Negress: a woman of Black or African descent | digression: a departure from the main subject in speech or writing

Kalisha is author of the novels Solemn, Conception and Upstate. Essence Magazine introduced her at age 27 as one of “Three Writers to Watch.” Since then Kalisha has been featured in Mosaic, The Crisis, Colorlines, The Guardian, People, Entertainment Weekly, Elle, and Marie Claire as well as been a guest on NPR, BBC-London, TV-One, ID Channel and BET. Her writing appears in Oxford American, Michigan Quarterly Review, Fiction International, Per Contra, pluck!, Black Renaissance Noire, Kweli, Clutch, xoJane, and more. Her honors include an American Library Association ALEX Award, Friends of American Writers Award, Terry McMillan Young Author Award, Illinois Arts Council Fellowship, Hurston-Wright Foundation Debut shortlist, Pushcart Prize nomination and Andrew Mellon Minority Undergraduate Fellowship in the Humanities. She was a writing mentor to recently-released women in PEN American Center’s Prison Writing Program, and is a SheKnows “Experts Among Us” on culture and society. Kalisha is a Phi Beta Kappa University of Chicago graduate with a B.A. and M.A. in English, alumna of The New School’s Writing M.F.A., and “Spirit of Writing” teacher with The Eckleburg Workshops of Johns Hopkins.

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