Alexis De Veaux


"Writers are given the responsibility of sight. I think that the whole burden, responsibility and beauty of the gift forces us to construct our lives differently so that we are able to become vehicles to transcend, to encompass and articulate not only our own experience but the experiences of others."

Alexis De Veaux is a celebrated writer and activist recognized for her singular contributions to feminist, literary, artistic and political movements. ​Her most recent novel, Yabo, won the 2015 Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian General Fiction. Weaving together prose and verse, the story spans centuries of African-American History as it follows an unforgettable group of characters united by the geography and people of New York State  and the enduring trauma of the transatlantic slave trade.

"Alexis De Veaux laces together the past and the present with poetic elegance in an intricate and delicate pattern of call and response…Echoing the work of Jean Toomer and Toni Morrison, YABO speaks in a powerful and insistent cadence about things we may have forgotten: death, desire, magic and the drum beat of resilience."—Jewelle Gomez, author, The Gilda Stories

De Veaux  has also written two award-winning biographies: Don’t Explain: A Song of Billie Holiday and Warrior Poet: A Biography of Audre Lorde. In 1990, she was chosen by Essence magazine to be the first North American writer to interview  Nelson Mandela after his release from prison. Her literary talents encompass poetry, children’s literature, plays, essays and journalism, and she has lectured around the world, engaging audiences with her artistic concerns with “making racial and sexual experiences of black female characters central to her work, and disrupting the boundaries between forms.” De Veaux is also a celebrated activist, recognized for her contributions to a number of women’s and literary organizations including, with Kathy Engel, Lyrical Democracies, which works with poets to enhance existing social projects.