diversity

We Are Many. We Are Everywhere.

By

A great deal of the conversation about publishing and diversity is grounded in the idea that there simply aren’t many writers of color. One of the most frequent derailments during any conversation about this topic is the belief that because of historical, institutional racism and the socioeconomic consequences thereof, there simply aren’t as many writers of color. It’s also popular to create an exhausting statistical frenzy by talking about data collection and submission ratios and the like. These are comforting explanations. If we can blame history and institutional racism, if we can blame math, we don’t have to accept responsibility for reading narrowly.

Like many editors and writers, I cannot say I know a great many writers of color. I don’t have all the answers but in my gut, I knew there were many writers of color even if we don’t find them in the major magazines and journals. In addition to a great many writers of color, there are also blogs, book groups, book clubs, writer’s networks, workshops, magazines, presses, and organizations all dedicated to working with writers of color in some fashion.  Where do you find writers of color? Beyond mainstream publications and organizations, you could check out White Readers Meet Black Authors, The Asian-American Writers’ Workshop, VONA, the APOOO Book Club, Go On Girl, Cave Canem, Kundiman, Racialicious, Color Lines, The Root, Kartika Review, Callaloo, Cha, The African American Review, DesiLit, Melanated Writers Collective, The Radius of Arab American Writers, Mizna: Prose, Poetry, and Art Exploring Arab America, and on and on. Organizations for writers of color aren’t designed to keep white people away. You can learn more about the diverse writing community simply by paying attention to these organizations.

Earlier this summer, I put out a call for names of writers of color so there might be a resource to help people read and publish more diversely. This list was not designed to pigeonhole writers or suggest that they should be identified by race or ethnicity. These are writers who also happen to be people of color. This is not a token list of writers to go to when you need someone to write about race—these writers write about a wide range of subjects. Some of these writers are familiar and others are up and coming. I’ve listed the writers in alphabetical order by first name with genre and online presence information provided by the individuals who put the names forth. As such, this information is incomplete but it is a start, a compass point to orient you.

There are a great many writers who are not on this list. That is the point of all this. You cannot possibly list every writer of color working today. We are many. We are everywhere. The world of letters is far more diverse than the publishing climate would lead us to believe. You only need to open your eyes and open your mind.  I challenge everyone to pick five (or more) writers from this list with whom you are not familiar, look up their work, see what these writers are about.

It isn’t hard to find writers of color. All you have to do is read.

Abha Iyengar, fiction, poetry

Adalena Kavanagh, fiction

Adam Ahmed

Adrian Matejka, poet

Adrian Tomine, graphic novel

Adrienne Kennedy, plays, prose

Ahdaf Soueif, fiction

Aimee Nezhukumatathil, poetry

Aimee Phan, fiction, nonfiction

Aimee Suzara, poet, playwright

Aisha Rahman

Akshay Ahuja, fiction

Al Robles, poetry

AlayaDawnJohnson, fiction

Aldo Alvarez, fiction, poetry

Alex Gilvarry, fiction

Alex Jennings, fiction

Alexander Chee, fiction, nonfiction

Alice Walker

AliciaErian, fiction, memoir

Aliette de Bodard, fiction

AliyaKing, nonfiction

Allen Ge,  fiction,

Allison Hedge Coke, poetry

Amal El-Mohtar, fiction

Amin Ahmad

Amitava Kumar, journalist and memoirist

Amy Tan, fiction, nonfiction

Ana Castillo, many genres

Ana-Maurine Lara, fiction and poetry

Andre Lancaster, playwright

Andre Yang, poetry

Andrea Assaf, poet and spoken word artist

Andrea Hairston, fiction, poetry

Andrea Lee

AngelaKoh, poetry

Angie Chau, fiction

Anika Fajardo, fiction

Anis Shivani, criticism, fiction, poetry

Annie Choi, humor, essays, memoir

Anthony Beal, fiction, erotica/horror erotica

Aracelis Girmay, poet

Arhm Choi, poet

Aricka Foreman, poet

Arundhati Roy, fiction, nonfiction

Asali Solomon

Asha Bandale

Ashley Cassandra Ford, fiction, nonfiction

Athol Fugard

Audrey Petty

Ayana Mathis, fiction

Ayelet Tsabari, fiction, nonfiction

Ayesha harruna Attah

Azadeh Moaveni

Banu Khapil, poetic prose

Barbara Jane Reyes, poetry

Becky Birtha, fiction

Beena Ahmad, poet and journalist

Berit Ellingsen, fiction, poetry

Bharati Mukerjee

Bich Mihn Nguyen, Memoir and Fiction

Bojan Louis, poetry

Brando Skyhorse, fiction

Brandon Massey, horror

Brandon Shimoda, poetry

Brandy Nalani McDougall, poetry

Brenda Shaughnessy, poetry

Britni Danielle, nonfiction

Bryan Thao Worra, poetry

Brynn Saito, poetry

Bushra Rehman, poetry and fiction

Carleen Brice, fiction, nonfiction, creator of White Readers Meet Black Authors

Carol Boyce Davies, comparative lit, black women’s writing

Carole McDonnell, fiction and nonfiction

Carolina de Robertis, fiction

Carolyn Ferrell, fiction

Caryl Phillips, fiction and essays

Catherine Chung, fiction

Cathy Park Hong, poetry

Cecilia Tan, erotic fiction/fiction

Chandrahas Choudhury, fiction

Changming Yuan, fiction

Chang-rae Lee

Charles Johnson

Charles Rice-González, fiction

Charles Yu, fiction

Cheryl Clarke, fiction and poetry

Chimamanda Adichie, fiction, nonfiction

Ching-In Chen, poetry

Chloë Joan López, poetry

Chris Abani, fiction

Christine Lee Zilka, fiction

Christopher Myers, children’s

Chrystos, poetry

Cindy Pon, fiction

Clarence Lusane, non-fiction, journalist

Clarence Major, fiction, poetry, painting

Claudia Rankine, poetry, plays

Colson Whitehead – fiction, nonfiction

Cord Jefferson, Nonfiction, Journalism

Cornelius Eady, poetry

Craig Santos Perez, poetry

Cristina Garcia, fiction

Crystal Wilkinson, fiction

Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa

Dahr Jamail , journalism, non-Fiction

Dana Johnson, fiction

Daniel Alarcon

Daniel Beaty, poetry

Daniel Jose Older, fiction

Daniel Nayeri, fiction

Danielle Belton, nonfiction,

Danielle Evans, fiction,

Danielle Henderson, non-fiction.

Danzy Senna, fiction

Dark Room Collective, poets

David Anthony Durham, fiction

David Mura, creative nonfiction, poetry

Dawn West, fiction, criticism

Deanna Fei

Delana Dameron

DeMisty Bellinger, fiction

DeniseNicholas, actress and well-known civil rights activist, fiction

Dennis Norris, fiction

Derek Kirk Kim, graphic novelist

Derrick Austin, poet

Derrick Weston Brown, poet

DG Okpik

Diana Abu-Jaber, fiction

Diana Salier, poetry

Dickson Lam, fiction, creative nonfiction

Dilk Barber

Dilruba Ahmed

Dinaw Mengestu, fiction

Dionne Irving, fiction

Dina Nayeri, fiction

Dolen Perkins-Valdez, fiction

Don Lee, fiction

Donald Goines, fiction

E. Ethelbert Miller

Ed Bok Lee, poet

Ed Lin, fiction

Eddie Chuculate, fiction

Eduardo C. Corral, poetry

Edward P. Jones, fiction

Edwige Danticat, fiction

Elaine Castillo, fiction and non-fiction.

Eldad Malamuth, fiction

ElissaWald, fiction and non-fiction.

Ellen Oh, fiction

Elizabeth Alexander, poetry

Elmaz Abinader, creative nonfiction, poetry

Emanuel Xavier, fiction, poetry, essays

Emily Raboteau

Emily Yamauchi

Eric Gamalinda, Poetry and Fiction

Ernessa T Carter, fiction

Ernesto Quiñonez, fiction

Eugenia Kim, fiction

Eugenia Leigh, poetry

Evangeline Canonizado Buell, Memoir

Evelina Galang, fiction

Evie Shockley, poetry

FadyJoudah – poetry

Fareed Zakaria – pundit

Feng Sun Chen, poetry

Ferentz Lafarge, essayist and critic

Figgy – book reviews, contributor at HotInk

Frances Hwang

Francine J. Harris, poetry

Francisco Aragon, poetry

Frank X. Gaspar, fiction and poetry

Frank X. Walker, poetry

G. Winston James

Gary Jackson, poetry

Gene Luen Yang, graphic novelist

Geronimo Johnson, fiction

GilbertHernández, graphic novels and comics, fiction

GillianRoyes, fiction

Gillian Sze, fiction, poetry

Gina Apostol, fiction

Gish Jen, fiction

Gizelle Gajelonia, poetry

GlamPornel, contributor at HotInk

Gloria Naylor, fiction

Grace Lin, children’s

Grant Farred, literary theory, cultural studies

Ha Jin, fiction

Ha-Joon Chang, non-fiction

Hafizah Geter, poet

Hairee Lee

Haki R. Madhubuti

Harryette Mullen, poetry

Haruki Murakami

Hayan Charara, poetry

Hector Tobar, Pulitzer winning journalist and Fiction writer

Heidi Durrow, fiction

Helena Maria Viramontes, fiction, essayist

Helie Lee, nonfiction, playwright

Hellen Jo, cartoonist

Henry W. Leung, fiction writer and poet

Hisham Matar, novelist

Honoree Jeffers, poetry

Ibi Zoboi, fiction. YA/Sci fi/fantasi

Ishmael Beah, fiction

Ishmael Reed, poetry, fiction, playwright, nonfiction

IssaRae, Nonfiction, filmmaker

J. California Cooper

J. Michael Martinez, poetry

J.R. Ramakrishnan, nonfiction and fiction

Jabari Asim

Jackson Bliss, fiction

Jacqueline Woodson

Jai Arun Ravine, poetry

Jaime Jacinto, poetry

Jaira Placide

Jaiya John, poetry & non-fiction

Jamaal May

Jamaica Kincaid, fiction

James Hannaham

James McShane, cartoonist

James Schlatter, fiction

James Yeh, fiction

Jamey Hatley, fiction

Jamie Ford, fiction

Jamilah Lemieux, journalism, nonfiction

Janice Harrington, poetry

Jason Mott, poetry and fiction

Jason Shiga, graphic novelist

Jay Kaspian Kang, fiction, journalism

Jean Vengua, poetry

Jen Wang, graphic novelist

Jeff Tagami, poetry

Jeffrey Allen

Jeffrey Renard Allen, fiction

Jennifer 8 Lee, nonfiction

Jennifer Marie Brissett, fiction

Jennifer Foerster

Jennifer Perrine, poetry

Jennine Capo Crucet, fiction

JennyZhang, poetry and non-fiction

Jerald Walker, memoir

Jericho Brown

Jervey Tervalon

JesmynWard, fiction

Jessica Fievre

Jessica Hagedorn, fiction

JessicaVarin, poetry

Jewelle Gomez, fiction, nonfiction, poetry

Jhumpa Lahiri, fiction

Jimmy Santiago Baca, poetry and nonfiction

Joanne Diaz, poetry

Joanne Hyppolyte

John Edgar Wideman, fiction

John Keene, fiction, ooetry

John Murillo

Jonterri Gadson, poet

Joseph Legaspi, poet

Juan Felipe Herrera, poetry

Judith Ortiz Cofer, many genres

Juliane Okot Bitek, creative nonfiction, poetry, fiction

Jung Chang, fiction

Junot Diaz, fiction, essays

Justin Chin, poetry, creative nonfiction

Justin Torres

K. Tempest Bradford, fiction/poetry/editor

Kalamu Ya Salaam, fiction, nonfiction, poetry, filmmaker

Kali Fajardo-Anstine, fiction

Kameelah Janaan Rasheed, non-fiction/photography

Kao Kalia Yang, memoir

Karen Tei Yamashita, fiction

Karissa Chen, fiction

KashanaCauley, fiction

Kate Rushin

Kathleen Alcalá

Kathryn Ma

Kazim Ali, poet and essayist

Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai, poet and playwright

Ken Chen, poet and essayist

Ken Liu, fiction

Kenji Liu, poetry

Kenji Jasper, fiction, screenplays, journalism

Kenneth A. McClane, poetry, essays

Kevin Simmons, nonfiction and poetry

Khadijah Queen, poetry

Khaled Hosseini, fiction

Khaled Mattawa, poet and translator

KieseLaymon, fiction and nonfiction

Kim Foote, novelist

Kima Jones, fiction and poetry

Kimiko Hahn, poetry

Kiran Desai, fiction

Kirsten West Savali, nonfiction

Krista Franklin, visual artist, poetry

Kristine Ong Muslim, fiction, poetry

Krys Lee, fiction

Kurt Tommy, journalist

Kwame Dawes, poet, editor, Praire Schooner

 L. Lamar Wilson, poet

Lac Su, creative nonfiction

Laila Halaby, fiction

Laila Lalami, fiction

Lam Pham, fiction

Lam Samatha Chang, fiction

Lark Pien, graphic novelist

Laura Esquivel, , fiction

Layli Long Soldier, poetry

Le Thi Diem Thuy, fiction, poetry, performance art

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, poetry

Lee Ann Roripaugh, poetry

Lee Herrick, poetry

Leesa Cross-Smith, fiction

Leonard PittsJr, fiction, nonfiction, and memoir

Leslie Marmon Silko, fiction

Letitia Moffitt, fiction and nonfiction

Lillian Yvonne Bertram

Lily Hoang, fiction, poetry

Linda Addison, fiction, poetry

Linda Hogan

Lisa Lim, fiction, cartoonist

Lisa Marie Rollins, creative nonfiction, playwright

Lisa C. Moore, editor and publisher

Lola Akinmade, freelance travel writer and photographe

Lolis Eric Elie, nonfiction

Lorraine Lopez, fiction

Louise Erdrich, fiction

Luis Alberto Urrea

Luis Francia, Non-Fiction

Luisa Igloria, poetry

Lynda Barry, graphic novelist

Lynn Xu

Lynne Procope, poet, founder of the LouderArts Project

Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon (poet, essayist)

Lysley Tenorio, fiction

M. Evelina Galang, fiction

Mahmud Rahman, fiction and translation

Major Jackson, poetry

Mala Nunn

Malcom Gladwell, Non-Fiction

Manuel Gonzales, fiction

Manuel Munoz

Marcela Fuentes

Marci Blackman

Marcus Wicker, poet

Mari Naomi, graphic novelist

María Dueñas, fiction

Marianne Villanueva, fiction

Marie Mutsuki Mockett, fiction

Marie Myung-Ok Lee, fiction, essays

Mariko Tamaki, graphic novel

Marjane Satrapi, graphic novelist

Martha Southgate, fiction

Marvin K White

Maryam Monalisa Gharavi, nonfiction, poetry

Mary Anne Mohanraj, fiction/non fiction erotica/sex

Mat Johnson, fiction

Matt de la Pena, fiction

Matthew Olzmann, poet

MatthewSalesses, fiction, nonfiction

Maxine Hong Kingston

Mecca Jamilah Sullivan

Meera Nair, fiction

Melissa Chadburn, fiction, nonfiction

MensahDemary – fiction, nonfiction, editor, Twitter God

Metta Sama, poet

MiaMcKenzie, fiction

Michael J. Martin, poetry

Michael Mejia, fiction

Michael Koh, poetry

Michael Shum

Michael Thomas

Michella Naka Pierce, poet

Michelle Cliff

Michiko Kakutani, criticism

Milton Davis, fiction

Min Jin Lee, fiction

Minal Hajratwala, fiction and nonfiction

Mohsin Hamid, fiction

MollyGaudry, poetry and non-fiction and creator of The Lit Pub.

Monica Youn, poetry

Monique Truong, fiction

N.K. Jemisin, fiction

Nalo Hopkinson, fiction

Nam Le

Nami Mun, fiction

Nana brew-Hammond

Naomi Williams, fiction

Nasim Marie Jafry, fiction

Natalie Diaz, poetry

Natasha Badwhar, nonfiction

Natasha Trethewey, poetry

Nathalie Handal

Neesha Meminger, novelist

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, fiction and essays

Nicholas Liu, poetry, editor

NicolasCastro, music writer/journalist

Nicole Dennis, fiction

Nicolette Wong, fiction, poetry

Nikki Giovanni, poetry

Nikky Finney, poetry

Nina McCongiley

Nisi Shawl, fiction, nonfiction

Nnedi Okorafor, YA fiction SCifi/fantasy

Ntozake Shange

O.H. Bennett, fiction

Ocean Vuong, poet

Olympia Vernon

Orlando Patterson

Orlando White

Oronde A. Miller

Oscar Bermeo, poetry

OscarHijuelos, fiction

PaisleyRekdal, poetry and essays

Pati Navalta Poblete, Non-Fiction

Patrica Engel, fiction

Patricia Hill Collins, non fiction

Patricia Ikeda, fiction, creative nonfiction

Patricia Smith, poetry

Patrick Rosal, poetry

Paul Beaty

Paul Marshall

Paul Martinez Pompa, poetry

Paul Yoon, fiction

Paula Gunn Allen

Paulo Coelho, fiction

Pauls Toutonghi, fiction

Pearl Cleage, fiction

Percival Everett, fiction

Peter Ho Davies, fiction

Peter Tieryas Liu, fiction

Phillip B. Williams, poetry

Phong Nguyen, fiction

Pooja Makhijani, memoirist and children’s

Porochista Khakpour, fiction, essays

Prageeta Sharma, poetry

PurviShah, poetry

Quincy Troupe

R. Zamora Linmark, fiction

Rachel Eliza Griffiths, poetry

Rachelle Cruz, poetry

Rae Paris, fiction

Rafael Campo, fiction

Rahul Bhattacharya, Fiction and Non-Fiction

Rahul Meta, fiction

Raj Parameswaran, fiction

Randa Jarrar, A Map of Home

Randall Kenan, fiction and nonfiction

Ravi Mangla, fiction

Raymond Andrews, fiction

Rebecca Walker, non fiction

Reese Okyong Kwon, fiction, essays

Reginald Harris, nonfiction and poetry

Renee Gladman, poetic prose, editor and publisher of Leon Works

Renee Simms, fiction, poetry

Rickey Laurentiis, poetry

Rina Ayuyang, Graphic Novelist

Rion Amilcar Scott, fiction and nonfiction

RisaDixon, nonfiction

Rita Dove

Robert Lopez, fiction

Rochita Loenen-Ruiz, fiction

Roger Bonair-Agard, poetry

Rohin Guha, Fiction, nonfiction

Ronaldo Wilson, poetry

Roohi Choudhry, fiction and nonfiction writer

Rosalie Morales Kearns, fiction and poetry

RosalynStory – fiction

Rosario Ferré, fiction

Rosebud Ben-Oni, poetry, fiction

Ross Gay, poetry

Ruben Quesada, poetry, creative nonfiction,

Ruiyan Xu, novelist

Ruth Ellen Kocher, poetry

Sabina England playwrite/poetry/non fiction

Saeed Jones, poet

SallyWenMao, poetry

Samantha Irby, essays

Samiya Bashir, poet and fiction writer

Samuel Delaney, novelist, memoir, criticism

Sandra Cisneros, fiction

Sandra Lim, poetry

Sandra Park, fiction

Santee Frazier

Sapphire, fiction

Sarah Gambito, poet

Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum, fiction

Sasha Pimentel Chacon, poetry

Satya P. Mohanty, theory, comparative lit

Sesshu Foster, fiction

Shabnam Nadiya, fiction writer

Shahnaz Habib, fiction writer and journalist

Shailja Patel, poetry

Shanita Bigelow, poetry

Shanxing Wang, poetry

Shannon Barber, fiction

Sharon Bridgforth

Shawna Yang Ryan, fiction

Shay Youngblood

Sheba Karim, fiction

Sheree Renée Thomas, fiction/sci fi/fantasy

Sheree Thomas, fiction

ShermanAlexie – fiction, poetry, essays

Sherwin Bitsui

Sigrid Nunez, fiction, biography

Silvia Moreno-Garcia, fiction

Simone White, poetry

Slangston Hughes, poetry

Solmaz Sharif, poetry

Sonia Sanchez

Stacia Brown, nonfiction

StacyAnn Chin, poetry

Stephanie D. Brown, fiction, YA

Stephanie Powell Watts

Stephanie Pruitt, poetry

Stephen Graham Jones, fiction, nonfiction

StephenL. Carter, fiction

Suheir Hammad, poetry

Suketu Mehta

Sumayyah Talibah, poetry and fiction

Sung J. Woo, fiction

Sunita Dhurandhar, fiction writer

Supriya Nair, non-fiction and journalism

SusanFalesHill, fiction

Suzan Lori-Parks, plays, screenplays

Syreeta McFadden, fiction, nonfiction

T. Geronimo Johnson, fiction and poetry

T Kira Madden, fiction

Tabish Khair, fiction

Tamiko Beyer, poetry

Tammara Aguado

Tammy Ho Lai-Ming, poetry

Tan Lin, poetry, criticism

Tananarive Due, fiction

Tania James, short story writer, novelist, essayist

Tao Lin, fiction

Tarfia Faizullah

Tara Betts, nonfiction and poetry

Tasha Fierce, non fiction

Tayari Jones, fiction

Ted Chiang, fiction

Teju Cole, fiction and nonfiction

Terrance Hayes, poetry

Terrion Williamson, cultural studies

Terry McMillan

Thembi Ford, non-fiction

Thien Pham, graphic novelist

Thuy Dzuong-Nguyen, fiction/musician

Tien-Yi Lee, fiction

Tim Seibles, poetry

Timothy Willis Sanders, fiction

Tina Chang, poetry

Tiphanie Yanique, fiction

Tisa Bryant, fiction and hybrid, publisher

Tom S. Williams, fiction, essays, criticism

Toni Morrison, fiction, essays

Toure

Tracy K. Smith, poetry

Trilbe Wynne, poetry

Tung-Hui Hu, poet

Uwem Akpan, fiction

Uzodinma Iweala, fiction

V.V. (Sugi) Ganeshananthan, fiction and non-fiction

Vanessa Huang, poet

Veronica Henry

Vickie Vertiz, poetry, fiction

Victor LaValle, fiction

Viet Nguyen, fiction

Vievee Francis, poetry

Vikas Menon, poet and playwright

Walter D. Myers

Walter Mosley

Wendy Ortiz, fiction, poetry, essays

Wendy Xu, poetry

Wes Hazard,

William Henry Lewis, fiction

Willie Perdomo, poetry

Xu Xi, fiction and essays

Yael Villafranca, poetry

Yiyun Li, fiction

Youmna Chala, poetry

Yuliana Kim-Grant, fiction

Yusef Komunyakaa, poetry

Zadie Smith, fiction, essays

Zane, erotic fiction

Zelda Lockhart, fiction

Zetta Elliott

Zohra Saed, poet and fiction

ZZ Packer, fiction

 


Roxane Gay's writing appears or is forthcoming in Best American Short Stories 2012, New Stories From the Midwest 2011 and 2012, Best Sex Writing 2012, NOON, Salon, Indiana Review, Ninth Letter, Brevity, and many others. She is the co-editor of PANK, and an HTMLGIANT contributor. She is also the author of Ayiti. You can find her online at http://www.roxanegay.com. More from this author →