Junauda Petrus-Nasah

Literature – fiction; Interdisciplinary Artist

Minneapolis, MN
October 2020

Junauda Petrus-Nasah is a writer, activist, filmmaker and performance artist, born on Dakota land and of Black-Caribbean descent. Her work centers around wildness, queerness, Black-diasporic-futurism, ancestral healing, sweetness, shimmer and liberation. She in Minneapolis with her wife and family.

Published by Penguin Random House in fall 2019 and told in two distinct & irresistible voices, Junauda’s debut young-adult novel, “The Stars and the Blackness Between Them,” is the story of two black girls from very different backgrounds finding love and happiness in a world that seems determined to deny them both. The book was honored with a prestigious Coretta Scott King Book Award in early 2020.

Junauda was focused on two main writing projects during her time at the Anderson Center. One was continuing work on her second young-adult novel, “Black Circus,” about a young Black woman, navigating a difficult home life discovers an old woman who is a circus performer with a colorful past who takes her under her wing to study circus arts. The second project was the adaptation of her first book, “The Stars and The Blackness Between Them” into a screenplay.

On October 22, author Junauda visited Sheena Tisland’s Language Arts students at Tower View Alternative High School for a book reading, discussion and workshop.

Reflecting on the residency, Junauda shared, “I didn’t even know how much I needed this.”