Discipline: Literature

Thulani Davis

Discipline: Literature
Region: New York, NY
MacDowell fellowships: 1989, 1990, 1992, 1993

Thulani Davis is an interdisciplinary scholar and writer who has published poetry, novels, plays and screenplays. Her work in all genres shares concern for history, justice and African American life and literature. Raised in Virginia during the 1950's, her memoir, My Confederate Kinfolk: A Twenty-First Century Freedwoman Discovers Her Roots (2006), explores her family’s racial history during the Civil War era. In addition to poetry publications Playing the Changes (1985) and All the Renegade Ghosts Rise (1978), Davis’ writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Nation, Bomb Magazine, Quarterly Black Review, and Ms.

Davis has been a recipient of a Lila Wallace-Readers’ Digest Writers Award, a PEW Foundation National Theatre Artist Residency, and a Charles H. Revson Fellowship on the Future of New York City. She was the first female recipient of a Grammy Award for liner notes on Aretha Franklin’s The Atlantic Recordings in 1993, and a Grammy nominee for best new work the same year. She is a graduate of Barnard College and has pursued graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, and New York University, where she has taught in the Department of Dramatic Writing. Davis is currently a staff member of Village Voice and a Buddhist minister in Brooklyn.



Thulani Davis worked in the Star studio.

Funded by Alpha Chi Omega, a national fraternity founded in 1885, Star Studio — built in 1911–1912 — was the first studio given to the residency by an outside organization. To this day, Alpha Chi sorority pledges learn the story of Star Studio and its role in supporting American arts and letters. Beginning as a nicely proportioned…

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