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LaShonda Katrice Barnett

Website: Official Website


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LaSHONDA KATRICE BARNETT was born in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1974, and grew up in Park Forest, Illinois.  She is the author of the award-wining debut novel  JAM ON THE VINE (Grove 2015; paperback 2/2016) and a story collection (1999).  Designated a Stonewall Honor Award by the American Library Association (2016), Jam was an Editor’s Choice pick at the Chicago Tribune; won ElIe Magazine‘s Belle Lettres 2015 Reader’s Prize and earned Barnett the Emerging Writers Award at the 2015 Tennessee Williams Literary Festival.  The novel was shortlisted for the Crook’s Corner Book Prize and is a 2016 Lambda Literary Award finalist.

Barnett has received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the New York Money for Women/Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, and the College Language Association.  She has held residences at the Noepe Center for Literary Arts-Martha’s Vineyard, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, where she was a Tennessee Williams Fellow, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.

Her short fiction has appeared in The Chicago TribuneGuernica MagazineCallalooNew Orleans ReviewSN ReviewJukedC4: Chamber Quarterly Literary ReviewGemini Magazine and elsewhere.  She was twice-nominated for the 2015 Pushcart prize.

​A lover and scholar of music of the African diaspora and an avid interviewer, Barnett has conducted over one hundred interviews with women musicians and edited the volumes, I GOT THUNDER: Black Women Songwriters On Their Craft (2007) and SOUNDING OFF: Conversations With African American and Brazilian Women Musicians  (forth, University of North Texas Press).  She has hosted her own jazz radio program on WBAI (99.5 FM, NYC); taught ‘Women in Jazz’ at New York City’s Jazz at Lincoln Center; and lectured on the music nationally and internationally. A graduate of the University of Missouri, Sarah Lawrence College and the College of William and Mary, where she received a B.A.; M.A. in Women’s History and the Ph.D. in American Studies, respectively.  Barnett has held visiting professorships (in a range of academic disciplines, including African American Studies, history, literature and Women’s and Gender Studies) at Northwestern University; Brown University; Columbia University’s Institute for Research in African American Studies; Sarah Lawrence College; and Hunter College.  For the 2018/19 academic year, she was a visiting lecturer in the history department at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.


LaShonda Katrice Barnett is an American author, radio host, teacher, lecturer. Her fiction, music books and plays are known for their themes about the African diaspora and race. She has a collection of short stories, three music books, a trilogy of full-length plays. Her 2015 debut novel Jam! On the Vine, drew attention to the author and scholar. In 2014, Barnett’s short stories were featured in The Chicago TribuneGemini Magazine and Guernica Magazine. She’s been nominated twice for the 2015 Pushcart Prize.

LaShonda Katrice Barnett was born in Kansas City, Missouri in 1974. She grew up on Park Forest, Illinois. Barnett has identified herself as a lesbian and often writes with same-sex female characters in mind in her short stories, plays and her first novel Jam! On the Vine. She’s held residencies at the Noepe Center for Literary Arts-Martha’s Vineyard, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and the Fine Arts Work Center. She’s been a Tennessee Williams Fellow and received a Standards Best Small Press Book Award for her short stories collection “Callalou & Other Lesbian Love Tales” in 2007.

Barnett has a love for music, as evidenced with her jazz program for WBAI (99.5 FM, NYC). She hosted a jazz show. In 2007, Barnett interviewed female musicians about the African diaspora and edited “I Got Thunder: Black Women Songwriters On Their Craft and “Off The Record: Conversations With African American & Brazilian Women Musicians” in 2015. Barnett lectured on women in jazz at the Lincoln Center and in on jazz as a whole in several countries.

Barnett taught at Columbia University and Sarah Lawrence College on history and literature.

Barnett received her B.A. from the University of Missouri, a M.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and a Ph. D. in American Studies from the College of William and Mary. She earned a B.A. in Women’s History from the University of Missouri and an M.A. in Women’s History from Sarah Lawrence College. Barnett received grants for her work from National Endowment for the Humanities, the New York Money for Women/Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, and the College Language Association.

Barnett lives in upper west side Manhattan as a full-time writer.

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