Kalisha Buckhanon

Kalisha Buckhanon is author of the novels UpstateConceptionSolemn and Speaking of Summer: a book pick of EssenceO MagazineTIMEUSA Today, Entertainment Weekly, Cosmo, BuzzfeedLit Hub and more. Her latest novel Running to Fall makes history as the first book published by, the nation’s oldest and largest website dedicated to black authors and books. Her short stories have been printed in Fiction, Fiction International, Oxford American, Black Renaissance Noire, Michigan Quarterly Review, pluck! and more. She is also seen on ID, BET and TV-One true crime shows as an expert.

Kalisha’s debut novel Upstate introduced her in such media as PeopleElleMarie ClaireThe Guardian/London Observer and Essence, as one of their “Three Writers to Watch.” Chadwick Boseman co-narrates the audiobook and it won a Literary Fiction Audie Award. Terry McMillan gave Kalisha the only Young Author Award in her name for the novel. It is published in the UK and France, an American Library Association ALEX Award winner, a Hurston/Wright Foundation Debut Fiction Finalist, a New York Public Library’s Best Books for Teens and an inaugural “Literature for Justice” title for National Book Foundation.

Kalisha’s other honors include a Friends of American Writers Award for Conception, a Pushcart Prize nomination, an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship and Phi Beta Kappa induction. She has master’s and bachelor’s degrees in English from University of Chicago, has a Creative Writing M.F.A. from The New School in New York City, and has taught preschoolers to seniors in numerous schools and programs across Chicago and New York City. Please visit to learn more about Kalisha.