Deesha Philyaw

Writer, Author


Deesha Philyaw’s collection of short stories about Black women, sex, and the Black church, THE SECRET LIVES OF CHURCH LADIES, is forthcoming from West Virginia University Press in September 2020. Her writing on race, gender, parenting, divorce, adoption, and culture has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, McSweeney’s, The Rumpus, Brevity, dead housekeeping, Catapult, TueNight, ESPN’s The Undefeated, and Literary Mama; Essence, Ebony, and Bitch magazines. Her work has been listed as Notable in the Best American Essays series, and she is a past Pushcart Prize nominee for essay writing.

Deesha’s fiction and nonfiction has been selected for numerous anthologies, including: Soulmate 101 and Other Essays on Love and Sex; Is It Hot In Here Or Is It Just Me?: Women Over Forty Writing on Aging; Motherhood Memoirs: Mothers Creating/ Writing LivesJust Like a Girl! A Manifesta; Women’s Work; When We Were Free to Be: Looking Back at a Children’s Classic and the Difference It MadeIt’s Not About You: Understanding Adoptee Search Reunions and Open Adoption; The Cassoulet Saved Our Marriage: True Tales of Food Family, and How We Learn to Eat; In Season: Stories of Discovery, Loss, Home, and Places in Between; and The Best of BREVITY (forthcoming Fall 2020).

A three-time recipient of an Advancing Black Arts in Pittsburgh grant from The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments, Deesha is also a Fellow at the Kimbilio Center for African American Fiction at Southern Methodist University. Her short fiction has appeared in, or is forthcoming from, Apogee Journal, Baltimore Review, Cheat River Review, and Barrelhouse.

Deesha holds a B.A. in Economics from Yale University and an M.A. in Teaching from Manhattanville College. She has taught writing and editing at Chatham University and the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts.

Deesha is also the co-author of Co-Parenting 101: Helping Your Kids Thrive in Two Households After Divorce, written in collaboration with her ex-husband.

TOPICS: Writing, Media, Church, Race, Women & Girls of Color