Kalisha Buckhanon

Novelist, TV Guest, Arts Advocate

Kalisha Buckhanon’s next book is Speaking of Summer, an exploration of women’s lives in urban metropolises and effects of past trauma. She has provided expert commentary on true crime cases for TV-One, BET and ID Channel. She volunteered to teach writing to formerly incarcerated women through PEN American Center’s Prison Writing Program. Her debut novel UPSTATE was an inaugural selection for the National Book Foundation’s Literature for Justice program, working to shed light on mass incarceration. She has taught writing, humanities, literacy and more to all ages and levels in New York City, Chicago and her native Kankakee, Illinois.

A selection of her past appearances include: National Book Foundation’s Literature for Justice program, American Writers Museum, University of Chicago Emerging Writers Series, University of Chicago Gender Studies Department, Northwestern Lane Humanities Series, Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College-CUNY, School of the Art Institute-Chicago M.F.A Program, Gwendolyn Brooks Black Writing and Literature Conference, Chicago State University M.F.A. Program, New York University’s Institute of African American Affairs, University of Arkansas for the late E. Lynn Harris, Waubonsee Community College, Oakton College Women’s and Gender Studies Conference, University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, American Library Association Conference, National Council of Teachers of English Conference, National Book Club Conference, Union League Club Chicago, Literature For All of Us, Kankakee Community College, New York Public Libraries, Brooklyn Public Library, Free Library of Philadelphia, Chicago Public Libraries, South Street Seaport Museum and Neighborhood Writing Alliance.


Kalisha is a spirited and giving special guest with passionate interests and studied experience in:

  • negression

  • Discussions of novels, stories and media

  • Writing workshops and teaching

  • Youth achievement and success

  • TV commentary in true crime/justice cases of women and African-Americans

  • Lectures on American culture and society, specifically: women's concerns, Black history and consciousness, and Black women's arts and culture.

(photo: DeJohn Barnes)