Dillard University Creative Writing Program

Dillard University Creative Writing Program


ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes



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’Thiango, Al Young, Kalamu ya Salaam,


E Ethelbert Miller, Tom Dent, Brenda Marie Osbey,



The Creative Writing Program

The Division of Humanities, where creativity blossoms

Dillard University, 2601 Gentilly Boulevard

New Orleans, Louisiana 70122 /  

 504-816-4689 / 504-283-8822 (Operator)

Unleash your creativity

Study with Published Award-Winning Writers:

Mona Lisa Saloy, Ph.D., M.F.A.;  Dedra Johnson,  M.F.A.


Mona Lisa Saloy

 PEN/Oakland Prize 2006, Josephine Miles Award;

T. S. Eliot Prize in Poetry 2005, for Red Beans and Ricely Yours: Poems


*   *   *   *   *

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’Thiango, 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


Dillard University’s Creative Writing Program

Study with Published Award-Winning Writers

Mona Lisa Saloy and Dedra Johnson


*   *   *   *   *

Saddi Khali, Dr. Saloy’s former student, brought her something close to rapping but not quite poetry. From Dillard to studying with Kalamu ya Salaam and Tom Dent to being featured on Def Poetry Jam & at The Apollo, he’s publishing in anthologies & journals, performing in Poetry Slams, & teaches workshops

*   *   *   *   *

Jericho Brown, a.k.a. Nelson Demery, class of ’98, became a poet at Dillard, Jericho won fellowships to Cave Canem, Breadloaf.

He published Please, his first book of poems, in 2008.

*   *   *   *   *

Creative Non-Fiction


Short Fiction 



Spoken Word


Guest Writers


Learn the industry


Layout & Design



Every industry employs writers.

! ! ! ! ! ! Good writers do well.

*   *   *   *   *’s 25 Best Selling Books



#1 – Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark #2 – Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree #3 – Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane #4 – Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper #5 – Stackin’ Paper 2 Genesis’ Payback by Joy King #6 – Thug Lovin’ (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark #7 – When I Get Where I’m Going by Cheryl Robinson #8 – Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby #9 – The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 – Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 – Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 – Don’t Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 – For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 – For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 – Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 – The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 – Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 – Purple Panties: An Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 – Stackin’ Paper by Joy King

#20 – Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 – The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 – Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 – Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 – I Dreamt I Was in Heaven – The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter


#1 – Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable #2 – Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans #3 – Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane #4 – Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper #5 – Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You’re Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant #6 – Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey #7 – The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight #8 – The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing #9 – The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 – John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 – Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 –The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 – The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 – The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 – Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can’t Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 – Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 – Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 – A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 – John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 – Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 – Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 – 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino #23 – Chicken Soup for the Prisoner’s Soul by Tom Lagana #24 – 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 – Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

*   *   *   *   *

Super Rich: A Guide to Having it All

By Russell Simmons

Russell Simmons knows firsthand that wealth is rooted in much more than the stock  market. True wealth has more to do with what’s in your heart than what’s in your wallet. Using this knowledge, Simmons became one of America’s shrewdest entrepreneurs, achieving a level of success that most investors only dream about. No matter how much material gain he accumulated, he never stopped lending a hand to those less fortunate. In Super Rich, Simmons uses his rare blend of spiritual savvy and street-smart wisdom to offer a new definition of wealth-and share timeless principles for developing an unshakable sense of self that can weather any financial storm. As Simmons says, “Happy can make you money, but money can’t make you happy.”

*   *   *   *   *

The New Jim Crow

Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

By Michele Alexander

Contrary to the rosy picture of race embodied in Barack Obama’s political success and Oprah Winfrey’s financial success, legal scholar Alexander argues vigorously and persuasively that [w]e have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it. Jim Crow and legal racial segregation has been replaced by mass incarceration as a system of social control (More African Americans are under correctional control today… than were enslaved in 1850). Alexander reviews American racial history from the colonies to the Clinton administration, delineating its transformation into the war on drugs. She offers an acute analysis of the effect of this mass incarceration upon former inmates who will be discriminated against, legally, for the rest of their lives, denied employment, housing, education, and public benefits. Most provocatively, she reveals how both the move toward colorblindness and affirmative action may blur our vision of injustice: most Americans know and don’t know the truth about mass incarceration—but her carefully researched, deeply engaging, and thoroughly readable book should change that.—Publishers Weekly

*   *   *   *   *

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)

*   *   *   *   *

Ancient African Nations

*   *   *   *   *

If you like this page consider making a donation

online through PayPal

*   *   *   *   *

Negro Digest / Black World

Browse all issues

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


*   *   *   *   *

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 /

George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

*   *   *   *   *

The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

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

*   *   *   *   *


*   *   *   *   *






posted 1 March 2009




 Home   Mona Lisa Saloy Table

Post Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.