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Andrea Hairston in conversation with Susana Morris for a Celebration of Master of Poisons

Event date: 
Wednesday, September 16, 2020 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm

Charis welcomes Award-winning author Andrea Hairston in conversation with Charis Circle Board Chair and author Susana Morris for a celebration of Hairston's unforgettable postcolonial fantasy novel Master of Poisons.

In Master of Poisons, the world is changing. Poison desert eats good farmland. Once-sweet water turns foul. The wind blows sand and sadness across the Empire. To get caught in a storm is death. To live and do nothing is death. There is magic in the world, but good conjure is hard to find. Djola, right hand man and spymaster of the lord of the Arkhysian Empire, is desperately trying to save his adopted homeland, even in exile.
Awa, a young woman training to be a powerful griot, tests the limits of her knowledge and comes into her own in a world of sorcery, floating cities, kindly beasts, and uncertain men. Awash in the rhythms of folklore and storytelling and rich with Hairston's characteristic lush prose, Master of Poisons is epic fantasy that will bleed your mind with its turns of phrase and leave you aching for the world it burns into being.

This event takes place on crowdcast, Charis' virtual event platform. Register here.

This event is free and open to all people, especially to those who have no income or low income right now, but we encourage and appreciate a solidarity donation in support of the work of Charis Circle, our programming non-profit. Charis Circle's mission is to foster sustainable feminist communities, work for social justice, and encourage the expression of diverse and marginalized voices.

We will be archiving this event and adding closed captioning as soon as possible after airing so that it will be accessible to deaf and HOH people. If you have other accessibility needs or if you are someone who has skills in making digital events more accessible please don't hesitate to reach out to We are actively learning the best practices for this technology and we welcome your feedback as we begin this new way of connecting across distances.

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Bio: Andrea Hairston is the author of Will Do Magic For Small Change, finalist for the Mythopoeic, Lambda, and Tiptree Awards, and a New York Times Editor’s pick. Other novels include Redwood and Wildfire, which was a Tiptree and Carl Brandon Award winner, and Mindscape, which was the winner of the Carl Brandon Award. She has published essays, plays, and short fiction and received grants from the NEA, Rockefeller and Ford Foundation. She is the L. Wolff Kahn 1931 Professor of Theatre and Africana Studies at Smith College. She bikes at night year round, meeting bears, multi-legged creatures of light and breath, and the occasional shooting star.

Susana Morris is an associate professor of Literature, Media, and Communication at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She is co-founder and contributing writer for the popular feminist blog, The Crunk Feminist Collective. Her first book is Close Kin and Distant Relatives: The Paradox of Respectability in Black Women’s Literature. Her most recent books are the anthology The Crunk Feminist Collection, which was co-edited with Brittney Cooper and Robin Boylorn and , a short story collection of horror written by Black women co-edited with Kinitra D. Brooks and Linda Addison. Morris is also series editor, along with Kinitra D. Brooks, of the book series New Suns: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in the Speculative. She is currently at work on her latest academic book project, which explores depictions of Black women vampires, Afrofuturism, and feminism.

Event address: 
Master of Poisons By Andrea Hairston Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9781250260543
Published: Tordotcom - September 8th, 2020

“This is a prayer hymn, a battle cry, a love song, a legendary call and response bonfire talisman tale. This is medicine for a broken world." —Daniel José Older

Named a Best of 2020 Pick for Kirkus Review's Best Books of 2020

Will Do Magic for Small Change By Andrea Hairston Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9781619761018
Published: Aqueduct Press - May 1st, 2016

Cinnamon Jones dreams of stepping on stage and acting her heart out like her famous grandparents, Redwood and Wildfire. But at 5'10" and 180 pounds, she's theatrically challenged. Her family life is a tangle of mystery and deadly secrets, and nobody is telling Cinnamon the whole truth.

Redwood and Wildfire By Andrea Hairston Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9781933500522
Published: Aqueduct Press - February 1st, 2011

Sycorax's Daughters By Kinitra Brooks, PhD, Linda D. Addison, Susana Morris, PhD, Walidah Imarisha (Foreword by) Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781941958445
Published: Cedar Grove Publishing - March 10th, 2017

A 2018 Bram Stoker Award Finalist! Thought-provoking, powerful, and revealing, this anthology is composed of 28 dark stories and 14 poems written by African-American women writers. The tales of what scares, threatens, and shocks them will enlighten and entertain readers.

The Crunk Feminist Collection By Brittney C. Cooper (Editor), Susana M. Morris (Editor), Robin M. Boylorn (Editor) Cover Image
By Brittney C. Cooper (Editor), Susana M. Morris (Editor), Robin M. Boylorn (Editor)
ISBN: 9781558619432
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Feminist Press - January 10th, 2017

Essays on hip-hop feminism featuring relevant, real conversations about how race and gender politics intersect with pop culture and current events.

Close Kin and Distant Relatives: The Paradox of Respectability in Black Women's Literature By Susana M. Morris Cover Image
ISBN: 9780813935508
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: University of Virginia Press - February 4th, 2014

The "black family" in the United States and the Caribbean often holds contradictory and competing meanings in public discourse: on the one hand, it is a site of love, strength, and support; on the other hand, it is a site of pathology, brokenness, and dysfunction that has frequently called forth an emphasis on conventional respectability if stability and social approval are to be achieved.

Event Summary: 
Charis welcomes Award-winning author Andrea Hairston in conversation with Susana Morris for a celebration of Hairston's unforgettable postcolonial fantasy novel Master of Poisons.