ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes


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Off campus, our students won national, regional, and local prizes in literature and have published in anthologies and other journals.  After graduating, some students work in the industry at publishing companies, newspapers, teach workshops, or work at other journals.

The Creative Writing Program at Dillard University




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The Creative Writing Program at Dillard University

Dillard is one of very few Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs ) where students can study the writing field in a program designed according to the national standards set by the Association of Writers and Writing  Programs (AWP).  Since 1995, Dillard University students have success in and outside of classes.  

Because of the expectations of readers and the industry, we encourage our students who pursue writing to Major in English; for others more interested in magazine publishing, music, or feature writing, we encourage them to major in Mass Communications or any subject content of their choice such as Theater, Art, Music, even Education.  We offer a full range of courses in each genre: creative non-fiction, drama, fiction, poetry, screenplays, and preparation for industry.  We now offer advanced classes in all areas. The full catalogue of courses and majors is available online through the website.  On campus, students publish their creative work in The Dillard Review, a journal of arts and letters, which provides hands-on-practice in all aspects of publishing from editing and writing, to layout, design, and production. 

Off campus, our students won national, regional, and local prizes in literature and have published in anthologies and other journals.  After graduating, some students work in the industry at publishing companies, newspapers, teach workshops, or work at other journals.  Others work in the industry performing at venues such as Slams, at the Apollo Theater, and on Def Poetry Jam.  Many continue their studies toward advanced degrees.  One Dillard graduate completed the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) and the Ph.D. in Creative Writing and is a university professor; he has also won fellowships to the prestigious Cave Canem, Bread Loaf, and most recently the Bunting Fellowship of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, Cambridge. Others completed the MFA in Drama writing and in Poetry; they are also professors who continue to write, perform, and publish.  Also, at least another two former students are in the process of completing graduate school. 

In addition, Dillard University students are taught by award-winning writers.  As Director of the Program, my book, Red Beans and Ricely Yours: Poems, won the PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Award in Poetry in 2006 and the T. S. Eliot Prize in Poetry in 2005 from Truman State University Press.  My essays, fiction, and verse appear in anthologies and journals.  My screenplay, “Rockin’ for a Risen Savior,” a full-length documentary on the ring-shout worship Easter Vigil of Black women in rural Louisiana, is in negotiation for production.  My colleague, Dedra Johnson’s novel, Sandrine’s Letter to Tomorrow, was honored by The Times Picayune Book Editor as the “Best debut novel of 2007.”  Dedra Johnson’s short fiction appears in anthologies and journals, and she has produced short screenplays.  We consult with local, state, regional, and national arts agencies and are members of AWP.  

In addition, The Creative Writing Program curriculum is enhanced with visits by a cadre of some of the best writers in our nation and the world.  Guest Writers to Dillard University include most recently Nikki Giovanni, Alice Wilson Fried, Valentine Pierce, Ishmael Reed, Charles Johnson, Pearle Cleage, prior to her passing Gwendolyn Brooks, Haki Madhubuti, Ngugi wa Thiong'o, Al Young, Kalamu ya Salaam,  E Ethelbert Miller, Tom Dent, Brenda Marie Osbey, a Dillard graduate and former Poet Laureate of Louisiana.  We are uniquely poised to provide a well-rounded educational experience for budding writers, as well as the skills necessary to aid them in pursuing advanced study or industry employment.  Every industry in the world employs writers.  Good writers do well.

Red Beans and Ricely Yours,

Dr. Mona Lisa Saloy

Associate Professor of English

Director, The Creative Writing Program

The Division of Humanities, where creativity blossoms

Mona Lisa Saloy is associate professor of English and Founding Director of Creative Writing at Dillard University, and Director of The Daniel C. Thompson/Samuel Du Bois Honors Program.  Dr. Saloy's first collection of verse, Red Beans and Ricely Yours: Poems, won the T. S. Eliot Prize in poetry for 2005, published by Truman State University Press. She has also won fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities and from the United Negro College Fund/Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Her poems have appeared in anthologies, magazines, journals, and film. She received her PhD in English and MFA in creative writing from Louisiana State University and her MA in creative writing and English from San Francisco State University. Displaced by Hurricane Katrina, Saloy was a visiting associate professor of English and creative writing at the University of Washington for the 2005/2006 academic year. 

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Negro Digest / Black World

Browse all issues

1950        1960        1965        1970        1975        1980        1985        1990        1995        2000 ____ 2005        


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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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posted 1 June 2010



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