastián Molano’s first online piece, “Home”, was published in Medium. Jenn De Leon's debut YA novel, Don't Ask Me Where I'm From, is available for pre-order, and will release on August 18th.

JULY 2020

Jacquinn Sinclair’s review on E. Dolores Johnson’s memoir Say I’m Dead: A Family Memoir of Race, Secrets, and Love was published in WBUR’s The Artery. Quentin Lucas’s piece "Dear Ancestors: How connecting with our dead teaches Black people how to live" was published in RaceBaitr. Sheila Wise Rowe celebrated her second printing with InterVarsity Press, for her book Healing Racial Trauma: The Road to Resilience.

Jonathan Rowe’s poem “What the Water Consumes” was published in The Arkansas Review. Tanya Perez-Brennan’s book review on Karla Cornejo Villavicencio’s The Undocumented Americans was published in StartUpCuba TV. Mee-Ok’s poems “hook” and “no vacancies” were published in The American Journal of Poetry. Her poem “dark web” was published in Passengers Journal. Porsha Olayiwola’s spoken word piece “Netflix Called To Ask What Pride Looks Like For a Black Queer Woman” was featured in Netflix Pride.

Thaddeus Miles’s essay “Open Letter To My Brothers” was published in Black Joy Blog. Heather Watkins’s essay “Walking Dad Home” was published in Medium. Tatiana Johnson-Boria’s poems “Even When the Death is Brutal, a Sloth Will Smile As it Dies” “My Brother Outruns a Dog on W. Concord St.” and “Heredity” were all published in Pank Magazine.

JUNE 2020

Dolores Johnson’s memoir Say I’m Dead: A Family Memoir of Race, Secrets, and Love is now available. Lisa Braxton’s debut novel The Talking Drum is out now. Maya Shanbhag Lang’s debut memoir What We Carry is now available. Beyazmin Jimenez’s op-ed “A historic moment, if we have the will to make it so” was published in The Boston Globe. 

Richard Brea is featured in “Will 2020 crises permanently derail community college students’ education” in The Boston Globe. Linda Chavers’ essay “What too many white people still don’t understand about racism” was published in The Boston Globe. Tanushree Baidya’s essay “Pastries in the Backcountry” was published on Pangyrus. Dzidzor’s debut album, Bush Woman, is available on all music platforms.

Tiffany Amoakohene’s essay “The Fire and Rage of Black America Lives Within Me” was published in Gen Magazine/Medium. Arielle Gray’s piece “Boston Prides Itself On Its Progressive Image. Let Me Tell You What I Know” was published in WBUR. Avani Patel published the essay “Fighting for Black while Being Brown.” Heather Watkins shared her essay “To Be Disabled, Black and Proud” to the Facebook group. Published in 2018 on Slow Walkers See More, it’s still relevant to today. 

Grace Talusan’s review on Wayétu Moore’s new memoir The Dragons, The Giant, The Women was published in The New York Times. Theresa Okokon's essay “‘I Do It To Survive’: Being Black in America Means Adapting To Constant Risk” was published in WBUR. Shirley Jones-Luke recently published poems on All Poetry. Mee-Ok published an essay in the Los Angeles Times entitled “I’m a South Korean adoptee in America. And I feel more invisible than ever.”

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