10 Books Published by Medgar Evers College on Our Site — Book Cover Mosaic

Click for more detail about Killens Review of Arts & Letters (Fall / Winter 2018) by Clarence V. Reynolds Killens Review of Arts & Letters (Fall / Winter 2018)

by Clarence V. Reynolds
Center for Black Literature (Oct 01, 2018)
Read Detailed Book Description

View a pdf of the cover and table of contents

Fall / Winter 2018 “Gathering at the Waters Vol. II”

The Fall/Winter 2018 issue of the Killens Review of Arts & Letters continues with the theme from Fall/Winter 2017, “Gathering at the Waters,” and presents stories and artwork that explore ways in which writers and artists express interrelationships between family and community. This issue features an excerpt from the panel discussion “Gathering at the Waters: A Call for Healing” that took place during the 2018 National Black Writers Conference. It gives only a glimpse of the dynamic conversations that were centered on the ways writers see literature as a healing mechanism. There is also a short story from How Are You Going to Save Yourself, the compelling and hilarious debut collection by author JM Holmes. Also in this issue are captivating images from photographers Shawn W. Walker and Christopher Lopez, who were inspired by the importance of sharing ideas and messages of healing. A selection of original fiction and poetry round out the issue.


Click for more detail about Killens Review of Arts & Letters (Fall / Winter 2017) by Clarence V. Reynolds Killens Review of Arts & Letters (Fall / Winter 2017)

by Clarence V. Reynolds
Center for Black Literature (Oct 01, 2017)
Read Detailed Book Description

Fall / Winter 2017 “Gathering at the Waters Vol. I”

As we honor the centennial birth of poet, mentor, and humanitarian Gwendolyn Brooks this past year, her poem “Paul Robeson” reminds us of the importance and interconnectedness of family and community. She ends the poem saying:

…that we are each other’s
harvest: we are each other’s
business: we are each other’s
magnitude and bond.”

The theme of “Gathering at the Waters” connotes bringing together family and communities to look at the ways in which we affect and are part of each other’s lives. The Fall/Winter 2017 issue of the Killens Review explores “connecting family through literature and art” in the works of Black writers and features narratives that tell of healing, nurturing, cleansing, and reflection in the times we live in. The issue offers an excerpt from Whatever Happened to Interracial Love?, a collection of poignant short stories that were written by the late Kathleen Collins, who was known for her groundbreaking film Losing Ground The issue also includes fiction by J. Malcolm Stewart and an excerpt from Defining Moments in Black History: Reading Between the Lines by Dick Gregory. Spotlighted is photography by Texas Isaiah, who was named one of the “12 African American Photographers You Should Follow Right Now” in Time magazine, and work of award-winning painter Njideka Akunyili Crosby.


Click for more detail about Killens Review of Arts & Letters (Fall / Winter 2016) by Clarence V. Reynolds Killens Review of Arts & Letters (Fall / Winter 2016)

by Clarence V. Reynolds
Center for Black Literature (Oct 01, 2016)
Read Detailed Book Description

Fall / Winter 2016 “Embracing Difference”

Under the theme “Embracing Difference,” the Spring 2016 Killens Review includes works that center race and differ¬ence in the works of writers and artists. Featured writers include N. K. Jemisin, Victoria Brown and David Barclay Moore along with artists Andre Wagner and Llanor Alleyne whose narratives and artwork embrace race and differences from the perspective of politics, sexual identity, history, and cultural heritage. Our 13th National Black Writers Conference, which formed the backdrop for this issue, provided a forum for conversations that underscored ways in which writers stand determined in their mindset and commitment to create both imaginative and impactful stories while working under challenging sociopolitical circumstances.

The recent death of James Alan McPherson, the first Black writer to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, for his 1978 anthology Elbow Room, is a reminder that writers of the African diaspora have been “writing race and embracing difference&tdquo; for decades.


Click for more detail about Killens Review of Arts & Letters (Spring / Summer 2015) by Clarence V. Reynolds Killens Review of Arts & Letters (Spring / Summer 2015)

by Clarence V. Reynolds
Center for Black Literature (Oct 01, 2015)
Read Detailed Book Description

Fall / Winter 2015 “Memory and Myth”

Memories have a magical power: they can stir our imaginations and deepest emotions.

For this issue, we invited writers and artists to explore themes of cultural and social memory as well as myth in literature and art. Several poets, novelists, and artists recounted and shared memories about ancestors and feelings that are deeply meaningful to their lives. As far as myths were concerned, some examined and unearthed mythical ideas that exist in certain cultures and they present¬ed stories and imagery in lyrical and imaginative ways for readers to interpret. Included in this issue is the essay “What’s in a Name?” by W. B. Garvey; a touching story titled “How to Write Your Grandmother’s Obituary’ by Irvin Weathersby; and poetry by Ursula Rucker, Julian Randall, and E.J. Antonio. The Portfolio “The Synergy of Myth and Memory” spotlights the photography of Moses Djeli.

Author and poet Tracy K. Smith notes that wanting to write about her mother’s death was the impetus for her newly released memoir, Ordinary Light. The late Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel Garcia Marquez said that “the heart’s memory eliminates the bad and magnifies the good.”

Every age has created myths to help us understand the mysteries of the universe and the human condition. Mythologists and writer Joseph Campbell inform us that myths are public dreams and that dreams are private myths.

In the Fall 2015 issue of the Killens Review of Arts & Letters, we to explore the theme of cultural and social memory and myth in literature and art.


Click for more detail about Killens Review of Arts & Letters (Fall / Winter 2015) by Clarence V. Reynolds Killens Review of Arts & Letters (Fall / Winter 2015)

by Clarence V. Reynolds
Center for Black Literature (Apr 01, 2015)
Read Detailed Book Description

Spring / Summer 2015 “The Next Wave”

With this issue of the Killens Review, we consider “The Next Wave” of writers and artists whose works are in some way influenced by today’s cultural, social, and political issues. In the essay “Calling Me by My Name,” Sophfronia Scott looks back at her name and she reminds us of the importance of taking a deep look at ourselves and that this oftentimes can begin with our name. Reflecting on the poetry of Langston Hughes and Jayne Cortez, Todd Craig connects contemporary music to their timeless poetry. Author and poet Quincy Troupe shares the seed of a work whose idea first came first to him during a trip to Guadeloupe years ago and that he had set aside until recently. Also included in this issue, along with our selection of poetry and visual art by Titus Kaphar and Kia Chenelle Dyson, are excerpts from The Star Side of Bird Hill by Naomi Jackson and Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga by Pamela Newkirk.

In 1926, Langston Hughes noted that “We younger Negro artists who create now intend to express our individual dark-skinned selves without fear or shame … We build our temples for tomorrow, strong as we know how, and we stand on top of the mountain, free within ourselves.”

It’s been nearly 90 years since Hughes offered his credo, and writers across the African diaspora have been and continue to create bold and imaginative narratives in works covering a wide range of genres that have fulfilled his call.


Click for more detail about Killens Review of Arts & Letters (Fall / Winter 2014) by Clarence V. Reynolds Killens Review of Arts & Letters (Fall / Winter 2014)

by Clarence V. Reynolds
Center for Black Literature (Oct 01, 2014)
Read Detailed Book Description

Fall / Winter 2014 “Bring It Forward: Activism In Literature Today”

The Fall 2014 issue of the Killens Review acknowledges the importance of the literary works of writers and poets whose works were shaped by tumultuous times in our society. In a series of essays, writers Keith Gilyard, Rashidah Ismaili, and Arthur Flowers reflect on the work of author John Oliver Killens, who truly believed in the power of the written word. In her essay “Octavia E. Butler: A Biblical Parable Theorist,” Rev. Richetta Najuma Amen offers an engaging perspective on the works of Butler and the spiritual and layered meanings represented in her powerful and cautionary narratives. Our look at the Kamoinge Collective is also noteworthy, as the group of renowned photographers celebrated its five decades of camaraderie and sharing of beautiful and positive images last year. Also included in this issue is an original short story about gratitude by writer Lorna Goodison; an excerpt from novel Into the Go-Slow by Bridgett M. Davis; and Dr. Ron Daniels provides a poignant essay on the unjustified killings of young, Black men in America.

In the 1950s and 1960s, the late John Oliver Killens was considered a premiere writer-activist. While many of his books, such as Youngblood, reflect honest and realistic portrayals of African-American experiences, there was also the vibrant tone of activism in his telling of the story. Literature and art and politics may have their own distinctive ideals; however, when combined with an activist spirit at its heart the resulting work is powerful and memorable.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision,and this summer marks the 50th anniversary of both the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Mississippi Summer Project, known as Freedom Summer, in which civil rights organizations including the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE) and Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) organized a voter registration drive aimed at increasing voter registration in Mississippi. More than 1,000 people exhibited their activists’ spirit and voices to oppose social and racial injustice in the South.

Thinking back on these historic events in which activism was galvanized, it calls for reflection upon the ways activism has impacted art and literature – then and now.


Click for more detail about Killens Review of Arts & Letters (Fall / Winter 2013) by Clarence V. Reynolds Killens Review of Arts & Letters (Fall / Winter 2013)

by Clarence V. Reynolds
Center for Black Literature (Oct 01, 2013)
Read Detailed Book Description

Fall / Winter 2013 “Impact Beyond Boundaries”

Out of Print

In March 2012, poet, essayist, and activist Louis Reyes Rivera made his transition. Rivera published four books, including Scattered Scripture (1996), for which he received the 1997 poetry award from the Latin American Writers Institute. He also edited and contributed to more than 200 published books, and coedited Bum Rush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam with Tony Medina. We honor the courageous spirit and mission of the late Rivera in this edition with the essay “On the Passing of a Major Revolutionary Poet, Louis Reyes Rivera,” by Tony Medina. The issue also explores how our natural surroundings and the environment inform the literature that we write. We also present a story by Stephanie Powell Watts, winner of the 2012 Ernest Gaines Award for Literary Excellence for her debut novel, We Are Taking Only What We Need. We also feature artwork by Elvira Clayton, along with new fiction and poetry.

LUIS REYES RIVERA PHOTOGRAPHED BY GEORGE MALAVE

Feature: What Do You Do to Help Change the
World? by Louis Reyes Rivera
Essay: On the Passing of a Major Revolutionary Poet,
Louis Reyes Rivera by Tony Medina
Tribute: To Louis Reyes Rivera by Tony Mitchelson and Angela Kinamore
Feature: Black Writers Reflect on Ecoliterature by Brenda M. Greene, Ph.D. (Read)
Essay: Rescue Missions and Environmental Justice in Toni Cade Bambara’s The Salt Eaters by Barbara J. Webb
Portfolio: Artist Elvira Clayton
Interview: Stephanie Powell Watts by Clarence V. Reynolds (Read)
Fiction: Family Museum of the Ancient Postcards by Stephanie Powell Watts
Feature: Excerpt from Gypsy & The Bully Door by Nina Angela Mercer
Poetry: by Dana Crum and Keisha-Gaye Anderson
Fiction: 1980 When We Were Kinds in JA by Sean Anderson


Click for more detail about Killens Review of Arts & Letters (Fall / Winter 2012) by Clarence V. Reynolds Killens Review of Arts & Letters (Fall / Winter 2012)

by Clarence V. Reynolds
Center for Black Literature (Oct 01, 2012)
Read Detailed Book Description

Fall / Winter 2012 “Reconstructing the Master Narrative”

The Fall 2012 issue offers stimulating dialogue on the topic of the expanding master narrative.

Essay: “Henry Dumas and John Oliver Killens: Activism Across Generations” by Jeffrey Leak (Read)
Fiction: “Arc of Bones” by Henry Dumas
Portfolio: Artist David Graves
Feature: Selected Proceedings from the 2010 National Black Writers Conference by Brenda+M.+Greene, Ph.D. (Read)
Feature: Black Writers Reconstructing the Master Narrative (Read)
Feature: The Impact of Hip-Hop and Popular Culture in the Literature of Black Writers
Poetry: By Tracy K. Smith
Portfolio: Jean-Michel Basquiat: A Dedication to His Growth as an Artist by Javaka Steptoe
Tribute: To Lynnette Velasco
Fiction: My Own Flesh and Blood by Ngwah-Mbo Nana Nkweti

Henry Dumas photograph courtesy of the Henry Lee Dumas Estate: Eugene B. Redmond, literary executor.Copyright 1968-2012 by Loretta Dumas and Eugene B. Redmond


Click for more detail about Killens Review of Arts & Letters (Fall / Winter 2010) by Clarence V. Reynolds Killens Review of Arts & Letters (Fall / Winter 2010)

by Clarence V. Reynolds
Center for Black Literature (Oct 01, 2010)
Read Detailed Book Description

Fall / Winter 2010 “The Power of Voice”

Out of Print

This issue of the Killens Review takes a look at the power and beauty of just a few voices that speak to us, for us, and about us. There is an exclusive interview with the late Obie Award-winning playwright Ntozake Shange, who shares the passions that drive her. A selection of poems by Carolyn M. Rodgers; and professor, poet and essayist Geoffrey Jacques takes a look at one aspect of the dynamic works by Amiri Baraka, “In the Tradition.” Photographer Jules Allen displays his voice through a series of captivating images.

Table of Contents

Essay: “Amiri Baraka and Poetic Obscurity” by Geoffrey Jacques
Interview: A Conversation with Ntozake Shange by Brenda M. Greene, Ph.D. (Read)
Excerpt: Some Sing, Some Cry by Notzake Shange and Ifa Bayeza
Poetry: A Rich Voice in Verse: Poems by Carolyn M. Rodgers; Movement by Keisha-Gaye Anderson
Portfolio: Photographer Jules Allen
Fiction: Ms. Cuffee by Sean Anderson


Click for more detail about Killens Review of Arts & Letters (Spring / Summer 2010) by Fred Beauford Killens Review of Arts & Letters (Spring / Summer 2010)

by Fred Beauford
Center for Black Literature (Mar 01, 2010)
Read Detailed Book Description

Spring / Summer 2010 “The World of Book Publishing”

Out of Print

The inaugural issue of the Killens Review of Arts & Letters was presented at the Tenth National Black Writers Conference, in 2010. Killens Review of Arts & Letters is a biannual, peer-reviewed journal that includes creative nonfiction, essays, poetry, short stories, art and photography by established writers and artists as well as works of newly discovered writers and those whose works have been overlooked in the Western literary canon. Published by the Center for Black Literature at Medgar Eves College, the journal broadens the landscape of literary works produced by writers of the African diaspora.

The Killens Review of Arts & Letters was named for literary activist, author, and professor John Oliver Killens

Table of Contents

  • Feature: Let’s Do Lunch by Herb Boyd
  • Feature: A Select List of Literary Agents
  • Feature: Ebb and Flow in Black Publishing by David Hatchett
  • Excerpt: John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard
  • Essay:Toni Morrison: Recreating the Master Narrative by Brenda M. Greene, Ph.D.
  • Excerpt: Glorious by Bernice L. McFadden
  • Essay: Why African-American Children’s Literature? by Lynnette Velasco
  • Feature: Blogging: The Democratization of News by Candice Newberry