Who is Honorée?

A poet, fiction writer, literary and cultural critic, and the author of three books of poetry, The Gospel of Barbecue (2000); Outlandish Blues (Wesleyan University Press, 2003); and Red Clay Suite (Southern Illinois University Press, 2007). 

Honorée has read at universities and writing conferences throughout the country as well as at the Library of Congress. She has received several awards for her writing, including an award from the Rona Jaffe Foundation, and fellowships from the American Antiquarian Society, the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Witter Bynner Foundation through the Library of Congress. Her poems have appeared in African American Review, American Poetry Review, Black Renaissance Noire, Blues Poems (Random House, 2003), Brilliant Corners: A Journal of Jazz and Literature, Callaloo, The Civil Rights Reader (University of Georgia, 2009), The Gettysburg Review, The Kenyon Review, The Hungry Ear: Poems of Food and Drink (Bloomsbury, 2012), Iowa Review, Prairie Schooner and Ploughshares, among others.

She is at work on two separate books of poetry: In The Glory Gets, Honorée turns to the business of wisdom. Using the metaphors of “gets”—the concessional returns of living—she travels the interconnected legs of the journey to womanhood.  Her other project, The Age of Phillis, is a book of historical poetry imagining the life and times of Phillis Wheatley, the eighteenth-century, Revolutionary-Era poet who was the first black American woman to publish a book; for the extensive research for this second project, Honorée traveled to Senegal, the United Kingdom, and throughout New England (USA), and her NEA Fellowship, American Antiquarian Society Fellowship, and the Vermont Studio Center Fellowship were awarded in support of The Age of Phillis. She has published several poems from each of her two manuscripts-in-progress. 

An award-winning prose writer as well, Honorée is the recipient of the Tennessee Williams Fiction Scholarship from the Sewanee Writers Conference and the Goodheart Prize for Fiction from Shenandoah: The Washington and Lee University Review, and a story by her was noted in “100 More Distinguished Stories of 2008” in Best American Short Stories 2009.  Her essays and reviews have appeared in Common-Place: The Interactive Journal of Early American Life, JENdA: A Journal of Cultural and African Women’s Studies, The Kenyon Review: KROnline, and Virginia Quarterly Review. She blogs at her site, Phillis Remastered, and she is at work on her first novel. 

A native southerner, Honorée now lives on the prairie where she has taught creative writing at the University of Oklahoma since 2002; she is Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing Coordinator.

  copyright © 2014 by honorée fanonne jeffers.

jeffers.                                   poet and writer.