Kimbilio Literary Retreat
Writers committed to developing and sustaining fiction authors from the African diaspora meet each July at SMU-in-Taos.
By Safon Floyd
Kimbilio, a community of writers and scholars committed to developing, empowering, and sustaining fiction authors from the
A project of the English Department and The Dedman College of Humanities & Sciences at
“Writing is a solitary, isolating process, but the writer herself cannot grow in an environment of marginalization and doubt. Race permeates the water of American life, but Kimblio allows black writers to float above it—if only for one week a year—and bask in the light of a rigorous, loving, literary community,” says Desiree Cooper, 2013 Kimbilio Fellow. “Kimbilio is a safe place for African American writers to ask hard questions of their art and of the cannon itself. It is a safe place to experiment and evolve, engage and argue, explore, and discover. Kimbilio is as necessary as fire.”
Former CNN and New York Times journalist and SMU alumna, Lakiesha Carr, joins the Kimbilio Retreat as a 2016 Fellow. “As a writer, it’s always great to have workshop opportunities, because you want as many eyes and insights as you can get for the work,” she says. “Kimbilio has a great legacy, even though it’s a young organization, of having tremendously talented and intelligent people coming there, and that in itself is a gift.”
You too can become a Kimbilio Fellow; Kimbilio is open to serious-minded, committed writers with a solid grounding in the fundamentals of fictional craft.
The application process to become a Fellow is open during the late winter and early spring of every year. Applicants submit a sample of their fiction writing and a short essay about why they are interested in becoming a Kimbilio Fellow. Applications are judged blindly by outside evaluators, who are themselves accomplished fiction writers.
Other Kimbilio projects include readings, presentations at professional conferences, and social media networking.