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Kalisha Buckhanon

Kalisha Buckhanon

African-American Novelist, Critically Acclaimed Author of Upstate and Conception

Travels From

Illinois


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BIO

Kalisha Buckhanon is the author of the novels Upstate, winner of a 2006 American Library Association ALEX Award and a Hurston/Wright Foundation Debut Fiction Award finalist; Conception, winner of a Friends of American Writers Literary Fiction Award; and the forthcoming Card Parties, based upon her short story that won the 2002 Bessie Head/Zora Neale Hurston Short Fiction Award at the Gwendolyn Brooks Black Literature and Writing Conference. She is the recipient of a 2001 Illinois Arts Council Artist Fellowship in Prose, a 2006 Audio Publishers Association Award in Literary Fiction for Upstate, a 2006 Terry McMillan Young Author Award at the National Book Club Conference as McMillan’s personal selection, and an Andrew Mellon/Mays Foundation Minority Undergraduate Fellowship for Humanities research.

 

Her writing has appeared in such places as Michigan Quarterly Review, University of Chicago’s Otium.com, The Independent (London) and Black Issues Book Review. She has taught creative writing and English through the PEN American Center’s Prison Writing Program, Kankakee Community College and others.

 

Born the eldest of four siblings in 1977, in Kankakee, Illinois, Buckhanon has an MFA in Creative Writing from the New School, and a BA and MA in English Language and Literature from the University of Chicago where she studied within the PhD program in English Language and Literature. She has led writing workshops at Northwestern University’s Lane Humanities Series, Chicago State University’s MFA Program, New York Public Libraries, Chicago Public Libraries, Brooklyn Public Library, Free Library of Philadelphia, Literature for All of Us, and the Neighborhood Writing Alliance.


Visit Kalisha Buckhanon’s website to learn more
Read a feature on Kalisha Buckhanon at The Guardian
www.macmillan.com
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BOOKS

Trade Paperback
Upstate
A Novel
St. Martin's Griffin

Upstate is an unforgettable coming-of-age story with a message of undeniable hope. Brilliant and profoundly felt, it is destined to speak to a new generation of readers.
Trade Paperback
Upstate
A Novel
St. Martin's Griffin

In the same vein as her critically acclaimed debut novel, Upstate, Kalisha Buckhanon again shares an emotionally beautiful story about today's youth that magnifies the unforgettable power of hope and the human spirit.

SPEECHES

The Spirit of Writing: Kalisha Buckhanon draws on her own personal background as a lifelong writer and reader, as well as words from prominent writers, to provide a deep exploration of the practice of writing, its essential role in society, and its spiritual benefits to authors. This talk includes a short writing exercise for attendees/participants to imagine as writers do.

Negression: Buckhanon speaks about historically-prominent events and movements in American history, and race relations of America today in consideration of a collective Black American psyche, if there is one (a question she explores). She gives special emphases to discussion of disenfranchised Black Americans, Black youth and Black women with children.

A Bookionista’s Shelf: Kalisha Buckhanon speaks about the favorite books and writers who turned her into an imaginative kid again. Some authors she likes to discuss include Toni Morrison, Joan Didion, Agatha Christie, James Baldwin, Stephen King and Zora Neale Hurston.


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RECENT VIDEOS

  • Watch a short video of Kalisha telling her story on YouTube.

  • Watch part two of Kalisha’s story, and hear her advice on writing.

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