Quraysh Ali Lansana

Quraysh Ali Lansana is author of They Shall Run: Harriet Tubman Poems (Third World Press, 2004) and the poetry collections Southside Rain (Third World Press, 2000) and mystic turf (Willow Books, 2012). He is also the author of The Big World, a children’s book, (Addison-Wesley, 1999); and four poetry chapbooks, reluctant minivan (Living Arts Press, May 2014), bloodsoil (sooner red) (Center for the American Land, May 2009), Greatest Hits: 1995-2005 (Pudding House Publications, 2006) and cockroach children: corner poems and street psalms (nappyhead press, 1995). He is the editor of Glencoe/McGraw-Hill’s African American Literature Reader (Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, 2001) and I Represent and dream in yourself, which are two anthologies of literary works from Chicago’s award-winning youth arts employment program, Gallery 37 (Tia Chucha Press, 1996 and 1997, respectively). He is also co-editor of Dream of A Word: The Tia Chucha Press Poetry Anthology (Tia Chucha Press, 2006), and Role Call: A Generational Anthology of Social and Political Black Literature and Art (Third World Press, 2002). Our Difficult Sunlight: A Guide to Poetry, Literacy & Social Justice in Classroom & Community (with Georgia A. Popoff) was published in March 2011 by Teachers & Writers Collaborative and was a 2012 NAACP Image Award nominee. Forthcoming books include The Walmart Republic, w/Christopher Stewart, (Mongrel Empire Press, September 2014) and The Breakbeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip Hop (Haymarket Books, 2015).

His work has been published widely in journals and magazines across the country and internationally, including Callaloo, American Poetry Review, and Crab Orchard Review, among others. He is a faculty member of the Creative Writing Program of the School of the Art Institute and the Red Earth MFA Creative Writing Program at Oklahoma City University. He is also a former faculty member of the Drama Division of The Juilliard School, and served as Director of the Gwendolyn Brooks Center for Black Literature and Creative Writing at Chicago State University from 2002-2011, where he was also Associate Professor of English/Creative Writing.  Lansana is a former Reading/Language Arts editor for Scott-Foresman (Pearson Education), Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, and Holt, Rinehart & Winston. Quraysh was Lead Consultant/Contributing Poet for the Jamestown Reading Navigator Poetry Slam On-line Program.

Passage, his poetry video collaboration with Kurt Heintz, won the first ever Image Union/Bob Award from WTTW-TV (PBS).  He is the recipient of other awards, including: the 2006 Securing the Future Award from ETA Creative Arts Foundation, the 2000 Poet of the Year Award, presented by Chicago’s Black Book Fair; the 1999 Henry Blakely Award, presented by Gwendolyn Brooks; and the 1999 Wallace W. Douglas Distinguished Service Award, presented by Young Chicago Authors, Inc.

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