Kwoya Fagin Maples

Kwoya Fagin Maples

Assistant Professor


  • MFA Creative Writing, The University of Alabama 2008
  • BS Human Environmental Sciences, The University of Alabama 2005


Kwoya Fagin Maples is a writer from Charleston, S.C. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Alabama and has received fellowships from Cave Canem and the Alabama State Council on the Arts.   She is the author of Mend (University Press of Kentucky, 2018) which was named a 2019 Finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Poetry and a 2019 Finalist for the Housatonic Book Award for Poetry.  A collection of historical persona poetry, Mend tells the story of the birth of obstetrics and gynecology in America and the role enslaved black women played in that process. Prior to publication, Mend received a grant from the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation and was finalist for AWP’s Donald Hall Prize for Poetry.

In addition to a chapbook entitled Something of Yours (Finishing Line Press 2010) her work is published in several journals and anthologies including Poetry, pluck!, Blackbird Literary Journal, Tin House Review Online, Obsidian, Puerto del Sol, Berkeley Poetry Review, Cave Canem Anthology XIII and The Long Devotion: Poets Writing Motherhood, forthcoming from the University of Georgia Press.

Maples is devoted to teaching as it is integral to her writing. Whether teaching composition, developmental writing, argumentation, literature, or creative writing, she has valued her role as facilitator. In addition to poetics and process, her writing interests include historical persona, hybrid memoir, magical realism, speculative writing, and visual poetry.

Selected Publications


MEND (University Press of Kentucky, 2018)


Something of Yours (Finishing Line Press, 2010)

Anthology Publications

“My Mother Bathes Me After I Give Birth,” The Long Devotion: Poets Writing Motherhood, Forthcoming 2021

“Blueberry Poem,” She Resisted: An Anthology Green Cup Books, 2017

In the Under,” Cave Canem Anthology XIII Willow Press, 2015

Electronic Corpse: Poems from a Digital Salon, Edited by Ayodele Heath, 2014

Poems in Literary Journals

“The Beach is Host to Small Things” and “Here’s an Ocean Tale,” Poetry, Jul/Aug 2021

“Nine Years Later We Ride an ATV in the Country” Hypertext Review, Spring/Summer 2021

“Blackberry Winter” and “Shadow Monster,” The Thinking Republic, October 2020

“The Proposal” and “On Finally Being Massaged by a Black Woman,” The Langston Hughes Review. Vol. 26 No. 1 Spring 2020

“Attention Deficit Pastoral” Tin House Review Online, Fall 2019

“After a Sunny Day on Sullivan’s Island” The Langston Hughes Review, Vol. 25 No. 2 Fall 2019

“Another Severe Weather Warning,” “Sister Shannon and Brother David,” and “Oyster Meditation” Summerset Review, Spring 2019

“Southern Pastoral,” “I’ve Got Life” and “The Doctor Asks if I’d Like to Go Home the Way I Came” Southern Women’s Review Vol. X, Issue X Spring 2020

“The Door,” “So Familiar He is With Parting Her Brown Legs” and “I Could Never Disremember the Fireflies” Puerto Del Sol Literary Journal, Summer 2018

“Her Knife,” Bayou Magazine, Summer 2018

“What Yields,” Obsidian Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora, Spring 2018

“What Yields,” Blackbird Poetry Review, Fall 2017

“Blueberry Poem,” Berkeley Poetry Review, Spring 2017

“For Dorothy Lorena Davis” Birmingham Arts Journal, Spring 2017

“Wet-Nurse Milk Song” and “Teeth” Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora, Fall 2018

“This Poem Will Resist with Joy” Open Letters Monthly Spring 2017

“The Poem from the End of the Earth” and “Mary-Ella is a De-feathered Chicken” Track\\Four Journal, Fall 2016

“To Bear Witness” and “Heaven Bound” Pluck Literary Journal, Fall 2014

“For the Canary in Your Heart” Birmingham Arts Journal, Spring 2014

“Belonging” Cave Canem Chapbook Gather Around, Spring 2014

“The Alabama Jazz Quartet Celebrates Black History Month” Cave Canem South Digital Chapbook, July 2014

“Night in Limestone County” African American Review, Fall 2011

“Deadbeat Blues” Right Hand Pointing Spring 2010

“Dream #778,002” Right Hand Pointing, Spring 2010

“Ten and in Sin, Already” Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, Fall 2010

“I Took the Wind Back” South Carolina Poetry Initiative, Fall 2009

“The Ritual” Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, Winter 2006

“Because I Respect Dirt” Marr’s Field Journal, Spring 2005