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Kwoya Fagin Maples

Years: 2008, 2010, 2012


Kwoya Fagin Maples is a writer from Charleston, S.C. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Alabama, is a graduate Cave Canem Fellow and a Homeschool Lambda Literary Fellow. In addition to a chapbook publication by Finishing Line Press entitled Something of Yours (2010), her work is published in several journals and anthologies including Blackbird Literary Journal, Berkeley Poetry Review, The African-American Review, PLUCK, Cave Canem Anthology XIII, The Birmingham Poetry Review, and Sow’s Ear Poetry Review. Her current manuscript, MEND, finalist for the AWP Prize, tells the stories of women who were the experimental subjects of Dr. James Marion Sims of Montgomery, Alabama. This work received a grant from the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation. MEND is forthcoming from University Press of Kentucky in fall 2018. Maples teaches Creative Writing at the Alabama School of Fine Arts and directs a three-dimensional poetry exhibit which features poetry and visual art including original paintings, photography, installations and film.



(Poem from current Manuscript. Montgomery, AL 1845)

Night Church Meeting


Way after night has put his robe on,


we put the wash pot to the door


to catch our voices




In the middle of all the shouting


and praising  is the prettiest black boy


you ever saw, with big cow eyes




and my heart


sets to beating louder than the drum.


Folks laid out on the ground,




slain in the spirit


and all I see is this boy


smiling at me 




with the straightest string of pearls


for teeth.