Ulen, Eisa Nefertari 1968–

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Ulen, Eisa Nefertari 1968–

PERSONAL: Born December 22, 1968, in Philadelphia, PA; daughter of Clive A. (an attorney) and Cheryl T. (a sales representative) Ulen; Ethnicity: "African American." Education: Sarah Lawrence College, B.A., 1990; Columbia University, M.A., 1995. Politics: "Progressive." Religion: Muslim. Hobbies and other interests: "Discussions of politics, community, youth, and hip hop culture."

ADDRESSES: Home—343 Carlton Ave., Apt. 3A, Brooklyn, NY 11238. Office—Department of English, Hunter College of the City University of New York, 695 Park Ave., New York, NY 10029. Agent—Michele Rubin, Writers House, 21 W. 26th St., New York, NY 10010. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Elementary school teacher in Baltimore, MD, 1991–92; teacher at an academy in New York, NY, 1993–96; Hunter College of the City University of New York, New York, NY, adjunct lecturer in English, 1996–.

MEMBER: Modern Language Association of America.

AWARDS, HONORS: Fellow, Frederick Douglass Creative Arts Center, 1995–97; resident scholar, Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown, MA, 1999.


Crystelle Mourning (novel), Atria Books (New York, NY), 2006.

Contributor to books, including Free within Ourselves: Nonfiction Lessons for Black Authors, Main Street Books (New York, NY), 1999; America Now: Short Readings from Recent Periodicals, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2002; Putting the Movement Back into Civil Rights Teaching, Teaching for Change (Washington, DC), 2004; I've Known Rivers: The San Francisco Museum of the African Diaspora Story Project, 2005; and Shattering the Stereotypes: Muslim Women Speak Out!, Interlink Books (New York, NY), 2005. Writer for the cable television network Nickelodeon. Contributor of articles and reviews to periodicals, including Quarterly Black Review of Books, Washington Post, Ms., Vibe, Shade, Heart and Soul, Emerge, Source, Essence, and Black Issues Book Review.

SIDELIGHTS: Eisa Nefertari Ulen once told CA: "My work builds on the storytelling legacy that has sustained generations of Black folk in this country. Characters whisper into my ear with the same rhythm and rhyme and measured repetition that the people I most love sing into my everlasting soul. Where I write, there is no such thing as time. Life spins. My lifebeat drummer never opens his eyes. The whirl of dust kicks along the dance clouds lines of demarcation. Future generations stretch fingertips years before conception, just to tickle their parents' love jones. Ancestors bend back into the now. My woman protagonist lives in timelessness as vast as the delicate light where the living, the mourned, and the babies still waiting to be born circle and swing. She faces the temporal realities of American violence in a uniquely Black female way. She heals through a journey that crosses a cosmos without ever taking her out of her childhood home. I stitch the seamless garment cloaking then, now, and yet to be."