Photo Credit: The Kent State University

Honorée Fanonne Jeffers was born in Kokomo, Indiana, and reared in Durham, North Carolina and Atlanta, Georgia. She holds the BA in English from Talladega College and the MFA in Creative Writing from University of Alabama. 

Her four collections of poetry are The Gospel of Barbecue (2000), chosen by Lucille Clifton for the 1999 Wick Poetry Prize, Outlandish Blues (2003), Red Clay Suite (2007), and The Glory Gets (2015). 

She has won fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Witter Bynner Foundation through the Library of Congress. As a result of her research on Phillis Wheatley, the first African American woman to publish a book, she was elected into the American Antiquarian Society, an organization to which fourteen American presidents have belonged.

A prose writer as well, Honorée is the recipient of the Emerging Fiction Fellowship from the Aspen Summer Words Conference, the Tennessee Williams’ Scholarship in Fiction from the Sewanee Writers Conference, and the Goodheart Prize for Fiction from Shenandoah: The Washington and Lee Review.  Her essays and short fiction have appeared in Callaloo, Common-Place: the Interactive Journal of Early American Life, The Kenyon Review, New England Review, Poetry International, Shenandoah, StoryQuarterly, The Fire This Time (2016), and Virginia Quarterly Review. 

A native southerner, Honorée has lived on the prairie since 2002, where she is Professor of English at the University of Oklahoma. For more information on her, please visit honorejeffers.com and follow her at @blklibrarygirl on Twitter.