The Harlem Writers Guild
 
History    Members   Quotes   Events     Spotlight   Books     H.W.G Press  Photo Gallery   Links

BOOKS & AUTHORS

                 

This Childs Gonna Live Set in a fishing village on Maryland's Eastern shore in the  early 1930's This Childs Gonna Live tells the story of Mariah Upshur, the wife of a poor oysterman and her struggle to keep her land and family together amidst the harsh realities of rural life. Described by The Philadelphia Inquirer as having a "Sharp idiomatic rhythm that is reminiscent of the work of Zora   Neale Hurston" Wright's work is a novel of unsurpassed beauty in the mists of poverty and despair. This new edition contains Sarah E. Wright's essay, "The Writers Responsibility."

 

 Sarah E. Wright was born in Maryland and lives in New York City with her Husband Joe. She's a novelist and poet and a former vice president of The Harlem Writers Guild. she's coauthor with Lucy Smith of Give Me A Child

 

                                                      

 

          Beloved Harlem A passionate ode to an American mecca, Beloved Harlem is a literary look into the vibrant African American haven, edited by one of its celebrated native sons. William H. Banks, Jr., combines the classics with the contemporary as he showcases some of the best essays, short stories, and novel excerpts inspired by the diversity of Harlem life, from the early twentieth century to the new millennium. The days and nights come alive with the words of writers like W.E.B. DuBoise, Walter Dean Myers, Langston Hughes, Dorothy West, Ossie Davis, and Toni Morrison, Rosa Guy, Grace F. Edwards, Funmi Osaba. From renaissance through tough times to revitalization this homage gives Harlem the historical prospective it deserves.

 

William H. Banks Jr. was the executive director of the Harlem Writers Guild. His first book 'A Love So Fine' was published in 1974 and is widely regarded as the first African American romance novel. he was a professor at New School University and hosted In Our Own Words a show dedicated exclusively to black writing.
 

                                                                                                                                                                                       

 

 

Bird At My Window, Rosa Guy's powerful first novel follows Wade Williams, a brilliant black man who wakes up in a mental hospital and is told he has assaulted his sister. Throughout Rosa's engrossing story, Wade retraces he steps to identify the circumstances that brought him to commit this unthinkable act, and reveal the rich complexity of mid-twentieth-century Harlem and its mothers, sons, and daughters, whose aspirations prevail and perish within both white and black America. A compelling personal story and a razor-sharp cultural critique.

 

Rosa Guy is the Author of fifteen novels. including My Love, My Love. Which was adapted as a Broadway musical "Once On This Island." She is one of the founders of The Harlem Writers Guild and has received the Coretta Scott King Award, The New York Times Outstanding Book of the Year citation, and the American Library Association's Best Book Award.

 

                         

                                                                                                  +

Sowa's Red Gray Stories

"Let me say right off I'm a witch living in the spirit. Nevertheless, I don't follow that devil man. I don't have nothing to do with that old thang. I'm just an old woman who believes in mother nature. So there. And I'm proud to be old. I live up there around 125th Street in Harlem U.S.A. Won't tell you exactly where cause I don't want you searching me out to try and get you some spells or something. You know some folks so superstitious. They think all they got to do to fix their life up is to gaze into the eyes of a person like me. well that just ain't true. you got to have commonsense and know right from wrong, and don't set up and watch life pass you by that's what." 

So goes the first paragraph of Diane Richards 'Sowa's Red Gravy Stories'. In this book were lead through sixty four of Sowa's unique, funny, commonsense and scary stories that thread together by this Harlem witch of unknown age. Sowa's Red Gravy Stories is filled with passion, humor, wit and grit. Diane has the same affection, reverence and Mystical empathy for African American folklore and storytelling as Zora Neale Hurston. Best of all her work keeps alive the craft of authentic American fables.

 

Diane Richards Loving all genres of writing, she is also a song and screenwriter and stays active in the music and film world through membership in the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers and the Independent Feature Project. Ms Richards is the founder of HarlemRenaissancePublishing.com and HarlemRenaissanceWritersGuild.com. Both Internet companies focus on the development and promotion of young emerging African American writers.   

 

 

                    Mama
 M
ildred hid the ax beneath the mattress of the cot in the dinning room. She poured lye in a brown paper bag and pushed it behind the pots and pans under the kitchen sink. Then she checked all three butcher knives to make sure they were razor sharp. She knew were she could get her hands on a gun in fifteen minutes, but ever since she'd seen her brother shot for stealing a beer from the p
ool hall, she'd been afraid of guns. Besides, Mildred didn't want to kill Crook, she just wanted to hurt him.
She hated this raggedy house. Hated this deadbeat town. Hated never having enough of anything. Most of all she hated Crook. And if it weren't for their five kids, she'd have left him a long time ago.

Terry McMillan reignited the new contemporary African American fiction genre with the publication of  Mama. So many new authors of color owe her a debt of gratitude for reopening the doors of contemporary  urban fiction. In Mama as in so many of her other works her characters are authentic, her prose are brilliant and strong, as she captures the wide range and complex emotions of urban women and men. 

 

 

 

                           In The Shadow of The Peacock                                           When Noel and Frieda board a northbound bus to New York City, they're on the run from 1940's southern justice. Also aboard and on the lam is a quiet, powerfully built man named Al. The three head straight for Harlem for the "safety of its collective blackness." World War II is raging and defense jobs are open to blacks. For the first time there is money, and a false sense of prosperity spread like a flimsy veil over festering poverty. Then one hot summer night Noel and Al emerge from the subway and step into one of the bloodiest race riots in northern memory. A frighten boy stumbles into Noel and whispers to him something that changes all their lives. Frieda, her daughter Celia, born on the night of the riot, and Celia's childhood friend Tessie, are vividly portrayed in this vibrant, moving novel about identity, love and survival. From the mid 40's through the Civil Rights Movement, the story follows these woman as they fight to assert and save themselves  from the predations of a racist society. All of life in their Harlem neighborhood travels directly or indirectly through the blues playing bar called The Peacock, a social mecca where personnel private and professional news is exchanged. Drugs, violence and vengeance all ignite In The Shadow of the Peacock.

Grace F. Edwards first novel received universal high praise from many critics. Harlem Writers Guild founder Dr. John Henrik Clarke applauds her writing as it captures authentic Harlem life. Ms. Edwards is also the author of the Mali Anderson mystery series. Grace is the Executive Secretary of the Harlem Writers Guild.

                                        

 

  Black Stars: African American Woman Writers

For more than three centuries, African American woman have been famous writers. In newspapers, magazines, in speeches and plays, and in novels and poetry, these black stars have spoken out against injustice, told stories about the people and places they loved, and imagined the possibilities of the future. These powerful, intelligent woman are brought to life on these pages. You'll meet meet twenty-four African American women writers whose stories and ideas helped to make American literature great. From colonial times to modern times, discover the accomplishments of these woman of distinction. Sojourner Truth, Ann Petry, Maya Angelou, Zora Neale Hurston, Octavia Butler, Terry McMillan, Paule Marshall, Alice Walker just to name a few. This comprehensive collection tell the stories of these and other fascinating and surprising woman writers who made their dreams a reality.

Brenda Wilkinson is a long time Harlem Writers Guild member, she's a recipient of the School Library Journal Best Children's Book Award, an the American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults Award, and the New York Times Book Review Outstanding Children's Book of the year Award. Over the years Ms. Wilkinson has written many book for young adults including Jesse Jackson: Still Fighting for the Dream, a volume in the series The History of the Civil Rights Movement, and Not Separate Not Equal. In addition to her works on African American history, she writes poetry and fiction: her first novel for children Ludell, was a National Book Award Nominee.

Jim Haskin has written more than one hundred nonfiction books for young readers, including Diary of a Harlem School Teacher. He collaborated with Rosa Parks on her autobiography, Rosa Parks: My Story. He is Professor of English at the University of Florida, Gainesville, and the winner of numerous awards, including the Washington Post Children's Book Guild Award. 

.

 

Tips for Vintage Women with Young Lovers

Don't use your senior citizen card on a date.

Don't tell him your first car was a Studebaker

If he ask if you're on the pill, he's probably not talking
about the hormone pill you take to help you through your menopause.

Avoid smoke alarms if you must have candles on your birthday cake.

Betty Ann Jackson's humorous look at the flip side of the older younger dating scene. Her keen observations and sharp wit shine through, it'll make you laugh out loud. Ms. Jackson a former school teacher also did the illustrations. She's currently in the process of writing her autobiography, her remembrances are so touching, funny and sad. The Guild members are all eagerly waiting for her to complete it.

 

 

                                One More River To Cross: An African American Photograph Album

Here is an intimate collection of photographs documenting the African American experience-a journey from slavery to freedom, from south to north, east to west. In this extraordinary revelation of the lives of black Americans over the last 150 years, Walter Dean Myers presents stunning, evocative images, many never seen outside private family albums: the wealthy and the middle class of the late nineteenth century; the cowboy sheriff, and settlers of the old west; miners and lumber mill workers and men on assembly lines; writers, businessmen and -woman; families sharing time together; "People being people, unburdened by the historical restrictions of race defining themselves according to their understanding of who they are." Accompanied by an eloquently simple narrative, these photographs, depicting the rich, diverse lives of African American men, women, and children are unforgettable.

Walter Dean Myers is one of the Guilds most prolific writers. He's a rare and important voice in contemporary American literature. Walter has published more than a dozen young adult novels, winning the Coretta Scott King Award for The Young Landlords, Fallen Angels, and Motown and Didi, and the Newbery Honor Book Award for Scorpions. As one of the first writers to set books for teenagers in the inner city, Mr. Myers has won praise for his authentic portrayals of Black life in urban America.   

 

 

                            The Sun, the Sea, a Touch of the Wind

The time is the 1970's. Jonnie Dash is an orphan, survivor of Harlem's gritty streets, ex-factory worker, and finally, a successful and recognized African American artist. Now flight from a brush with madness has brought her to Haiti. Encamping in the Old Hotel outside Port au Prince, Jonnie is seduced by the overwhelming beauty of the place. She finds a bond between the fierce inner struggles of her own past and the ever active struggle of  the once enslaved island nation. Most of all, she seeks some trace of fire from an old dream, in the shimmering form of a man who had once been her lover and her mentor.
Ultimately, a child who desperately appeals to her for help-and who holds the key to her redemption of a loss once thought hopelessly irretrievable helps take Jonnie beyond fear and past her demons to a wholeness of sprit that mere youth can Know.

Rosa Guy is a master novelist and brilliant portrayer of the human condition. The Sun, the Sea, a Touch of the Wind Vividly invokes the beauty and culture of the Caribbean, as well as a fascinating and complex African American woman's struggle to define herself and her relation to the world around her. She has created a stunning work of fiction that is lyrical and sexy, and features one of the most original and compelling heroines to be encountered in recent fiction. Hailed by the Washington Post as "One of that rare and wonderful breed, a story teller."

                                                                                                                                                                        

Fragments Of The Ark

A group of resolute runaways-buoyed by hope but silent with fear-assembled under the cover of night to attempt the preposterous: steal and deliver the gun ship Swanee to the Union navy, running the gauntlet of massive confederate forts that choked the route out of Charleston harbor. They were united in their flight by love and by painful histories: Peter with his daughter, Glory, and troubled wife, Rain, who is grieved for lost ones not yet buried; July, who shaped his hopes into haunting wooden carvings; Brother Man and Sister, determined to return to Master's land, but on their own terms; and Turno, Stretch, and Bite, for whom the long road to freedom was paved with difficult-and tragic-choices.
Vivid and unforgettable, Fragments Of The Ark re-creates a conflict in our country's history through the eyes of its most deeply wounded souls.
The Swanee was a whore, the fastest paddle wheeled steamer sailing the inland waterways who had sold herself body and soul to the Confederates. A 24-pound howitzer mounted on her fantail and a 32-pounder on he bow had converted her from a trading vessel carting rice and cotton down Wappoo Creek into a military lady capable of transporting a thousand troops. Peter loved the steamer, whore though she was, but he despised working for the Confederates. Slave-owners were required to support the war efforts by contributing labor, and his master had loaned him to the navy.

Louise Meriwether is the author of Daddy Was a Numbers Runner, as well as three biographies for children and numerous short stories. she has taught creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College and the University of Houston, and worked on the staff of both the Watts Writers' workshop and The Harlem Writers Guild.

 

 

                                                           No Time to Die

A Bizarre and brutal serial killer is on the loose in Harlem, but this time he has chosen the wrong victim-Mali Anderson's close friend Claudine Hasting. The savvy sleuth vows to track down her friend's killer, ignoring handsome Detective Tad Honeywell's suggestion that she leave the investigation to the police. While the body count rises, Mali refuses to back down, tirelessly combing "the three B's of Harlem: the barbershops, beauty shops and bars" as she zeros in on the culprit.
It soon becomes clear that the killing are centered in Mali's own neighborhood, and she fears that the people she holds dearest, including her jazz musician father and her preteen nephew, Alvin, will become embroiled in the case. But little does Mali realize even as she races to catch the killer, he is planning yet another crime- and he's already chosen her to be his next victim.

Grace F. Edward's third installment in  Mali Anderson Mystery series is  thrilling and another winner. Ms Edwards has once again painted -a portrait of Harlem that is both beautiful and haunting. filled with vibrantly  unforgettable characters.
"Impressive. . . The story is tense and expertly crafted" - Chicago Tribune
"The action is hot and the background cool, with the kind of down home details only a native would know" - Belle
"A vividly told story bring alive the streets of Harlem" - Portland Skanner

 

                                                                                                                                                                        

 

Hard Luck and Trouble: A Landlords tale

Amos Brown knows trouble comes in threes. Right now, he's down two. First off, he's got a monkey on his back-Harry the monkey chaser, to be exact-a notorious West Indian drug lord. Amos isn't into drugs, but he's go a nasty gambling habit, and after losing at poker he owes Harry big-time. Second, Amos's bride of six months disappeared when his number running operation went down the drain, so he's out everything except the kitchen sink. In fact Amos now has several kitchen sinks. Because the luck that's forced him to sell off his worldly possessions has also made him the owner of two Harlem brownstones-willed to him by the father he only met once in his life.

So while Amos is waiting for the next axe to fall, he'll have to settle into his new life as a landlord amid the fading grandeur of the worlds liveliest and long suffering neighborhood.
Amos has heard of skeleton in the closet, but apparently he's got one in the basement. And it belongs to someone closer to his heart-and farther from his memory-than he ever guessed. As Amos resolves to put together the pieces of the mysterious discovery, little does he know he will be putting together the puzzle of his past-and working out his future.

Gammy L. Singer Explores storytelling from a perspective that many more-experienced writers wish they could tap. With more than 25 years of experience. Singer has been an award-winning stage, screen and television actress. She has received four Dramalogue Awards, an American Film Award from the San Francisco Educational Library Association, a Robbie Award, two NAACP Image Awards and four nominations.

 

 

 

.