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.
FictionSpeculative FictionForeign Land // Otherworldy // Yearning
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… »
FictionSpeculative FictionOtherworldy // Touched by a Stranger // Yearning
“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… »
FictionSpeculative FictionDanger // Otherworldy // Touched by a Stranger
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… »
Featured in: Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora
Kiini Ibura Salaam on Advice Received in the Bathroom from Octavia Butler, Selling Books at the Green Market, and Holding Five Jobs When Life Only Has Room for Two: An Audio Interview
The ancient mysteries of life hold in their grasp the power of seduction. We find seduction, being led away, in a sexual experience, a sensual touch, the coming of a new life or death, the physical movement of bodies in a dance, the allure of magic, the call of nature, the possibility of a new… »
The stories in Kiini Ibura Salaam’s debut collection, Ancient, Ancient, from feminist science fiction publisher Aqueduct Press, are imbued with the urgency and expansive scope of imagination that we’ve come to expect from the best of science fiction. Salaam takes us to distant places but makes them familiar in unsettling ways, ably transforming the fantastic… »
This new collection of arresting and beautiful stories by Kiini Ibura Salaam draws the reader immediately into a world of magic and struggle.
Salaam’s collection of 10 reprints and 3 original stories introduces readers to alternate worlds built around magic, sensuality, sexuality, and the search for emotional comfort, however tenuous.
Kiini Ibura Salaam is a poet and artist, as well as a writer of non-fiction and some of the most unusual fantasy and science fiction you’ll read. Her first collection of short stories, Ancient, Ancient is out now from Aquaduct Press.