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 and 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. In 2011 she was awarded the JUSFC Creative Artist Fellowship for a residency in Japan. 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. Ms. Youngblood says her practice includes writing and painting, sometimes combining the two.