English

  • M. Nzadi Keita’s Pew Fellow photo
    2017

M. Nzadi Keita

Nzadi Keita, a Philly-born writer, editor, and scholar, is a Pew Fellow for the Arts in Poetry. Her book of persona poems, BRIEF EVIDENCE OF HEAVEN, gives voice to abolitionist Anna Murray Douglass, first wife of Frederick Douglass. Cited by Yale historian David Blight, the book was also a finalist for the Phillis Wheatley Prize from the Quarterly Black Book Review. Grants from the Fine Arts Work Center and Pennsylvania Council on the Arts have funded Keita’s writing. The Women’s International Study Center awarded her a fellowship. Her scholarship and community work have received the Leeway Foundation’s support. Keita is an alumna of Cave Canem and has been a Yaddo fellow. Her poems have appeared in journals such as Poet Lore and in anthologies including A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry. Peace Is A Haiku Song, a collaboration with the Philadelphia Mural Arts Project, includes her prose. She has also collaborated with the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and WHYY.

Department

English

Degrees

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

Teaching

  • 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), 2014, Whirlwind Press

Poems published recently:
The Maine Review

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

Presentations:

Panelist: “Frederick Douglass at 200: The Life Behind the Times,” Yale University, February, 2018



Paper:

“The Other Douglass: Recuperative Agency In Brief Evidence Of Heaven: Poems from the life of Anna Murray Douglass” - July 2019, MLA Internat’l Conference, Lisbon, Portugal