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Ntozake Shange (1948-) Biography

Personal, Career, Awards, Honors, SidelightsAddresses, Member, Writings, Adaptations

Offıce—Department of Drama, University of Houston, University Park, 4800 Calhoun Rd., Houston, TX 77004.

Actors Equity, National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Dramatists Guild, PEN American Center, Academy of American Poets, Poets and Writers Inc., Women's Institute for Freedom of the Press, New York Feminist Arts Guild, Writers' Guild.


Whitewash (picture book), illustrated by Michael Sporn, Walker (New York, NY), 1997.

Float like a Butterfly (picture book), illustrated by Edel Rodriguez, Hyperion (New York, NY), 2002.

Daddy Says (young-adult novel), Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2003.

Ellington Was Not a Street (picture book), illustrated by Kadir Nelson, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2004.


For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf: A Choreopoem (first produced in New York, NY, 1975; produced off-Broadway, then on Broadway, 1976), Shameless Hussy Press (San Lorenzo, CA), 1975, revised edition, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1976.

Boogie Woogie Landscapes (also see below; first produced in New York, NY, 1976), St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1978.

A Photograph: A Study of Cruelty (poem-play; first produced off-Broadway, 1977; revised as A Photograph: Lovers in Motion [also see below] and produced in Houston, TX, 1979), Samuel French (New York, NY), 1981.

(With Thulani Nkabinde and Jessica Hagedorn) Where the Mississippi Meets the Amazon, first produced in New York, NY, 1977.

From Okra to Greens: A Different Kinda Love Story; A Play with Music and Dance (first produced in New York, NY, at Barnard College, 1978), Samuel French, 1985.

Spell #7: A Geechee Quick Magic Trance Manual (also see below; produced on Broadway, 1979), published as Spell #7: A Theatre Piece in Two Acts, Samuel French (New York, NY), 1981.

Black and White Two-dimensional Planes, first produced in New York, NY, 1979.

(Adapter) Bertolt Brecht, Mother Courage and Her Children, first produced off-Broadway, 1980.

Three Pieces: Spell #7; A Photograph: Lovers in Motion; Boogie Woogie Landscapes, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1981.
Three for a Full Moon [and] Bocas, first produced in Los Angeles, CA, 1982.

(Adapter) Willy Russell, Educating Rita, first produced in Atlanta, GA, 1982.

Three Views of Mt. Fuji, first produced at the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, 1987.

The Love Space Demands: A Continuing Saga (produced in London, England, 1992), St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1991.

Contributor to Love's Fire: Seven New Plays Inspired by Shakespearean Sonnets, Morrow (New York, NY), 1998. Author of play Mouths and operetta Carrie, both produced in 1981. Has written for a television special starring Diana Ross.


Melissa & Smith, Bookslinger (St. Paul, MN), 1976.

Natural Disasters and Other Festive Occasions (prose and poems), Heirs International (San Francisco, CA), 1977.

Nappy Edges, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1978.

A Daughter's Geography, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1983.

From Okra to Greens: Poems, Coffee House Press (St. Paul, MN), 1984.

Ridin' the Moon in Texas: Word Paintings (responses to art in prose and poetry), St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1987.

I Live in Music (poem), edited by Linda Sunshine, illustrated by Romare Bearden, Stewart, Tabori & Chang (New York, NY), 1994.

The Sweet Breath of Life: A Poetic Narrative of the African-American Family, Atria (New York, NY), 2004.


Sassafrass (novella), Shameless Hussy Press (San Lorenzo, CA), 1976.

Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1982.

Betsey Brown, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1985.

Liliane: Resurrection of the Daughter, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1994.


See No Evil: Prefaces, Essays, and Accounts, 1976-1983, Momo's Press (San Francisco, CA), 1984.

If I Can Cook/You Know God Can (essays), Beacon Press (Boston, MA), 1998.

Ntozake Shange's play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf had its first Broadway production in 1976, a year after it was published.

(Editor) The Beacon Best of 1999: Creative Writing by Women and Men of All Colors, Beacon Press (Boston, MA), 1999.

Also author of Some Men (poems in a pamphlet that resembles a dance card), 1981. Work represented in anthologies, including "May Your Days Be Merry and Bright" and Other Christmas Stories by Women, edited by Susan Koppelman, Wayne State University Press (Detroit, MI), 1988; Breaking Ice: An Anthology of Contemporary African American Fiction, edited by Terry McMillan, Penguin Books (New York, NY), 1990; Yellow Silk: Erotic Arts and Letters, edited by Lily Pond and Richard Russo, Harmony Books (New York, NY), 1990; Daughters of Africa: An International Anthology, edited by Margaret Bushby, Pantheon (New York, NY), 1992; Erotique noire-Black Erotica, edited by Miriam DeCosta-Willis, Reginald Martin, and Roseann P. Bell, Anchor (New York, NY), 1992; Resurgent: New Writing by Women, edited by Lou Robinson and Camille Norton, University of Illinois Press (Champaign, IL), 1992; and Wild Women Don't Wear No Blues: Black Women Writers on Love, Men, and Sex, edited by Marita Golden, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1993. Author of preface to Plays by Women, Book Two: An International Anthology, Ubu Repertory Theater Publications (New York, NY), 1994. Contributor to periodicals, including Black Scholar, Third World Women, Ms., and Yardbird Reader.

A musical-operetta version of Shange's novel Betsey Brown was produced by Joseph Papp's Public Theater in 1986.

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