Meet the Authors

RedBone Press authors are available for speaking engagements, readings, panels and discussions at bookstores, book clubs, community groups, and colleges and universities. Their suggested speaking topics/areas of interest are below. If you are interested in booking one, several or all of the RedBone Press authors for an event, please contact us at



Samiya Bashir

Samiya Bashir is the author of Gospel (2009) and Where the Apple Falls (2005), which was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award in Poetry. She is also the author of the chapbooks Wearing Shorts on the First Day of Spring (1999), American Visa (2001), and Teasing Crow (2006). Her poetry, stories, articles and editorial work have been featured in numerous publications most recently including PoetryWorld Literature TodayEcotone, HOAXThe Normal SchoolPoet LoreCallaloo, and The Encyclopedia Project. Her poems have appeared in anthologies, including War Diaries (2010), Best Lesbian Erotica 03 (Cleis Press, 2002), Best of the Best Lesbian Erotica (Cleis Press, 2000), and the Cave Canem Anthology: VII (2002).

Bashir is the recipient of several awards, grants, fellowships, and residencies from the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, the NEA, the University of California (where she served as a poet laureate), the Astraea Foundation, the National League of American Pen Women, Community of Writers at Squaw Valley, Soul Mountain Retreat, The Austin Project, Alma de Mujer, the James Dick Foundation for the Performing Arts, and Cave Canem, among others. She was a recipient of the 2011 Aquarius Press Legacy Award, given annually in recognition of women writers of color who actively provide creative opportunities for other writers.

A long-time communications professional focused on editorial, arts, and social justice movement building, Bashir is a founding organizer of Fire & Ink, an advocacy organization and writer’s festival for LGBT writers of African descent. She is also the editor of Black Women’s Erotica 2 (2003) and co-editor of Role Call: A Generational Anthology of Social & Political Black Literature & Art (2002), with Tony Medina and Quraysh Ali Lansana. Bashir teaches creative writing at Reed College.

Samiya Bashir is available for readings, residencies, speaking events, multimedia poetry installations (images and more from previous shows and installations available upon request), workshop leadership and more. A gifted writing coach and editor, she can be reached here for information on customized one-on-one coaching sessions. 


Djola Branner

Djola Branner is an interdisciplinary artist/educator who combines movement, sound and light to create compelling portraits of American life for the stage. His original full-length and one-act dramas give voice to individuals historically absent from the theater, and explore a diverse and complex range of human experiences. Co-founder of the award-winning performance group Pomo Afro Homos, Branner toured nationally and internationally with their shows Fierce Love: Stories from Black Gay Life and Dark Fruit, performing in venues as varied as college cafeterias and the Lincoln Center. His work has been supported the Creative Capital, Jerome, McKnight and Bush Foundations; and published in the anthologies Colored Contradictions, Staging Gay Lives and Voices Rising: Celebrating 20 Years of Lesbian and Gay Black Writers. He has taught dance, acting and dramatic writing for more than twenty-five years in community and academic settings including City College of San Francisco, Stanford University, University of Minnesota, Macalester College and American Musical and Dramatic Academy, among others. Branner is currently director of the School of Theater at George Mason University. sash & trim and other plays is the first collection of his dramatic work.

[Photo © 2006 by Jacqueline Thompson.] 


Sharon Bridgforth

Sharon Bridgforth is a 2016 Doris Duke Artist, and a resident playwright at New Dramatists since 2009. She collaborates with actors, dancers, singers and audiences live during performance as she composes moving soundscapes of her jazz/ritual texts. Recipient of the MAP Fund and the National Performance Network Creation Fund, Bridgforth is a 2016 Creative Capital awardee for her project dat Black Mermaid Man Lady. Her work has been presented by Links Hall, Pillsbury House Theatre, The New Black Fest and New York SummerStage Festival. She has served in residence at International Development Exchange; allgo, a statewide queer people of color organization; Brown University’s MFA Playwriting Program; University of Iowa’s MFA Playwrights Program; The Theatre School at DePaul University; and the Department of Performance Studies at Northwestern University. Voted top 25 Favorite LGBT Artists/Campus Pride HOT LIST and Autostraddle’s 100 LGBTQ Black Women You Should Know, Bridgforth is the RedBone Press author of love conjure/blues and the Lambda Literary Award-winning the bull-jean stories. Her performance script delta dandi is published in solo/black/woman: scripts, interviews and essays (eds. E. Patrick Johnson and Ramón Rivera-Servera, Northwestern University Press, 2014). Bridgforth, Omi Osun Joni L. Jones and Lisa L. Moore are co-editors of Experiments in a Jazz Aesthetic: Art, Activism, Academia, and the Austin Project (University of Texas Press). Bridgforth is one of the subjects in Dr. Matt Richardson’s The Queer Limit of Black Memory: Black Lesbian Literature and Irresolution (The Ohio State University Press); Francesca Royster’s “Queering the Jazz Aesthetic: An Interview with Sharon Bridgforth and Omi Osun Joni Jones in Journal of Popular Music Studies (vol. 25, no. 4, December 2013); and Omi Osun Joni L. Jones’s Theatrical Jazz: Performance, Àṣẹ, and the Power of the Present Moment (The Ohio State Press, 2015).

[Photo © 2011 by Vanessa Vargas.]

Sharon Bridgforth is available for residencies, performances, readings and the Finding Voice workshop. Suggestions: Interdisciplinary theatre, dance, music, spoken word venues, universities, community-based organizations. Black, queer, people of color, women and gender studies, Diaspora programs, organizations that serve poets/dancers/spoken word artists/hip hop artists/performance artists/visual artists/musicians of all experience levels/people that do not easily fit in box, artists that do not flow in mainstream culture, people that are not hooked into systems of privilege and support. 


Alexis De Veaux’s work is defined by two critical concerns: making the racial and sexual experiences of black female characters central, and disrupting boundaries between forms. She is the author of two award-winning biographies: Don’t Explain: A Song of Billie Holiday and Warrior Poet: A Biography of Audre Lorde. A celebrated writer of poetry, children’s literature, plays, essays and journalism, De Veaux is also an activist recognized for her lifelong contributions to a number of women’s and literary organizations. With her new work, Yabo, Alexis has returned to her first love: writing fiction.

[Photo copyright © 2014 by Lisa C. Moore]


Yvonne Fly Onakeme Etaghene is an Ijaw and Urhobo Nigerian dyke performance activist, poet, dancer, educator, actress and mixed-media visual artist. Etaghene has performed internationally, produced four solo visual art exhibitions and is the founder of Sugarcane, an LGBTQ of color writing workshop series. She wrote and performed in two multimedia one-woman shows, Volcano’s Birthright{s} and GUAVA. Etaghene has published four chapbooks of poetry: afrocrown: fierce poetry (2000), write or die (2004), tongue twisted transcontinental sista (2006) and skin into verse (2014). For Sizakele is Etaghene's first novel.

[Photo copyright © 2008 by An Xiao]


Ernest Hardy

Ernest Hardy is a Sundance Fellow whose music and film criticism have appeared in The New York Times, the Village Voice, Vibe, Rolling Stone, the Los Angeles Times, Flaunt and the LA Weekly. He’s a contributor to the reference books 1,001 Movies You Must See Before You Die; Classic Material: the Hip-Hop Album Guide; and Books: the Ultimate Insider’s Guide. His collection of criticism, Blood Beats Vol. 1: Demos, Remixes and Extended Versions, was published in 2006 and earned a 2007 PEN / Beyond Margins Award. Blood Beats Vol. 2: The Bootleg Joints, was published in February 2008. Hardy has been a juror for the Sundance Film Festival, the San Francisco International Film Festival, the Palm Springs International Short Film Festival, Los Angeles Outfest, and the Los Angeles Film Festival, and co-programmed the FUSION Film Festival in Los Angeles. Hardy has written liner notes for Chuck D Presents: Louder than a Bomb; Curtis Mayfield: Gospel; Chet Baker: Career 1952-1988; and the box-sets Love, Luther; Say It Loud: A Celebration of Black Music in America; and Superstars of Seventies Soul, among others. He co-edited the literary anthology War Diaries (APLA, 2011). His short story, “Cold & Wet Tired You Bet” appears in Best Gay Stories 2011 (Lethe Press), and two of his poems appear in the anthology Black Gay Genius: Answering Joseph Beam’s Call (Vintage Entity Press, 2015).

[Photo copyright 2006 by Alex Demyanenko.]

Ernest Hardy is available for cultural criticism on topics ranging from queer sexualities in hip-hop (ex: a feminist-filtered read on the layers and meaning of Lil' Kim; gay hip-hop porn) to the work of visual artist Mark Bradford; from the political currents of House music and culture to the racial and sexual politics of contemporary mainstream and indie film. He is also available to read as a poet and short story author.

G. Winston James is a Jamaican-born poet, author, essayist and editor. He holds a BA from Columbia University and an MFA in fiction from Brooklyn College. James is the author of the Lambda Literary Award and Ferro-Grumley Award finalist collection Shaming the Devil: Collected Short Stories; The Damaged Good: Poems Around Love; and the Lambda Literary Award finalist collection Lyric: Poems Along a Broken Road. His essays appear in the anthologies For Colored Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Still Not Enough and Love, Christopher Street: Reflections of Gay New York. James is co-editor of the anthology Voices Rising: Celebrating 20 Years of Black Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Writing and the Lambda Literary Award finalist collection Spirited: Affirming the Soul and Black Gay/Lesbian Identity. He recently wrote the introduction to American photographer Thomas Roma’s book of portraits, In the Vale of Cashmere (powerHouse, 2015).

[Photo © Curu Necos-Bloice.]

G. Winston James is available for poetry and fiction readings. Suggested speaker topics are the writing and publishing process, sexuality and desire, LGBT spirituality, the writing workshop, art and community building, art and the construction of the individual, and the importance of anthologies. 

Ana-Maurine LaraAna-Maurine Lara, Ph.D., is a national award-winning poet and fiction writer. She is author of Erzulie's Skirt (RedBone Press, 2006), When the Sun Once Again Sang to the People (KRK Ediciones, 2011), and Watermarks and Tree Rings (Tanama Press). In 2015, she completed the first of her decade-long projects, Cantos, including her original poetry, with music composition by Martin Perna and original artwork by Youmna Chlala. She is an associate professor of anthropology; women, gender and sexuality studies; indigenous, race and ethnic studies; and Latin American studies at the University of Oregon.

[Photo © 2006 by Krissy Mahan.]

Ana-Maurine Lara is available for readings (poetry, fiction), lectures (topics include: black queer aesthetics, memory and art, Dominican Republic, blackness and queerness) and writing workshops. 


Lisa C. Moore 2015Lisa C. Moore is the founder and editor of RedBone Press, which publishes award-winning work celebrating the culture of black lesbians and gay men and promoting understanding between black gays and lesbians and the black mainstream. Moore is the editor of does your mama know? An Anthology of Black Lesbian Coming Out Stories, co-editor of Spirited: Affirming the Soul and Black Gay/Lesbian Identity, and co-editor, co-compiler and co-publisher (with Vintage Entity Press) of Carry the Word: A Bibliography of Black LGBTQ Books. Moore was also board co-president of Fire & Ink, an advocacy organization for LGBTQ writers of African descent; Fire & Ink ceased operations in 2019. A former editor of Lambda Book Report, Moore has judged numerous literary awards and speaks at conferences, colleges, and universities about black gay/lesbian publishing. She is a former board member of the Money for Women Barbara Deming Memorial Fund. 

[Photo © 2015 by Shaan Michael Wade.]


Marvin K. White Marvin K. White, M.Div., is a graduate of the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley CA, and a former pastor associate at Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco. In addition to being a sought-after preacher, collaborator and thought leader, he is currently an arts liaison and a co-facilitator of the Faith Leaders Round Table at the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society. He is the author of four collections of poetry published by RedBone Press; Our Name Be Witness, Status and two Lammy-nominated collections, last rights and nothin’ ugly fly. As a public theologian and community-based artist, he is articulating a vision of social, prophetic and creative justice through being a poet, artist, teacher, facilitator, activist, community organizer, preacher, homemaker, cake baker, and Facebook Statustician.

[Photo © 2011 by Duane Cramer.]

Marvin K. White is available for poetry readings, poetry manuscript consultation and critique, and leading creative writing/poetry workshops. Particular communities of expertise are LGBT, African-American, youth and beginning writers. He is also available for contest reading and judging.