WOC Academics Reading, Panel & Open Mic

Women of color writing creatively about our experiences:


A Reading, Panel, and Open Mic



WHEN: Friday, December 1, 6:30 pm


WHERE: Wellness Ways Studio, at the Ivy Building for the Arts (#231).


The Ivy Building for the Arts is located at 2637 27th Ave. S., in Minneapolis.


COST: Suggested $10 donation will go directly to the owner of the space, as she has graciously gifted it to us for the event. No one will be turned away for lack of funds, however.


WHO SHOULD COME: Community members, friends and family, anyone interested in reading and/or supporting voices and writing of women of color academics.



Shannon Gibney has curated a reading, panel, and open mic on women of color academics writing creatively about our experiences.


Gibney has asked Ana M. Perez, Taiyon Coleman, and Jennifer Kwon Dobbs, all local women of color academics, to read about 10 minutes of their work, to be followed by a panel discussion. The conclusion of the event will be an open mic, in which any and all women of color academics who have something to share will be encouraged to do so.


Please make time to attend this vital discussion!



Shannon Gibney is a writer, educator, activist, and the author of See No Color (Carolrhoda Lab, 2015), a young adult novel that won the 2016 Minnesota Book Award in Young Peoples’ Literature. A Bush Artist and McKnight Writing Fellow, her next novel, Dream Country, is about more than five generations of an African descended family, crisscrossing the Atlantic both voluntarily and involuntarily (Dutton, 2018).



Ana M. Perez was born and raised in central Florida; she earned a Ph.D. in Women’s Studies from the University of Maryland.  She is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Gender & Women’s Studies at Minnesota State, Mankato.  Her research examines questions of race, color, and beauty among Mexican American women.

Kwon Dobbs BWauthorphoto.jpg


Jennifer Kwon Dobbs is the author of Paper Pavilion (White Pine Press 2007), Notes from a Missing Person (Essay Press 2015), Interrogation Room (White Pine Press forthcoming 2018), and the German-translated chapbook Necro Citizens (forthcoming 2018). Currently co-editing an anthology of autocritical writing, she teaches poetry and directs Race and Ethnic Studies at St. Olaf College.




Although her first dream was to be a backup dancer for former hip-hop artist Heavy D, Taiyon J. Coleman is a writer, educator and consultant, and her writing has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. Currently completing her first novel, Chicago @ 15, she lives in Minneapolis with her family.


This activity is funded in part by a Minnesota State Arts Board Artists’ Initiative grant.

Call for Submissions: An Anthology of Infant Loss

What God is Honored Here?

SUBTITLE: An Anthology on Miscarriage and Infant Loss


Writers Shannon Gibney and Kao Kalia Yang are seeking submissions for a new literary anthology on miscarriage and infant loss. We are women of color who have experienced miscarriage and infant loss and have searched for literature on the subject. We have found that while these losses have disproportionately affected women of color, there is little by and for women of color. Thus, this book project.

Our goal is to put forth a literary collection of writing by women of color for women of color. We especially encourage Latina, Native, Asian American, Black, and mixed women writers to submit work. We are seeking prose submissions, powerful short stories and essays about stillbirth, abortion, miscarriage, genetic or biological anomalies, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or any tragic loss of an infant. While we are particularly interested in work from writers who have first-hand experience with these issues, we will accept high quality pieces on the topic from those who may not have directly experienced it. New pieces preferred, although previously published pieces will be considered.

Once we have three strong submissions, in addition to our own pieces, we will approach publishers.


SUBMIT WORK TO: infantlossanthology@gmail.com.  

Shannon Gibney is a writer, educator, activist, and the author of See No Color (Carolrhoda Lab, 2015), a young adult novel that won the 2016 Minnesota Book Award in Young Peoples’ Literature. Gibney is faculty in English at Minneapolis Community and Technical College, where she teaches critical and creative writing, journalism, and African Diasporic topics. A Bush Artist and McKnight Writing Fellow, her next novel, Dream Country, is about more than five generations of an African descended family, crisscrossing the Atlantic both voluntarily and involuntarily (Dutton, 2018).

Kao Kalia Yang is a Hmong-American writer. She is the author of The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir (Coffee House Press, 2008), winner of the 2009 Minnesota Book Awards in Creative Nonfiction/Memoir and Readers Choice, and a finalist for the PEN USA Award in Creative Nonfiction and the Asian Literary Award in Nonfiction.  Her second book, The Song Poet (Metropolitan Books, 2016) won the 2016 Minnesota Book Award in Creative Nonfiction Memoir. It was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Chautauqua Prize, a PEN USA Award in Nonfiction and the Dayton’s Literary Peace Prize. Yang is also a teacher and a public speaker.

The Nerds of Color Articles on The Handmaid’s Tale and Hidden Figures

Handmaid's Tale

Shannon and colleague Lori Askeland wrote an analysis of Hulu’s new reboot of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale for The Nerds of Color, in terms of the limits of colorblind casting.

It’s called, “Race, Intersectionality, and the End of the World: The Problem with The Handmaid’s Tale,” and you can read it here.


The article actually made it all the way to Australia, where The Handmaid’s Tale TV program is just now being rolled out, and viewers are obsessively watching it. The national radio program “Books and Art” contacted Shannon to discuss issues of race and erasure on the series. You can listen to their discussion here.

Books and Arts Aussie

The Nerds of Color also published Shannon’s take on the critically-acclaimed, groundbreaking film Hidden Figures, earlier this spring. Click here to read it.

hidden figures2

Blues Vision Workshop July 25-26

blues_header 2017

Blues Vision in the Classroom prepares participants to have meaningful engagement with students through a deeper understanding of African American experiences and the black literary tradition in Minnesota. The two-day workshop takes Blues Vision: African American Writing from Minnesota as the starting point for rigorous discussion and activities that cultivate practical strategies for using texts from the book as catalysts for change and conversation in the classroom. Educators will receive supplementary resources, strengthened relationships with colleagues and authors, clock hours, meals, and a copy of Blues Vision as part of this experience.

Led by local writers and activists Shannon Gibney and Junauda Petrus.

Blues Vision in the Classroom

Date: Tuesday, July 25 – Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Time: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Location: Minnesota Humanities Center
Cost: $110
Intended Audience: Secondary Educators (Grades 6-12)
16 clock hours available upon request
Registration for this event will close on Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Cancellation policy:

If you are unable to attend the event, you may send a substitute in your place at no cost (it is up to you to make any financial arrangements with your substitute). If this is not possible, you may request a refund.

  • Cancellations received more than 10 days before the event will be refunded less a 20% cancellation fee.
  • Cancellations received between 5 and 10 days before the event will be refunded less a 50% cancellation fee.
  • We are unable to provide refunds for registrations cancelled less than 5 days before the event.

Refunds will be issued within 5 business days of cancellation notice.

Questions: Eden Bart, 651-772-4261, eden@mnhum.org

Customized Workshops

The Minnesota Humanities Center partners with school districts to offer this two-day workshop for groups of 20-40 educators. Fees apply. Please contact Eden Bart, 651-772-4261, eden@mnhum.org for more information.

Writing Creatively About Our Experiences as WOC Academics

woc academics workshop

Women of color and indigenous women professors who write creatively about their experiences in the academy are invited to this FREE two-hour workshop at the Loft Literary Center, to begin to share, plan, and revise work.*

A panel and reading on this topic will be held later this fall, at another location.

Please write shannongibney@gmail.com, in order to reserve a spot.

A wiki will be created in early August, in order to facilitate the sharing of work.

This activity is made possible by funding from a State Arts Board grant, and the generosity of the Loft Literary Center.

*Graduate students welcome.

Check out the Facebook event page here.

Diversity in KidLit Podcast & Article of the Year Award

I had a lively and enlightening discussion about the issues of equity and representation in KidLit with the brilliant Dr. Sarah Park Dahlen, Bao Phi, and Kathryn Savage on the Loft Literary Center‘s podcast, which was released yesterday.


Listen/download it here.

The journal Teaching English at the Two Year College, a publication of the National Council of Teachers of English, has awarded me and my collaborators their 2017 award for article of the year, for “The Risky Business of Engaging Racial Equity in Writing Instruction: A Tragedy in Five Acts.”

This came as quite a shock to all of us, but obviously, a welcome one.


The message we received from the editorial board follows:

“Dear Michael Kuhne, Taiyon J. Coleman, Kathleen DeVore, Renee DeLong, and Shannon Gibney,

“The Two-Year College English Association is pleased to inform you that you have been chosen as the recipients of the 2017 Mark Reynolds Teaching English at the Two Year College Best Article Award.

“Your article, “The Risky Business of Engaging Racial Equity in Writing Instruction: A Tragedy in Five Acts” (TETYC, 2016), addresses issues of central concern to our profession for the benefit of two-year college faculty and TETYC readership.”


Renee DeLong will travel to Portland next month, to accept a plaque and small honorarium at the Conference on College Composition and Communication on behalf of us all.

Valentine’s Day on Reboot

If the traditional celebration of Valentine’s Day makes you as ill as it does me, I urge you to consider stopping by this talk (and we do mean REAL TALK) on “Race and Education”with my Ride or Die BFF Dr. Taiyon Coleman. This is a subject we wrestle with daily, and one we have dedicated our lives to addressing equitably.

It’ll be this coming Tuesday, February 14, 7-9 pm, at Redeemer Lutheran Church ELCA in North Minneapolis.




Then on Thursday, February 16, I’m at Century College in White Bear Lake, with a bunch of my Good Time for the Truth compatriots, reading, engaging in audience discussion, and signing books.

All events that day are also FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.