Adebe DeRango-Adem is a writer whose work has been published in sources such as The Claremont Review, CV2, the Toronto Star, Room Magazine, and Cosmonauts Avenue. She is a former attendee of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics (Naropa University), where she mentored with poets Anne Waldman and Amiri Baraka to produce her debut book of poems, Ex Nihilo (Frontenac House, 2010), a text that considers how art can respond to the annihilation of particular identities struggling to exist in an impossibly post-racial world. In the same year of its publication, Ex Nihilo became a finalist for the Dylan Thomas Prize, the world’s largest prize for writers under thirty.

Author photo by Selena

DeRango-Adem is also the editor, with Andrea Thompson, of Other Tongues: Mixed-Race Women Speak Out (Inanna Publications, 2010).

Her second poetry collection, Terra Incognita (Inanna Publications, 2015), creatively explores various racial discourses and interracial crossings both buried in the grand narratives of history and the everyday experiences of being mixed-race. Poems from the collection were longlisted for the 2016 Cosmonauts Avenue Poetry Prize, judged by poet Claudia Rankine. Terra Incognita was also nominated for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award. Her third collection, The Unmooring, was published in 2018 by Mansfield Press. A poem from the collection was featured in the 2019 Poem-In-Your-Pocket anthology, co-created by the League of Canadian Poets and the Academy of American Poets.

Adebe served as the 2019-20 Barbara Smith Writer-in-Residence with Twelve Literary Arts, in Cleveland, Ohio. Her poem, “Vox Genus / Provectus,” was selected by poet Sonia Sanchez as the winner of the 2021 Boston Review Annual Poetry Contest, and will feature in her fourth collection, Vox Humana, coming Fall 2022 with Book*hug Press (available here).


9 responses to “”

  1. you, my friend, are a fantastic specimen of awesome.

  2. […] Adebe D.A. and Andrea Thompson are seeking submissions for an anthology of writing by and about mixed-race […]

  3. […] Adebe DeRango-Adem talks to Open Book about the anthology she co-edited with Andrea Thompson, Other Tongues: Mixed-Race Women Speak Out (Inanna Publications). The goal for this exciting anthology was not to nail down what identity means, but rather to open discussion and interrogate the diverse experiences of mixed-race identity and identification.   Open Book:   Tell us about the anthology Other Tongues: Mixed-Race Women Speak Out. […]

  4. […] Adebe DeRango-Adem (Editor) and Andrea Thompson (Editor), Other Tongues: Mixed Race Women Speak Out. […]

  5. […] DeRango-Adem and Thompson’s new collection of the artistic, autobiographical, and scholarly work of almost seventy women performs the important task of bridging the gap between late twentieth-century mixed-race writing and more contemporary work. Their text demonstrates the changes multiracial discourse has undergone and is undergoing. Other Tongues addresses the important concerns that dominated multiracial discourse in North America in the final decades of the twentieth century, which, as the contributions illustrate, are still quite relevant to the experiences of both older and younger multiracial women. Prominent recurring themes include belonging; racial inclusion and exclusion; identity formation; racism; physical appearance; the continuing prevalence of the ‘what are you/where are you from?’ question; the relationships between race, culture, and ethnicity; and the relationship of ‘colour’ to whiteness. Although some writers do not further these issues beyond what earlier collections have already done, others take them up in ways that renew older ideas with fresh perspectives. Many contributions touch on issues that are central to ongoing multiracial discourses, including gender, sexuality, class, migration, transracial adoption, single parenting, families consisting of multiracial parents, the rhetoric of ‘post-racialism,’ and the impact of Barack Obama as a public figure. […]

  6. […] experienced a rare moment of tears when Adebe DeRango-Adem’s read from Terra Incognita at the Inanna Publications launch […]

  7. […] Adebe DeRango-Adem was recently hailed as a young Canadian author to watch by Canada’s poet laureate, George Elliott Clarke. She is a poet and doctoral student in English literature at University of Pennsylvania. […]

  8. […] apt one for the act of writing, so the title Terra Incognita (Inanna Publications) fits Adebe DeRango-Adem’s new collection of poetry […]

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