I am looking forward to presenting a paper for the August Wilson Conference at Howard University this month. I have been deeply inspired by Wilson's work since seeing Joe Turner's Come and Gone at Arena Stage when I was in junior high school in DC. I did not know that I would be moved to write plays years later then. But Wilson's rare gift for blues poetics and story-telling struck me in an unforgettable way in the dark house of the theater. I actually went into labor with my first daughter while listening to August Wilson speak about Seven Guitars at Howard University back in 1995. I didn't know I was in labor at the time, but it became very apparent later, after hanging out at a music studio into the wee morning hours. It's all intertwined. It has been a precarious alignment at times, but it has always made sense, if you know how funk makes sense, and if you know how blues makes all the sense, and the way life does if you choose that dance. And, of course, it's always special to return to HU - my alma mater, my former place of employment, the ground that knows every aspect of how my feet fall while walking. If you're in the area, come through ...
Nina is a native of Washington,DC, now living in the Bronx. She is a cultural worker,multi genre writer,& performing artist. Her plays have been produced in the U.S. and internationally. They include GUTTA BEAUTIFUL; GYPSY & THE BULLY DOOR; ITAGUA MEJI: A ROAD & A PRAYER; RACING MY GIRL, SALLY; MOTHER WIT AND WATER-BORN; and ever-growing collection of short plays - SLIM POCKET PLAYS: including PRESIDENT OH HE'S A BAD MAMMA JAMMA, THE UNITED STATES -VS- THESE BADASS KIDS, A HUNGER/A SPELL, and SPARROW. She is currently working on the first play in a trilogy, BETWEEN WHISPERED BLOOD LINES.
Nina is also steady on the grind with an untitled biomythography/cookbook/radical grimoire.
Nina is co-founder and Co- Director of Ocean Ana Rising, Inc. (OAR): http://oarinc.org
She has been a faculty member at Howard University, American University, University of Maryland-College Park, Borough of Manhattan Community College (CUNY) and Medgar Evers College (CUNY). She is currently a Doctoral Fellow of Theatre at The Graduate Center (CUNY).
Nina is the proud mother of two daughters, Aya Imani and Raisa Selam.