Jamaican-born Donna Hemans is the author of the novel River Woman, winner of the 2003-4 Towson University Prize for Literature. Tea by the Sea, for which she won the Lignum Vitae Una Marson Award for Adult Literature, is her second novel.


Her short fiction has appeared in Vol. 1 Brooklyn, The Caribbean Writer, Crab Orchard Review, Witness, and the anthology Stories from Blue Latitudes: Caribbean Women Writers at Home and Abroad, among others. She received her undergraduate degree from Fordham University and an MFA from American University. She lives in Maryland, and is also the owner of DC Writers Room, a co-working studio for writers based in Washington, D.C.

A Little Bit More

A bio captures only so much. To learn more about me, my writing process and my work, take a look at the Reading Group Guide, as well as these interviews and Q&As:

The Rumpus

An Exploration of Belonging: Talking With Donna Hemans, where I chat with author Aimee Liu about the story of Tea by the Sea, the themes that haunt me, as well as process, structure, agency, and being identified as a postcolonial Caribbean immigrant writer.


Moms Don’t Have Time to Read

On this podcast with Zibby Owens, I talked about piecing Tea By the Sea together, my biggest takeaway from an MFA program, and the process of writing and evoking emotions that I haven't experienced myself. 

Washington Independent Review of Books

An interview where I discuss identity, belonging, releasing a book during the pandemic, and my ideal cup of tea.


The Book Decoder

Q&A with Rekha on The Book Decoder Blog.


Cover reveal and interview where I talk about agency, where I grew up and Tea By the Sea’s cover.