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Aisha was born and raised in Los Angeles. Her writing about race and current events is often coupled with analysis of art, film and pop culture. She studied English Literature at Carleton College and went on to earn an MA in Cultural Studies and Studio Art from the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at NYU and an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the University of Arizona. Her essay collection, The Fluency of Light: Coming of Age in a Theater of Black and White was published by the University of Iowa Press in 2013. Her most recent essay collection, Dreaming of Ramadi in Detroit, was just chosen by Maggie Nelson as the winner of the 1913 Open Prose Contest and will be published in 2017.
Aisha’s essays have been included in the anthologies How We Speak to One Another (Coffee House Press 2017) and The Sonoran Desert: A Literary Field Guide (University of Arizona Press 2016). Her work has been named notable for the Best American Non-Required Reading and Best American Essays anthologies and nominated for a Pushcart Prize. In 2014, she was a finalist for the inaugural Write-A-House contest in Detroit, and in 2015 she was a nonfiction finalist for the Disquiet Literary Prize. A contributing editor for Guernica: A Magazine of Art & Politics, her writing can be found in The Offing, Ecotone, Ninth Letter, Identity Theory, Michigan Quarterly Review, Terrain.org, Callaloo, The Southern Review, Sierra Nevada Review, Essay Daily, Tarpaulin Sky, Drunken Boat, Autostraddle and Guernica. She has taught at the University of Arizona, Pima Community College, the University of Michigan’s New England Literature Program (NELP), Carleton College and OSU Cascades’ Low-Residency MFA Program.
Photo Credit: Arianne Zwartjes