Tony Medina was born in the South Bronx, raised in the Throgs Neck Housing Projects, and currently lives in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area. He is the author of twelve books for adults and children, the most recent of which is the poetry collection, Committed to Breathing (Third World Press, 2003) and Follow-up Letters to Santa From Kids Who Never Got a Response (Just Us Books, 2003). Named by Writer's Digest as one of ten poets to watch in the new millennium, Medina's poetry, fiction and essays appear in over eighty publications (including anthologies and literary journals) and two CD compilations. His children's books, DeShawn Days and Love to Langston (both illustrated by R. Gregory Christie) have garnered several awards, including the Parent's Guide Children's Media Award (2001), the Paterson Prize for Books for Young People (2002), and the Rhode Island Children's Book Award (2003). Among his three anthologies, In Defense of Mumia won The American Booksellers Association's Firecracker Alternative Book Award and Bum Rush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam was named a Best Book of 2002 by The Washington Post's Book World. His work has recently been published in African American Literature (Penguin Academics/Pearson Longman), edited by Keith Gilyard and Anissa Wardi.
Medina, who has taught English and Creative Writing at several colleges and universities for fifteen years, has earned his MA and PhD in Poetry and American and African American Literature from Binghamton University, SUNY. Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Howard University in Washington, DC, Medina is featured in Dr. Joanne V. Gabbin's documentary film Furious Flower II: Regenerating the Black Poetic Tradition: Roots & First Fruits/Cross-Pollination in the Diaspora/Blooming in the Whirlwind (California Newsreel, 2005). Medina is featured in Poets Against the Killing Fields (Trilingual Press, 2007) and he is an advisory editor for Nikki Giovanni's anthology, Hip Hop Speaks to Children (Sourcebooks, 2008). Featured in the Encyclopedia of Hip Hop Literature edited by Tarsia L. Stanley (Greenwood Press, 2008) and Cited (under the category of 'Hip Hop Literature') in the Encyclopedia of Rap and Hip Hop Culture by Yvonne Bynoe (Greenwood Press, 2005), Medina's forthcoming children's book is a biography in verse entitled, I and I, Bob Marley (Lee & Low Books, 2009).
A frequent visiting author/speaker and writer's workshop instructor for the New York-based non-profit literacy organization, Behind the Book (that sends authors in the schools to visit with at-risk youth and provides them with free books of the author's), Community School 21, in Brooklyn, New York, honored Dr. Medina with two Tony Medina Days, during the winter and spring of 2008. Medina has currently been invited to participate in a forthcoming collective young adult novel for Candlewick Press, featuring Walter Dean Myers, et al.
by Tony Medina
Publisher link for Love to Langston
Publisher link for Christmas Makes Me Think
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