Kiini
Ibura
Salaam


Kiini Ibura Salaam is a writer, painter, and traveler from New Orleans, Louisiana. The middle child of five, she grew up in a hardscrabble neighborhood with oak and fig trees, locusts and mosquitoes, cousins and neighbors. Kiini's work delves into spheres of human liberation, human connection, and evolution. She employs speculative fiction, erotica, and creative nonfiction to take readers through mind-bending journeys into the transcendent, the sensual, the mystical, and the fantastic.

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Photo: © Regine Romain

When the World Wounds

In this eagerly-awaited collection, Kiini Ibura Salaam continues her exploration of the dark, the sensual, and the mysterious with fiction that disturbs, delights, and dazzles. The five stories and one novella collected in When the World Wounds examine the tumultuous nature of the human condition through such wild imaginings as sensual encounters with deer, escapism… »


On the Struggle to Self-Promote

Notes From the Trenches

After over 20 years as a writer Kiini Ibura Salaam is fascinated by all the backstage psychological wrangling writers go through to sustain their careers. With a regular column on writing, Kiini has written almost 100 mini-essays exploring the nitty, gritty of what it takes to sustain a writing career. Salaam’s “Notes from the Trenches”… »

On the Push to Produce Work

Notes From the Trenches

Salaam’s “Notes from the Trenches” series explores the nitty, gritty of what it takes to sustain a writing career, taking an inside look at everything from the psychology of being a writer to the logistics of sustaining a writing practice to the business of writing. In this volume–On the Push to Produce Work–Salaam dissects the barriers… »


About

Kiini
Ibura
Salaam


Kiini Ibura Salaam is a writer, painter, and traveler from New Orleans, Louisiana. The middle child of five, she grew up in a hardscrabble neighborhood with oak and fig trees, locusts and mosquitoes, cousins and neighbors. The house no longer exists, having been reduced to rubble along with almost all of the houses in a six-block radius after the 2005 levee break in the Lower Ninth Ward.

Growing up with creative parents who charted an independent cultural and intellectual path, Kiini’s childhood was rich with art, music, and books. As a student, she naturally gravitated toward reading and writing, and wrote her first professional story as a first-year student at Spelman College. After being paid $100 for the publication of that story, her identity as a writer was buoyed and she proclaimed herself a “serious” author.

Kiini’s work encompasses speculative fiction, erotica, creative nonfiction, and poetry. Her writing is rooted in eroticism, speculative events and worlds, and women’s perspectives. Preferring to operate outside of the separation of genres, she has published speculative fiction in erotic anthologies and erotic works in speculative fiction anthologies. Her speculative fiction has been included in such publications as: Dark Matter, Mojo: Conjure Stories, Dark Eros, FEMSPEC, Ideomancer.com, infinitematrix.com and PodCastle.org. One of her earlier (and most distinctive) stories “Of Wings, Nectar, and Ancestors” was translated into Polish and her collection Ancient, Ancient was co-winner of the 2012 James Tiptree, Jr. Award. Her second collection, When the World Wounds, explores the human condition in the shadows of trauma.

Kiini’s creative nonfiction speaks to her two passions: the freedom of women and the freedom of the creative spirit. In essays about date rape, sexual harassment, and the power of the word no, Kiini explores the complex layers of societal norms that negatively impact women’s lives. These essays have been published in Essence, Ms., and Colonize This! Her article “Navigating to No,” sparked a spate of radio interviews, a television appearance, and a college seminar, as well as earned a personal commentary award from the National Association of Black Journalists. Her essay “No,” which appeared in both Ms. magazine and Utne Reader, was included in the Longman Publishers composition guide, Reading Into Writing. Her creative nonfiction has been included in college curricula in the areas of women’s studies, anthropology, history, and English.

For the past ten years, Kiini has written the KIS.list, an e-column that explores the writing life and encourages readers to fulfill their dreams. These posts have been collected in the Notes From the Trenches e-book series. She works as an editor and content director in New York. She and her daughter live in Brooklyn.

CONTACT

email:
kiiniibura@gmail.com

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Kiini Ibura Salaam

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Photo: © Regine Romain

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Kiini
Ibura
Salaam

Blog


Vol. 112, The Discipline of Surrender

Posted on 14 April 2020

In this season, we are—worldwide—being called to surrender. We have been forced to surrender the freedom to gather, the freedom to move around, and for some of us, the freedom to work. As the death toll continues to rise, and the stories of those who have lost their lives to this virus have been circulating,… »

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Vol. 111, Like Water

Posted on 19 September 2019

I went to the Met for the unveiling of Wangechi Mutu’s sculptures, which are now sitting proudly installed in four alcoves across the Met’s façade. These sculptures were created as the inaugural Facade Commission. These newly established project will commission an artist to develop sculptures to be displayed outside of the museum for a year…. »

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Vol. 110, Is This It?

Posted on 27 June 2019

Life is full of contradictions. Or, the way we view life is full of contradictions. We spend a lot of time labeling and deciding who we are and what we are going to achieve. However, the irony is that we rarely know exactly what those labels mean and what those achievements will require. When you… »

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Kiini
Ibura
Salaam

Writings


Erotica Speculative Fiction // //

The Malady of Need

He would have looked at you like he knew all your truths. You would have wanted to unearth the secrets you saw buried in his eyes. You’d have caught his glance and your dick would have gone stiff. You would have imagined him licking your chest, your ankles, his own perfect lips.   You would… »

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Speculative Fiction // //

Of Wings, Nectar, & Ancestors

1 On deep purple-black nights, when the whole house has pushed itself into slumber, WaLiLa’s energy flits around her room like a moth. It leaps up to do jumping jacks & turns cartwheels, then clings to the ceiling. It bounces off the walls & jiggles its knees impatiently. WaLiLa is a jitterbugging ball of need… »

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Speculative Fiction // //

MalKai’s Last Seduction

 “the most powerful seductions are executed against the silence of few words” Sometimes, I feel shoulder shrug like a motherless child. cheek rub against shoulder Sometimes, I feel like a motherless child. body slump   At twilight, when the earth is settling down for rest, MalKai is turning over inside. The colors of dusk pierce… »

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Essay Excerpt // //

Race: A discussion in 10 parts plus a few moments of unsubstantiated theory and one inarguable fact…

1.    Race is bullshit. A meaningless line drawn in sand by men bent on world domination and oppression. It was introduced as a fixed notion, an unchangeable, undeniable fact of world order. Yet from the moment of race’s conception, the amazing diversity of body types, cultures, and traditions on the African continent alone complicated race’s… »

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Essay Excerpt // //

When Conception Equals Confusion: The Battle Between Mothers and Would-Be Fathers

It happens in silence. A man—young, tall, hooded—sits in a waiting room. All the chairs are taken except the one diagonally across from him. A woman comes in carrying a child. She sits in the only seat available and busies herself removing the child’s coat and hat. The man’s eyes cut to the corner checking… »

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Essay // //

“There’s No Racism Here?” A Black Woman in the Dominican Republic

When I first returned home from studying abroad, everyone wanted to know, “How was the Dominican Republic?” I was reluctant to respond. Masking the truth behind “fine’s” and “good’s,” I skirted my real feelings. “Did you like it?” is such a loaded question that it can’t be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.” For… »

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Kiini
Ibura
Salaam

Artwork


Celebration

Collage, 2020

 

 

Visit etsy.com/shop/ArtByZouk to purchase a print.

Kiini
Ibura
Salaam

Media


Video

Speculative Fiction and the Current Moment

Posted on 13 June 2020

Ian Fraser and Hailey Kaas interviews Kiini Ibura Salaam at the Relampeio Festival. Introduction in Portuguese, interview in English


Podcast

Word of the Week, Episode 8: Float

Posted on 16 April 2017

New podcast!!!

The word of the week is FLOAT. Listen to the podcast to find out what floating has to do with writing.

I mentioned “Achieving With Ease” in the podcast. Here’s the blog post I wrote when I was wrestling with writing and working to find a way for continue to work under difficult circumstances. You can read it here.

Be well. Be love[d].