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About Tony Medina
Tony Medina is a poet, graphic novelist, editor, short story writer, and young adult and children’s book author. Born in the South Bronx and raised in the Throgs Neck Housing Projects, Medina earned a BA in English at Baruch College, CUNY, on the GI Bill, and an MA and PhD at Binghamton University, SUNY, where he received the Distinguished Dissertation Award. Medina has published 24 multigenre award-winning books for adults and young readers, the most recent of which are Che Che Colé (fiction); Death, With Occasional Smiling (poetry); Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Boy(children’s); I Am Alfonso Jones (graphic novel); Resisting Arrest: Poems to Stretch the Sky (anthology), and the poetry chapbook Breathing in the Ruins (Floodgate/Stay Thirsty 2022). Medina’s awards include the Paterson Prize for Books for Young People (twice), the Langston Hughes Society Award, the first African Voices Literary Award, the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award honor, Special Recognition from the Arnold Adoff Poetry Award, and the Firecracker Alternative Book Award from the American Booksellers Association for In Defense of Mumia. His most recent book, Death, With Occasional Smiling (Indolent Books,) was a finalist for both the International Book Award and the Independent Book Award, while his verse memoir, My Old Man Was Always on the Lam, was a finalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize, and the audiobook adaption of his children’s verse biography, I and I, Bob Marley (Live Oak Media), featuring actor Jaime Lincoln Smith, received the 2022 Audie Award in the Young Listeners category. Medina has appeared in several documentaries and CD compilations and has read/performed his work all over the United States, as well as in Germany, France, Poland, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, and the Netherlands. The first professor of creative writing at Howard University, Medina’s poetry, fiction and essays appears in over 100 journals and anthologies, including Where We Stand: Poems of Black Resistance; The Future of Black: Afrofuturism, Black Comics, and Superhero Poetry; We Rise, We Resist, We Raises Our Voices; Manteca! An Anthology of Afro-Latin@ Poets, and Brown Sugar: A Collection of Erotic Black Fiction, as well as Sheree Renée Thomas’ Dark Matter, Ishmael Reed’s Hollywood Unchained, and Kevin Young’s Library of America anthology, African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle & Song, and as an advisory editor for Nikki Giovanni’s Hip Hop Speaks to Children. Medina has also been featured on NBC’s philanthropic reality show, Give, PBS’ White House Chronicle, CBS’ Great Day Washington, SiriusXM’s Kids Place Live, Medgar Evers College’s Writers on Writing, Forbes magazine, and has worked extensively with the non-profit literary organizations Say It Loud, Behind the Book, and Meet the Writers. Medina’s book, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Boy, was featured on Let’s Learn NYC for PBS and his graphic novel was a Barnes & Noble Graphic Novel Best Seller, a finalist for the Excellence in Graphic Literature Award, and was a “Book to Action” feature in the Orange County Public Library System of California, among other honors. His books, Serious Trouble and Everywhere Drums: Poets from the Black Arts to Black Lives Matter (coedited with Mudiwa Pettus) are forthcoming from Third World Press. Follow him on Facebook; Twitter: @PoetTonyMedina and Instagram: poettonymedina. His website is tonymedina.org.
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Books By Tony Medina
When Alfonso wakes up in the afterlife, he’s on a ghost train guided by well-known victims of police shootings, who teach him what he needs to know about this subterranean spiritual world. Meanwhile, Alfonso’s family and friends struggle with their grief and seek justice for Alfonso in the streets. As they confront their new realities, both Alfonso and those he loves realize the work that lies ahead in the fight for justice.
In the first graphic novel for young readers to focus on police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement, as in Hamlet, the dead shall speak—and the living yield even more surprises.
What do we tell our children when the world seems bleak, and prejudice and racism run rampant? With 96 lavishly designed pages of original art and prose, fifty diverse creators lend voice to young activists.
Featuring poems, letters, personal essays, art, and other works from such industry leaders as Jacqueline Woodson (Brown Girl Dreaming), Jason Reynolds (All American Boys), Kwame Alexander (The Crossover), Andrea Pippins (I Love My Hair), Sharon Draper (Out of My Mind), Rita Williams-Garcia (One Crazy Summer), Ellen Oh (cofounder of We Need Diverse Books), and artists Ekua Holmes, Rafael Lopez, James Ransome, Javaka Steptoe, and more, this anthology empowers the nation's youth to listen, learn, and build a better tomorrow.
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2018!
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2018!
With razor sharp scatological whimsy, Medina's iconic ironic existential everyman—Broke—bears witness to the plight of homelessness from his curbside porch, torching the capitalist system and its myriad societal contradictions. BROKE BAROQUE is compulsively readable and will connect with fiction and poetry lovers alike. It includes a powerful introduction by McArthur-winner Ishmael Reed who says of Medina:
"He is the Poet Laureate of the Broke. Like Jean-Michel Basquiat who takes Hip Hop to another level, Medina covers some of the same territory as Hip Hop’s best. Tupac. Public Enemy. Dead Prez."
— Ishmael Reed
Poet, Novelist and Critic
“Here is a democratic orchestration of voices and visions, poets of all ages, ethnicities, and geographic locations coming together to create a dialogue and to jam–not slam. This is our mouth on paper, our hearts on our sleeves, our refusal to shut up and swallow our silence. These poems are tough, honest, astute, perceptive, lyrical, blunt, sad, funny, heartbreaking, and true. They shout, they curse, they whisper, and sing. But most of all, they tell it like it is.”
–Tony Medina, from the Introduction