Kathya Alexander is a writer, playwright, storyteller, and teaching artist. She was a Writer-in-Residence at the prestigious Hedgebrook Women Writer’s Retreat and won the Fringe First Award for Black to My Roots: African American Tales from the Head and the Heart at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for Outstanding New Production and Innovation in Theater in Edinburgh, Scotland. She has also won awards from 4Culture, Seattle’s Office of Arts and Culture, Artist Trust, Jack Straw, Seattle Theater Group, Freehold Theater, and Seattle Parks and Recreation. She was a freelance writer for the now defunct award winning Colors NW Magazine and The Initiative, and is a regular contributor to the South Seattle Emerald. She has been published in The Pitkin Review, Arkana Literary Magazine, Pontoon Poetry/Black Lawrence Press, and Native Skin Magazine. She has also been published in anthologies by the African American Writers Alliance (AAWA) and in Raising Lily Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workplace by Lost Horse Press. Her playwriting credits include The Negro Passion Play; Black D*ck Matters; Hands Up! Don’t Shoot!; Think Before You Do; With Hope And With Morning; David & Jonathan: A Modern Day Retelling of the Biblical Story; Homegoing; A Revolution of Hope; emotionalblackmale; HumaNature; Dream’n; Native Sons and Daughters; A Taste of Prison; Three Strikes on Trial; Nappy Roots: A Fairy Tale; and Black to My Roots.
Kathya’s acting credits include House of Dinah, And Jesus Moonwalks The Mississippi, The Negro Passion Play, Zooman and the Sign, The Amen Corner, and Before It Hits Home. She is a founding member, producer, and Resident Playwright of Brownbox Theatre: Reimagined Black Theater in Seattle, WA. She has been a professional storyteller for 20+ years, and told stories monthly as part of Aunt Mama’s Story Table at Starbucks in Seattle for 15 years until it was closed due to COVID. Her experience as a teaching artist includes residencies for Seattle Public Schools, and she was part of the Freehold Theater residency at the Washington Correctional Center for Women. She has also taught for Powerful Schools and the Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative in addition to several community based programs for adults and children. Her most recent experience was working with BIPOC youth on a play about gun violence funded by Seattle Parks and Recreation. She is a proud member of the Creative Advantage Arts Partners Roster, the African American Writers Alliance, and the Seattle Storytellers Guild. Her debut novel is scheduled for release in 2023 by Aunt Lute Books.
PRAISE FOR THE WOMAN WHO OWNED THE SHADOWS
An absorbing, often fascinating world is created...not only is it an exploration of racism, it is often a powerful and moving testament to feminism.
—The New York Times Book Review
Ephanie’s search for her own definition, for her strength, for her self, is intricate and stark as the spirit shawl she weaves, a bridge between her and Spider Woman, between the old power and new pain of her people. In her history lies the seed of promise, and her journeys weave hauntingly through many realities.
The Woman Who Owned the Shadows is a book full of power…the kind of power that wells up from the earth like a hot spring, the power to change, to heal, to cleanse…