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M. Nzadi Keitat thumb.jpg

M. Nzadi Keita’s third poetry collection, Migration Letters, is forthcoming from Beacon Press in April, 2024. It centers her Philadelphia upbringing as a first-generation northerner, using themes of journey, music, and transformation. Her second book, Brief Evidence of Heaven: Poems from the life of Anna Murray Douglass, sheds light on the unsung, free-born abolitionist who was Frederick Douglass’s first wife and is cited by David Blight in his prize-winning biography, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom.  Keita’s poems have appeared in journals including Obsidian, Killens Review of Arts and Letters, and Poet Lore and in anthologies such as A Face to Meet the Faces: A Persona Anthology.

Keita is an alumna of Cave Canem and a recipient of grants including a Pew Fellowship in poetry. She has presented poetry and scholarship in varied settings, including the Associated Writing Program, Modern Language Association International Conference in Lisbon and the National Caucus of African-American Librarians in Tulsa. Her prose publications include the journal About Place and the volume, Women, Culture, and The Sixties. Keita has served as an adviser to the award-winning documentary, “BadddDDD Sonia Sanchez” and a consultant to the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Foundation and Mural Arts Philadelphia. As a Professor of English at Ursinus College, she taught creative writing, American literature, and African-American/Africana Studies.

At WISC, I will be drafting lyric essays to develop a hybrid nonfiction text. It uses memoir, literary criticism, and cultural studies to offer a multi-faceted take on U.S. Black women as makers and subjects of poetry.

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