April 26, 2019
826 Boston welcomed PEN Award-winning author Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah to the Writers’ Room at the John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science. Adjei-Brenyah read from his debut story collection Friday Black and discussed the craft of writing with 90 ninth-grade English students, advising them, “If you’re a writer, you’re going to be in your head a lot. It’s important to be grounded.”
“Racism for me is the anxiety of what will happen,” said Adjei-Brenyah, whose stories refract the realities of race in American society through a dystopic lens, themes the students in the O’Bryant Writers’ Room address in their own writing. The author also toured the Writers’ Room and met with students published in the school’s literary magazine Rubix.
In the evening, 826 Boston co-sponsored Adjei-Brenyah’s reading at Porter Square Books, where the author spoke about his belief in amplifying the voices of youth and shared that visiting students like those in the Writers’ Room is his favorite part of his job. Thanks to Porter Square Books for partnering on this event, and to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for bringing Adjei-Brenyah to the Writers’ Room, as well as donating copies of Friday Black to each student.