• M. Nzadi Keita posing outside

M. Nzadi Keita

M. Nzadi Keita is a Philly-born writer, editor, scholar and teacher. Her forthcoming book of persona poems, BRIEF EVIDENCE OF HEAVEN, follows the life of abolitionist Anna Murray Douglass, first wife of Frederick Douglass. She has received grants from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts for poetry and the Leeway Foundation for scholarship and community work. She is an alumna of Cave Canem and has been a Yaddo fellow. Poet Lore Journal most recently published Keita’s work from a manuscript-in-progress. Poems also appear in anthologies including A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry, The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South, and Confirmation: An Anthology of African-American Women. Keita’s prose appears in Peace Is A Haiku Song, a collaboration with the Philadelphia Mural Arts Project. She has also worked on projects with the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and WHYY.




  • B.A. Temple University
  • M.A. Vermont College
  • Ph.D., Indiana University of Pennsylvania


  • Intro to Poetry Writing
  • Persona Poetry
  • Spoken Word
  • Memoir Writing in Philadelphia
  • The Black Arts Movement
  • Caribbean Literature
  • Post-War American Poets
  • Issues in African-American & Africana Studies

Research Interests

Creative Writing: Poetry, Hybrid Texts, Fiction
Scholarship: Black women writers, African-American migration, poetry pedagogy, imagery and black communities

Recent Work

BRIEF EVIDENCE OF HEAVEN (poems), forthcoming 2014, Whirlwind Press

Poems published recently:
Poet Lore Journal

SO FAR… SO CLOSE: Contemporary Writers of Tarapacá and Pennsylvania, Hernan Pereira & Pamela Daza, eds.

Panelist, “Invented Lives: A Discussion of African-American Women’s Narratives” African-American Historical & Cultural Museum, March 12, 2014

“Re-naming and Reframing: The Personal is Herstorical”
Celebrating African-American Literature: US & Afro-Caribbean Poetry Conference, Penn State, Oct. 2013