Shay Youngblood Georgia born writer Shay Youngblood is author of the novels Black Girl in Paris and Soul Kiss (Riverhead Books) and a collection of short fiction, The Big Mama Stories (Firebrand Books). Her published plays Amazing Grace, Shakin' the Mess Outta Misery and Talking Bones, (Dramatic Publishing Company), have been widely produced. Her other plays include Square Blues, Black Power Barbie and Communism Killed My Dog. She is the recipient of numerous grants and awards including a Pushcart Prize for fiction, a Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award, an Edward Albee honoree, several NAACP Theater Awards, an Astraea Writers' Award for fiction and a 2004 New York Foundation for the Arts Sustained Achievement Award. Ms. Youngblood received her MFA in Creative Writing from Brown University where she studied with Paula Vogel and Anna Deveare Smith. She has taught Creative Writing to faculty and graduate students at NYU and has been Visiting Writer in Residence at the University of Mississippi and Texas A&M Universities. She was honored to teach workshops for VONA (Voices of Our Nations), a multi-genre workshop for writers of color. In 2011 she was a warded a National Endowment for the Arts sponsored Japan-US Creative Artist Fellowship and in 2018 she was invited to participate in the International Literary Writing Program of Jilin, China to discuss and write on the subject of the environment, nature and ecology.

My interdisciplinary art practice includes writing, painting, object making, sound art and video. Among my creative goals are collaborations with a composer on an opera, film and tv writers in a writing room and to develop a work for the theater that integrates video animation.

As a teacher my classes and workshops reflect my interest in a range of literary genres. Teaching provides the ideal opportunity for me to combine my dedication to my art practice with my commitment to encouraging students to develop skills such as critical thinking, active learning, and enthusiasm for language and storytelling.

My interest in architecture has been fueled by my travels. I have a particular weakness for shoes and my guilty pleasures are spa vacations and 72 hour reading orgies. I love to dance, learn new languages, create culinary art and have been known to practice yoga and meditation. An adventurous risk taker, I will try almost any cuisine or any activity once, more if I like it.

Read an essay by Daniel Alexander Jones on theater collaboration with Shay Youngblood and Sharon Bridgforth.

See Shay Youngblood's entry in the New Georgia Encyclopedia.

Read This is Shay Youngblood: Her Eyes Have Seen and the Seeing Continues to Soar, a biographical essay.

Shay Youngblood
2021 Mama’s Home
illustrated children’s book, Make Me a World/RH
2008 Hotel Stories, limited edition artists books,
Original artwork and stories
2000 Black Girl in Paris, novel, Riverhead Books
1997 Soul Kiss, novel, Riverhead Books
Editions in German, French and Portuguese
1989 Big Mama Stories, short fiction, Firebrand Books
1993 Shaking The Mess Out of Misery, Talking Bones & Amazing Grace (1998) Plays, Dramatic Publishing Company
1983 - Present Articles, Short Stories, Poetry, Essays, Radio
Oprah Magazine, Black Issues Book Review, Black Renaissance Noir, Good Housekeeping, Black Book Magazine, Essence, NPR “Selected Shorts” Among others
1988 - present Produced Plays
Shaking The Mess Out of Misery, two act play
Amazing Grace, adaptation, full length children's play
Talking Bones, two act play
Square Blues, two act play
Black Power Barbie, two act play
Widows of America, Denton County, two act play
Communism Killed My Dog, one act play
Numerous regional productions
2020 Indigo Arts Alliance, Artist Residency, Portland, Maine
2018 International Writing Program, Jilin, China
2011 US/Japan Creative Artist Fellowship, NEA/JUSFC, Tokyo, Japan
2004 New York Foundation for the Arts, Sustained Achievement Award
2002 John and Renee Grisham Writer in Residence, Teaching Fellowship
1993 Astraea Award for Fiction
Kennedy Center's Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award
NAACP Theater Awards
Among others
2020 VONA (Voices of Our Nation Writing Workshops for writers of color)
Fiction (2018) Memoir & Visual Storytelling (2020)
2013-2015 Writer in Residence, Dallas Museum of Art
2008-2010 Writer in Residence, Texas A&M University
Fiction and Playwriting Workshops, Independent Studies
2002-2003 John & Renee Grisham Writer in Residence
University of Mississippi
Creative Writing Workshop
2001-2002 Visiting Professor, New York University, Graduate Program
Creative Writing, Fiction Workshop
1987-Present Creative Writing Workshop Instructor and Lecturer
American University, Brown University, Boston College, Bronx Community College, School of the Arts Institute of Chicago, Columbia University, Dartmouth College, Emory University, New York University, Spelman College, University of Minnesota, University of Iowa Writer's Workshop, and others; Elementary and High Schools; National and International conferences (Sweden, France and Spain); Museums, Senior Centers, Public Libraries and Art Programs.
  Brown University, Providence, RI
M.F. A. Creative Writing
  Clark-Atlanta University, Atlanta, GA
B.A. Mass Communications
2018 International Writing Program, Jilin, China
2011 2011 US/Japan Creative Artist Fellowship, five month residency, Tokyo, Japan
2007 English Language Teacher, Madrid, Spain
2006 Conference Presenter, Sodertorn University, Stockholm, Sweden
1986 English Language Teacher, Au Pair & Poet's Helper, Paris, France
1981-1983 U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer, Dominica, Eastern Caribbean Department of Agriculture, Communications Officer
1980 French Language student, Haitian/American Institute, Port Au Prince, Haiti,
  Yaddo, Indigo Arts Alliance, MacDowell Colony, Moulin a Nef (Auvillar, France) Karolyi Foundation (Vence, France), Blue Mountain Center, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and Hambidge Center for the Arts
Yaddo Artists Colony, Board Member
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority

Shay Youngblood