Publications & Awards

There are many ways to get your hands on the poetry of Maria James-Thiaw.

Talking “White”

You can get a signed copy of Talking “White” or other works by Maria James-Thiaw by attending one of her Upcoming Events.

To say that Maria’s poetry is important to society is an understatement. Her poetry is necessary. ~ Dr. Michelle Baker

Previously Published Books (Maria C. James):

  • Windows to the Soul (1999), Shippensburg University Press (Out of print)
  • Rising Waters (2003), Shippensburg University Press

Rising Waters CoverAuvillar Performance

Audio Recordings:

mariacjamesFREEverse, a compilation of spoken word and music. Music arranged and performed by Gary Germany.

What people are saying…

“In this over-saturdated industry of would be poets, Maria James-Thiaw shows the way, like a lighthouse beacon in the dark, showing everyone everywhere that she is the truth.” ~ Rich “Man” Morris, spoken word artist


“Saucy, witty, and vibrant, this lyrical collection resides in ‘Langston’s neighborhood’––it delivers verbal music, up-tempo incantations that embody social history and personal narrative in sensual lines we want to read aloud.  The intimate tone allows us to feel connected to our poet, Maria James-Thiaw.  Her blues are ours; her laughter uplifts us.” ~ Pulitzer Prize nominated poet, Marilyn Kallet, Director of Creative Writing, University of Tennesee-Knoxville

“Powerful. Inspiring. Evocative. These are just a few words to describe Maria’s performance poetry. Her passion for poetry and social justice collide in her art, and she takes audiences on a self-reflective journey with every poem. To say that Maria’s poetry is important to society is an understatement. Her poetry is necessary. Everyone should read her work, hear her work, and share her work with others.” ~ Dr. Michelle Baker, Professor, Juniata College

“Maria [James-Thiaw] is the poetic shelter we seek out during the stormy existence we call life. Her poetry fits like a prayer for the sinner, meditation for those caught in the turmoil of chaos.” ~ Iya Isoke, Poet Laureate of Harrisburg, PA

“Maria James-Thiaw is the beauty and passion of the  African Diaspora Writer.  She is a storyteller surrounded by a universe of hungry starving listeners, trying to devour her word by word.   She is more than you see and all that she can imagine…” ~ Rev. Dr. Nathaniel Gadsden, founder of The Writer’s Wordshop


Come Shining: Essays and Poems On Writing In a Dark Time,  ed David Oates. Kelson Books (September 2017)
Black Lives Have Always Mattered, ed Abidone Oyewole, 2Leaf Press, (October 2017)
Cutthroat Journal of the Arts (21), “Contusion” (September, 2016)
Spirit Speaks Anthology,  “Protests” and “Those People” (November 2014)
New Letters – Review: The Love That Moves Me, Marilyn Kallet (Summer 2014)
One Trick Pony Review, “Performing in Auvillar” and “Cherries” (2014)
The Central Pen Literary E-zine, co-editor, 2013
Love Your Rebellion Literary Journal  “Rant of the Backslider,” “Double Whammy” (Fall 2011)
Black Magnolias “Big Mamma Blue,” “The Blind,” “Nigrescent,” “Café on Market Street” (Summer 2011)
The Sylvan “Virginia Slims” (Fall 2010)
The Pitkin Review, “Aunt Rosie’s Gift” (2009)
“Self Respect is Your Key To Success” Student Central (2009)
Poet’s Tour of Harrisburg, “These Words Move” (2007)                                     
The Parlor Journal, Rosemont College (2007)                                            
Megaera “The Poem Speaks” (2006)
Poetry Ink, “Generation X”  (2006)                                                            
Fledgling Rag, (2006)                                                                                 
Harrisburg Review (2004)
Rising Waters (2003)
Windows to the Soul (1999)
United Voices (1994)
Best Poems of 1995
The Voice Newsletter (Editor in Chief 1994 – 2000)                                    
Urban Connection Newspaper (2002)
Newswire e-newsletter (2000 – 2002)
Content Writer for from 2000-2002
Common Ground Newspaper (1999)
The Mercersburg Journal (1998)
The Public Opinion Newspaper (1997)
Athena’s Leaves Literary Magazine (1996)
Vista Newsletter (1996)
Little Poems For Little People, Young Writer’s Conference winner (1982)


2019 Wordshop Award for Poetry, Nathaniel Gadsden’s Writer’s Wordshop
Center for American Literary Studies at Penn State University ‘Art of Protest’ Poetry Prize for 2018 for poems from Reclaiming My Time: An American Griot Project. (2018)
Scholarship for Virginia Center for Creative Arts workshop: “O Taste and See: Writing the Senses in Deep France” led by Marilyn Kallet (2015)
Harrisburg Regional Chamber of Commerce and CREDC Catalyst Award: Business Diversity Champion of the Year, (2014)
National Black Author’s Tour Certificate for 20 Years of Poetic Excellence, (2014)
Chosen as Guest Poetry Editor for Minerva’s Rising, a national women’s literary magazine (Summer 2013)
Offered Fellowship for Summer Institute by the Capital Area Writing Project at Penn State University (Summer 2013)
Scholarship for Virginia Center for Creative Arts workshop: “O Taste and See: Writing the Senses in Deep France” led by Marilyn Kallet. (May 2011)
Certificate of Recognition for Cultural Events, CPC (July, 2007)     
National Black Author’s Tour Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Arts and Humanities (Nov 2006)                                                                        
Heavyword Poetry Slam, Harrisburg PA – Top 10 Finalist (Jul 2004)
HACC Poetry Slam, Harrisburg, PA – First Place (May 2002)
Pennsylvania Society for Technical Writing Award (May 2002)
Heavyword Poetry Slam, Harrisburg, PA – Fifth Place (Jun 2002)
Poet of the Month – (Jun 2002)


  • Board of Trustees, Pennsylvania Poetry Society
  • Nathaniel Gadsden’s Writers Wordshop Advisory Board 2014 to present
  • Philadelphia Stories Poetry Board, 2013 to present
  • AWP – Association of Writers and Writers Programs, 2007 to present
  • Central PA PRSA, Student Chapters Committee Chair – January 2011 – January 2012
  • PRSA, Public Relations Society of America – member since 2004 – January 2012
  • Pennsylvania Poetry Society, Board of trustees, Summer 2009 to present




  1. Grant Writing, Summer 2019, Temple University 
  2. Collaborative Learning to Support Neurodiverse Students, Fall 2018, Magma
  3. Creative Course Design, Summer 2018, Magma
  4. The Flipped Classroom, Summer 2018, Magma

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