Quraysh Ali Lansana

Quraysh Ali Lansana is author of The Walmart Republic, w/Christopher Stewart, (Mongrel Empire Press, September 2014), They Shall Run: Harriet Tubman Poems (Third World Press, 2004) and the poetry collections Southside Rain (Third World Press, 2000) and mystic turf (Willow Books, 2012); The Big World, a children’s book, (Addison-Wesley, 1999); and four poetry chapbooks, reluctant minivan (Living Arts Press, May 2014), bloodsoil (sooner red) (Center for the American Land, May 2009), Greatest Hits: 1995-2005 (Pudding House Publications, 2006) and cockroach children: corner poems and street psalms (nappyhead press, 1995). He is the editor of Glencoe/McGraw-Hill’s African American Literature Reader (Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, 2001), and I Represent and dream in yourself, which are two anthologies of literary works from Chicago’s award-winning youth arts employment program, Gallery 37 (Tia Chucha Press, 1996 and 1997, respectively). He is also co-editor of Dream of A Word: The Tia Chucha Press Poetry Anthology (Tia Chucha Press, 2006), and Role Call: A Generational Anthology of Social and Political Black Literature and Art (Third World Press, 2002). Our Difficult Sunlight: A Guide to Poetry, Literacy & Social Justice in Classroom & Community (with Georgia A. Popoff) was published in March 2011 by Teachers & Writers Collaborative and was a 2012 NAACP Image Award nominee. His most recent books include The Breakbeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip Hop, co-edited with Kevin Coval and Nate Marshall (Haymarket Books, 2015); A Gift from Greensboro (Penny Candy Books, 2016), Clara Luper: The Woman Who Rallied the Children w/Julie Dill (Oklahoma Hall of Fame Press, 2017), The Whiskey of Our Discontent: Gwendolyn Brooks as Conscience and Change Agent (Haymarket Books, 2017) and Revise the Psalm: Writing Inspired by the Work of Gwendolyn Brooks (Curbside Splendor, 2017).

His work has been published widely in journals and magazines across the country and internationally, including Callaloo, American Poetry Review, and Crab Orchard Review, among others. He is a faculty member of the Writing Program of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is also a former faculty member of the Drama Division of The Juilliard School, and served as Director of the Gwendolyn Brooks Center for Black Literature and Creative Writing at Chicago State University from 2002-2011, where he was also Associate Professor of English/Creative Writing.  Lansana is a former Reading/Language Arts editor for Scott-Foresman (Pearson Education), Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, and Holt, Rinehart & Winston. Quraysh was Lead Consultant/Contributing Poet for the Jamestown Reading Navigator Poetry Slam On-line Program.

Passage, his poetry video collaboration with Kurt Heintz, won the first ever Image Union/Bob Award from WTTW-TV (PBS).  He is the recipient of other awards, including: the 2006 Securing the Future Award from ETA Creative Arts Foundation, the 2000 Poet of the Year Award, presented by Chicago’s Black Book Fair; the 1999 Henry Blakely Award, presented by Gwendolyn Brooks; and the 1999 Wallace W. Douglas Distinguished Service Award, presented by Young Chicago Authors, Inc.

He earned a Masters of Fine Arts degree at the Creative Writing Program at New York University, where he was a Departmental Fellow.  He has been a literary teaching artist and curriculum developer for over a decade and has led workshops and professional development sessions in prisons, public schools, and universities in over 30 states.


See Quraysh Ali Lansana at “Gwendolyn Brooks at 100” on Thursday, October 12 at 6:00 p.m. in Room 163, Research Hall. Click for details.