New School News

Women Writers of the Diaspora: Dolen Perkins-Valdez and Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts


Women Writers of the Diaspora is an ongoing series of readings, moderated by New School associate dean Celesti Colds Fechter, that celebrate literature written by women from across the African diaspora.

In the first reading of the semester, on Thursday, February 17, Dolen Perkins-Valdez shares excerpts from her first novel, Wench. Perkins-Valdez was born in

Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts

Memphis and graduated from Harvard. Her fiction and essays have appeared in StoryQuarterly, Robert Olen Butler Prize Stories 2009, the Kenyon Review, PMS: PoemMemoirStory, the North Carolina Literary Review, the Richard Wright Newsletter, and SLI: Studies in Literary Imagination. Perkins-Valdez teaches creative writing at the University of Puget Sound.

The series continues on Wednesday, March 2, with Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts, who reads from her recently published book, Harlem Is Nowhere: A Journey to the Mecca of Black America. Rhodes-Pitts is a journalist and essayist whose work has appeared in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and The Nation. She has received awards from the Rona Jaffe Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, and the New York Foundation for the Arts. Rhodes-Pitts graduated from Harvard University and was a Fulbright Scholar in the United Kingdom.

The readings take place at 6:30 p.m. at 66 West 12th Street, room 510. Both events are free, but seating is limited and reservations are required; call 212.229.5615 or email

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