I created Black Writers Read to challenge what is considered the literary canon and to share my love of reading. Black authors are creating worlds that need to be explored.”
Nicole M. Young-Martin
FOUNDER, PRODUCER & HOST – BLACK WRITERS READ
The Black Writers Read Story
On Friday, June 19, 2020, Nicole hosted an over 3-hour virtual event, convening 16 Black writers from across the country to share their work. This was the beginning of Black Writers Read.
Seeing the need to sustain this platform, she launched the platform as a web series, to showcase, celebrate, and honor the words, work, and traditions of Black writers from across the country, across genres, across experiences, and across the African Diaspora.
In its first year, Black Writers Read hosted 29 writers, representing various genres including memoir, young adult fiction, children’s picture books, history, poetry, essays, and creative nonfiction.
Now in its third season, Black Writers Read has expanded to include the livestreamed series and audio podcast, thanks to funds raised through an Indiegogo campaign.
It is continuing to evolve and grow and working to reach Black Writers and their audiences all over the United States and the world.
Black Writers Read Sample Episodes
Saida is a queer Afro-Guyanese poet whose work explores the ways that Black folks harness mythology to enter the fantastic. Saida’s first collection of poems, let the dead in, was a finalist for the Center of African American Poetry & Poetics’ 2020 Book Prize as well as the New Issues Poetry Prize. A Cave Canem Graduate Fellow, Saida has been awarded numerous honors and support for her work, including being a Best of the Net Finalist and a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee.
Shanta Lee Gander
Shanta Lee Gander is an artist who works in different mediums as a photographer, writer across genres and is a public intellectual whose work has been widely featured. She is the winner of the 2020 Diode Press full-length book prize with an honorable mention from the Sheila Margaret Motton prize and was the 2020 gubernatorial appointee to the Vermont Humanities Council’s board of directors. She has an MFA in Creative Non-Fiction and Poetry at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She has an MBA from the University of Hartford and an undergraduate degree in Women, Gender and Sexuality from Trinity College.
Khary Oronde Polk
Khary Oronde Polk is an Associate Professor of Black Studies & Sexuality, Women’s and Gender Studies at Amherst College. He is a cultural historian of the African American diaspora, a specialist in LGBTQ studies, and a scholar of race, gender, and sexuality in the U.S. military. Polk received his Ph.D. in American Studies from New York University, and teaches courses on race & the American imagination, military history, Black European studies, Black sexuality, and queer theory.
YOU CAN HELP SUSTAIN BLACK WRITERS READ
How to Support the Series
Contribute directly to the producer and host, Nicole M. Young-Martin. Black Writers Read is a self-funded project. Any financial support is greatly appreciated. Funds are used to pay guest honoraria, marketing, and platform hosting cost.