Opal Palmer Adisa

Opal Palmer AdisaOpal Palmer Adisa, Ph. D, multi-genre, gender specialist, cultural activist, is  sustained by the oceanic breeze of the Caribbean. Writer of both poetry and prose, playwright/director, professor, Adisa has lectured and read her work throughout the United States, South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Germany, Spain, France, England and Prague, and has performed in Italy and Bosnia. An award-winning poet and prose writer, Adisa has twenty-two titles to her credit, including the novel, It Begins With Tears (1997), that Rick Ayers proclaimed as one of the most motivational works for young adults.

She has been a resident artist in internationally acclaimed residencies such as Arte Studio Ginestrelle (Assis, Italy), El Gouna (Egypt), Sacatar Institute (Brazil) and McColl Center, (North Carolina) and Headlines Center for the Arts (California, USA). Opal Palmer Adisa’s work has been reviewed by Ishmael Reed, Al Young, and Alice Walker (Color Purple), who described her work as “solid, visceral, important stories written with integrity and love.”

Following in the tradition of the African “griot” Opal Palmer Adisa, an accomplished storyteller, commands the mastery and extraordinary talent of storytelling, exemplary of her predecessors. Through her imaginative characterizations of people, places and things, she is able to transport her listeners to the very wonderlands she creates.

Curator and photographer, her photographs have been published and exhibited in the US, Egypt, North Carolina, Brazil and St Croix, USVI.

A gifted diversity/gender trainer, literary critic, and proud mother of three accomplished children, Opal is the former parenting editor and host of KPFA Radio Parenting show in Berkley, California.  Columnist for The Graduate Parent for the “Healthy You,” website and wrote a bi-monthly poetry column for The Daily News, St. Thomas.  Adisa has published hundreds of articles on different aspects of parenting, writing and poetry and is currently completing a book on effective parenting.

Now the University Director of the Institute for Gender and Development Studies, at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Adisa is the former Distinguished professor of creative writing/literature in the MFA program and the Diversity Studies program at California College of the Arts, where she taught for twenty three years.  She has been a visiting professor at several universities including, Stanford University, University of California, Berkeley and University of the Virgin Islands. Her poetry, stories, essays and articles on a wide range of subjects have been collected in over 400 journals, anthologies and other publications, including Essence Magazine. She has also conducted workshops in elementary through high school, museums, churches and community centers, as well as in prison and juvenile centers on a range of issues that link creativity with healing, self-esteem building and gender awareness.

Opal Palmer Adisa is a vivacious, motivational speaker who will enthrall and mesmerize you with her words.


Dance Quadrille, Play Quelbe, children’s (forthcoming) 2018

Love’s Promise, stories, Plumeria,  2017

Look! A Moko Jumbie, children’s, Plumeria, 2016

4-Headed Woman, poetry, Tia Chucha Press, 2013

Incantations & Rites (with devorah major) poetry, 2013

Painting Away Regrets, novel, Peepal Tree Press, 2011

Caribbean Erotic, anthology (co-edited with Donna Aza Weir-Soley), 2010

What a Woman Is, poetry with paintings by Shyam Kamel, 2010

Amour Verdinia, poetry, chapbook, The Literary Leaf/Deconstructed Artichoke Press, 2009

Conscious Living, poem, chapbook, The Literary Leaf/Deconstructed Artichoke Press, 2009

I Name Me Name (poetry collection), Peepal Tree Press, 2008

Playing Is Our Work, children’s, WWWAC Press, 2008

Until Judgment Comes (short story collection), 2006

Eros Muse (poetry and essays), Africa World Press, 2006

Caribbean Passion (poetry collection) Peepal Tree Press, 2004

The Tongue Is a Drum (poetry/jazz CD with devorah jajor), 2002

Leaf-of-Life (poetry collection) Jukebox Press, 2000

It Begins With Tears (fiction novel) Heinemann, 1997

Tamarind and Mango Women (poetry collection) 1992

Fierce Love (poetry/jazz recording with devorah major),1992.

Traveling Women (poems with devorah major), 1989

Bake-Face and Other Guava Stories (short story collection), 1986

Pina, The Many-Eyed Fruit (children’s book) 1985


Interviewing the Caribbean: “Caribbean Life +Olympian Feats, Volume 3 part 2”  An online journal, 156 pages,  March 2018

Interviewing the Caribbean: “Caribbean Life +Olympian Feats, Volume 3 part 1”  An online journal, 156 pages,  Winter 2017

Interviewing the Caribbean: “Violence in the Caribbean, Volume 2”  an online journal, 169 pages, Spring 2017

Interviewing the Caribbean: “Violence in the Caribbean, Volume I,” an online journal, 169 pages, Fall 2016

Interviewing the Caribbean: “Intellectual Property,” an online journal, 169 pages, Fall 2015

ProudFlesh, Riding The Waves of Caribbean Women, poetry, prose, essays and art, 220 pages, Issue 8, 2013.

The Caribbean Writer: Ayiti/Haiti, Volume 25, journal of poetry, prose, personal narrative, interview and book reviews; translated into French 640 pages, 2011.

The Caribbean Writer, Volume 24, journal of poetry, prose and essays, 420 pages, 2010.

Children’s poem anthologies in many collections.

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