is an award-winning poet, performer, playwright, and educator. Through innovative workshops and residencies, she brings the art of writing to life for students, whether they be novices or emerging artists.
Her publications include poetry and reviews in several literary journals such as New Letters, Cutthroat Journal of the Arts, One Trick Pony Review, and Black Magnolias, as well as a spoken word CD entitled FREEverse. Her poems have been featured in Black Lives Have Always Mattered, Our Words, Our Voices, and other anthologies, and in the following collections:
- Windows to the Soul (Shippensburg University Press, 1999)
- Rising Waters (Shippensburg University Press, 2003)
- Talking “White” (postDada Press, 2013)
- Reclaiming My Time: An American Griot Project (2018)
As a performance poet, Maria gracefully bridges the gap between stage and page by delivering her well-crafted lyric poetry with the dramatic power of a seasoned spoken word artist.
In March, 2018 her choreopoem, Reclaiming My Time: An American Griot Project was sold out 6 times, touching audiences with poetic interpretation of real women’s stories from the Jim Crow era.
With Reclaiming My Time director, Janet Bixler, Maria James-Thiaw has now infused her passion for writing and the arts with her 16 years of teaching experience into a new venture: Reclaim Artist Collective, a soon-to-be nonprofit organization that will serve marginalized communities, emerging artists and schools with affordable theater and literary arts programming, wellness retreats, and creative workshops. In 2020 they released RMT 2.0, a digital version of the original Reclaiming My Time.
For more information about RAC visit www.ReclaimArtistCollective.org.
Cover art designed by Shannon High-Patterson.
“Talking ‘White’ oozes with soul … from the way Maria James-Thiaw recalls the insults of youth that permanently wound us, to her musing amorously over the affections of her chocolate toned lover. Her words create melodic imagery of historical roots, and Afrocentric pride. Filled with spirit, vulnerable femininity, sisterhood empowerment, “Talking White” resonates with those who have ever felt beautiful, fearful, sassy, angry, powerful, dissatisfied, misunderstood, enamored, proud. If you have a palate for romance, or need a voice to spark a ferocious battle cry for activism … If you’ve ever felt … anything at all … this is a must read.” ~ Amazon customer