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Kathya Alexander

Kathya Alexander is an author, playwright, storyteller, and teaching artist. She was a Writer-in-Residence at Hedgebrook Writer’s Retreat and won the Fringe First Award for Black to My Roots: African American Tales from the Head and the Heart in Edinburgh, Scotland. Other awards include 4Culture, Office of Arts and Culture, Artist Trust, and Seattle Parks and Recreation. She has been published in The Pitkin Review, Arkana Magazine, Pontoon Poetry, Colors NW Magazine, the South Seattle Emerald and Native Skin Magazine, and in anthologies by the African American Writers Alliance and Raising Lily Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workplace. Her playwriting credits include The Negro Passion Play; Black D*ck Matters; David & Jonathan: A Modern Day Retelling of the Biblical Story; and emotionalblackmale. She is the author of Angel In The Outhouse and her debut novel, Keep A’Livin’, is scheduled for release in 2024.




Keep A'Livin'

by Kathya Alexander

Kathya Alexander’s debut historical fiction novel-in-verse follows the fiercely passionate, dedicated, and cheeky Mandy as she comes of age during the height of the Civil Rights Movement of the 20th century. Twelve-year-old Mandy and her mother, Belle, experience the extraordinary events of the 1960s, finding strength, fearlessness, and faith along the way. 


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.

—Audre Lorde

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…

Joseph Bruchac

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