I returned to the shelf to pick up WRAPPED IN RAINBOWS, to extract a passage to honor Valerie Boyd and mark her passing. There were simply too many gems to choose from. It looks like every other page has a sticky note. Many thanks for all that you have left us, Valérie Boyd. #TEAR
We are collectively stunned by this news. Valerie Boyd was a first-rate scholar and a pleasure to work with. In the summer of 2021, she hosted a #OneBookAthens conversation with @JasonReynolds83, @DrIbram and @SonjaCherryPaul
about their book, Stamped.
Professor Boyd teaches magazine writing, critical writing and narrative journalism. Her research interests include narrative non-fiction, art criticism and cultural reporting, as well as race and gender issues in media. She is Charlayne Hunter-Gault Emeritus Writer-in-Residence, and she is the founder and director of Grady’s innovative low-residency MFA program in Narrative Nonfiction.
Professor Boyd is interested in non-fiction narrative writing across all platforms, including digital storytelling, magazines, newspapers, books and films. She is also interested in American history, art and culture, as well as race and gender issues in the media. Professor Boyd is the author of the award-winning biography Wrapped in a Rainbow: The Life of Zora Neal Hurston. She is currently the curator and journal editor of Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Alice Walker. Simon & Schuster/37Ink will publish “Meeting on Fire: The Diary of Alice Walker” in 2020.
Professor Boyd’s teaching interests include narrative non-fiction, immersive journalism, art criticism, cultural reporting, and magazine and feature writing.
Professor Boyd served as arts editor for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and has written about the intersection of race, art, and culture for numerous national and regional magazines, newspapers, and online media. His articles, essays, and reviews have appeared in The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Paste, Ms., Essence, and Atlanta Magazine, among others. She founded EightRock, a leading journal on African American art and culture, in 1990. In 1992, she co-founded HealthQuest, the first nationally distributed magazine focused on African American health.
Professor Boyd’s “Rainbow Package” – which The Washington Post called the “definitive” biography of novelist and anthropologist Zora Neal Hurston – was published in 2003 to critical acclaim. Alice Walker called it “great” and “extraordinary”; the Boston Globe called it “elegant and uplifting”; the Denver Post called it “a rich, rich read”.
Professor Boyd received the Georgia State Nonfiction Writer of the Year Award and the American Library Association’s Distinguished Book Award for his work on “Around the Rainbow: The Life of Zora Neal Hurston”. The Southern Book Critics Association awarded Rainbow Wrap the Southern Book of the Year Award for Best Non-Fiction. In 2017, Professor Boyd received the Governor’s Award for the Arts and Humanities.