Marita Golden

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Marita Golden (born April 28, 1950) [1] is a novelist, nonfiction writer, teacher of writing and co-founder of the Hurston/Wright Foundation, a national organization that serves as a resource center for African-American writers.

Background and career[edit]

Marita Golden was born in Washington, D.C., in 1950 and attended the city’s public schools. She received a B.A. in American Studies and English from American University and a M.SC. in Journalism from Columbia University. After graduating from Columbia, she worked in publishing and began a career as a free-lance writer, writing feature articles for many magazines and newspapers including Essence Magazine, the New York Times, and the Washington Post.

Her first book, Migrations of the Heart (1983), was a memoir based on her experiences coming of age during the 1960s and her political activism as well as her marriage to a Nigerian and her life in Nigeria where she lived for four years.[2]

She has taught at many colleges and universities, including the University of Lagos in Lagos Nigeria, Roxbury Community College, Emerson College, American University, George Mason University, and Virginia Commonwealth University. She holds the position of Writer in Residence at the University of the District of Columbia, in Washington, D.C. Previous Writer-in-Residence positions have been held at Brandeis University, University of the District of Columbia, Hampton University, Simmons College, Columbia College, William and Mary, Old Dominion University and Howard University.[3]

As a literary activist, she co-founded the Washington, D.C.-based African-American Writers Guild, as well as the Hurston/Wright Foundation, named in honor of Zora Neale Hurston and Richard Wright, which serves the national and international community of Black writers and administers the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award.[4]



  • A Woman’s Place (1986)
  • Long Distance Life (1989)
  • And Do Remember Me (1992)
  • The Edge of Heaven (1999)
  • After (2006)
  • The Wide Circumference of Love (2017)




  • 2018 NAACP Image Award nominee for Outstanding Literary Work – Fiction (her second nomination)
  • 2008 Maryland Author Award from the Association of Maryland Librarians
  • 2007 Award for Fiction from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (for her novel After)
  • 2002 Distinguished Service Award from the Authors Guild
  • 2001 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award presented by Poets & Writers
  • Inducted into the International Literary Hall of Fame of Writers of African Descent at the Gwendolyn Brooks Center at Chicago State University
  • Honorary Doctorate from the University of Richmond
  • Woman of the Year Award from Zeta Phi Beta
  • Distinguished Alumni Award from American University[3]


  1. ^ Yolanda Williams Page, ed., "Marita Golden (1950- )", in Encyclopedia of African American Women Writers (Greenwood Publishing Group, 2007) p. 218.
  2. ^ Marita Golden (2008). Migrations of the Heart: An Autobiography. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. ISBN 9780307488244. 
  3. ^ a b Marita Golden Papers Finding Aid, Special Collections Research Center, Estelle and Melvin Gelman Library, The George Washington University.
  4. ^ "About", Hurston/Wright Foundation.

External links[edit]