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Donna Hemans is the author River Woman, Tea by the Sea and Tree of a Thousand Feet (forthcoming from Zibby Books). In 2015, she won the Lignum Vitae Una Marson Award for Adult Literature for the unpublished manuscript of Tea by the Sea and was named co-winner of the 2003-4 Towson University Prize for Literature for River Woman. 


Donna’s short fiction and essays have appeared in Slice, Electric Literature, Ms. Magazine, The Rumpus, Crab Orchard Review, among others. 


She was the 2007-2008 Black Mountain Institute (University of Nevada, Las Vegas) International Women's Forum Fellow and twice served as the Lannan Visiting Creative Writer in Residence at Georgetown University. In addition, Donna has received grants from the Maryland State Arts Council and the Prince George's County Arts Council, as well as residential fellowships from Hedgebrook, Millay Colony for the Arts and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.


Donna received her undergraduate degree in English and Media Studies 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.

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