Dreaming of Ramadi in Detroit is an otherworldly meditation on the elasticity of memory, the liveliness of blackness and possibilities of the essay. Aisha Sabatini Sloan manages to produce a collection of essays that are at once innovative, inspiring, sobering, and absolutely terrifying while daring every other essayist in the country to catch up.
—Kiese Laymon, author of How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America
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 chosen by Maggie Nelson as the winner of the 1913 Open Prose Contest and published in 2017.
Aisha’s essays are included in the anthologies: Trespass: Ecotone Essayists Beyond the Boundaries of Place, Identity, and Feminism (Lookout Books 2018), Truth to Power (Cutthroat 2017), 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. She was a finalist for the inaugural Write-A-House contest in Detroit, the 2015 Disquiet Literary Prize, and the 2018 University of Iowa Essay 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, Catapult, Sublevel, 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.
Represented by Janklow & Nesbit Associates and Jack Jones Literary Arts.
Photo Credit: Hannah Ensor