Mona Lisa Saloy


New Orleans, LA
Louisiana US

Author's Bio

Mona Lisa Saloy, Ph.D., new Louisiana Poet Laureate is an award-winning author & folklorist, educator, and scholar of Creole culture in articles, documentaries, and poems about Black New Orleans before and after Katrina. Currently, Conrad N. Hilton Endowed Professor and of English at Dillard University, Dr. Saloy documents Creole culture in sidewalk songs, jump-rope rhymes, and clap-hand games to discuss the importance of play. She writes on the significance of the Black Beat poets--especially Bob Kaufman, on the African American Toasting Tradition, Black talk, and on keeping Creole to today. Her first book, Red Beans & Ricely Yours, won the T.S. Eliot Prize and the PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Award. Her collection of poems, Second Line Home, captures New Orleans speech, family dynamics, celebrates New Orleans, the unique culture the world loves. Saloy’s screenplay for the documentary Easter Rock premiered in Paris, the Ethnograph Film Festival & at the national Black museum. She's lectured on Black Creole Culture at Poets House-NYC; the Smithsonian; Purdue University; the University of Washington; and Woodland Patterns Book Center. Her documentary, Bleu Orleans, is on Black Creole Culture. She is an editorial reviewer for Meridians:  Feminism, race, transnationalism. See her recently published verse in I am New Orleans, anthology. Kalamu ya Salaam, editor. University of New Orleans Press, 2021; in the Chicago Quarterly Review, Vol. 33, Anthology of Black American Literature, and Obsidian journal, Water!!! Magazine 2-22, and forthcoming in Black FIRE!!! Anthology, March 2022; and in in Tribes journal NYC, April 2022. Mona Lisa Saloy writes for those who don’t or can’t tell Black Creole cultural stories. Tweet to @redbeansista & @MonaLisaSaloy   


Publications & Prizes

Red Beans & Ricely Yours: Poems (Truman State University Press, 2015)
Second Line Home, New Orleans Poems (Truman State University Press, 2014)
Prizes won: 

2022-2023 Louisiana Poet Laureate

PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Award in Poetry (2006)

T.S. Eliot Prize in Poetry (2005)

More Information

Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Identifies as: 
African American
Prefers to work with: 
Fluent in: 
Born in: 
New Orleans, LA
Raised in: 
New Orleans, LA
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Last update: Mar 08, 2022