Celebrating BWOC's Good News

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].


MARCH 2023 

Tamara MC's flash piece “I’m In A House Held Up” was published in Meow Meow Pow Pow. She also published a craft essay “Why I Play Pickleball: On Calming the Writing Monster” in Brevity Blog, a dream publication of hers. Iris (Yi Youn) Kim's article "Asian American creatives say disclosing their layoffs to their families can be complicated" was published in NBC Asian AmericaSara Orozco’s craft essay, “What To Do When an Agent Ghosts You,” was published in Brevity Blog. Sara is also the recipient of a Mass Cultural Council Grant. Lisa Stringfellow’s debut middle-grade fantasy, A Comb of Wishes, is a Bram Stoker Award® Nominee for Superior Achievement in a Middle-Grade NovelLeslie-Ann Murray has been selected as a recipient of the 2023 BLM Residency at Paragraph Workspace for Writers. 

On February 22nd, Lee and Low, in partnership with Las Musas, launched a cover reveal for Elizabeth Santiago’s forthcoming debut young adult novel, The Moonlit Vine. The book will also be released in Spanish and is titled Claro de luna in Spanish. Both books will be released on May 30, 2023. Avie M. Fields is a recipient of the Mass Cultural Council Sector Recovery Grant. Thuy Phan's essay "Mirrors" was published in Pangyrus. She thanks her friend and instructor Victor Yang for his continued support and generous reading of her early drafts. Rei Alta has four poems (forthcoming in Painted Bride Quarterly) featured in the latest episode of PBQ’s Slush Pile podcast. She thanks Tatiana Johnson-Boria, Aimee Suzara, and Rebecca Rolland for their valuable feedback. Rani Neutill published a piece in the Los Angeles Review of Books titled “BTS: Permission to Desire.”



Tanya Sangpun Thamkruphat's second poetry chapbook, It Wasn't a Dream, was published by Fahmidan Publishing & Co. Kaija Langley’s debut MG novel, The Order of Things, is scheduled for publication on June 6, 2023 by Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin Young Readers. Kaija read an early excerpt of this book as part of the GrubStreet LitUp 2020 fundraising event. Dr. Tamara MC's flash essay “A Monstrous Boy” was published in Dorothy Parker's Ashes in the crime issue. (Content Warning). Additionally, her article, “How Chinese Chorizo Links These Immigrant Communities,” was published in ThrillistPatrice Gopo is delighted to share that she recently launched the Picture Books Are for Grown-Ups Too! podcast. As a personal essayist and children’s book author, Patrice started this podcast because she believes you’re never too old for a great picture book AND these tiny tales can lead to big connections!

Melissa A Watkins’ essay "A Repat's Guide To Boston" was published in Statesider. Marchaé Grair was selected to participate in the 2023 Anaphora Writing Residency for writers of color. Marchaé will participate in one of the prose cohorts. Andrea Bossi's piece “Today’s Female Rappers are Ushering in a New Era of Hip Hop Fashion” was published in Fashionista. She takes a deep dive on women in hip hop's ascension in fashion on the heels of the genre's 50th birthday. Pınar Banu Yaşar were recently published in Odes to our Undoing: Writers Reflecting on Crisis. DuEwa Frazier’s poem “Pay the Goddess for Love” was featured in Issue 3 of Water Poetry Magazine. Nancy Agabian’s novel The Fear of Large and Small Nations is scheduled for publication in May 2023 by Nauset Press.



Xujun Eberlein's personal essay "Ms. Daylily," winner of the 2021 Iowa Review Award in nonfiction judged by Melissa Febos, is now published in The Iowa Review's double issue 51.3/52.1. She thanks her writing group "Nonfiction Narwhals" for their continued support and ever-helpful feedback. Iris (Yi Youn) Kim's essay "I Got Korean Double Eyelid Surgery at Age 18. I Look Back Now with Regret" was published in Harper's Bazaar. She thanks her Advanced Essay Workshop instructor Shuchi Saraswat and her classmates for helping shape the essay. Thuy Phan's essay "Backstreet’s back this holiday season — thanks to their music, I am too" was published in WBUR’s Cognoscenti. She thanks instructor Ethan Gilsdorf and her classmates from the Essay Incubator for their feedback and encouragement. 

Sara Orozco’s Tiny Love Story, “When I First Knew”, was published by The New York TimesKayla Degala-Paraíso's flash creative nonfiction piece, "BANG!" was published in Bending Genres' Issue Thirty. Additionally, her speculative epistolary story, “Philippines 2022,” was published in The Lumiere ReviewAmitha Jagannath Knight will have two poems published in the Writer's Loft upcoming poetry anthology for children (Fall 2022). She would like to thank Sara Daniele Rivera and her virtual 6 Weeks, 6 Poems class from 2018, which helped her to build her confidence to start submitting her poetry. Andrew Zubiri published a review “A Day in the Life of Someone Saying Goodbye”: Andrew Zubiri on “Florida, Farewell” by J. Martin Daughtry” in AGNI (online). 

Melissa A Watkins’s sci-fi short "Mothership Connection" was published in khōréō magazineTochukwu Okafor has been awarded a 2023 Elizabeth George Foundation grant to complete his book. He would like to thank Dariel Suarez and Meghan Lamb for their support. Federico Erebia was chosen to be in the inaugural Poets & Writers publicity incubator for debut authors. He learned about Poets & Writers when he became a GrubStreet Writer and member. Cameron Dryden was featured in an interview “Next Chapters: Cameron Dryden” in Dead Darlings Magazine.



Federico Erebia was selected for the Poets & Writers inaugural publicity incubator. It’s a terrific opportunity to promote Pedro & Daniel before the June 6, 2023 launch from Levine Querido. Porsha Olayiwola, the poet laureate of Boston, is opening a new bookstore in Dorchester called “The Book Shop.” Jo Malicdem published their fourth issue of Lunchbox Magazine (The Trailblazer Issue), their last as Co-Director of the publication as they graduate from Emerson College this December. 

Lorena Hernández Leonard joined Solstice Literary Magazine as Editor-in-Chief, where she'll be focusing on amplifying the voices of more diverse writers, among her many goals for the magazine. She is grateful to author and fellow BWOC member Anjali Mitter Duva for her encouragement and support. Paige Curtis just published an environmental justice reporting piece for The Guardian about toxic chemicals in personal hygiene products. JL Higgs' short story "Alternative Choices" was recently published by Fiction on the Web.



Lorena Hernández Leonard published “Learning to Throw Axes” on author Myriam Gurba's magazine Tasteful Rude. Additionally, Lorena traveled to Colombia in October to finalize research for her memoir in progress, Salsipuedes: Leave if You CanAlexis Wright’s essay "Which One is the Lifeline?" has been published in The Common’s Issue 24! Fabienne Keck will be starting her MFA in Creative Writing at Bennington College (Bennington Writing Seminars) in January. Nancy Agabian’s personal essay “The Faith of Candy” now appears in the the No, You Tell It ten-year anthology. Elizabeth Gonzalez James’s first novel, MONA AT SEA, was just optioned for a film. Andrew Zubiri’s hermit crab essay “Loanwords on the Front Lines” was published and is currently an Online Feature of the Month in Consequence ForumMargo Gabriel's essay "These Black Women Moved To Europe For A Better Life — Did They Find It?" was published in Refinery29.



Mee Ok Icaro’s poem “Triptych” was published in the Massachusetts Review. You can learn more about Mee Ok hereLeslie-Ann Murray was invited onto NPR to share her favorite books that spotlight the Hispanic experience in the segment “Books for Hispanic Heritage Month”Lisa Ann Braxton’s “A Blip in Your Life: A Boston Breast Cancer Survivor Story” was published in the September issue of Boston MagazineAutumn Allen’s All You Have to Do is scheduled for publication in fall 2023 via Penguin Random House. Tamara MC’s ‘Uncultured’: The Intergenerational Trauma of Girls Growing up in Cults” was published in Ms. Magazine. Additionally, she published her first interview article “What Adiba Nelson taught me about self-love” in Motherly. Kayla Degala-Paraíso's experimental memoir piece, "A History Skin," was published in AnomalyAva Fields won 1st Place for the Black Creators Collaborative’s writer’s competition. Emeko Uko’s novel Hers to Tell is now available on the Indie Massachusetts BiblioBoard platform.



Jonathan Escoffery had a launch party for his new book, If I Survive You, which is available now. Tamara MC had her piece  “I was a child bride. It’s time to stop teaching young girls to stay sweet” published in Motherwell Magazine. Additionally, Tamara’s poem “If…” was published in The Journal of Expressive WritingPaige Curtis’ piece “Three Ecological Lessons From Toni Morrison” was published in Sierra MagazineCameron Dryden is teaching a seminar, “Speak Easy: Writing Better Dialogue Workshop,” at Follow Your Art Community Studio on September 15th. Helena Joseph’s podcast Defining You with Helena J got over 3000 downloads. Kim Chang starts teaching her MemoryWorks class, “MemoryWorks Workshop for Asian Pacific Diasporic Writers” on September 16th.  

Leslie-Ann Murray story “The Story in the Middle: Brooklyn 1996,”  which is an excerpt from her novel in progress, tentatively titled, This has Made Us Beautiful, was published in the Indian ReviewAngie Chatman’s essay “The Bitter and the Sweet” was published in Taint Taint Taint MagazineAva Fields was interviewed with Hear Us Scream and Cadaver Dogs regarding her project, The Horror Advocate.  Additionally, Ava launched registration for “Apt Horror Presents: [NOT] As seen on TV: Mental Health, the Trauma to Prison Pipeline, and the decade of the Guns,” happening October 22nd through The Horror Advocate.



Constance Garcia-Barrio was awarded a scholarship by the Salty Quill for a weeklong residency in September. Mee Ok Icaro won Pleiades’  Prufer Poetry Prize with her poem “otherland.” Ariel Vanece’s book deal with Penguin/Rock House Books for her picture book Searching for Mr. Johnson’s Song was announced on August 2nd. Estela González continued her book tour for her book Arribada in Provincetown with the event Estela González in Conversation with Russ LopezYasmine Ameli began teaching the four-week class Writing the MFA Application through The Loft Literary Centers.

Helena Joseph released two podcast episodes with the first Black woman to serve as a state senator in Massachusetts, Dianne Wilkerson, and the first Caribbean-born woman to successfully defend her dissertation at Northwest University, Dr. Pauline Elwin, on her podcast Defining You with Helena JLisa Braxton was featured on the Write Now at the Writer’s Colony podcastIs Legar’s three persona poems based on events during and after the Philippine-American War, "Pacification, 1901," "Louisiana Purchase Exposition, St. Louis, 1904," and "Bud Dajo,1906,” were published in Matter Monthly’s online journal. Rolando André López Torres’ The Man Who Killed My Poem” was published in Off Assignment’s segment Letters to a StrangerMargo Gabriel’s piece “Métele Sazón! Gastronomía, Afectos Anticoloniales Y Memoria Afrosdiaspórica” was published in Contra Narratives.


JULY 2022

Corena Young-Dixon’s poem “A Good Mourning” was published in the Summer 2022 issue of The Plentitudes. Young-Dixon was also selected as one of the Summer 2022 Fellows for the Wild Seeds Retreat for Writers of Color, which is through the Center for Black Literature. Mee Ok Icaro’s essay “Rear Window” was the runner-up for the Prairie Schooner Nonfiction Contest and was published in The Prairie SchoonerLeslie-Ann Murray’s book review “A Place to Call Home in Dele Wed’s Destiny” was published in PloughsharesRolando André López Torres’ response to Off Assignment’s Letter to a Stranger  prompt will be published this month. 

Kyra Wilson Cook was accepted for Viable Paradise, an annual one-week residential writing workshop in Martha’s Vineyard. Djofa Tavares’ dual language (English/Kriolu) children's book, Tiagu and Vovo, launches next month. Tamara MC’s essay “When Your Apple Watch Breaks You Up With Your Boyfriend” was published in the Sonora ReviewCynthia Yee gave the opening remarks and a reading of her poem, “My MaMa’s Back,” at Revolutionary Spaces for a free screening of the PBS Special: A Tale of Three Chinatowns.

Patrice Gopo’s debut picture book, All the Places We Call Home, was published through WorthyKids. Gopo is also a 2022 Sustainable Arts Foundation Awardee in the category of Children’s Books. Alexis Wright’s essay “The Disney Look” will be published in the Black Lawrence Press’ forthcoming anthology Mamas, Martyrs, and Jezebels: Myths, Legends, and Other Lies You’ve Been Told about Black WomenAvie M. Fields is working on launching Apt, Horror, “a groundbreaking resource that uses pop (counter) culture knowledge as a reputable data source for community development and enhancing community engagement.” Events and more will be announced soon.

Gloria Estela Gonzalez’s novel Arribada was featured in a review on the Midwest Book Review’s website. Marie Myung-Ok Lee completed nine stops on her book tour, including visits in Watertown and Belmont, for her novel The Evening HeroU-Meleni Mhlaba-Adebo used her social media platforms to showcase her poem, “NO WOMAN NO CRY - a poem for my sisters.” Bettye Kearse had a brief excerpt from her book, The Other Madisons: The Lost History of a President's Black Family, published on Bublish.


JUNE 2022

Gloria Estela Gonzalez’s story "Cherán of the Fireflies” was published in the Latino Book ReviewLisa M. Barr will be graduating from Vermont College of Fine Arts on June 30th with a MFA in Writing. Alicia Jennings published her first journal, Nurture Your Soul: A Personal Growth Journal for WomenPaula Elliot received the 2022 Creative Entrepreneur Fellowship from Boston’s Arts and Business Council. Colleen Williams-Rennie published her newest book, From Bitter and Broken to Beautiful and Blessed. Yasmine Ameli will be reading excerpts of her work for the 2022 Writers-In-Residence Celebration at the Edith Wharton House on June 26th, as well as teaching both Introduction to Poetry in June/July and Writing the MFA in August through the Loft Literary Center in August. Additionally, Yasmine is taking on new poets and essayists seeking holistic coaching on sustainable writing practices, craft techniques, and grant/fellowship applications. 

Dolores Johnson’s paperback of Say I’m Dead was published on June 7th. To celebrate, she hosted a book talk at the Roxbury/Nubian Square Public Library at 1pm on June 11th. Lorena Leonard’s commentary piece “I saw gun violence as a child. I carry it with me still” was published in WBUR’s Cognoscenti, and her essay “El Palomero” was published in Corporeal KhôraLeslie V. Nguyen-Okwu’s opinion piece, “Asian and Black Communities Have a Long History of Share Solidarity,” was published in the New York TimesJen Martinez wrote “Motif’s mini-guide to summer BIPOC festivals and events” for the publication MotifJacquinn Sinclair’s article “Mobile pop-up party a Trike Called Funk aims to bridge divides through music” was published via WBUR. Additionally, Jacquinn's work was featured in New Jersey Fan Club: Artists and Writers Celebrate the Garden StateHeather Watkins’s poem “Exhaling: the luxury” was published in Mass Poetry’s poetry series “Hard Work of Hope.” She also read her work aloud with the artist collective at GrubStreet’s headquarters on May 17th.


MAY 2022

Tamara MC’s review “Val is part film. Part memoir. Part art installation” was published in Drunk MonkeysSofia T. Romero’s story “How Wales Came to Be” was published in Necessary FictionLorena Leonard’s essay “Children of the Sun” was published in Corporeal KhôraAndrew Zubiri’s essay “Shelf Life” was published in AGNI95 and will be featured in a hybrid launch on May 11th. This is his first piece published in the US. Mel Watkins announced that she will be teaching another round of her class "For Colored Girls Who Still Want To Read Spec-Fic When The Grimdark Becomes Too Gruff: Black Women's Hope Narratives in Fantasy and Science Fiction" this fall. Henrietta Hodge’s poem “What If” was one of fifteen poems selected for the 2022 City of Boston’s Mayor’s Poetry Program. Mee Ok Icaro’s essay “Letter to the Future” was published in Pangyrus’ ninth issue “Underlying Conditions,” and her poem “Triptych” was accepted at the Massachusetts ReviewElizabeth Santiago recently launched the Community Narrative Fellowship that pairs young writers with community elders to tell stories. She is accepting applications for fellows. 

Autumn Allen presented at the Muse and the Marketplace conference and wrote a mini-blog post regarding the conference. Cynthia Yee’s poem “My MaMa’s Back” was one of fifteen poems selected for the 2022 City of Boston’s Mayor’s Poetry Program. Avie M. Fields developed a new community project that combines writing, horror films, and community development. She has plans to fully launch later this year. Jung Hae Chae’s essay “The Gye, the No-Name Hair Salon, the Coup d’Etat, and the Small Dreams,” originally published in the New England Review, will be included in The Best American Essays of 2022. Afeefah Khazi-Syed’s work will be featured in the anthology Our Ancestors Did Not Breathe this Air, which has a release date of June 15th. A launch party celebrating it occurred on May 7th. Corena Young-Dixon started a website that houses many of her personal essays. Lisa Bryan Stringfellow’s book A Comb of Wishes was included on The Horn Book 2022 Summer Reading Recommendation List and was selected as an Indie Introduce Kids’ and Indie Next Kids featured title.


APRIL 2022

Opal Gayle’s microfiction story “The Drought” was published in Switch MagazineLeslie-Ann Murray’s essay “The Mother of All Stories” was published in Zone Literary JournalRolando André López Torres’ essay ​​”you know it, or ya tú sa’e: una poéticaautobioficticia, noun manifiesto, (les qre, x100pre)” was published in issue 43 of Passages NorthHeather Watkins was a panelist in the Black, Disabled, Deaf, and Proud! webinar. Additionally, Heather will be honored in an upcoming dance performance next month. Lorena Leonard’s essay “Children of the Sun” was published in KHÔRA.


MARCH 2022

Sheila Wise Rowe released her latest book, Young, Gifted, and Black: A Journey of Lament and CelebrationK Renee Antoine relaunched her lifestyle and wellness website, The HealthyherLisa Ann Braxton’s essay “Soothing a Broken Heart” was published in the online literary magazine, You Need to Hear ThisChital Mehta Jey’s short story The Soul Takers was published in the Noyo ReviewFannie Koa was one of the readers in February’s Readings from the Room series, hosted by The Writers’ Room in Boston. Kaija Langley and her latest children's book, When Langston Dances, received an Outstanding Literary Work in the Children's category nomination from the 53rd NAACP Image Awards. Kelly Bates’ poem “Composite Soul: A Poem About Growing Up Mixed Race” will be featured in a new publication for dissertation and was the winning performance by a mixed race teen in the South. Mee Ok Icaro was anthologized in Passengers’ Press, and her essay “A Paradoxical Apocalypse: Werner Herzog’s La Soufrière was published in the Bennington ReviewLorena Leonard’s debut essay, “Salsipuedes: Leave If You Can,” was published in Corporeal Khôra.



Neema Avashia's book Another Appalachia will be published March 1st. Yasmine Ameli's poem “First Crush” was featured in Ploughshares in January. Heather Watkins’s article “I’m a Black Disabled Woman. My Identity Has Been Stolen More Than 6 Times During the Pandemic” was published by Femme Frugality in December. Mee Ok Icaro won the Inaugural Prufer Poetry Prize for her poem “otherland” and will be published in Pleiades’ spring 2022 issue. Michele Saunders co-authored the book Destined to Win Volume 4: Pierced for a Purpose which was released in January. A Spanish edition of Amitha Jagannath Knight's picture book Usha and the Big Digger will come out this summer.



Margo Gabriel’s cookbook The Expat Kitchen was nominated by Haitian Creative Digital Awards as Author of the Year in 2021. Leslie-Ann Murray’s essay "You'll Always Have A Friend In Senegal" was published in Fodor’s TravelTatiana Johnson-Boria’s full-length poetry collection NOCTURNE IN JOY is slated for publication with Sundress Publications in 2023. Alexis Wright’s piece "Which One is the Lifeline" has been accepted for publication in the Fall 2022 issue of The Common. Sherell Barbee’s article "The Radical History of Black Cartoonists" was published in In These Times Magazine.

Dr. Tamara MC’s essay "I grew up in a cult and was married at 12 — in Texas" was published in The Independent. Paige Curtis’s piece “How to purge risky chemicals from your beauty products” was published in Vox. Marjan Kamali’s novel The Stationery Shop was featured in USA Today’s staff's 2021 favorite first-time reads listMelissa Watkins’ essay "I Need to Tell You About My Mother" was published in Raising Mothers. Heidi Lewis-Ivey’s anthology Black Girl Cry: What Black Women Need to Know to Amplify Their Voices is now available, and debuted #8 on Amazon’s Hot Releases list in the Motivational Self Help category. Lisa Stringfellow’s upcoming middle grade fantasy, A Comb of Wishes, is available for pre-order, and will be released on February 8th.



Shilpi Suneja’s piece "Blood, Sweat, Turmeric" was published in Guernica Magazine. Margo Gabriel’s cookbook The Expat Kitchen is now available for purchaseSarah Nnenna Loveth Nwafor’s book Already Knew You Were Coming is available for pre-order. Mee Ok signed with literary agent Elias Altman of Massie & McQuilkin. In addition, her piece “Queer Seoul” was published in Witness MagazineMelissa Watkins is teaching a 4-week workshop “Black Women's Hope Narratives in Fantasy & Sci-Fi” at Midnight & Indigo. Nicole-Anne Bales Keyton started working as Assistant Editor for Vagabond City Lit and is looking for short fiction!

Dr. Tamara MC’s essay "I was in a cult. Britney was in a conservatorship. Our situations are crazy similar" was published in Salon. Chital Mehta was accepted into AWP's Writer to Writer Mentorship Program for Fall 2021. Quentin Lucas' essay, "From Murderpan to Mattapan" was published in The American Scholar. Dr. Carol Brown’s book RACISM: Young People Are Finally Having This Conversation is now available for purchase. Heather Watkins’ essay “I’m a Black Disabled Woman. My Identity Has Been Stolen More Than 6 Times During the Pandemic.” was published in Femme Frugality.



Krishna Lewis’ memoir piece “William Dean Howells and I” was published in Pangyrus. Margo Gabriel’s interview “In Conversation With Kai Grant: A Champion of Roxbury” was published in Boston Art Review. Rolando André López’s creative nonfiction piece A Name is an Unquiet City was published in Orca Literary Journal. Estela González’s novel ARRIBADA is available for pre-order. Elizabeth Santiago’s YA novel Moonlit Vine was acquired by Lee and Low/Tu Books and announced in the Rights Report of Publisher's Weekly. Chetan Tiwari’s essay “100,000 Bostonians won't be able to vote in the mayoral election. I'm one of them” was published in WBUR’s Cognoscenti.



Dariel Suarez’s essay, “In Orbit,” was published in The Best American Essays 2021. Boyah Farah and Hassan Sharif performed their work at this year’s GrubStreet’s 2021 Lit Up Showcase and Fundraiser. Dharani Persaud’s story, “Every Other Wednesday I go to Trader Joe’s,” is published in the Fall 2021 issue of Under The Gum Tree. Paige Curtis (“The Radical Act of Growing a Plant: “Garden for Boston” at the MFA”), Arielle Gray (“Beyond the Root: Musings on Mushrooms as Metaphors for Blackness”), and Shuchi Sarawat’s (“Communing in Isolation: Rania Matar’s Window Portraits”) articles are featured in the latest issue, “Rooting,” in Boston Art ReviewFannie Koa was offered a scholarship to attend the Salty Quill Writer's Retreat.

Yara Liceaga-Rojas, Amanda Shea, and Pascale Florestal are this year’s honorees for WBUR’s The ARTery 25’s Artists of ColorMable Chan joined The Association of Independents in Radio (AIRmedia) as a SoundPath Mentor. Shyla Rose’s chapbook, Big Girl with Buck Teeth, is now available to purchase. Bettye Kearse’s book, The Other Madisons, is the 2021 Bronze Medal Winner of the Readers' Choice Book Award--Nonfiction/Memoir. Yasmine Ameli’s poem, “Bedtime Story [5]” is published in the October issue of POETRY Magazine.

Jacquinn Sinclair’s piece, “'Queens Girl in the World' settles in beautifully at the Central Square Theater”, is published in WBUR’s The ARTeryTatiana Johnson-Boria’s poem, “Because We Were Poor and Unpretty,” won New Delta Review’s Matt Clark Prize for its 2020-2021 academic year. Ani Gjika's memoir, By Its Right Name, is the winner of the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing.



Kaija Langley’s debut picture book, When Langston Dances, is available now. Chandreyee Lahiri’s story “Dumba Chora” is the 2021 selection for Boston Book Festival’s One City One Story. Bettye Kearse’s book, The Other Madisons: The Lost History of A President’s Black Family, was featured in Black EnterpriseRoman Johnson is the winner of Backbone Press’s 2021 Lucille Clifton Poetry Prize. Dr. Tamara MC’s first essay publication, “I Will Always Be Muslim and Jewish” was published in Alma.

Cynthia Yee, Tatiana Johnson-Boria, and Grace Talusan are 2021 recipients of The Boston Foundation’s Brother Thomas Fellowship. Tatiana was also offered a MacDowell Residency Fellowship for the Fall 2021 Winter/Spring 2022 Season. Amitha Jagannath Knight’s debut book, Usha and the Big Digger, is available now. Mee-ok’s audio piece, “An Arkansas Awakening” was published in The Rappahannock Review.



Jacquinn Sinclair’s review "Our Revels Now Are Restarted: 'The Tempest' Gets Boston Theater Buzzing Again On The Common" was published in WBUR’s The ARTeryRoman Johnson, Puloma Ghosh, and Mark Bias were recognized as 2021 Tin House Summer Workshop ScholarsNaBeela Washington’s essay “The Almost-Sacred Dance of Making Southern Mac and Cheese” was published on EaterSimone Dalton and Crystal Valentine are GrubStreet’s 2021-22 Teaching Fellows.

Marjan Kamali’s novel The Stationery Shop will be adapted to a television series by Prentice Penny and Mozhan Marnò at HBO. Margo Gabriel’s piece “24 Ultimate Things to Do in Boston” was published in Fodor’s TravelGladys Wangeci Gitau-Damaskos’ second book of poetry I’m Not Allowed to Explain (Only Foreshadow & Reminisce) is available now. Mee-ok’s micro-essay "Real Mom," published in River Teeth, has been accepted for the anthology Nonwhite and Woman, forthcoming from Woodhall Press in 2022.


JULY 2021

Leslie-Ann Murray interviewed author Sherie Jones on Brown Girl Book Lover. Thaddeus Miles’ anthology, To My Kin, partnered by The Black Joy Project and 826 Boston, is available for purchase. The anthology features young writers between the ages of 11 to 20, who submitted for the BJP’s and 826 Boston’s youth writing contest last year. Dolores Johnson, Jenn De Leon, Enzo Silon Surin’s books were included in the 2021 Massachusetts Book Awards Longlist of "Must Reads.

Priscilla Dzidzor Azaglo, U-Meleni Mhlaba-Adebo, Jha D Williams, and Regie Gibson are among 65 artists who were named Boston Foundation’s Live Arts Boston Grantees. Nicole M. Young, CJ Sparks,  Kaija Langley, Opal Gayle, Lisa Braxton, Angie Chatman, Margo Gabriel, Shirley Jones Luke, and U-Meleni Mhlaba-Adebo performed their work at the Juneteenth special edition of Black Writers Read.

Cynthia Yee’s  words were published on a bench swing of the “Storytell and Sway” installation,, as part of Chinatown’s “Hudson Street Stoop” project. Dariel Suarez’s essay “On a Non-Native English Speaker’s Creative Journey to Authenticity” was published in Lit Hub. Xujun Eberlein’s non-fiction piece “Ms. Daylily” is the winner of the 2021 Iowa Review Awards.


JUNE 2021

Shyla Rose, along with her friends, launched Superfroot Magazine in December, and the first issue is now available to view. Terry Gibson's first publication, "There are Politicians and Then there are People Who Simply Want Healthy Change – Holyoke's Jose Maldonado and Jennifer Keitt Say They are Running for Change," was published in The Metro Record. Lisa Stringfellow's upcoming middle-grade fantasy, A Comb of Wishes, slated for February 2022, revealed its book cover on John Schu's (Ambassador of School Libraries at Scholastic) blog, Mrschureads

Chital Mehta is a recipient of the Robert Hayden Scholarship to attend the Midsummer Online Writing Getaway, led by Murphy WritingCynthia Yee was interviewed in the documentary "A Tale of Three Chinatowns," and its New England premiere will be on June 23rd at the Roxbury International Film Festival. Additionally, her featured piece "Meet Cynthia Yee: Writer, Award-Winning Teacher, and Rule Breaker" was published in Boston Compass Newspaper. Dariel Suarez's novel The Playwright's House is still available for pre-order and will launch on June 15th.

Yasmine Ameli's critical essay "The Persona as a Portal in The January Children" was published in Ploughshares. Lisa Braxton received the Gold Independent Publisher (IPPY) Book Award in the Urban Fiction category for her novel, The Talking Drum. Additionally, her essay "For Black Americans, 'Social Distancing' Is Nothing New" was published in WBUR's Cognoscenti. Tatiana Johnson-Boria was selected as a semi-finalist for the 92Y Discovery Poetry ContestRashawnda Williams's poem "Roxbury Love" and Durane West's poem "617 Roxbury" are winners of the Poem for Roxbury contest and featured on Roxbury Poetry Festival's website.

MAY 2021

Serina Gousby was interviewed by Boston Compass about BWOC. Tiffany Amoakohene's flash nonfiction piece "Kite Man" was published in Thirty-Second Friendships as part of their January 2021 contest. Brenda Peynado's debut story collection, The Rock Eaters, is out today. Leslie-Ann Murray interviewed author Joy Priest on Brown Girl Book Lover.

Rolando André López Torres' story "A Room for Your Name" was published in Orca Lit Journal. slandie prinston's essay "In the Womb of a Language" was published in volume 35 of The Caribbean Writer. Phyllis Smith was recently accepted into VONA's Premier Summer 2021 Workshop. Phyllis will be attending Narrative Journalism: Researching and Crafting Lively Narratives While Staying True with Valerie Boyd. Margo Gabriel's poem "Summer of Quarantine" was published in Black Superwoman Chronicles.

Poets Tatiana Johnson-Boria, Sharon Amuguni, Jumaada A-K. H. Smith, Tariq Charles, Lillian-Yvonne Bertram, Nakia Hill, Crystal Valentine, Henrietta "Queen" Hodge, Barbara Defoe, Rajiv Mohabir, Charles Coe, Princess Moon, Martín Espada, Danielle Legros Georges, Hailey Tran, and Jordan Escobar were named "Poet of the Day" from Boston's Mayor Office of Arts and Culture for National Poetry Month throughout April.

Tatiana Johnson-Boria's poem "How to Make Love While the World is Burning" was published in Tinderbox Poetry Journal. Jacquinn Sinclair's piece "Playwright James Ijames on 'TJ Loves Sally 4 Ever,' reimagining history, and who gets to tell the story" was published in The Boston Globe. Additionally, her piece "'Two-Generation/Whole Family' approach to career readiness helps local families escape poverty" was published in Working Places, The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

Maya Shanbhag Lang and her memoir What We Carry was recognized by the National Civil Rights Museum on their #womenyoushouldknow appreciation post for her impact in "giving Indian women a voice." Cynthia Yee was interviewed in the short film "Meditations on the Power of Community," collaborated by the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and Pao Arts Center. Dariel Suarez's essay "In Orbit," published in The Threepenny Review, was selected for the 2021 Best American Essays anthology. 

Lisa Stringfellow's Little Free Kidlit Library was featured in Publishers Weekly. Amy Lin's short story "Hallelujah Rides" was published in Ploughshares. Marcella Kelley's poem "838 Washington Street" was featured by Mincing Words. "Growing Up Black," the WGBH episode of Stories From the Stage featuring Angie Chatman, was nominated for a Webby Award.


APRIL 2021

Lisa Braxton’s novel The Talking Drum is a finalist for the 2020 Foreward Indies Book of the Year Awards. Pınar Yaşar is a finalist for Poetry Online’s 2021 Launch Prize. Jacquinn Sinclair has two poems featured in the anthology Heels into the Soil. The anthology was produced by Nakia Hill and features members of The International Women’s Writing Guild’s 2021 Mentorship Program.

Poets Krysten Hill, Durane West, Boston Poet Laureate Porsha Olayiwola, and Laniesha Brown were named “Poet of the Day” by Boston’s Office of Arts and Culture for National Poetry Month. Dariel Suarez’s forthcoming debut novel, The Playwright’s House, and Jennifer De Leon’s new essay collection, White Space, were both featured in WBUR’s10 Books By New England Authors To Read While Waiting To Get Your Vaccine” reading list.

Jonathan Escoffery received a two-book deal for his works If I Survive You and Play Stone Kill Bird with MCD/FSG for Fall 2022. Manisha Sharma’s poem I Had a Boy” was published by Literary Mama. Janaea Eads recently signed with Paige Terlip at Andrea Brown Lit. Cynthia’s Yee’s piece “Duck” was released on Instagram and Facebook by the Asian Community Development Corporation. Tamiko Beyer recently published her poetry collection Last Days in April.

Preety Sidhu's interview "A Potion Made of Potion Gold to Achieve the Indian American Dream" (focused on author Sanjena Sathian and her debut novel, Gold Diggers) was published on Electric Literature. Megan Pinto, Andrea Giugni, and Angela Siew won first place in the poetry category for Martha's Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing's Voices of Color Fellowship. Rolando López won first place in the prose category. Athena Dixon won second place in the prose category. David W. Janey's essay "Black Parents Give Their Kids 'The Talk.' What If White Parents Did?" was published in WBUR's Cognoscenti.


MARCH 2021

“House Parties” by Jacqueline Reason won first prize in GrubStreet’s Black Joy Contest. “Breakdance” by Yawa Degboe won second prize.“Black Joi” by Kandice A. Sumner won third prize.Honorable mentions include “Christmas Carnival Calypso Conniptions” by T.S.E Allen, "Taking Up Space” by Dr. Brandi Monique Derr, and “Sundays with Dad” by Keena Keel

Leslie-Ann Murray’s article “5 Black science fiction and fantasy books to read,” was published on Boston.com. Ellie Hinton’s collection of poems Pelu Ife was published in February. Tochukwu Okafor was accepted to the prestigious 2021 Kenyon Review Writers Workshop. Linda Chavers’s essay “The place I became a Black woman scholar. And a Black woman with an invisible illness” was published in The Boston Globe

Margo Gabriel’s essay “I Became an Expat in the Middle of the Pandemic—It Was a Lot Easier Than I Thought” was published in Fodor’s Travel. Theresa Okokon’s piece “A message to Chris Harrison from a Black woman who just wants to watch The Bachelor in peace” was published in The Independent. Tanya Pérez-Brennan was selected as a 2021 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction finalist for her novel, The Land of Demons and Dreams.

Lina Rincón’s poems “Public Health Matters,” “Middle Name,” and “Caravan,” were published in the Tales From Six Feet Apart issue of iō Literary Journal and Puerto Del SolCynthia Yee was featured in the final installment of Exploring Tiger Style, a podcast by the Huntington Theater Company.



Mee-ok’s piece Letter to the Future was published in Pangyrus. Nancy Johnson’s debut novel, The Kindest Lie, launched in early February. Juanita Cox’s poem “Touch: Director’s Cut” was published in Poetica #2: The Inner Circle Writers Group Poetry Anthology.

Lisa Lee’s book I Send You 7 Songs: A Collection of Love Poems With a Little Surprise debuted at the end of January. Amanda Shea’s poetry film “BODY” is now available to view on YouTube. She was also featured in the article “Artist Amanda Shea Explores Blackness And Womanhood In New Poetry Video Series,” which was published in WBUR’s The ARTery. Arielle Gray’s pieces “Tanerélle Was Bullied for Her ‘Saggy Breasts.’ Now She’s a Playboy Playmate,” “10 Nostalgic Sitcoms That Celebrate Black Joy,” and “DaniLeigh’s Apology for the ‘Yellow Bone’ Controversy Only Makes It Worse” were published in Glamour Magazine.



Anri Wheeler’s op-ed "Spare Me Your Outrage, Your Shock. This Is America" was published in WBUR’s Cognoscenti. Mee-ok was selected as a finalist for the Scotti Merrill Award in Poetry from the Key West Literary Seminar’s Emerging Writer Awards. Additionally, she was the runner-up for the Prairie Schooner Summer Creative Nonfiction Contest.

Lisa Braxton’s The Talking Drum, E. Dolores Johnson’s Say I’m Dead, and Desmond Hall’s Your Corner Dark were all included in The ARTery’s list of “Books To Add To Your Reading List in 2021.” The article was written by Arielle Gray and published by WBUR. Hassan Ghanny’s piece "In 2020, 'Artivism' Reigned Supreme In Boston" — featuring co-organizer of the “Activating ARTivism” series Amanda Shea — was published in WBUR’s The ARTery. Jacquinn Sinclair’s review "Netflix Soars To The Top With August Wilson's 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" was published in WBUR’s The ARTery.

Margo Gabriel’s interview "Hernâni Miguel Creates a Place for Culture, Music and Food at Lisbon’s Tabernáculo" was published in Cuisine Noir Magazine. Jonathan Escoffery’s short story “Odd Jobs” was published in The L.A. Issue of Zyzzyva. Additionally, his story “If He Suspected He’d Get Someone Killed This Morning, Delano Would Never Leave His Couch” was published in Issue 72 of American Short Fiction. Lastly, his story “Under the Ackee Tree,” which was previously published in The Paris Review, was featured in The Best American Magazine Writing 2020 anthology.

Shirley Jones Luke’s essay “(Still) Separate and Unequal in Boston Schools” was published in MayDay Magazine. An excerpt of Rani Neutill’s debut memoir, "do you love me?," was published in the Winter 2020 Issue of Solstice Literary Magazine. Lisa Braxton’s poem "Welcome Home" was published in Penumbra Online.



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.



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 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.



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.



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.



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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