Mecca Jamilah Sullivan, Ph.D., is the author of the short story collection, Blue Talk and Love (2015). In her fiction, she explores the intellectual, emotional, and bodily lives of young black women, through voice, music, and hip-hop inflected magical realist techniques. Her short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Best New Writing, American Fiction: Best New Stories by Emerging Writers, Prairie Schooner, Callaloo, Crab Orchard Review, Robert Olen Butler Fiction Prize Stories, BLOOM: Queer Fiction, Art, Poetry and More, TriQuarterly, Feminist Studies All About Skin: Short Stories by Award-Winning Women Writers of Color, Baobab: South African Journal of New Writing and many others. She is the winner of the Charles Johnson Fiction Award, the James Baldwin Memorial Playwriting Award, and fellowships, scholarships and residencies from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, The Yaddo Colony, the Hedgebrook Writers’ Retreat, and the Center for Fiction in New York City, where she received a 2011 Emerging Writers Fellowship.
Mecca is Assistant Professor of Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies at UMass Amherst. She holds a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Pennsylvania, an M.A. in English and Creative Writing from Temple University, and a B.A. in Afro-American Studies from Smith College. A proud native of Harlem, NY, her critical and scholarly work on sexuality, identity, and poetics in contemporary African Diaspora culture has appeared in publications including Palimpsest: Journal of Women, Gender and the Black International, Jacket2, Public Books, GLQ: Lesbian and Gay Studies Quarterly, From Uncle Tom’s Cabin the The Help: Critical Perspectives on White-Authored Narratives of Black Life, Ebony.com, Zora Magazine, TheRoot.com, Ms. Magazine online, and The Feminist Wire, where she serves as Associate Editor for Arts & Culture. Her research and scholarship have earned support from the Mellon-Mays Foundation, the Social Sciences Research Council, Williams College, where she received the Gaius Charles Bolin dissertation fellowship, and Rutgers University, where she was awarded the Postdoctoral Fellowship in African American and African Diaspora Literature. She is currently at work on a book manuscript exploring the relationships between sexuality, identity, and genre in contemporary women’s literature of the African Diaspora.