R280. Come Firewalk with Me: The Black Mind

Capital & Congress, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Four
Thursday, February 9, 2017
4:30 pm to 5:45 pm


Black storytelling is a trip down the rabbit hole of the American experience, a complex odyssey of myth and reality. The psychological landscape of African American literature is one of mental captivity, boundless genius, and reinventions of the self. How can the labyrinths of this inner world be brought to the page with authenticity and depth? Panelists examine the black mind in story as both sojourn through darkness and flight of the phoenix.



Morowa Yejidé’s novel Time of the Locust was a 2012 finalist for the PEN/Bellwether Prize, longlisted for the 2015 PEN/Bingham award, and a 2015 NAACP Image Award Nominee for Outstanding Literary Work. She is currently a PEN/Faulkner Writers in Schools author.

Jeffery Renard Allen is the author of five books of fiction and poetry, most recently the novel Song of the Shank. He teaches in the writing program at University of Virginia. He has received many accolades for his work, including a Whiting Award and a Guggenheim fellowship.

Dolen Perkins-Valdez is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel Wench. Her second novel is Balm. Her stories have appeared in the Kenyon Review and elsewhere. She teaches in the American University MFA program.

Jason Reynolds is the author of the critically acclaimed young adult novels, When I Was the Greatest, which won the Coretta Scott King – John Steptoe Award, and, The Boy in the Black Suit. Besides those two books, Reynolds coauthored the young adult poetry/art book, My Name Is Jason. Mine Too.


March 8–11, 2023
Seattle, Washington

Washington State Convention Center