M. Nzadi Keita is a first-generation urban northerner. Her first book of poems, Birthmarks, was published by Nightshade Press. Her work has since appeared on public television, in MELUS, Poet Lore, nocturnes literary review and Crab Orchard among other journals. Among several, anthologies containing her work include Bum Rush The Page: A Def Poetry Jam, Beyond the Frontier: African-American Poetry in the 21st Century, The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South, A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry, and Confirmation: An Anthology of African-American Women. Grants and fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Ursinus College, Yaddo, the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, the Fine Arts Work Center, and the Leeway Foundation have supported her writing and community-based arts adventures.
Keita served as an adviser to the documentary, “BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez.” Her essays on Sanchez appear in Impossible to Hold: Women and Culture in The 1960s (NYU Press) and the anthology, Peace Is A Haiku Song (Mural Arts Press). She edited the Lucille Clifton section for Poetry Criticism and wrote the entry on Anna Murray Douglass for The Frederick Douglass Encyclopedia (Greenwood Press).
She has worked in collaboration with numerous community social service and arts organizations, including the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, WHYY-TV/ Philadelphia, the Rosenbach Museum, Moonstone Arts Center, Germantown Arts Roundtable, USDAC, and the Philadelphia Mural Arts Project. Keita is a Cave Canem alum. An associate professor of English at Ursinus College, she teaches creative writing and contemporary literature.