Joanne M. “Jodi” Braxton teaches and directs the Middle Passage Project at the College of William and Mary, where she is Frances L. and Edwin L. Cummings Professor of English. A member of the Dramatists Guild of America and the Author’s League, among other professional organizations, Braxton received her undergraduate degree from Sarah Lawrence College and graduate degrees from Yale University. Her writings include a collection of poetry, Sometimes I Think of Maryland, the monograph, Black Women Writing Autobiography: A Tradition Within a Tradition and the play, Crossing a Deep River: A Ritual Drama in Three Movements.
Braxton edited The Collected Poetry of Paul Laurence Dunbar, as well as The Maya Angelou “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” Reader. She coedited Wild Women in the Whirlwind: the Contemporary Renaissance in Afra-American Writing (1977) and Monuments of the Black Atlantic: History and Memory. A widely published poet and a performer, Braxton is also remembered for her 1970’s collaborations with avant garde jazz musician Marion Brown; these were aired on National Public Radio on multiple occasions and documented by critics.
Braxton served as a Junior Fellow of the Michigan Society of Fellows from 1976-1979. She has also been a Mellon Scholar at the Wellesley College Center for Research on Women and a Fellow of the W.E.B. DuBois Institute for African and African American Studies at Harvard University. In 2002 she received an Oni Award from the International Black Women’s Congress for “Uncompromising commitment to uplifting the lives of people of African Ancestry.” She is working on two new plays.
More information on Jodi Braxton is available on her biography page.