T Kira Māhealani Madden is a Chinese, Kānaka Maoli writer, photographer, and amateur magician. She holds an M.F.A. in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College and an B.A. in design and literature from Parsons School of Design and Eugene Lang College. She is a Pushcart Nominee, and is the winner of the 2021 Judith A. Markowitz Lambda Literary Award.
She is the Founding Editor of No Tokens, a magazine of literature and art. She is a 2017 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellow in nonfiction literature from the New York Foundation for the Arts. She has received fellowships from MacDowell, Hedgebrook, Tin House, DISQUIET, Summer Literary Seminars, and Yaddo, where she was selected for the 2017 Linda Collins Endowed Residency Award. She was most recently awarded the Distinguished Writer-in-Residence position at University of Hawai'i, 2024.
Her debut memoir, Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls, was a New York Times Editors' Choice selection, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize, a finalist for the LAMBDA Literary Award for lesbian memoir, and is now in development as a feature film. She worked on the memoir while at MacDowell.
Her writing has appeared in The Kenyon Review, Tin House Online, HYPHEN, Fourteen Hills, The Austin Review, The Collagist, and many other publications. While at MacDowell in 2023, she completed her debut novel Whidbey (forthcoming from Mariner), along with a research project on the life and work of Patricia Highsmith.
At MacDowell in 2014, she completed a draft of her first novel, Why You Like It. In 2016, she completed the first drafts of Autobiography of Amity Schwartz (a novel) and The Rat's Mouth (a collection of essays).