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Sheila Smith McKoy

Sheila Smith McKoy earned her BA at North Carolina State University, her MA at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and her PhD at Duke University. An award-winning poet, fiction writer, and filmmaker, she is the recipient of the 2020 Muriel Craft Bailey Memorial Prize in poetry and co-author of One Window’s Light: A Haiku Collection, a collaboration of five Black poets in celebration of the haiku tradition. She has written, produced, directed or served as executive producer for four documentaries: St Agnes: The Untold Story (2012), Opening Doors: The Lives and Legacies of Dr. Lawrence M. Clark and Dr. Augustus M. Witherspoon (2013), WLLE: A Voice of the Community (Co-Executive Producer, 2015), and Luwero: A Convesation about War, Peace and Gender (2017). She served as editor of Obsidian: Literature in the African Diaspora for nine years, 2006 – 2015. Smith McKoy has authored or edited several scholarly books, including When Whites Riot: Writing Race and Violence in American and South African Cultures (2001), The Elizabeth Keckley Reader a two-volume series (2016 and 2017), Recovering the African Feminine Divine: Yemenja Rising, and Teaching Literature and Writing in Prisons (forthcoming 2024). A trained mediator, Smith McKoy specializes in restorative justice practices. A native of Raleigh, NC, she lives in San Francisco.



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