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. That book went on to be nominated for the Iowa Essay Prize, and to win CLMP’s Firecracker award for Nonfiction.
Aisha’s essays are included in the anthologies: Trespass: Ecotone Essayists Beyond the Boundaries of Place, Identity, and Feminism (Lookout Books 2019), 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 multiple Pushcart Prizes. She was a finalist for the inaugural Write-A-House contest in Detroit, the 2015 Disquiet Literary Prize.
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, Guernica, The Paris Review, and LitHub, among other places. She recently joined the faculty of the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan as the first Visiting Professor of Creative Nonfiction.
Represented by Janklow & Nesbit Associates.
Photo Credit: Hannah Ensor