Bio: Tonya Cherie Hegamin
Tonya Cherie Hegamin (Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Creative Writing) is the noted author of the YA novel M+O 4EVR, listed as one of CosmoGirl.comâ€™s â€œBest Summer Readsâ€ 2008. Her picture book Most Loved in All the World, was the winner of the 2010 New York Public Libraryâ€™s Ezra Jack Keats Award and listed as USA TODAYâ€™s pick for best books of Black History Month 2009. She is co-author (with Marilyn Nelson) of the YA poetic novella, Pembaâ€™s Song, listed as a â€œbest book for reluctant readersâ€. Her books lauded as â€œlovely,â€ â€œfresh,â€ and â€œcompelling,â€ have each received much admiration from the publication world. She has worked with â€œat-riskâ€ and institutionalized girls and women in Pennsylvania and Connecticut. Tonya received her BA in Writing from the University of Pittsburgh and her MFA in Creative Writing from The New School University in New York. Ms. Hegamin is an alumna of Cave Canem, the first fellowship retreat for African-American poets, and Hedgebrook, a writing retreat for women. Hegaminâ€™s research interests include teaching literature with multimedia technology, â€˜reluctant learnersâ€™ and inclusion education, folklore and gender studies. Her fourth book (YA historical fiction), Willow was published in 2014 by Candlewick Press. Her website is www.tonyacheriehegamin.com.