“Picasso in Africa” by Najee Dorsey

Yona Harvey

Poet and Writer


Yona Harvey is an American poet and recipient of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award for her first poetry collection, Hemming the Water. Her second poetry collection, You Don’t Have to Go to Mars for Love, is available now from Four Way Books and wherever books are sold. She is also among the first black women to write for Marvel Comics. She won the inaugural Lucille Clifton Legacy Award in poetry from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and the Carol R. Brown Achievement Award from the Heinz Foundation.

Yona’s work has been published and anthologized in many publications including Letters to the Future: Black WOMEN / Radical WRITING, A Poet’s Craft: A Comprehensive Guide to Making and Sharing Your Poetry and The Force of What’s Possible: Accessibility and the Avant-Garde.  She contributed to Marvel’s World of Wakanda with Ta-Nehisi Coates and Roxane Gay, followed by a collaboration with Coates on Black Panther & The Crew.   Her interests and writings in nonfiction recently led her to teach a workshop for Creative Nonfiction magazine: “Writing Away the Stigma for Young Adults,” designed for teens writing about their mental health experiences.

Yona can be retained as a speaker, reader, or workshop facilitator.

booking requests


You Don’t Have to Go to Mars for Love

A Stahlecker series selection
by Yona Harvey

Four Way Books, available now

isbn 194558856X, 9781945588563


Featured video Panacea Poets: prescription poems, all pandemic long

YONA HARVEY is the author of the poetry collections You Don’t Have To Go To Mars for Love (Four Way Books, 2020) and Hemming the Water (Four Way Books, 2013), winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. She contributed to Marvel’s World of Wakanda and co-authored with Ta-Nehisi Coates Black Panther and the Crew. She has worked with teenagers writing about mental health issues in collaboration with Creative Nonfiction magazine.


“Maher’s willful ignorance as to the value of comics inhibits him from recognizing the emotional struggles and triumphs delivered to us every Comic Book Wednesday. Why should a man whose empire revolves around his limited perspective suddenly see? For everyone else, though, there’s an opportunity to view Black Panther, Storm, Luke Cage, Misty Knight and Manifold in a new light—a light that does not blind but illuminates the depth and complexity of who these characters might be.”

Read MARVEL’S VOICES #1 at your local comic shop!

See more @ Marvel’s All The Wright Places

 . . .

I believe Langston Hughes when he writes that “poems, like prayers, possess power,” and I read what Brandi writes as a poem. Brandi’s poem has a title, line breaks, and an affirming catalog of “good things” that ends with the name of a teenaged boy, L.E., who once captured Brandi’s imagination. Maybe because I’m a poet and an older sister wanting peace of mind, I can’t help but read Brandi’s work this way. I want to believe that Brandi’s catalog of good things pulled her back from isolation. And I’m relieved to know that, for one year at least, Brandi found some comfort in writing and recording her thoughts, and that she sought help for her depression and difficulties. What she writes is part poem, part affirmation, part girl talk, and part secret. And, like Brandi, the poem keeps certain information to itself. Who, for instance, was D.J.? The name doesn’t ring the slightest bell.
–from “Blood, Work” in Writing Away the Stigma

 . . .

“The Sonnet District,” 
But you best believe
there’s a spiritualizing pattern coming into alignment, the dazzling intuition

of my female species systematically undermined for the sake of a male leader.   
Of course, I stole my files to burn later. 

 . . .

“Sonnet for a Tall Flower Born at Dinnertime,”

Southern Flower, I want to quote the bard,  
to serenade you, to raise a glass to you.

 . . .


She’s got a hundred & two temperature, delivery room nurses said. You’re
gonna live, though—long enough to know you’re going
to go as quickly as you came, gonna make your mother swear by you, 


Poem published in Poetry Magazine

 . . .

“Boy in the Forest Between Living & Leaving.”  
soon is now son rise up singing one day soon is now son rise up singing one day soon son is now son rise up singing one day soon is today son rise up swinging one day soon is now son rise up swinging one day soon is now son rise is today son rise up swinging  

All above poems published in The Spectacle


To book Yona, get in touch.

SIX x ATE: Fruition

Wednesday, December 8, 2021
7pm eastern
Virtual Event

Join us as we celebrate the culmination of 10 years of SIX x ATE in a grand finale virtual event. Featuring all-star alumni and partners: Nisha Blackwell (2016), Lenka Clayton (2013), Sarika Goulatia (2015), Yona Harvey (2012/13), Nina Sarnelle (2012/15), and Alisha B. Wormsley (2014)

register here

Previous Events

Reading & Conversation – The Future of Black: Afrofuturism, Black Comics, and Superhero Poetry

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Online / webinar

Book Reading Series with Four Way Books

Friday, March 5, 2021


Reading and Conversation with Crystal Williams

Thursday, March 18th 2021
5p pacific / 7p central / 8p eastern

register | download flyer

Town Hall Seattle
Lyric World: Shin Yu Pai with Yona Harvey

In The Moment podcast
Episode 72 from October 5, 2020

Listen Now

Yona’s Reading Time Miami Book Festival

Sunday, November 15 time tba

Live stream miamibookfair.com

Reading and Conversation with Marcel Walker sponsored by Michigan State University

Thursday, February 18, 2021


Books Noted Live: A Reading and Conversation with Yona Harvey and Taylor Johnson (Inheritance, Alice James Books, 2020)

Friday, October 23rd 2020 @ 7pm EDT


A Four Way Books Panel
Writing Working, and Wellness in a Time of Calamity

Friday, May 14 2021
1:15 pm pacific / 3:15 pm central / 4:15p eastern

Panelists will talk about how in times of extreme agitationt, what they/we can do to help ourselves, our students, our families, friends, colleagues, and neighbors through the practice of writing, reading, learning, sharing. Panelists: Ricardo Alberto Maldonado, Angela Torres, Yona Harvey, and John Murillo.


Black Futures, Black Pasts
w/ Yona Harvey & Cherene Sharrard
(Grimoire, Autumn House Press, 2020)

Friday, October 23rd 2020


Yona Harvey with Ted Mathys and Linda Hogan
From October 16, 2020

Watch Replay

writing workshop topics include:

The Art of Journaling
The Art of Revision
Archives and Autobiography
DIY: Generating Writing Exercises for yourself and others
Ekphrastic Fantastic: Writing with Art and Music
Mental Health Writing
Politics and Prose: Engaging News and Politics
Visual Arts Poetry
Restorative Writing for Mind and Body
Write Yourself into a Comic (young adults)

speaking topics and one-on-one consultations include:

Budgeting on a Shoestring (women and young adults)
African American Poetry
One Vision, Many Vehicles: Storytelling in Poetry, Nonfiction, and Comics
Poetry Manuscript Editing
Protecting Your Writing Practice
Writing and Censorship
Writing Comics (diversity in comics, women in comics)
Writing and Research
Yes, We Can: Women 40 and over Publishing First Books and Beyond


social media
Twitter: @yonaharvey
Instagram: @yonaharveywriter
Facebook: @yonaharveywriter

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    Yona can be retained as a speaker, reader, or workshop facilitator through her contact form. Inquiries on publications, writings, poems and writing comics are appreciated and emails will be answered as her schedule permits.

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