• Ancestors

    by Ed Pavlic, Evie Shockley
    Price $19.95
    Special Order
March 11, 2021

Writing our Ancestors with Boston Review

Harvard Book Store's virtual event series and the Boston Review welcome acclaimed writers and contributors TYEHIMBA JESS, CHESWAYO MPHANZA, DOMENICA RUTA, SONIA SANCHEZ, and YEOH JO-ANN for a discussion of Ancestors, the Winter 2021 issue of the Review. Their discussion will be moderated by editors ADAM MCGEE, ED PAVLIĆ, and IVELISSE RODRIGUEZ.


It is rare now for people to stay where they were raised, and when we encounter one another—whether in person or online—it is usually in contexts that obscure, if not outright hide, details about our past. But even in moments of pure self-invention, we are always shaped by the past.

In Ancestors, some of today's most imaginative writers—including science fiction master Samuel R. Delany, U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo, and novelist Zadie Smith—consider what it means to be made and fashioned by others.

About Author(s)

Adam McGee is the Arts Editor of Boston Review and before that he was acting managing editor of Transition. He has a PhD in Black Studies from Harvard. His poetry has recently appeared in Raleigh ReviewPainted BrideMemoriousCimarron Review, and Assaracus.

Cheswayo Mphanza was born in Lusaka, Zambia and raised in Chicago, Illinois. His work has been featured in the New England Review, the Paris ReviewHampden-Sydney ReviewLolweBirdfeast, and elsewhere. A finalist for the Brunel International African Poetry Prize, a recipient of the 2017 Hurston/Wright Award for College Writers, and winner of the 2020 Boston Review Annual Poetry Contest, his debut collection The Rinehart Frames (University of Nebraska Press), winner of the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets, is forthcoming March 2021.

Domenica Ruta is the New York Times bestselling author of With or Without You, a memoir, and her novel Last Day was named one of the 100 best books of 2019 by the New York Times. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in Boston ReviewEpochNinth Letter, the Indiana Review, and elsewhere. She is currently teaching high school students at Bard Early College.

Ed Pavlić is a Contributing Arts Editor at Boston Review. Author of eleven books and pieces in over sixty magazines, he is an American writer whose work travels across—often blurring—genres: poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and scholarship. Centered in African American and diasporic life and culture, most of his work explores racial dynamics in the experiences of persons—fictive, actual, historical and contemporary—whose placement and perspectives aren’t neatly classifiable in contemporary vocabularies, theirs or ours. He is Distinguished Research Professor of English and African American Studies at the University of Georgia.

Ivelisse Rodriguez is a Contributing Arts Editor at Boston Review. Her debut short story collection Love War Stories is a 2019 PEN/Faulkner finalist and a 2018 Foreword Reviews INDIES finalist. She has published fiction in the Boston ReviewObsidianKweli, the Bilingual ReviewAster(ix), and other publications. She is the founder and editor of an interview series focused on contemporary Puerto Rican writers published in Centro Voices. She earned an M.F.A. in creative writing from Emerson College and a Ph.D. in English-creative writing from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Sonia Sanchez—poet, activist, scholar—was the Laura Carnell Professor of English and Women's Studies at Temple University. She is the recipient of both the Robert Frost Medal for distinguished lifetime service to American poetry and the Langston Hughes Poetry Award. One of the most important writers of the Black Arts Movement, Sanchez is the author of sixteen books.

Tyehimba Jess is the author of two books of poetry, Leadbelly and OlioOlio won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, The Midland Society Author’s Award in Poetry, and received an Outstanding Contribution to Publishing Citation from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association.

Yeoh Jo-Ann grew up in Malaysia and lives in Singapore. In 2018, her first novel, Impractical Uses of Cake, won the Epigram Books Fiction Prize, one of Singapore’s top fiction prizes, and her short stories have been included in Singaporean anthologies such as Best Singaporean Short Stories: Volume Three. Jo-Ann is working on her second novel and a collection of short stories exploring the themes of modernity, food and family in Southeast Asia.