Omotara James


New York, NY

Author's Bio

Omotara James is the author of the chapbook, “Daughter Tongue,” selected by African Poetry Book Fund, in collaboration with Akashic Books, for the 2018 New Generation African Poets Box Set. Born in Britain, she is the daughter of Nigerian and Trinidadian immigrants. A former social worker in the field of Harm Reduction, she has been awarded fellowships from Lambda Literary and Cave Canem Foundation. She is a recipient of the 2019 92Y / Discovery Poetry Prize and the winner of the 2019 Bread Loaf Katharine Bakeless Nason Award in Poetry. In addition, her work has been recognized with the Nancy P. Schnader Academy of American Poets Prize, the “Bridging the Gap” Slice Literary Award for emerging writers, a Luminaire Poetry Award, two Pushcart Prize nominations and one Best of the Net nomination. She was selected as a 2019 finalist for the Brunel International African Poetry Prize. Her poetry has appeared in The Paris Review, The Academy of American Poets, The Believer, Literary Hub, Poetry Society of America, The Recluse, Nat.Brut, Winter Tangerine, No Tokens, Cosmonauts Avenue and elsewhere, including various anthologies. She holds an MFA in Poetry from New York University and has instructed workshops at NYU, The 92Y Unterberg Poetry Center, Queens Public Library and elsewhere.

Publications & Prizes

Daughter Tongue (Akashic Books, 2018)
Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day
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Cosmonauts Avenue
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Lambda Literary
Literary Hub
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Paris Review
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The Coil
Winter Tangerine Review
Prizes won: 

92Y Discovery Prize,

Luminaire Award for Best Poetry,

Slice Literary Bridging the Gap Award for Emerging Poets,

Hofstra University Nancy P. Schnader Academy of American Poets Prize

Personal Favorites

What I'm reading now: 
Heavy by Kiese Laymon, Forest Primeval by Vievee Francis, Arias by Sharon Olds, Those Who Knew by Idra Novey, Gephyromania by TC Tolbert, Wild is the Wind by Carl Phillips, Weary Kingdom by DéLana R. A. Dameron, Soft Targets by Deborah Landau

More Information

Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Identifies as: 
African American, Black, British, Caribbean, Feminist, LGBTQ, Other
Prefers to work with: 
Fluent in: 
English, French
Born in: 
London, LND
United Kingdom
Raised in: 
New York, NY
New York
Please note: All information in the Directory is provided by the listed writers or their representatives.
Last update: Nov 27, 2019