Kweli Journal

Kweli Journal Kweli Journal, Truth from the Diaspora's Boldest Voices
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Operating as usual

When I sang jazz, I focused on telling a story. Eyes closed until I hit that first note and the nerves fell away. Then I...
11/30/2020

When I sang jazz, I focused on telling a story. Eyes closed until I hit that first note and the nerves fell away. Then I was home.

At the end of one Black History Month performance, a woman came up to me and said "how that big sound come out of that little body?"

That was ten plus years ago, but I still smile when I think about it. I stopped performing when I became disabled, afraid of falling in public (which has happened one time too many).

I still tell myself that I'm content to lift the voices of others with KWELI, sharing the lyric in their lines, the power of their songs on the page & stage. But if I'm honest, I have to say that I often think about going back onstage, especially on days like this when I am reminded of the many ways you can tell a story and change a life.

Until then, I’m in 24/7 service to Kweli, my literary baby. I have donated my time for over ten years to help BIPOC writers SING THE TRUTH. Writers like CELESTE MOHAMMED. We published her story, ENDANGERED SPECIES in June 2017.
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http://www.kwelijournal.org/fiction/2017/6/21/endangered-species-by-celeste-mohammed?rq=Celeste%20Mohammed
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Her novel-in-stories, PLEASANTVILLE, includes the story we published & will be out in Spring 2021.
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Won’t you support our 10 years of lifting up multicultural literary voices on #GivingTuesday?
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Photo: Guadalajara International Book Fair, after hours, on a dare

Join us for Kweli's Sing the Truth! Anniversary Celebration on December 3rd, 7PM. Award winning author NICOLE DENNIS-BEN...
11/27/2020

Join us for Kweli's Sing the Truth! Anniversary Celebration on December 3rd, 7PM.

Award winning author NICOLE DENNIS-BENN will moderate a discussion on Black Girlhood and Silences with Kweli contributors KAI HARRIS and SUZANNE MCFAYDEN.

Kai Harris's debut novel WHAT THE FIREFLIES KNEW will be released next year by PHOEBE ROBINSON's new imprint at Penguin Random House: TINY REPARATIONS BOOKS.

Born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica, SUZANNE MCFAYDEN is an author, leading collector of modern and contemporary art and sponsor of national and international humanitarian efforts to feed the hungry. She is working on a collection of essays on race, motherhood and surviving cancer.

RSVP at the link below.
https://www.crowdcast.io/e/sing-the-truth

Did you see Kweli Weekly yesterday? We announced our November issue with work by new and emerging poets, Ashwini Bashi, ...
11/20/2020

Did you see Kweli Weekly yesterday? We announced our November issue with work by new and emerging poets, Ashwini Bashi, David Maduli, Jasmine Elizabeth Smith, prose by Anita Henderson, Suzanne McFayden AND MORE.

https://conta.cc/2USe9lC

Kweli's latest issue features ENGLAND, 1977, a nonfiction essay by SUZANNE MCFAYDEN. Born and raised in Kingston, Jamaic...
11/19/2020
England 1977 by Suzanne McFayden — KWELI / Truth From the Diaspora's Boldest Voices

Kweli's latest issue features ENGLAND, 1977, a nonfiction essay by SUZANNE MCFAYDEN. Born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica, Suzanne McFayden is an author and a leading collector of modern and contemporary art.

EXCERPT

My father, part of the Windrush Generation, always said he had a hankering to visit some of his old haunts back in England before he died. I thought it strange that Vincent Bancroft McFayden continually expressed a longing and nostalgia for his British life because 1947 to 1957 were not the best of times for him or Renie, his other half in Duhaney Park.

Not that we talked about it that much. It was one of the few sore subjects in my family. Like many immigrant men, my father had taken up with another woman while in England, a fellow Jamaican known to his mother and siblings. A dressmaker, she accompanied him when he returned to the island in 1957.

http://www.kwelijournal.org/nonfiction/2020/11/10/england-1977-by-suzanne-mcfayden?fbclid=IwAR3qhYCEFUX0ulUp-Xxmu7zLj7wEfeZSQBeVqjq3ci0BAdbhcsgaOCPyadI

“If they only knew the half of it, the half of what you and me lived through!”

On MONDAY, OCTOBER 26th, 7:30PM KWELI will talk about the ART OF THE SHORT STORY. NAIMA COSTER--a National Book Foundati...
10/25/2020
Naima Coster on What's Mine and Yours with Annabella Correa-Maynard - Crowdcast

On MONDAY, OCTOBER 26th, 7:30PM KWELI will talk about the ART OF THE SHORT STORY.

NAIMA COSTER--a National Book Foundation "5 Under 35" honoree selected by TAYARI JONES--will be our featured author.

Her short story, COLD, became the second chapter of her sophomore novel, WHAT'S MINE AND YOURS (Grand Central Publishing, March 2, 2021).

Some of my favorite short stories became the seeds for novels. Tomorrow we'll take a deep dive into COLD by NAIMA COSTER, THE WORLD'S GREATEST FISHERMAN by LOUISE ERDRICH and THE FIVE WOUNDS by KIRSTIN VALDEZ QUADE.

https://www.crowdcast.io/e/naima-coster-on-whats

Register now for Kweli Journal's event on Crowdcast, scheduled to go live on Monday October 26, 2020 at 7:00 pm EDT.

Celebrating RENEE WATSON & her genius art! 💐❤️🎉
10/24/2020
Best Books 2020: Publishers Weekly Publishers Weekly

Celebrating RENEE WATSON & her genius art! 💐❤️🎉

Best middle grade books, Becoming Muhammad Ali James Patterson and Kwame Alexander, Daring Darleen: Queen of the Screen, Anne Nesbet, Echo Mountain, Lauren Wolk, Fighting Words, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, The List of Things That Will Not Change, Rebecca

Celebrating Kweli alum KAI HARRIS & her new book deal!! Excited about PHOEBE ROBINSON's new imprint at PenguinRandom Hou...
09/30/2020
Phoebe Robinson just announced the first books coming to her Tiny Reparations imprint

Celebrating Kweli alum KAI HARRIS & her new book deal!! Excited about PHOEBE ROBINSON's new imprint at PenguinRandom House--TINY REPARATIONS BOOKS--and Kai's debut next year: WHAT THE FIREFLIES KNEW.

https://ew.com/books/phoebe-robinson-first-books-tiny-reparations-imprint/?fbclid=IwAR0u6AV81VZsZN7XLWbmPuHKPwE5e6_RW-jKexxeAGDXpF8N5mOXZ_tIlmw

This deeply compassionate coming-of-age novel is told from the perspective of an 11-year-old as she tries to make sense of her new life living with her estranged grandfather and sister after the death of her father and disappearance of her mother. Capturing all the vulnerability, perceptiveness, and inquisitiveness of a young Black girl on the cusp of puberty, this novel reveals that heartbreaking but necessary component of growing up — the realization that loved ones can be flawed, sometimes significantly so, and that the perfect family we all dream of looks different up close.

Read an excerpt from Kai Harris novel in Kweli: WHAT THE FIREFLIES KNEW at kwelijournal.org.

Comedian, author, podcaster, television host, and now publishing impresario Phoebe Robinson has announced the first acquisitions for her Tiny Reparations imprint.

Whiting Foundation
09/22/2020
Whiting Foundation

Whiting Foundation

"I’d pester my father and like a broken record I’d repeatedly ask why he didn’t teach me Hindi. He answered, 'What good would it have done to teach it to you?'"

Read "My Father's Language" by Anita Gill via Whiting grantee Kweli Journal:

The KWELI Art of the Short Story Workshop begins on September 26th. REGISTRATION IS OPEN!http://www.kwelijournal.org/the...
09/20/2020

The KWELI Art of the Short Story Workshop begins on September 26th.

REGISTRATION IS OPEN!

http://www.kwelijournal.org/the-art-of-the-short-story-workshop-1

STUDENT TESTIMONIALS

I came to the Art of the Short Story workshop because I’d been feeling stagnant in my writing process and I kept hearing how powerful the class was. So I signed up. Yo! I wasn’t ready. This is the workshop I’ve been looking for, for years. It was part literature appreciation class, part boot camp with a gentle, loving touch. I fell in love with the short story again. Both as a reader and as a writer. Along the way, I even breathed new life into a story idea that I’ve been wrestling with for a while. This workshop is a much needed space for writers of color at all levels. Thank you, Laura!
—Kaia Alderson-Tyson

Finding a skilled editor and storyteller to share their time and feedback with a writer is not easy, but it is invaluable. I am so thankful to have taken Kweli’s Short Story class, because Laura Pegram is that editor and storyteller. I left the six week course with an incredible gift: a deepened understanding of the form and possibilities of the short story, and of structure and symbolism. This understanding has helped me to bring a new eye to the stories I’m working on. During the workshop, Laura gave generous attention and consideration to each person. I remain thrilled and amazed by how closely she read my work and the detail and acuity of her comments. She allowed me to see my story more clearly and pointed me towards my next draft. Her knowledge and compassion are immense and I am beyond appreciative for her guidance. My short story Still Life was developed in workshop and will be published in the June 2016 issue of Kweli.
—Cecca Ochoa, author of Still Life
2018 Pushcart Prize Special Mention

Kweli Journal was one of the first major publications to accept my work. The editor, Laura Pegram, went above and beyond the acceptance letter. We worked on the edits over the phone for hours and revised draft after draft through email. When “Straight Dollars or Loose Change” was finally published in Kweli, I was proud of the story that emerged from so many hours of work with the Kweli staff. When I received that acceptance email from Kweli, I had received so many rejections that I was just about to give up on publishing altogether. That acceptance and the journal’s belief in my work was just what I needed to push through as a writer. To believe in myself as a writer.
—LaToya Watkins, 2015 Pushcart Prize for The Mother
author of Straight Dollars or Loose Change

This has been A WEEK!! So very grateful to the Children's Book Council for this award. It's an honor to share such brill...
09/18/2020

This has been A WEEK!!

So very grateful to the Children's Book Council for this award. It's an honor to share such brilliant CBC light with Ebony LaDelle, Christopher Myers, Kait Feldmann & Jamie Tan!

* * *

"The Children’s Book Council, the nonprofit trade association for children’s publishers in North America, has revealed the winners of its third annual CBC Diversity Outstanding Achievement Awards. The awards are given each year in honor of children’s book professionals who have helped create and promote diverse titles for young readers and who foster more inclusive employment practices within the industry."
https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/childrens/childrens-industry-news/article/84359-2020-cbc-diversity-award-winners-announced.html

Kweli is thrilled to receive Whiting Literary Magazine Prize 2020. Our hearts are singing!Sending sweet congratulations ...
09/16/2020

Kweli is thrilled to receive Whiting Literary Magazine Prize 2020. Our hearts are singing!

Sending sweet congratulations out to the other members of this year's cohort: One Story, Nat Brut, Foglifter and Conjunctions.

Judges’ citation on KWELI JOURNAL:

"Reading this journal is a revelation. Here are stories of deep, lived-in materiality. The abundant respect animating its editorial process means its writers, many of them women of color, do not have to justify their concerns and can simply dive into the pleasures of form and narrative. With its vibrant internationalism and the career- and craft-building opportunities it offers its writers, Kweli strives to publish a more generous, humane world into existence.

https://www.whiting.org/writers/whiting-literary-magazine-prizes/current

TONIGHT!National Book Award Finalist IBI ZOBOI and YUSEF SALAAM of The Exonerated Five in Conversation with JOSHUA BENNE...
09/15/2020

TONIGHT!

National Book Award Finalist IBI ZOBOI and YUSEF SALAAM of The Exonerated Five in Conversation with JOSHUA BENNETT on PUNCHING THE AIR, a powerful YA novel in verse about a boy who is wrongfully incarcerated!

“Stories, at their best, will break something old in you or build something new. Remarkably, Punching The Air does both. Zoboi and Salaam have created nothing short of a masterwork of humanity, with lyrical arms big enough to cradle the oppressed, and metaphoric teeth sharp enough to chomp on the bitter bones of racism. This is more than a story. This is a necessary exploration of anger, and a radical reflection of love, which ultimately makes for an honest depiction of what it means to be young and Black in America.”
(JASON REYNOLDS, award-winning, bestselling author of Long Way Down)

Free and open to the public.

RSVP:
https://www.crowdcast.io/e/ibi-zoboi-and-yusef

We are moving into the final week of #KweliLitFest! Whew!This weekend we are offering three (3) master classes.Memoir Ma...
09/12/2020
2020 International Festival Master classes and Workshops — KWELI / Truth From the Diaspora's Boldest Voices

We are moving into the final week of #KweliLitFest!

Whew!

This weekend we are offering three (3) master classes.

Memoir Master Class: Expanding the Personal Narrative
Led by Jaquira Díaz
Saturday, September 12, 2020, 2:00-5:00pm

On Revision
Led by Kali Fajardo-Anstine
Sunday, September 13, 2020, 11am - 2pm

Perishable Kingdom: Environmental Writing at the End of the World
Led by Joshua Bennett
Sunday, September 13, 2020, 2:00-5:00pm

http://www.kwelijournal.org/2020-international-festival-master-classes-and-workshops

See you online soon!

Click any image to learn more about the master classes and workshops.The master classes and workshops are exclusively for BIPOC writers. Manuscript critiques are available for an additional fee.

Celebrating the Kirkus Prize Finalists in Young Readers’ Literature, including:WE ARE WATER PROTECTORS by CAROLE LINDSTR...
09/09/2020
Kirkus Prize Finalists Are Announced | Kirkus Reviews

Celebrating the Kirkus Prize Finalists in Young Readers’ Literature, including:

WE ARE WATER PROTECTORS by CAROLE LINDSTROM & MICHAELA GOADE;

I AM EVERY GOOD THING by DERRICK BARNES & GORDON C. JAMES;

CLAP WHEN YOU LAND by ELIZABETH ACEVEDO, and

STAMPED by JASON REYNOLDS & IBRAM X. KENDI.

Both major publishers and independent presses have books in contention for the annual literary awards.

TONIGHT at 7PM!KALI FAJARDO-ANSTINE will be in conversation with VALERIA LUISELLI on her book, LOST CHILDREN ARCHIVE."Im...
09/03/2020
Valeria Luiselli on Lost Children Archive with Kali Fajardo-Anstine - Crowdcast

TONIGHT at 7PM!

KALI FAJARDO-ANSTINE will be in conversation with VALERIA LUISELLI on her book, LOST CHILDREN ARCHIVE.

"Impossibly smart, full of beauty, heart and insight, Lost Children Archive is a novel about archiving all that we don’t want to lose. It is an ode to sound. Valeria Luiselli looks into the American present as well as its history: into Native American history, and the many intersections between American and Mexican history that are and have always been there. This is a road trip novel that transcends the form, while also being the perfect American road trip novel for right now. Everyone should read this book.” —Tommy Orange

RSVP:

https://www.crowdcast.io/e/valeria-luiselli-on-lost

Register now for Kweli Journal's event on Crowdcast, scheduled to go live on Thursday September 03, 2020 at 7:00 pm EDT.

The acclaimed novelist JESMYN WARD lost her beloved husband—the father of her children—as COVID-19 swept across the coun...
09/01/2020
On Witness and Respair: A Personal Tragedy Followed by Pandemic

The acclaimed novelist JESMYN WARD lost her beloved husband—the father of her children—as COVID-19 swept across the country. She writes through their story, and her grief.

https://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2020/08/jesmyn-ward-on-husbands-death-and-grief-during-covid

The acclaimed novelist lost her beloved husband—the father of her children—as COVID-19 swept across the country. She writes through their story, and her grief.

RACHEL ELIZA GRIFFITHS: "As my mother began her transition of dying, I had traveled down to rural Mississippi to work on...
08/26/2020
Rachel Eliza Griffiths on Turning Her Work Towards Herself

RACHEL ELIZA GRIFFITHS: "As my mother began her transition of dying, I had traveled down to rural Mississippi to work on my first serious attempt at self-portraiture, of placing myself as the center of my photographs in a very sustained and deliberate, intentional way. And so, as I had begun to work on those photographs in Mississippi and elsewhere in the south, that is where I was when I received the phone call and really understood that my mother was dying. July 28 was the actual anniversary of her passing away, and it’s been six years now. So what happened was I was in Oxford, Mississippi, and when I realized that my mother was hospitalized and that maybe this time she wasn’t going to make it, I dropped everything and got on a plane and flew to Philadelphia, where she passed away some hours later. But I was fortunate enough to be at her bedside. She was there with my family. We were all together in this transition. So when I think of seeing the body, I think of the moment, this kind of very visceral moment of her leaving me, leaving my family."

This is Thresholds, a series of conversations with writers about experiences that completely turned them upside down, disoriented them in their lives, changed them, and changed how and why they wan…

TONIGHT at 7PM! Join #KweliLitFest as we celebrate the publication of DAVID HESKA WANBLI WEIDEN's thrilling new crime no...
08/26/2020

TONIGHT at 7PM! Join #KweliLitFest as we celebrate the publication of DAVID HESKA WANBLI WEIDEN's thrilling new crime novel: WINTER COUNTS!

David Heska Wanbli Weiden (an enrolled member of the Sicangu Lakota nation) will be in conversation with National Book Award finalist BRANDON HOBSON (citizen of the Cherokee Nation).

"Winter Counts is both a propulsive crime novel and a wonderfully informative book. David Heska Wanbli Weiden has written the first of what I hope is a series of books about life on Rosebud Reservation. Virgil Wounded Horse, his nephew Nathan, and Marie Short Bear are more than characters; they brim with intrigue and authentic life."
— Louise Erdrich, author of The Night Watchman

“David Heska Wanbli Weiden's Winter Counts marks the rise of a powerful new Native American voice in fiction, one that possesses an unnameable quality. With brilliant and precise prose, Weiden has created a deeply moving, heartfelt crime novel through Virgil Wounded Horse and his experiences of Native life. An astonishing debut novel.”
— Brandon Hobson, National Book Award Finalist and author of Where the Dead Sit Talking

“Winter Counts is a marvel. It’s a thriller with a beating heart and jagged teeth. This book is a brilliant meditation on power and violence, and a testament to just how much a crime novel can achieve. Weiden is a powerful new voice. I couldn’t put it down.”
—Tommy Orange, author of There There

RSVP at the link below.

https://www.crowdcast.io/e/davidheska-wanbli-weiden

See you at 7!

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Hi there, I wanted to know if you have any information regarding the Kweli conference held in New York this year in April. I would like to register but am not sure if I have missed the deadline. Really appreciate your help! Best wishes Farida
Hi there, I wanted to know if you have any information regarding the Kweli conference held in New York this year in April. I would like to register but am not sure if I have missed the deadline. Really appreciate your help! Best wishes Farida
$10,000 prize for 1st generation immigrant writers. Submit your work. You have nothing to lose and, possibly, a lot to gain.
The Cooperative Children's Book Center shares the latest praise song for WE RISE, WE RESIST, WE RAISE OUR VOICES, naming it book of the week. Join me in celebrating this love letter to our children by visionaries Cheryl Willis Hudson and Wade Hudson.
Naoma.urafiki.kw.kwel.journal
im a whiteng my promse
how was a promse
i hoph u okey
i hoph ukosawa
iam in kenya how is you
‪What an opportunity it has been to engage with professionals in the world of children’s literature. #kweli18‬