Wanda Coleman

Wanda Coleman (1946–2013) was the author of twenty books of poetry and prose. Coleman’s books from Black Sparrow Books (Godine) are Bathwater Wine, winner of the 1999 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize — the first book by an African American woman to receive it — and Mercurochrome (poems), bronze-medal finalist, National Book Awards 2001. Her honors included fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. She wrote fiction as well (A War of Eyes and Other Stories and the novel Mambo Hips and Make Believe). She was COLA’s first literary fellow, Department of Cultural Affairs, Los Angeles, 2003–2004. Her books include Ostinato Vamps (Pitt Poetry Series), The Riot Inside Me: More Trials & Tremors (nonfiction, Godine/Black Sparrow), and WANDA COLEMAN: Poems Seismic in Scene (de la chienne) Mise en page et calligraphies/layout and illumination by Jean-Jacques Tachdjian, Lille, France, spring 2006. A second collection of stories, Jazz and Twelve O’Clock Tales, was published in 2008 by Black Sparrow Books (and was a finalist for the Patterson Fiction Prize 2009). Her collection of poems The World Falls Away appeared in fall 2011 (Pitt Poetry Series). She was presented with the Shelley Memorial Prize in spring/summer 2012 by the Poetry Society of America/PSA, and the 2012 George Drury Smith Award by Beyond Baroque Literary Center.

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