Founded in 2007 by a group of writers, editors and booksellers, ringShout is dedicated to recognizing, reclaiming and celebrating excellence in contemporary literary fiction and non-fiction by black writers in the United States.
One of the first dances created by Africans brought to America as slaves in the 1700s, the ring shout was a sacred circle dance of salvation that enabled a community to find preservation, provided solace and rejuvenation,and sheltered many early nuances of Africanist culture and practice.
(Adapted from Thea Narissa Barnes, The Association of Dance of the African Diaspora Dictionary 2005-2006)
Bridgett M. Davis
Bridgett M. Davis's debut novel, Shifting Through Neutral, was published in 2004 by Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins, and chosen as an "Original Voice" Selection of Borders Books. She was a finalist for the 2005 Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Legacy Award and selected as "New Author of the Year" by Go On Girl! Book Club, the largest national reading group for African American women.
Her essays, reviews and articles have appeared in The Washington Post, Columbia Journalism Review, The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Chicago Tribune. Her feature film, Naked Acts, won numerous awards and was released on DVD in 2000. A Professor of Journalism at Baruch College, CUNY, where she teaches Creative Writing and Journalism, she is the recipient of the 2006 Excellence in Education award from the New York Association of Black Journalists.
She is currently working on a new novel, Lagos, set in 1980's Nigeria and based on her time in West Africa as the recipient of a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and children.
Christopher Jackson is Executive Editor of Spiegel and Grau, a division of Random House. He has worked with award-winning and bestselling authors, including Edwidge Danticat, Victor LaValle, David Corn, Jack Weatherford, Warren St. John, Aaron McGruder, Nancy Rawles, and Cupcake Brown.
Alison Meyers is Executive Director of Cave Canem: A Home for Black Poetry. 2000-2006, she was Artistic Director of the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, a multi-faceted program of Hill-Stead Museum, CT, where she also served as Director of Marketing & Communications. Previously, she was General Manager of the Oberlin (Ohio) Co-operative Bookstore, and prior to that, owned and managed Everyday Books & Café in Connecticut. She is a published poet, twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
Eisa Nefertari Ulen
Eisa Nefertari Ulen is the author of Crystelle Mourning, a novel described by The Washington Post as a call for healing in the African American community from generations of hurt and neglect. She is the recipient of a Frederick Douglass Creative Arts Center Fellowship for Young African American Fiction Writers and a Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center Fellowship.
Her essays, exploring topics ranging from Hip Hop to Muslim life in America post-9/11 to the gap between the Civil Rights generation and Generation X, have been widely anthologized. Nominated by Essence magazine for a National Association of Black Journalists Award, she has contributed to numerous other publications, including The Washington Post, Ms., Health, Heart & Soul, Vibe, The Source, Black Issues Book Review, Quarterly Black Review of Books, and CreativeNonfiction.org.
Ulen graduated from Sarah Lawrence College and earned a master's degree from Columbia University. She teaches English at Hunter College in New ork City and lives with her husband and son in Brooklyn. You can reach Eisa online and read her blog at www.EisaUlen.com.
Martha Southgate is the author of Third Girl from the Left, which was published in paperback by Houghton Mifflin in 2006. It won the Best Novel of the Year award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association and was shortlisted for the PEN/Beyond Margins Award and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award.
Her previous novel, The Fall of Rome, received the 2003 Alex Award from the American Library Association and was named one of the best novels of 2002 by Jonathan Yardley of The Washington Post. She is also the author of Another Way to Dance, winner of the Coretta Scott King Genesis Award for Best First Novel.
She has received a New York Foundation for the Arts grant and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Bread Loaf Writers Conference. Her July 2007 New York Times Book Review article, "Writers Like Me," was the initial spark for ringShout and generated considerable notice in publishing and literary circles.
Previous non-fiction articles have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, O, Premiere and Essence. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and two children.
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