Brenda Marie Osbey

Brenda Marie Osbey

Distinguished Visiting Professor of Africana Studies

Brenda Marie Osbey is an author of poetry and of prose nonfiction in English and French. Her work focuses on narrative language, voice and placement; narrative and material texts of culture; and the place of New Orleans in Atlantic and inter-American spheres.  She has a special interest in the history of poetry of the Americas of the precolonial and colonial eras. A native of New Orleans, Osbey was appointed the first peer-selected Poet Laureate of the State of Louisiana in 2005.

Selected Honors and Awards:

2014 Langston Hughes Award, Langston Hughes Society, College Language Association (CLA)
Louisiana Board of Regents Award to Artists and Scholars (ATLAS)• Manship Summer Fellowship
D. Litt., Honorary Doctor of Letters, Dickinson College
Louisiana Writers Foundation Award for Excellence in Poetry
Poet Laureate, State of Louisiana
Camargo Foundation Fellowship, Cassis, France
American Book Award
Louisiana Division of the Arts Creative Writing Award
New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation Maxi-Grant Award
National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Creative Writing Fellowship
Associated Writing Programs (AWP) Poetry Award
Academy of American Poets Loring-Williams Prize
Bunting Fellowship, Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College, Harvard University

Selected Publications: 

All Souls: Collected Poems (LSU Press, 2015)
History and Other Poems (Time Being Books, 2013)
All Saints: New and Selected Poems
Desperate Circumstance, Dangerous Woman
In These Houses
Ceremony for Minneconjoux

“Why We Can't Talk to You about Voodoo,” SouthernLiterary Journal, (Spring 2011) vol. XLIII, no. 2, pp. 1 –11.
"Obama Enfin,” Mondes Francophones, 4/11/2009     [ politiques/obama/]
“Writing Home,” Southern Literary Journal (Spring 2008) vol. XL, no. 2, pp. 19 – 41.
“I Want to Die in New Orleans” and “One More Last Chance:Ritual and the Jazz Funeral,” Louisiana Culture from the Colonial Era to Katrina (Southern Literary Studies) edited by John Lowe. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2008, pp. 245–252 and 284–293.
“‘Les Indigènes sont agités’: la Nouvelle-Orléans à la Suite de l’Orage’(“The Natives Are   Restless’: New Orleans in the Wake of the Storm”), commissioned by the Consulat Général de la Nouvelle-Orléans in Planète Ovale. Médiathèques de Plaines Communes, France. Fall 2007.
“To Return and Rise Again,” The Nation Online, September 4, 2005.             []
“I Thought I Heard Buddy Bolden Say,” Creative Nonfiction, Winter 1996, no. 7, pp. 33   – 48.
"One More Last Chance: Ritual and the Jazz Funeral,” The Georgia Review, Spring 1996, vol. 50, no.1, pp. 97– 107.
"I Want to Die in New Orleans,” The American Voice, Fall 1995, no.38, pp. 103–112.

Featured Columns
Practiques Poetiques,, 2009 Present []
“Notes from France,” a twelve-part series on race in contemporary France,Gambit Weekly.May – October, 2004.
Faubourg Tremé: Community in Transition. The New Orleans Tribune.1990 – 97.Selected Documentary Films
Faubourg Tremé: the Untold Story of Black New Orleans [commentator]
Claiming Open Spaces  [commentator]• Native Daughter  [principal subject]

Selected Readings & Presentations

Academy of American Poets
Amistad Research Center
American Poetry Museum
l’Association Française d’Études Américaines, Université Paul Valéry–Montpellier III
Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World (CLAW) Institute, College of Charleston
Collège Pierre de Fermat
Folger-Shakespeare Memorial Library
Furious Flower African American Poetry Festival
Library of Congress
Manhattan Theatre Club
National Black Writers Conference
New York Historical Society
Providence Black Reperetory Theatre
Smith College• UC–Berkeley
UNC–Chapel Hill
Université Louis Lumière–Lyon II
Université de Toulouse


Black NOLA: Research Seminar
Modernist Africana Poetry of the Americas