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I’m an explorer of the wonders of human behavior. If the world was comprised of windows with signs that read Who, What, Where, When, and Why, I would look through the windows of Why. . .

about ME

Washington D.C. native Morowa Yejidé’s novel Time of the Locust was a finalist for the PEN/Bellwether Prize, longlisted for the PEN/Bingham award, and a NAACP Image Award Nominee for Outstanding Literary Work. Her short stories have appeared in the Adirondack Review, the Istanbul Review, and others.

Her short story "Tokyo Chocolate" was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, anthologized by Britain's best of the Willesden Herald, and praised by the Japan Times. She received her MFA from Wilkes University and is currently a PEN/Faulkner Writers in Schools author. She lives in the D.C. area with her husband and three sons.

 
 
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Works

 

Creatures of passage

A new novel forthcoming

"Yejidé is poised to make her mark with a novel that might be described as one of family connection—but encompasses so much more... When that father, Horus, develops supernatural abilities and connects with his son, strange and powerful things happen, but the focus is less on fantasy than on the fantastic power of love to bind and protect us."  

—Washingtonian Magazine

"At times almost mystical in its intensity, Yejidé’s prose brings lyricism to her dark subject matter and unhappy characters, eventually introducing a kind of magical restoration to her shattered fictional family." 

— Kirkus Reviews

Time of the Locust "deftly brings together the fantastic and the realistic, and it touches on a variety of issues, from politics, race and murder to disability, domestic tragedy and myth. Though just 242 pages long, it sweeps from Depression-era Louisiana, to New York in the ’60s, to Washington in the mid-’90s…the story is strong and original, and even the minor characters come alive...I was that mother once: terrified inside a weary body, unable to explain my missing husband or my feral son. The car, the mystery, the rift — I know them, they’re real. But Yejidé spins them with gold and possibility in this dark and fantastical tale.”

—Washington Post

"There are characters who hook you from the second you meet them on the page. Sephiri, the autistic boy at the heart of Time of the Locust is one of them. In this moving debut, author Morowa Yejidé  creates a protagonist who finds comfort in an imaginary world filled with sea creatures that help him cope with the "real world."

— Essence Magazine

Nantucket BOOK FESTIVAL pen/Faulkner writers in schools pick

Nantucket, Massachusetts: "Yejidé's book was the work of contemporary literature studied in the classroom of English teacher, Liz Reinemo. PEN/Faulkner supplied the curriculum guide, and the book was given as a gift to all students. It was read, studied and discussed, which culminated with this classroom visit. Ms. Reinemo created a dynamic classroom exploration of this powerful novel. "We tracked various topics throughout the novel, including racial tension, autism, solitary confinement, communication, isolation, hope, the power of love and dualities. We also looked at the writer's craft and the genre of magical realism. We also celebrated World Autism Day and 'lit it up BLUE', in addition to hearing first-hand accounts from families who live with autism in their lives." Additionally, Ms. Reinemo noted that "we also had a former corrections officer come in to class and speak about 'life on the inside'."

Excerpt from "Ocean of Imagination" by Mary Haft, Mahon About Town, May 2016

  "Abundant Grace" D.C. Women Writers at Politics and Prose

"Abundant Grace" D.C. Women Writers at Politics and Prose

"A superb debut work of magic realism and finalist for the Pen/Bellwether Prize for socially engaged fiction, this is the book for you, your friends and your book club." 

— Ebony Magazine

 

pen/faulkner writers in schools program

 Morowa Yejidé's novel Time of the Locust is currently assigned reading in several honors and advanced placement English and literature classes in high schools. Administered by the  PEN/Faulkner Foundation, Writers in Schools  is a literary arts program dedicated to developing the next generation of readers. Since 1989, Writers in Schools has been bringing authors into public and public charter high schools to meet with students. PEN/Faulkner provides free copies of authors’ books to students and free curricular materials to instructors. Morowa Yejidé currently visits classes to discuss the magic and importance of writing in all its forms with students.   SPEAKING EVENTS   · In Your Ear Reading Series, District of Columbia Arts Center, Apr 2, 2019,  Forthcoming   · PEN/Faulkner Writers in Schools, Dunbar High School Book Club, Dec 5, 2018  · Hurston/Wright Foundation 17th Annual Legacy Awards Ceremony, Debut Fiction Presenter, Oct 19, 2018  · PEN/Faulkner Writers in Schools, Eastern High School, March 22, 2017  · Young Writers Celebration, Links, Inc., Howard University, April 8, 2017  · "Illness and Disability as a Device in Literature," Washington Independent Review, Books Alive! Conference, College Park, MD, April 28-29, 2017  · "Come Firewalk With Me: The Black Mind," Moderator & Panelist, Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP), Washington, D.C., Feb 9, 2017  · "D.C. Writers Panel: Reading & Conversation With Paycock Press," AWP 2017, Washington D.C. Feb 10, 2017  · Pennsylvania Writers Conference, Big 5 Publishing Panel "Breaching the Fortress," Wilkes University, Wilkes Barre, PA, Aug 6, 2016  · Nantucket Book Festival/PEN Faulkner Writer in School, Nantucket, MA, Apr 14, 2016  · Writer's Center, Bethesda, MD, Feb 7, 2016  · California Black Health Network 2015 Gala, Marina Del Ray, California Oct 29, 2015  · DC Author Fest, Keynote Speaker, Martin Luther King Library, Oct 24, 2015, Wash DC  · Brooklyn Book Festival, New York, New York, "Autism Portraits" Panel, Sept 21, 2015  · "The Star Side of Bird Hill " Panel Reading, Busboys & Poets , Wash DC, Jul 27, 2015  · Maslow Foundation Salon Reading Series, Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre, PA, Jun 25, 2015  · Watha T. Daniels/Shaw Library "Book Talk," Wash DC, Jan 29, 2015  · Miami International Book Fair, Miami, Florida, Nov 23, 2014  · Jamaica Center Reading Series, Jamaica Queens, New York, Oct 17, 2014  · Bookmarks Festival  ,  Winston-Salem, NC, Sept 6, 2014  · Kweli 3rd Annual Writers Conference, July 8-9, 2014  · National Black Writers Conference, John Oliver Killens Panel, Mar 29, 2014  · At the Inkwell Fiction Series, KGB Bar, NYC, May 14, 2014  · Maslow Foundation Salon Series, Wilkes University, Jun 2013

Morowa Yejidé's novel Time of the Locust is currently assigned reading in several honors and advanced placement English and literature classes in high schools. Administered by the PEN/Faulkner Foundation, Writers in Schools is a literary arts program dedicated to developing the next generation of readers. Since 1989, Writers in Schools has been bringing authors into public and public charter high schools to meet with students. PEN/Faulkner provides free copies of authors’ books to students and free curricular materials to instructors. Morowa Yejidé currently visits classes to discuss the magic and importance of writing in all its forms with students.

SPEAKING EVENTS

· In Your Ear Reading Series, District of Columbia Arts Center, Apr 2, 2019, Forthcoming

· PEN/Faulkner Writers in Schools, Dunbar High School Book Club, Dec 5, 2018

· Hurston/Wright Foundation 17th Annual Legacy Awards Ceremony, Debut Fiction Presenter, Oct 19, 2018

· PEN/Faulkner Writers in Schools, Eastern High School, March 22, 2017

· Young Writers Celebration, Links, Inc., Howard University, April 8, 2017

· "Illness and Disability as a Device in Literature," Washington Independent Review, Books Alive! Conference, College Park, MD, April 28-29, 2017

· "Come Firewalk With Me: The Black Mind," Moderator & Panelist, Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP), Washington, D.C., Feb 9, 2017

· "D.C. Writers Panel: Reading & Conversation With Paycock Press," AWP 2017, Washington D.C. Feb 10, 2017

· Pennsylvania Writers Conference, Big 5 Publishing Panel "Breaching the Fortress," Wilkes University, Wilkes Barre, PA, Aug 6, 2016

· Nantucket Book Festival/PEN Faulkner Writer in School, Nantucket, MA, Apr 14, 2016

· Writer's Center, Bethesda, MD, Feb 7, 2016

· California Black Health Network 2015 Gala, Marina Del Ray, California Oct 29, 2015

· DC Author Fest, Keynote Speaker, Martin Luther King Library, Oct 24, 2015, Wash DC

· Brooklyn Book Festival, New York, New York, "Autism Portraits" Panel, Sept 21, 2015

· "The Star Side of Bird Hill " Panel Reading, Busboys & Poets , Wash DC, Jul 27, 2015

· Maslow Foundation Salon Reading Series, Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre, PA, Jun 25, 2015

· Watha T. Daniels/Shaw Library "Book Talk," Wash DC, Jan 29, 2015

· Miami International Book Fair, Miami, Florida, Nov 23, 2014

· Jamaica Center Reading Series, Jamaica Queens, New York, Oct 17, 2014

· Bookmarks Festival , Winston-Salem, NC, Sept 6, 2014

· Kweli 3rd Annual Writers Conference, July 8-9, 2014

· National Black Writers Conference, John Oliver Killens Panel, Mar 29, 2014

· At the Inkwell Fiction Series, KGB Bar, NYC, May 14, 2014

· Maslow Foundation Salon Series, Wilkes University, Jun 2013

Academic Engagement

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·         Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation Workshop, June 22-23, 2019, Forthcoming

·         Visiting Lecturer, Howard University-PEN/Faulkner Writers in Schools, Nov 15, 2018

·         Visiting Lecturer, "Washington Confidential," Georgetown University, Fall 2017

·         Visiting Lecturer, American University, "Writers in Print/Person," Apr 7, 2016

·         Visiting Lecturer, Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo, MI, Feb 2016

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CONTACT: INFO@MOROWAYEJIDE.COM

photographer: Sarah Fillman