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… »


The Single Woman’s Manifesto

An affirmative look at approaching singlehood from a spiritual perspective, this small-format affirmation/meditation book offers a series of fun and fun principles designed to celebrate you and your life, no matter what relationships state you happen to be in.

On the Psychology of Writing

Notes from the Trenches

Kiini Ibura Salaam has been writing essays and short stories since 1990. Over the years, she discovered that there’s much more to writing than sitting down and writing. There are a series of complex psychological and logistical demands that artists have to navigate to sustain artmaking on an ongoing basis. Is my work good enough?… »


About

Kiini
Ibura
Salaam


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.

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. She works as an editor and copy editor 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. 107: The Power of Community

Posted on 2 February 2019

This month I attended a panel on vulnerability at HealHaus yoga studio and healing center. The conversation was multi-layered and wide-ranging. On the topic of why we aren’t more vulnerable, panelist Liana Naima talked about the patriarchal orientation of our society, and how it influences how we communicate and connect with others. She went on… »

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Vol. 106: Hair in the Gate

Posted on 22 December 2018

Some time ago I saw a documentary called “Everything Which Is… Yes.” In 2008, David Hoffman suffered a catastrophic fire that burned down his home. He discusses it in this Ted talk. Hoffman is a collector—of documents, photographs, research files, magazines, and his own films. The master for a Cannes-winning film was destroyed. Through the… »

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Vol. 105: On Fearing the Answers

Posted on 22 May 2018

One of my favorite scenes in the recent film A Wrinkle in Time, was in the cave of the Happy Medium. The visuals were stunning and the idea of a place with constantly shifting ground, where your state of mind could keep you in balance is a great metaphor for life. Especially for me right… »

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Kiini
Ibura
Salaam

Writings


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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Speculative Fiction // //

At Life’s Limits

1. Musicians, practicing an age-old tradition, scatter syncopated rhythms across the night sky. Through rapid hand movements and homemade instruments, they pay homage to fierce gods. The music tattoos the sky’s surface with patterns of prayer, patterns that transform themselves into welcome mats for beings in realms the musicians have no knowledge of. One such… »

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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


Present/Presence 4

Acrylic on canvas with paper collage, 2016

 

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

Kiini
Ibura
Salaam

Media


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].


Podcast

Word of the Week Podcast—New Post, Episode 7: Terrestrial

Posted on 8 August 2016

A colleague recently listened to one of the podcasts and reminded me of the Word of the Week! As I am freeing up some energy after completing my second short story collection (yay, When the World Wounds will be out in the world in October!), I decided to dive back into podcast land. Here’s a new episode. The word is “terrestrial.” Listen in to hear how terrestrial connects to writing.

Kiini Ibura Salaam’s Word of the Week Podcast: Episode 7—Terrestrial

The story I read from in the podcast—Of Wings, Nectar, & Ancestors—was the very first speculative fiction story of my career. It was written 20 years ago!!! (It can be read here.)