VIRTUAL EVENT | Cinelle Barnes, Devi Laskar, and Natalia Sylvester, Measure of Belonging: Twenty-One Writers of Color on the New American South

VIRTUAL EVENT | Cinelle Barnes, Devi Laskar, and Natalia Sylvester, Measure of Belonging: Twenty-One Writers of Color on the New American South

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This fierce collection celebrates the incredible diversity in the contemporary South by featuring essays by twenty-one of the finest young writers of color living and working in the region today, who all address a central question: Who is welcome?

Assembled by editor and essayist Cinelle Barnes, essays in A Measure of Belonging: Writers of Color on the New American South acknowledge that from the DMV to the college basketball court to doctors’ offices, there are no shortage of places of tension in the American South. Urgent, necessary, funny, and poignant, these essays from new and established voices confront the complexities of the South’s relationship with race, uncovering the particular difficulties and profound joys of being a Southerner in the 21st century.

Cinelle Barnes is a memoirist, essayist, and educator from Manila, Philippines, and is the author of Monsoon Mansion: A Memoir and Malaya: Essays on Freedom. She earned an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Converse College. Her writing has appeared in Buzzfeed Reader, Catapult, Literary Hub, Hyphen, Panorama: A Journal of Intelligent Travel, and South 85, among others. Her work has received fellowships and grants from VONA, Kundiman, the John and Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund, and the Lowcountry Quarterly Arts Grant. Barnes is the 2018-19 writer-in-residence at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art in Charleston, SC, where she and her family live.

Devi Laskar is a native of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and holds an MFA from Columbia University. Her work has appeared in Tin House and Rattle, among other publications. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, and is an alumna of The OpEd Project and VONA. Laskar is the author of two poetry chapbooks, and the novel The Atlas of Reds and Blues. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Natalia Sylvester was born in Lima, Peru and came to the U.S. at age four and grew up in Florida and Texas. She received a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Miami and now works as a freelance writer in Texas. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Bustle, Catapult, Electric Literature, Latina magazine, McSweeney's Publishing, and the Austin American-Statesman. Natalia’s first novel, Chasing the Sun, was named the Best Debut Book of 2014 by Latinidad. Her latest novel, Everyone Knows You Go Home, won an International Latino Book Award, the 2018 Jesse H. Jones Award for Best Work of Fiction from the Texas Institute of Letters, and was named a Best Book of 2018 by Real Simple magazine. Natalia's debut YA novel, Running, is out now from Clarion Books/HMH.

This virtual event is free and open to the public. Measure of Belonging is available for purchase online at A Cappella Books.

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