Two Black Authors Are Now Teaching at City College of New York

The City College of New York has announced that two accomplished authors are joining the faculty in the master of fine arts degree program in creative writing.

Thomas-ellis_1Thomas Sayers Ellis is a poet who will teach a class entitled “Race Fearlessness Poetics: Risk as the Decisive Moment in Every Room.” Ellis is the author of the poetry collection The Maverick Room (Graywolf Press, 2005). The collection earned the John C. Zacharis First Book Award. He is also the author of Skin Inc.: Identity Repair Poems (Graywolf Press, 2010). Ellis holds a master of fine arts degree from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.

Chinelo-Okparanta_2Chinelo Okparanta is a Nigerian-born fiction writer. She published the short story collection Happiness, Like Water (Granta Books, 2013), which was named an editor’s choice by the New York Times Book Review. Okparanta will teach an advanced fiction workshop at CCNY. Okparanta is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University. She earned a master’s degree from Rutgers University and a master of fine arts degree from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

Emily Raboteau, an associate professor and co-director of the MFA creative writing program, said that “these are two renowned writers and it’s a real boon to City College to have them.”


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